This Smoothie Tastes Like Dessert, Yet It's Packed With Nutrients
What dessert instantly transports you back to childhood summers and long days in the sun? For me, there can only be one answer: mint chocolate chip ice cream.
I love the cool, sweet, creamy treat in all its forms: piled high on top of a cone, layered in an ice cream cake, or drenched in sprinkles. But the mint chocolate chip milkshake really holds a special place in my heart and stomach. As an adult, it's one of those indulgences I constantly crave but almost never eat—until I discovered this healthier spin.
A protein-packed mint chocolate collagen smoothie.
This year, one of my health resolutions is to eat more protein and build muscle mass—a key predictor of longevity and health span. But sustainable eating is important to me, so I knew I'd have to get a bit creative to pack more ethically sourced protein into my diet.
I've long been impressed with mindbodygreen's beauty & gut chocolate collagen+—and not just because I work here. It's packed with collagen peptides from grass-fed, pasture-raised cows that have plenty of access to green space and are not treated with antibiotics.
The product disperses easily in hot and cold drinks and packs a flavor that is sweet but not sickly (thanks to a dash of organic cocoa and monk fruit). Plus, it doesn't have the vaguely medicinal aftertaste featured in many of the plant-based protein powders I've tried.
With collagen—the most abundant protein in the human body—as my base, I started playing around to find a simple smoothie recipe that I'd actually want to drink year-round. After some tinkering in the kitchen, I landed on one that hits all the same notes as my childhood favorite, without the ensuing blood sugar crash.
Makes 2 servings
- 1 scoop chocolate beauty & gut collagen+
- 2 handfuls spinach
- 1 cup unsweetened oat milk (or milk of your choosing)
- 1 banana
- ½ an avocado
- ½ cup plain, full-fat Greek yogurt
- 1 tablespoon hemp seed hearts
- 5 drops pure peppermint extract
- A handful of ice
- A pinch of salt
- 2 squares dark chocolate (optional; I like to use Supplant, made from plant fiber waste)
- Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth. Add more milk to reach your desired consistency.
- Taste and adjust flavors as needed. I usually add 1-2 more drops of mint extract.
Why I love this smoothie.
With this smoothie, it was love at first sip. The yogurt, avocado, and banana give it the lush creaminess you'd expect from your favorite ice cream stand. And the collagen and peppermint extract perfectly emulate that minty, chocolatey flavor you thought you could only find in a Ben & Jerry's tub.
I treat it like a pre-workout drink and sip it around 4 p.m. to carry me through the end of the workday and into my evening workout. The healthy fats from the hemp seeds, protein from the collagen, fiber from the banana and avocado, and nutrients from the spinach make me feel full, fueled, and ready to go.
This healthier mint chocolate chip recipe fits protein, greens, and fiber into one nostalgic and highly craveable smoothie. We may be in the dead of winter, but it puts me in a summer state of mind with each sip. If you want to know all of the benefits you'll be getting from a single scoop of collagen powder, feel free to scan this guide. And learn more about beauty & gut chocolate collagen+ here.
Emma Loewe is the Sustainability and Health Director at mindbodygreen and the author of Return to Nature: The New Science of How Natural Landscapes Restore Us. She is also the co-author of The Spirit Almanac: A Modern Guide To Ancient Self Care, which she wrote alongside Lindsay Kellner.
Emma received her B.A. in Environmental Science & Policy with a specialty in environmental communications from Duke University. In addition to penning over 1,000 mbg articles on topics from the water crisis in California to the rise of urban beekeeping, her work has appeared on Grist, Bloomberg News, Bustle, and Forbes. She's spoken about the intersection of self-care and sustainability on podcasts and live events alongside environmental thought leaders like Marci Zaroff, Gay Browne, and Summer Rayne Oakes.