I’ve always been one to value and enjoy a grossly gigantic sampler chocolate box that start popping up as Valentine’s Day approaches.
While the Type-A personality in me appreciates the organization guide under the lid to help us chocolate-goers map our flavorful explorations, part of me always rebels and tries not to peek at that little cheat guide.
Oh the possibility each chocolate mound holds, the potential for something surprisingly glorious, or surprisingly disgusting.
The worst of the worst that always seems to be lurking in every box isn’t the coconut or caramel or nutty cluster; nay, it is the chocolate covered cherry that gushes liquid sugar that moment you bight into it creating a sticky, syrupy mess reminiscent of a swig cherry cough syrup.
Too harsh? I think not…those things are sick nasty.
It’s too bad, though, that they seem to tarnish most of our views of the otherwise magical combination of chocolate and cherry. It has taken me years of mustering up courage to brave the combination and try to wrap my sweet tooth around it. And by golly, it’s downright delicious.
So let’s wipe the slate clean on the chocolate-cherry incidents of our pasts and start fresh, beginning with this protein shake.
Some mornings, my breakfasts just beckon for a little something extra, something indulgent, something that will further motivate me to roll my awkward preggo self out of bed and spend the next 8 hours with 71 eight year-olds…therefore I bribe myself with chocolate.
Chocolate? For breakfast? I feel like I’m in those out Reese’s Puffs commercials where the kids would be amazed they were having Reese’s Cups as apart of their wholesome, balanced breakfast (insert eye roll and laugh here).
While I’m not condoning the consumption of Reese’s Puffs and other sugary cereals as a means to motivating yourself out of bed, I am saying that chocolate can be included into your morning meal in healthy ways.
Sure, you can throw a few chocolate chips into your oatmeal or protein pancakes.
Or, you can go for some chocolate-on-chocolate action like I’ve done in this protein shake today.
The layers of chocolate would definitely qualify this as a chocaholic breakfast, not to be consumed if you are feeling wishy washy about the chocolate breakfast experience. The chocolate experience starts with chocolate protein powder topped with dark chocolate cocoa powder (regular cocoa powder would work as well). Then, I like to top the shake with chocolate coconut chips and make it snow with zested dark chocolate.
Could you toss on chocolate chips? Chocolate granola? Chocolate covered nuts? Chocolate almond butter? Woah nelly, I’ve got to calm down here. Your chocolate possibilities are endless.
Did I mention that this shake is healthy, too? It may be sounding like a sugar coma, but there’s no added sugar in this bad boy (unless there is sugar in your protein powder…always read your ingredients homies).
With no added sugar, the sweetness of the shake comes from the frozen banana and cherries. And while I was at it, I toss in a baby handful of frozen spinach just to add another layer of nutrition. Since the shake will turn a dark purple, the spinach’s greenness cannot and will not be detected in the least bit. And no, you cannot taste the spinach, either.
I know Valentine’s Day is still nearly a month away, but this seems like a fun way to make that special someone’s morning as the big day approaches. But like Mr. HHT always sarcastically says, “Everyday is Valentine’s Day when I’m married to you”. Sounds charming until I open up a new pepper spray gun or USB chargers as my Valentine’s gift. For real.
Luckily, we’ve still got a few weeks to work on the gift situation there…in the meantime, you don’t have to wait until Valentine’s Day and you don’t have to make this for someone else. Show YOURSELF some needed care and whip yourself up some chocolate-cherry love.
Healthy Happy Texan
I'm a Foodie, Fitness Instructor, and Follower of Christ. Add a passion for teaching others, dark chocolate, bacon, and dogs -- and that's me in a box.
Come on, let's live a little!