Dates are nature’s sugar. They are a wonderful natural alternative to both; artificial sweeteners and refined white sugars. I wish I would’ve jumped on this “eat dates, not sugar” bandwagon earlier; much, much earlier. After all, my father is Middle Eastern & I am no stranger to dates, figs, and apricots. All those calories I earned on sugar! Well, I am definitely on the right track now and I want to share a few thoughts on these deliciously sticky, sweet things that will satisfy the most demanding sweet tooth and make your smoothie taste heavenly!
Dates are extremely high in potassium and are very popular for their energy-boosting properties in the Middle East and now across the globe. That “sugar high” literally does exist, and dates will give you that energy surge, too. Sans the ugly white stuff (aka sugar) that your body quickly stores as fat. I now snack on dates & raw almonds as the perfect afternoon “pick me up” when am feeling lethargic and tired. I love the mix of sweet and salty.
Dates will also help you attain & maintain a healthy digestive tract and promote regular bowel movements. Yes, perhaps a little “too much information” but everywhere I read up on dates this is heavily advertised. They’re packed with fiber, vitamins & minerals and I encourage you to read up more on their massive health benefits. The synthesis of this narrative is “Eat dates. They are good for you. I promise.” Oh, and the smoothie recipe below tastes like bananas & caramel, it’s just delicious and resembles a milkshake. That also had to be said.
Makes 1 Smoothie, You Will Need:
- 3/4 cup of coconut OR almond milk *carrageenan free
- 1 very ripe frozen banana sliced
- 1/3 cup of ice
- 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
- 3 pitted Medjool dates (preferably soaked in water overnight- this makes it easier for them to dissolve)
Optional (for an added health-kick)
- 1 tablespoon of flaxseed oil (for good, essential fats)
- 1/3 cup of old fashioned rolled oats (for soluble fiber)
- 1 tablespoon of bee pollen (packed with proteins & amino acids)
Blend on high until desired consistency is obtained, enjoy!! If dates are not soaked in water beforehand, blend a little longer. To make your smoothies a little thicker, here’s a neat little trick: use the pulse setting instead and do a “stop and go”, for a frothier texture. You could also add only 1/2 cup of nut milk and then do 1/2 cup of ice.
*Carrageenan has been linked to cancer by some preliminary studies. I always ensure my non-dairy milk choice is carrageenan free.