With Easter around the corner, I just couldn’t resist buying a bag of jelly beans. I picked out my favorite flavor, black licorice, and left the rest for my husband. He later asked me where all the black licorce went. (Hee, hee). I was tempted to just get a bag of licorice Jelly Bellies, but those sugar bombs make my blood sugar soar, which got me thinking; what if I could make a licorice smoothie? I love dark chocolate too, so I pondered if licorice and chocolate would be a good combination, and, it’s AMAZING.
Here’s my latest creation, a guilt-free, healthy, no-sugar, dairy-free smoothie, made with cocoa powder for that wonderful rich chocolate flavor, and fresh fennell, which give it licorice notes.
- 1 cup coconut milk, plain unsweetened (I use So Delicious)
- 1 tablespoon cocoa powder, level
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, alcohol free
- 1 tablespoon chopped fennel stalk*
- ¼ cup plain collagen protein powder (I use Great Lakes)
- 1 ½ ripe bananas, frozen, in 1-inch chuncks
Add all ingredients, except bananas, in a blender cup for 20 seconds or so until incorporated. Add bananas and blend again, until smooth.
P.S. Use the stalks of the fennell (which look like celery). Don’t use the root of the fennell, which is not as sweet and doesn’t impart as much of that licorice flavor. Save the sliced fennel root for a salad. You can omit the vanilla extract if you don’t have it. I ran out of vanilla extract and the smoothie was still sweet and decadent. It’s good without the cocoa powder too, which makes it a bit lighter, without caffeine, with a stronger licorice flavor, which is unique and refreshing. I like it with, and without the cocoa powder. Let me know which one you prefer.