I admit it. I’m one of those people who really enjoys starting the day with a fruit or vegetable smoothie but I’m also one of those people who doesn’t make them very often. It’s not an issue of whether or not I have the ingredients on hand, the time or a high-speed blender. For me, it’s more about the routine of savoring a cup of coffee in the morning while catching up on the news, mail or my backyard sunrise avian activity. So how then does coffee and breakfast come together in one simple and satisfying glass? That was my mission and the answer is my glorious, not overly sweet protein rich chocolate coffee smoothie. Cocoa and coffee seem to be made for each other, but when you add the subtle sweetness of dates and the luxurious creaminess of nuts and non-dairy milk you have a recipe for the ultimate morning drink. This smooth concoction of some of mother natures finest ingredients is sure to become a morning favorite, not just because it’s delicious but because it’s going to hold your appetite for something sweet and “noshy” at bay. Usually, I make this free form, just using my coffee cup and teaspoons to measure, so use this recipe more or less as a guideline. And like most of my recipes, there’s no stress in getting the measurements exactly right. Who needs that first thing in the morning? Use caffeinated or un-caffeinated free trade coffee, it doesn’t really matter and good quality cocoa. No Maca, no worries do it without. Feel free to make it sweeter by adding a few more dates or if you’re in the mood, a well-ripened banana! Make it as thick or thin as you like by adjusting the ice and water. And one of the best things about this drink which makes it uniquely different than a fruit smoothie is you can put this into a lidded drink container and take it with you to work or play. Just keep it cold and give it a quick shake. No more candy bars and cake when your sweet tooth overtakes your sensibilities!