Good Morning Mocha Smoothie

mocha smoothie

Turn your first cup of joe into a nourishing meal with this Good Morning Mocha Smoothie. It’s a bit like a mocha Frappuccino, but with a whole lot more nutrients and whole lot less added sugar. It delivers mellow chocolate flavor that’s complemented by an easy shot of espresso. Cashew butter, hemp seeds, and milk make it creamy and protein-rich, with a taste of decadence. And a lone date gives it just the right touch of sweetness. The best part?  It packs 17 grams of protein, which is nearly what you get in a scoop of protein powder without the chalky texture or unsavory ingredients that sometimes come along for the ride.

Morning Mocha Smoothie made with protein-rich ingredients

Does a Chocolate Mocha Smoothie Make a Good Breakfast?

Yes! This is a balanced breakfast in my book. It’s full of healthy fats, protein, and nearly 9 grams of fiber, which is a triple threat for keeping you satiated and your blood sugar steady through the morning. It also satisfies more than a quarter of your daily needs for iron and calcium. You can adapt the smoothie to suit your energy needs. For a calorie boost, add a second tablespoon of cashew butter or 1/4 cup chickpeas (yes, chickpeas!) to the blender. For lighter appetites or if you’re enjoying this as one part of your breakfast, pour the smoothie into two glasses. It keeps well in the fridge overnight, so will be waiting for you tomorrow.

Morning Mocha Smoothie Subs and Swaps

This recipe lends itself to all manner of substitutions and variations. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Cashew butter works well in this recipe, since it has a neutral flavor. That said, almond butter, peanut butter, or any seed butter will do the trick, too.    
  • Use chia or flax seeds in place of hemp seeds. 
  • If you don’t have any dates on hand, leave them out or use 1 to 2 teaspoons maple syrup instead.
  • For an extra jolt of coffee flavor (and caffeine), make this a double, using two shots of espresso instead of one. 
  • Add a handful of baby spinach or a few cauliflower florets for a veggie boost. You probably won’t notice a difference
Morning Mocha Smoothie rich in protein

What Type of Coffee for This Smoothie?

A shot of espresso is your best bet for this smoothie. If you don’t have an espresso machine (and I don’t), use instant espresso powder instead (this is the one I use). You can find instant espresso at most most markets and online and it’s useful for lots of recipes beyond this smoothie (you can read more about it in this post). If you are prefer to make this with coffee, use ½ cup of a strong brew (either chilled or cooled to room temp) and cut the milk to 1/2 cup. The smoothie will be a bit more liquid, but tasty nevertheless.

If you like this Morning Mocha Smoothie, check out these other protein-rich options:

Wild Blueberry Brain-Boosting Smoothie

Pineapple Orange Green Smoothie (tip: add a few ounces of tofu to boost the protein further)

Pineapple Kale Protein Smoothie

You can also head here to read more about how to boost protein in smoothies.

Good Morning Mocha Smoothie

You can enjoy your morning coffee and get breakfast under your belt in one fell swoop with this creamy Mocha Smoothie. It's as nourishing as it is creamy and delicious. Boost the good stuff even more by adding 1/4 cup chickpeas, a handful of baby spinach, or a few cauliflower florets.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Servings 1 12-ounce smoothie
Calories 440 kcal
Author Katie Morford


  • 1 frozen ripe banana
  • 2 tablespoons hemp seeds
  • 1 tablespoon cashew butter (or almond, peanut, or any seed butter)
  • 1 one-ounce shot espresso, no need to cool see notes
  • 1 ½ teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 pitted Medjool date
  • 3/4 cup low-fat milk or unsweetened plant milk (for a protein-rich plant-based option, use soy or pea milk)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 ice cubes


  1. Put the banana, hemp seeds, cashew butter, espresso, cocoa powder, date, milk, vanilla, and ice into a blender. Run the blender until the smoothie is creamy and smooth. Pour into a glass. Store any leftover smoothie in the fridge, where it will keep well overnight.

Recipe Notes

If you don’t have an espresso maker, you can buy powdered instant espresso and make a shot of espresso according to package directions. It’s sold in jars and packets at most markets. 

Much gratitude to my nutrition intern Hannah Zimmerman for her work on this post and the photos. You can find more of her photography at Bize Sized Studio. This post includes an affiliate link from which I earn a tiny percentage of any purchase.


04.13.2023 at4:17 PM #

Gail Norton

I don’t like bananas. What can I use instead?

04.13.2023 at4:17 PM #

Katie Morford

The banana adds natural sweetness, but doesn’t make the smoothie taste like banana. If you want to skip the banana, you’ll need to bump up the sweetness. I usually use medjool date or maple syrup. To give the smoothie some body that normally comes from the banana, I sometimes add a quarter of a ripe avocado.

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