Yuuuuummmmy! Who doesn’t like a good smoothie?
This recipe is one of my favorite smoothie recipes. Instead of using fillers that contribute added calories and refined sugar, this recipe is 100% fruit and nut based . Not only does this make for more healthful imbibing, but it’s also one more recipe to help you reach your plant-based diet goals (if that’s your thing). Above all else, this Nut and Fruit Smoothie is delicious. The fact that it happens to be full of healthy ingredients is just an added bonus.
Let’s Talk Ingredients
The base recipe only has five ingredients. Strawberries, banana, dates, cashew yogurt and cashew or almond milk.
Strawberries are the main ingredient because they lend a sweet, fruity, beautifully reddish-pink hue of awesomeness to everything they grace with they’re presence. They’re just sooooo good (unless you don’t like strawberries and that’s just weird)!
Bananas are the silent partner in this recipe. I’m not a huge banana lover but I like to use a little in smoothies for added natural sugar and for the viscosity they add to a smoothie.
Whole dates are an amazing way to sweeten drinks and baked goods. They have good nutritional value, fiber, antioxidants and the sugar they contain (according to many sources) does not cause a significant spike in blood sugar when eaten in moderation. There are two main types of dates that you’re most likely to encounter, Medjool and Halawi. According to some studies Halawi is the slightly healthier of the two.
As for the traditional addition of various dairy products, I swapped them out for plant based options. In my opinon they are equally tasty but a lot healthier. I personally like the flavor and texture of cashew yogurt and the mild flavor of almond milk but feel free to swap out these options with your favorite nut based products. If you’re not concerned with keeping this recipe plant based, by all means use your preferred dairy product.
If you make this recipe using nothing but the base ingredients as discussed above, your smoothie is gonna be deliciously wonderful. If you want to bump it up a notch and add more nutrition or depth of flavor, the following extras are good choices.
I often add a small squeeze or two of citrus. Sometimes I use orange or tangerine which adds an extra layer of flavor and sweetness which can be really nice. More often, I add a squeeze of lemon juice. It adds an acidity that blends in with the other ingredients and works in the background to boost their flavor and brightness.
The ingredient I use most often to boost the nutritional value of this smoothie is chia seeds. They are an extremely palatable powerhouse of nutrients such as Omega-3 and fiber. They do add a more gelatinous texture to the smoothie the longer it sits but really, your smoothie shouldn’t be sitting around for long. You should be consuming it while it’s fresh and cold.
If you want to add more sweetness to the smoothie you can achieve this by simply adding more dates to the recipe, however, when I’m feeling lazy, I just throw in a little Monkfruit sugar. It adds sweetness with out adding calories or causing a blood sugar spike. A few teaspoons blends nicely and adds sweetness without adding any detectable additional flavor. Of course, if you’re not counting calories or worried about sugar intake, you can add regular sugar or simple syrup.
To add more depth of flavor to this smoothie (not that it needs any, this is just for fun), I add a half tablespoon of vanilla extract, paste or powder. What can I say, it’s vanilla, it’s pretty much great in anything sweet. It’s sort of “gilding the lily” but sometimes life calls for decadent enhancements.
Lastly, I often add a pinch of sea salt. I use pink Himalayan or grey sea salt. This is really just for a little additional flavor enhancement. If you are watching your salt intake just leave it out.
Without further delay, let me hand over the recipe so you can make it and enjoy.
- 3 1/2 - 4 cups frozen strawberries, slightly thawed
- 1/3 cup fresh or frozen banana
- 5-8 chopped dates, soaked in 1/3 cup of water
- 1 cup vanilla, cashew yogurt (my favorite brand is Forager)
- 1/3 cup almond or cashew milk (more if needed to loosen the smoothie)
- **Add in options: squeeze of citrus, tablespoon of chia seeds, a few teaspoons of monkfruit sugar, pinch of sea salt, and/ or 1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract, paste or powder.
- Put your serving glasses in the freezer to chill. Be sure that they're made of freezer safe material.
- Add the frozen strawberries to your blender. Set aside and allow to thaw slightly for easier blending (approximately 15-25 min). This is not an exact science. The goal is for the strawberries to thaw enough so your blender can easily process them, while remaining frozen enough to yield a cold smoothie.
- While the strawberries are thawing a bit, chop your dates and soak them in a 1/3 cup of cool water for at least 10 minutes. This allows the dates to absorb some water and distribute more evenly when blending. You can skip this process if you're in a hurry.
- Once your strawberries have thawed the desired amount and the dates have soaked, add all ingredients, including any add ins that you wish to use and blend until smooth. Serve immediately.
- Remove your serving glasses from the freezer.
- Pour the just blended smoothie into the glasses
- Garnish with a beautiful strawberry (optional)
- Serve with a straw for easy sipping. I like to use metal straws. They keep the smoothie cold. Feel free to use a paper straw in place of metal.
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