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Cruciferous Chocolate Peanut Butter Smoothie

In trying to eat Dr. Greger’s Daily Dozen list of most nutritious foods, I’ve found that most days I lack cruciferous vegetables.

Aside from buying cabbage to add to my stir-fry and soups, and cooking some broccoli as a side dish more often, here is a yummy chocolate way of eating cruciferous vegetables! Can it get any better?!


In addition to checking the cruciferous vegetables box, you’ll also get your daily serving of flaxseed, nuts, one serving of fruit, and a beverage. That’s 5 boxes to check in the Daily Dozen app from one smoothie alone! It’s high in calcium, vitamin C, protein and fiber. In addition, it’s rich in phytochemicals and micronutrients that don’t appear on a Nutrition Facts label.

Why should we eat cruciferous vegetables every day?

Cruciferous vegetables are the ones that have flowers shaped like a cross (thus the name cruciferous). The most common ones are broccoli, cauliflower, kale, cabbage, brussel sprouts, arugula, radishes, and bok choy. Horseradish is another, but I definitely pass on that one.

Aside from being high in vitamins E, K, C, folate, beta-carotene, minerals and fiber, they contain sulfur-containing chemical compounds. These compounds are what make them a little bit pungent and bitter, making Brussel sprouts the notorious disgusting vegetable most kids hate. Yet those same compounds are what provide the most powerful health benefits.

Cruciferous vegetables are the only source of sulforaphane, which has gotten a lot of press lately as being very good for gut health. Sulforaphane is also proven to be:

This powerful compound is most available from raw or very lightly cooked cruciferous vegetables, and is activated when chewed. This recipe which features raw, blended cauliflower is perfect. Best of all, you can’t even taste the cauliflower!

Anyway, all that to say that this delicious chocolate smoothie with cauliflower is something you can feel really good about! I’d love to hear if it’s a successful way of getting some sulforaphane into your kids!

If you want to sneak more cruciferous vegetables in, we love this Cauliflower Mac ‘n Cheese and this easy Cauliflower Potato Soup.

5 from 4 votes
Cruciferous Chocolate Peanut Butter Smoothie
Prep Time
5 mins

Sweet and chocolately, yet packed with nutrition! The perfect whole-food plant-based breakfast or treat! You can't even taste the cauliflower.

Course: Breakfast, Dessert
Keyword: bananas, cauliflower, chocolate, peanut butter, shake, smoothie
Servings: 1 large shake
Author: Faithful Plateful
  • 1/2 cup frozen cauliflower (riced or florets)
  • 1 large overripe frozen banana (about 1 heaping cup frozen banana chunks)
  • 1 1/4 cups unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 TBSP unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1-2 TBSP peanut butter (or other nut butter)
  • 1 TBSP ground flax seed
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
  • 1-2 dates (optional, for extra sweetness if desired)
  1. Combine all in a blender or bullet until smooth and creamy. Enjoy!

  2. To make it sweeter, add more bananas or a couple dates.

    To make it creamier like a milkshake or higher-calorie for those needing to gain weight, use more peanut butter, and/or canned coconut milk.


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  1. I must admit to skepticism when I saw that cauliflower was in this chocolate smoothie recipe, but I’d been longing for something chocolate, and I needed a cruciferous vegetable to complete my daily nutrition goal, so I made a point of buying cauliflower today. Also had to buy peanuts and make my own peanut butter, but that’s another story. Whipped it together, and I was amazed! It was sweet enough for me, but not my husband, so I added some maple syrup and some dates. I probably could have added another banana. It is thick and creamy, and you don’t taste the cauliflower.

    1. Ha, ha! A recipe where the cauliflower is undetectable by my littles! Seriously, this recipe is so yummy. I did use two dates and the optional vanilla and it was perfectly sweetened for us.

  2. Question from the post. “This powerful compound is most available from raw or very lightly cooked cruciferous vegetables, and is activated when chewed.” Do you still get the nutritional benefits from the cauliflower if you’re drinking it and not chewing it? I’m still trying it. This sounds delicious, just curious if you’re getting the same benefits from the smoothie.

    1. From what I understand, it’s when the vegetable is broken down by chewing or blending that the nutritious compounds are released. I’ve read elsewhere that using a blender is fantastic for breaking down the cell walls of the food and releasing nutrients. I’m no expert, but I think you get lots of nutritious benefits from blended foods.

      1. thanks so much. I’ve since had this smoothie multiple times. About to whip one up now. It’s delicious! I also made the sweet potato and black bean burritos yesterday. They were fun to make and used your freezer suggestion. I have several wrapped and ready to go for a quick and nutritious lunch. 🙂

  3. This is the best chocolate smoothie!!! Even my kids who aren’t big smoothie fans love this! We made it at least once a week last summer for a nice cool treat. It’s THAT good! Thanks, Faith, for sharing all these amazing recipes!

  4. Yummmmm! This was delicious. The proportions were perfect. It was creamy and sweet. Will make again for sure.

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