Frozen Chocolate Zucchini Smoothie

by Valerie on August 6, 2011 · 11 comments

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Yes, I am still obsessed with the chocolate zucchini flavor combination.  I mentioned last week that I usually save my zucchini pulp for a smoothie – when I make green juice, I usually freeze pulp to use later on in raw breads or crackers, and it is not much more work to measure and separate different types of pulp.  I like to separate carrot and zucchini pulp from the rest of the veggie pulp as I tend to use them in specific recipes like Gena’s Carrot Falafel or this chocolate zucchini smoothie.

Gena is actually the inspiration for this recipe as well –  a few weeks ago she asked me if I had ever made a smoothie with juice pulp – while I had, up until that point I used only a 1/4 cup or so of green pulp, to boost the fiber content of a smoothie.  The frozen pulp was an add-on that disappeared into the smoothie, rather than a core ingredient.  Then, Gena had the brilliant idea to make the carrot pulp a core ingredient for this High-Fiber Carrot and Banana Smoothie, and I was immediately inspired to experiment with a chocolate zucchini version.  I love the bounty of inexpensive organic zucchini this time of year, and have been taking advantage of it with zucchini dishes but also using it in juices.   

I find the easiest way to prep for this smoothie is to measure out 1/2 to 1 cup of zucchini pulp (I juice about 1-2 zucchinis at a time so usually end up with that amount of pulp) and store it in a ziploc in the freezer so that the pulp is in a flat layer:

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Then, when it comes time to make the smoothie, I just break up the pulp into pieces so they act almost as ice cubes.  If your zucchini pulp is not frozen I recommend adding a few ice cubes.  If you do not have zucchini pulp, you could still make this smoothie using zucchini – I would start with half a zucchini, chopped finely, to begin with, and 6 ice cubes, and see how you like the smoothie. The zucchini flavor will be more pronounced and texture-wise you may need to reduce the liquid, but I am sure it is do-able.    

I have included in the recipe the method I used to make this smoothie into a Vitamix.  The combination of frozen zucchini and banana helps make this smoothie almost soft-serve like in texture, as does using the tamper.  I have not made this in a blender other than the Vitamix, so you may need to tweak order of ingredients and amount of liquid. 

Frozen Chocolate Zucchini Smoothie (Gluten-Free, Vegan, Soy-Free) – Makes about 16-20oz

  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk of your choice
  • 2-3 Tbsps raw cacao
  • 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 to 1 cup frozen zucchini pulp, preferably broken into pieces (see above for method and substitutions. If your zucchini pulp is not frozen, I would recommend adding some ice cubes)
  • 1 banana, cut into pieces and frozen
  • 1/8 tsp vanilla stevia 
  • 2 Tbsps chopped walnuts, for topping

Blend all ingredients except walnuts in a high-speed blender until smooth.  If using a Vitamix, use the tamper to push the ingredients into the blade, which will heighten the frozen texture of the smoothie and make it soft-serve-like.  If using a regular blender, you may need more liquid and lose the frosty texture of the smoothie, but I do think you can still make this smoothie.  Top smoothie with chopped walnuts

I am submitting this recipe to the following weekly events starting with:


Summer Wellness Weekend, hosted by Ricki of Diet, Desserts and Dogs. The concept behind Summer Wellness Weekends is “any good-for-you, whole foods, especially those with antioxidant properties or “functional foods” (ie, offering naturally medicinal or health-promoting qualities–such as garlic, coconut oil, all vegetables, fruits, herbs, etc.).” Raw cacao is antioxidant central, plus this involves other great things like banana and zucchini.

seasonal sunday

Real Sustenance’s Seasonal Sunday event – since zucchini is seasonal to summer, this recipe fits.


A blog event hosted by Flip Cookbook called Sugar Free Sunday, which includes sweet and savory dishes made with non-refined sugars.


Slightly Indulgent Tuesday with Amy of Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free – I love frozen smoothies and desserts – they are just so indulgent-tasting.


Real Food Weekly with Diane of The WHOLE Gang.

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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Victoria (The District Chocoholic) August 6, 2011 at 4:44 pm

With zucchini season pretty much here, I think we need to have a "chocolate-zucchini recipe" blog party. I say this selfishly because I want to see you post more delicious recipes like this using two of my favorite foods.


2 gfe--gluten free easily August 6, 2011 at 10:51 pm

Wow, great idea on breaking off the frozen shredded zucchini and using it like ice cubes! I know I would love that smoothie. :-)

Thanks, Valerie!


3 August 7, 2011 at 4:07 pm

Yum. I have been eating a lot of zucchini this summer already, and was toying with the idea of smoothie. Glad to know it works!


4 Ricki August 7, 2011 at 5:23 pm

Such a great idea. Of course I've done something like this with frozen fruit, but zucchini never occurred to me! And it looks so yummy, too. :)

Thanks for submitting to WW this week!


5 Ricki August 7, 2011 at 5:28 pm

PS Keep forgetting to ask if you're on twitter–would love to tweet your posts!


6 Jacqueline August 7, 2011 at 7:37 pm

Wouldn't have thought about it, but it does sound good :)


7 Faye @ August 8, 2011 at 10:58 pm

Looks amazing and simple! Trying it tomorrow. I'd make it tonight, but I'm out of bananas!

You're awesome. I have so much zucchini from my garden. Great idea.


8 Nachos August 9, 2011 at 3:03 am

This is brilliant – I love it!

Since I generally don't juice zucchini, do you think it would work just as well to grate & freeze some zucchini if I don't have pulp, or would it be too watery?


9 Katie (quick cook rice) August 9, 2011 at 4:20 am

You two with your juice pulp! It's hilarious! I love it. And this looks amazing.


10 Valerie @ City|Life|Eats August 9, 2011 at 11:46 am

Thank you everyone – this is indeed a lovely smoothie.

And Nachos, I think your idea would work well, but as I mentioned above, the key to using regular zucchini as opposed to zucchini pulp is to adjust the liquid. Grating zucchini seems like an awful lot of work, which is why I suggested just chopping the zucchini finely. Thank you for stopping by :)


11 Raj @ Flip Cookbook August 11, 2011 at 1:06 am

Ingenious! This really looks delicious – really a healthy drink parading around like a dessert. Love it! Thanks for sharing this at this week's Sugar Free Sunday!


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