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I think I just stumbled upon heaven in a glass. Why did I ever worry that going dairy-free could be a horrible thing when I have a delicious smoothie recipe like my dairy-free chocolate hazelnut smoothie to get me by? Talk about a decadent treat that won’t make you feel bloated and full. Drink. It. Up. 

For the last few months or so, I have been pondering going dairy-free for a month to see if dairy is the cause of my bloating and belly pains. The last straw for me was drinking a medium Smoothie King smoothie and then sitting in my weekly German class with horrible stomach aches and pains. It literally felt like my stomach was doing somersaults. Not to mention, feeling like I’m 7 months pregnant isn’t a sexy thing for me either. So in a mission to find out the cause of my stomach issues, I have decided to nix dairy from my diet. I’m about two weeks in, and so far, so good.

The main dairy foods that are hard to give up is yogurt because I love my yogurt and granola, heavy cream because cream is used in so many delicious recipes such as pasta and sauces, and cheese because cheese is just awesome and pairs beautifully with my wine. I’m not saying I will never eat dairy again. I will eventually ween it back into my diet little by little but the goal is to see what the cause of my stomach issues are and how I can still enjoy my favorite foods in moderation. For now, I will savor my delicious substitutions like this chocolatey, velvety smoothie.

For this recipe you will need:

1 cup almond milk
1/2 cup cold brew coffee (made with almond milk)
2 Tbsp Justin’s Chocolate Hazelnut Butter
3 medjool dates, pitted
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 medium banana
1 scoop chocolate protein powder
1/2 cup ice
Shredded coconut, garnish (optional)
Chocolate twig, garnish (optional)

Combine all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth and creamy. If you need more liquid, simply 1/2 cup or so of almond milk or water. Garnish with shredded coconut and a chocolate twig. Enjoy!

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