Spicy Wild Blueberry Smoothie with Cacao

spicy wild blueberry smoothie

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Smoothies are a terrific option for refueling and recovering post-workout, especially in the heat of summer. If you’re like me, though, you may find yourself reaching for the same smoothie ingredients time and time again, which can get old quick. That’s where this wild blueberry smoothie comes in – with a base of wild blueberries and yogurt plus a burst of flavor from add-ins and toppings like cayenne, cacao, and coconut, this smoothie is a nutrient powerhouse that’s anything but boring! Whip it up in just one minute on a hot summer day for a balanced and satisfying snack.

Wild Blueberry Smoothie Ingredients

The following ingredients contribute a balance of protein, carbs, fat, and flavor to this satisfying wild blueberry smoothie!

Wild Blueberries:

Summer is the peak of wild blueberry season, but you can enjoy them all year long if you buy frozen! Whichever form you go with, wild blueberries are a nutrient-dense and flavorful addition to smoothies, oatmeal, pancakes, muffins, and more. I provide more in-depth info on the health benefits of wild blueberries versus regular cultivated blueberries with this slow cooker oatmeal recipe, but let’s recap!

  • The most important fact to remember is the antioxidant content of wild blueberries, as they contain twice the antioxidant capacity of regular blueberries, which are pretty antioxidant-rich to begin with. Research shows these antioxidants map to a reduction in diabetes and cancer risk and improvements in gut health and brain health.
  • The most delicious fact to remember – and you will – is that wild blueberries are oozing with a more intense flavor. You can see the antioxidants and deliciousness bursting right out of the berries topping my smoothie!
  • The fact that most (99%) of wild blueberries are frozen at harvest is important as they have their nutrients {and flavor} immediately locked in.

Yogurt:

Being dairy free, I always opt for protein-rich dairy alternatives like soy-based or pea protein yogurts. The coconut yogurts out there may taste good, but keep in mind that they typically have either 1 or zero grams of protein. With low protein content, you’ll be starving an hour later and won’t be giving your muscles what they need for recovery, so check your nutrition facts panels and look for a yogurt that has around 10 grams of protein per serving or more. If you can tolerate dairy, a plain dairy-based yogurt should have adequate protein too, and you can get even more from a greek or Icelandic style yogurt.

Cacao:

Similar to and visually identical to cocoa powder, cacao is chocolate in its most natural form since it is not heated when processed. This retains a slightly higher nutrient content. While a great source of magnesium, the flavonoids in cacao can aid in keeping inflammation down in the body. Cacao’s antioxidants have also been associated in some studies with stress reduction and aiding in blood pressure control.

Cayenne Powder:

I hope you like a little heat because cayenne is an excellent anti-inflammatory, too! The capsaicin in hot peppers is responsible for this health benefit that has been linked to relieving joint pain. As someone with allergies in the fall and winter, I love its ability to help clear my sinuses, too.

Coconut:

The last burst of flavor and texture in this wild blueberry smoothie comes from the unsweetened shredded coconut. I am a huge fan of “eating” my smoothies. When I drink them, I am not as psychologically satisfied, so the coconut adds a satisfying crunch to the texture, keeping me from downing this deliciousness too quickly through a straw and helping prevent any GI distress that may come with drinking it too fast!

Post-Workout Smoothies

This wild blueberry smoothie is a perfect snack post-workout to recover (just use dairy or soy yogurt for adequate protein) and can be especially helpful for athletes and active individuals who experience post-workout appetite suppression and have difficulty tolerating food after training. In addition to providing the nutrients your body needs, it’s also an easy way to rehydrate, especially if you’ve been working out in the heat. Plus, the antioxidant content can help promote recovery!

Smoothies are also great as a mid-afternoon snack to hold you over until dinner or for breakfast on-the-go if with a hard boiled egg on the side. The best part is since wild blueberries can be found in most freezer sections, this particular recipe can be enjoyed year-round. 

spicy wild blueberry smoothie

Spicy Wild Blueberry Smoothie with Cacao

With carbs from wild blueberries, protein and fat from yogurt, and a burst of flavor from add-ins like cayenne, cacao, and coconut, this smoothie is balanced, satisfying, and delicious!
Prep Time 1 min
Course Breakfast, Snack

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup wild blueberries
  • 1 6 ounce container plain yogurt (if non-dairy, choose a pea protein or soy-based yogurt to obtain protein)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened vanilla soy or regular dairy milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp cacao
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne powder
  • 1 tbsp shredded unsweetened coconut

Instructions
 

  • Add all ingredients except coconut to a blender and pulse until smooth.
  • Pour into a glass or to-go cup, stir in coconut, and enjoy!
Keyword post-workout snack, wild blueberry smoothie
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