A delicious drink packed full of mood-boosting nutrients
This is such a creamy and delicious milkshake, a real treat and great to have any time of the day. The ingredients are especially good for boosting the ‘happy and feel-good’ neurotransmitter serotonin so the drink is great for improving mood, not just in flavour but in the action of the specific combination of nutrients on the body.
Rich in magnesium and tryptophan (the precursor to the sleep hormone melatonin), the milkshake is also a great tonic for insomnia and anxiety as it helps calm the system down.
Cacao is the raw form of cocoa, the major ingredient in chocolate. Dark chocolate has more antioxidants than most fruits and vegetables but cocoa and cacao have far more. We use cocoa for cooking but cacao for cold recipes; raw cacao contains double the amount of antioxidants than cocoa but these are reduced by high temperatures. Studies repeatedly show that cacao, cocoa and dark chocolate support blood sugar levels and are good for heart health, reducing cholesterol, blood pressure and platelet aggregation.
We sweeten the shake with banana and dates but you can also add in a little maple syrup or xylitol if you prefer things a little sweeter. The cashews help slow the release of any sugars down so the impact on blood sugar levels is minimal. Cashew nuts are higher in protein and folate than many other nuts, helping us to feel full for longer and supplying good levels of key nutrients.
Cashew nuts only need to be soaked for a few hours compared to other nuts and they impart a lovely sweet creaminess. Plus, homemade cashew milk is completely different from anything you can buy and really takes the flavour to another level. We tend to leave the nuts to soak earlier in the day and make up the milkshake later once they are ready. However, if you are time pressed, the recipe works well using almond or coconut milk but will lose some of it’s creaminess.
- 1 cup cashew nuts
- 4 cups water
- 1 small banana
- 2 medjool dates
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp cacao or cocoa
- 1 pinch sea salt
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- Soak the cashew nuts in a bowl of cold water for up to 4 hours until softened.
- Drain and rinse the cashew nuts and place in a blender with all of the other ingredients.
- Blend on high speed for 30 seconds.