Black Forest Cake Protein Smoothie (vegan & gluten free) & A Giveaway!!!


April is going to be a great month everyone, just fantastic, I can feel it in my bones!

Why? Well… I have lots of exciting things planned for the blog, like today’s super awesome GIVEAWAY… who doesn’t like free stuff… and free AWESOME stuff at that?!

Also, the hubby and I are packing our bags in a couple weeks and jetting off to Hawaii to escape the (still) winter cold here in the Canadian prairies… yep, we pretty much get winter until June here.

Oh, and I am in the midst of writing another guest post for a fantastic, well-known, health blogger that I just adore!!! How cool that I get to post on her blog!? (stay tuned to hear more about this one, which I kind of have to keep under wraps right now… but the excitement is killing me!).

So yeah, APRIL you ROCK – let’s do this!

Ok, now – this recipe. What can I say about it… well, three words kind of do all the explaining..




In a smoothie…? With lots of healthy protein…? And antioxidants..? And other good for you food..?? 

Why, yes!!! It’s almost too good to be true!

Ok, so what do we really have in this magical smoothie? Well, we have all the wonderful, delicious, “O.M.G.” flavors of Black Forest Cake… chocolate, more chocolate, cherries, and more chocolate!

North Coast Naturals was kind enough to send me a whole tickle trunk of goodies, to sample, and use to make delicious recipes such as this one! I had SO much fun testing out their products!

As you may already know, I am a big fan of North Coast Naturals and truly stand behind their products. When they saw that I was using their protein powder in so many of my smoothies, they offered to send me some different products to see what I could make out of them!

So, Thank You, North Coast Naturals, like April, you ALSO ROCK!

North Coast Naturals is of course, also the provider of the products for the GIVEAWAY today!

So one of you lucky readers also gets to try out some of their awesome products for freeeee!

Ok, so back to my protein smoothie.

I used the North Coast Naturals Raw Hemp Smoothie mix as the base. There are a few fantastic things that I love about this product.

a) It tastes delicious. yum, like dark chocolate, with almost a hint of espresso (although it doesn’t contain any, I just get a little taste of that, which is also why it worked so wonderfully in this smoothie)

b) It’s all natural, and FULL of good-for-you ingredients such as hemp protein, pumpkin seed powder, fair trade organic cocoa, sprouted brown rice protein powder, spirulina, and probiotics!!

c) It has 10… ten.. TEN grams of easily-digestible-for-keepin’-you-regular fiber per 2 tablespoons! (HELLO, admit it, we all love fiber – seriously, who doesn’t like being a good pooper?!)

It is also naturally sweetened with no refined sugars or artificial sweeteners in sight!

Along with the Raw Hemp Smoothie Mix, I used frozen banana, frozen cherries (which, if they are in season where you are, I would totally use fresh!), raw cocoa powder, dark chocolate shavings, ice, and water.

The banana provides a punch of potassium, the cherries, cocoa powder, and dark chocolate all provide ample amounts of antioxidants, and the raw hemp tops it all of with protein, fiber, and love.

Yes, love.

It’s in there somewhere, I could just feel it when mowed down on this delicious smoothie.

Now, just to give you the option, you can always use any other chocolate protein powder you want in this recipe – but please, for the sake of loving your body, make sure it’s clean, with no refined or artificial ingredients!  It would just break my heart to see this smoothie made with a protein powder chock full of aspartame or sucralose. :( 

5.0 from 5 reviews
Black Forest Cake Protein Smoothie
Prep time
Total time
Serves: 1
  • 2 scoops North Coast Naturals Raw Hemp Smoothie Protein Powder in Chocolate
  • ½ cup frozen pitted cherries (or fresh if they are in season!)
  • ½ frozen banana
  • 1 tablespoon raw cocoa powder
  • ¼ cup water or unsweetened almond milk
  • 4 ice cubes
  • 1 teaspoon dark chocolate shavings to garnish
  1. Place the protein powder, cherries, banana, cocoa powder, ice, and water into a blender and blend to a thick smooth consistency.
  2. Garnish with a cherry and dark chocolate shavings.
  3. Devour!

Ok, I know you have been patiently waiting for it…

The Giveaway!

This giveaway will be active until Tuesday at 11:59pm so enter with all the options to get as many entries as you can!

Share, tweet, pin, love! I will notify the winner once they have been randomly selected! Ok, go!!!

Follow this link to get to the GIVEAWAY ENTRY SCREEN

——–> a Rafflecopter Giveaway <———-

then enter your little hearts out!! :)


How to enter giveaways with Rafflecopter



*The product(s) used for this recipe and post were provided to me by North Coast Naturals. Aside from the actual product(s) used to create the recipe and provided for the giveaway, I did not receive any monetary compensation from North Coast Naturals and the opinions/review of the product(s) are entirely my own (Christal of Nutritionist in the Kitch). 


  1. katherine d says

    frozen banana, strawberries, granny smith apple, cocoa powder, and sunwarrior warrior blend protein powder

  2. Deanna says

    Whey Gourmet does not ship to U.S. I’ll have to check our local GNC to see what they have and how they compare. Thank you for the help.

  3. jenn nahrstadt says

    my favorite smoothie is 2 C spinach, 2 T. almond butter, 2 T cocoa powder, 1/2 frozen banana, 1 C. unsweetened vanilla almond milk. such a fantastic way to start each day!

    i’d like the chance to try hemp powder to switch from the almond butter–diversification is key! thanks for the chance to win!

  4. Danielle says

    My favorite smoothie is the White Smoothie from Jessica Simpson’s Weight Watchers diet. (TMZ posted her diet…lol)

    5 Raw Almonds, chop in blender before adding the other ingredients
    1 Apple w/skin
    1 frozen Banana
    3/4 C Almond Milk (unsweetened)
    3/4 C Non-fat Plain Greek Yogurt
    Cinnamon (not sure how much, I shake in a BUNCH because I love Cinnamon)
    Dash of vanilla extract – optional (or you can substitute the plain Greek yogurt for light vanilla flavored yogurt).

    It’s delish! I could drink it every day.

    • Christal says

      Mmm, Sounds kind of like the apple pie protein ice cream I did a while back! Delicious! Thanks Danielle!

  5. Lacy says

    “seriously, who doesn’t like being a good pooper?!” – seriously made me LOL
    I’m wary of protein in powder form but think I will try this one since the ingredients do sound good. Thanks! :)

    • Christal says

      Lol! It’s true – nobody has a good day when the poops aren’t right! Yes, and I totally understand -most protein powders are junky, but there are a few, like North Coast Naturals, that are made with awesome clean ingredients! :)

  6. says

    My go-to protein smoothie usually contains chocolate, banana, and peanut butter. I don’t think I’ll ever get bored of it! But I may try your Black Forest idea when cherries are in season this summer!

  7. Soozle says

    My new favorite smoothie uses vanilla brownrice protein powder, half of a frozen banana, PB2 & almond milk! Delicious :-)

  8. KatieMae says

    I’ve never tried powder stuff in my smoothie’s before…seriously considering I’ve been doing it all wrong lol. Definitely going to be trying this

  9. Deanna says

    I have discovered that if I want to try North Coast Naturals, I will have to win this give away :-) I checked their website and there are not any locations in my part of the U.S. and they don’t ship here, so I will begin trying to find a substitute. I’ve got my cherries! Have a great Sunday……..

    • Christal says

      Darn!! I wonder if Whey Gourmet is in the U.S.? They are the same company that makes North Coast Naturals I believe!

  10. mary says

    I love just plain frozen raspberries, almond milk, and protein powder. Sometimes with a banana, but more often not :)

  11. Sasha says

    LOVE this recipe! ….I think this is the perfect site for all my natural and better-for-you sweet tooth cravings!,…..Think I’m going to try North Coast Naturals

  12. Nellie says

    Hi Cristal,
    looks like another great recipe. Your 90 day challenge has inspired me to do my own, I started Wednesday. I am wondering what program or website you use to calculate the nutritional information for your meals and recipes. thanks,

  13. Ttrockwood says

    My favorite smoothie right now is one i call “almond green”- frozen blueberries, vega vanilla protein powder, almond milk, frozen spinach, chia seeds, and a glob of almond butter. So. Soooo. Good. The frozen spinach is cooked so the nutrients are easily absorbed vs raw spinach and the almond butter fats help me to properly absorb all the fat soluable vitamins!

  14. Tanya says

    My favorite protein rich smoothie is peanut butter and banana! I bet it would be even better with some of those hemp seeds mixed in.

    • Christal says

      Definitely! Hemp seeds and hemp powder are awesome! PB & B is pretty good on it’s own too though – one of my faves for sure!

  15. Jordan D says

    I love pumpkin pie smoothies with almond milk, vanilla protein powder, pureed pumpkin, cinnamon, and greek yogurt. I also love making mint chocolate smoothies with cocoa powder, chocolate protein powder, bananas, spinach, almond milk, and mint. Mmmmm, now I’m craving a smoothie really bad!

  16. Amy L says

    I love any green smoothie with protein powder! Usually spinach, romaine, celery, banana & apple juice with unflavored plant protein. Gonna for sure try this Black Forest cake though.

  17. Becky says

    This looks wonderful! I have a jaw condition that makes it difficult to chew foods, so I have to drink my meals most of the time. I’m also allergic to artificial sweeteners (found in most protein powders), so this looks like Heaven!!

  18. C Corbett says

    I love protein powder ice cream made in my blender – 1 scoop of protein powder, 1/2 cup of any type of milk, 1/2 tsp of xantham gum, 1/4 tsp of guar gum, sweetener of choice to taste and 6 ice cubes. Blend away. Delicious.

    • Christal says

      I still have yet to try the ice cream with xantham gum or guar gum as thickeners! I think I should get on this train and try it already! :)

  19. Judith says

    Hi, Christal – I like mango smoothies (vanilla protein powder + frozen mango chunks + almond milk + chia seed + almond butter) on most mornings, but my new favorite treat is your St. Patty’s Day Mint Chocolate Green Protein Smoothie! Hey – I just saw in the comments after I entered that the prize might not be shippable to the US. Oops – sorry! I just saw free deliciousness and started entering. I am looking for a new protein powder with no gluten, soy, or junk.

    • Christal says

      Ooo mango! Yum! I think I have some frozen in my freezer right now! I might just have to try that! The prizes are shippable to the U.S! I think what the commenter was referring to was that the North Coast Naturals website doesn’t ship products to the US! :) No worries about your entries!

  20. Vicki S says

    I like to put raw whey powder, peanut butter, cinnamon, milk (almond/soy/or regular cow’s) and that’s my protein rich smoothie! Now hemp is an interesting alternative

    • Christal says

      It is, but it totally works – it doesn’t have as much protein as whey does, but it’s still a great source – and a fantastic choice for vegans!

  21. Tessa May says

    I have never made a protein smoothie at home and was just saying the other day how I need to buy some protein and get into it! Actually, the Chocolate PB Cups inspired me to consider it. So I would LOVE to give this a try! And for those of us that are culinarily challenged… this looks so simple! :) Let’s see how many things can go wrong with me and the blender!

  22. Leslie says

    I don’t have much experience with protein shakes, mine mostly consist of bananas, kale, kefir or yogurt, cinnamon, cayenne and a little whole milk or water (depends what I have). I’ve tried a couple of protein powder samples but many don’t have a great consistency or it tastes very powdery.

    • Christal says

      There is nothing powdery about the protein smoothie recipes I post! Trust me, try any of them and you’ll be in love! :-)

  23. Amelia says

    This sounds super yummy. My go-to smoothie is a frozen banana with peanut butter and almond or soy milk and chocolate protein powder. Chunky monkey style… I just will never love anything else as much as that flavor combination. :)

  24. Christie says

    I know so little about protein powders and I really need to learn more. Good to have a brand name recommendation!

    • Christal says

      Yep, it’s always good to find a clean natural brand like this one too! Lots of protein powders out there are full of junky ingredients :(

  25. Larissa says

    I’ve been looking for a protein powder that isn’t full of artificial sweeteners, colours, and other junk I can’t even pronounce. Where can you buy this brand?
    I love almond butter, frozen banana, milk, and cocoa powder as a tasty dessert smoothie :)

    • Christal says

      Hey Larissa! Depending on where you are you can buy it at Superstore, BulkBarn, or some health food stores too! They might have a locations list on their website too!

  26. Pat Baker says

    This sounds Devine! Been thinking about getting some protein powder and this one sounds delish and sooo good for me!

  27. Christine says

    My favorite protein-rich smoothie is really simple:
    5 ice cubes
    Handful of spinach
    Handful of Strawberries
    Scoop of Chocolate Whey

    Your recipe sounds much better!! I need to try it out soon. Thank you for the giveaway too!

  28. Megan Semjanovs says

    I don’t do many protein smoothies simply because I haven’t found many protein powders that don’t upset my stomach… :(

    • Christal says

      I couldn’t before either, but North Coast Naturals has probiotics and enzymes in theirs which helps with digestion – I have a super sensitive stomach and both of the whey and hemp have been good in my system!

  29. says

    Wow! An all natural hemp protein powder! We don’t get that over here, sadly, well not ones that taste good anyhow. The ones I have is a 90% protein one from Nature’s Garden (the other ones had added sweetners) and one hemp one with strawberry flavour which is slightly questionable…will check the lable when I get back form work.
    Do you know if this company sells their protein powder and ship worldwide without being beyond expensive?
    Also, when I had a chat with a PT about nutrition and exercise, he told me I could drink whatever without counting the calories as these would almost immediately be automatically burnt off during exercise and so I didn’t have to worry about it.
    I have been trying to gain a little weight after a massive life style change and make sure to get around 1800-2100 calories a day, making sure I get enough MANfuel as the PT called it 😛

    This recipe looks absolutely gorgeous! *wants local health shop to supply it here in Glasgow*

    I hope you have a wonderful weekend! And yes, April does already have a great feel to it!

    xox NorwegianInScotland

    • Christal says

      Thanks so much Julie! I’m not sure about their shipping costs! It’s worth taking a look! Lol I love that “MANfuel”.. haha I make sure I get a lot too!! Happy to have you on the blog from Glasgow! :)

  30. Joyce says

    I’ve been looking for a good protein powder that is natural without fake sweetners. Hoping it also comes in vanilla. I’ll google them. :)
    I’ve got a bag of frozen cherries I’ve been wanting to get out.

    • Liz says

      Joyce, you should try Arbonne — it’s vegan, gluten, dairy, & soy free — their protein comes in vanilla & chocolate (the vanilla is sweet so it’s really good even on its own). I mix it with almond milk it’s super creamy! Let me know if you want some samples,


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Rate this recipe: