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Banana and Date Peanut Butter Smoothie (or Popsicle)

 

 

Yields:  about 3 cups             Prep Time:  10 minutes       Total Time:  10 minutes (plus hour of soaking dates)

 

This is a nutrient dense smoothie (which can also double as a frozen treat) that tastes decadent, but is actually healthy!  It is vegan, gluten free, has no refined sugar and is loaded with potassium, calcium, fiber and iron!

 

Ingredients

3/4 cup medjool dates, soaked in water (about 5 large)

1 cup banana, sliced

5 ice cubes

1/2 cup almond milk, or preferred non-dairy variety (refrigerated carton)

4 tablespoons smooth natural peanut butter, no sugar added

1 cup water

 

Directions

1. Soak dates in just enough water to cover them, at least 1 hour, yet can be up to overnight.

 

2. Place banana, almond milk, water, ice cubes, peanut butter, and and soaked dates (chopped with pits removed) in a high speed blender.  (I do dates and peanut butter last so it doesn’t stick to the bottom.  Not a common problem, but sometimes the stickier stuff tends to get stuck from time to time.)

 

3. Blend on high until all ingredients are combined.  Enjoy immediately OR place in popsicle containers to enjoy as a frozen treat!

 

This is a favorite in our house - just like a thick milkshake.  It is incredibly rich, so we have less than a cup per serving.  The great thing is it hearty enough for breakfast, and sweet enough to be served as a dessert. 

 

It is packed with protein from the peanut butter, plus cholesterol reducing fiber from dates and bananas.  These last two ingredients also combine perfectly with the peanut butter to make a balanced taste that almost has a hint of chocolate.  My kids think it’s a chocolate peanut butter smoothie, and I stand by my claim that there is no chocolate in sight!   It is also free of refined sugar, which is great whether it is served in the morning or as a sweet treat.

  

Because my three year old has an obsession with frozen foods (kind of understandable), I like to find ways to get nutrient dense foods to take the place of traditional frozen treats.  Many people enjoy banana ice “cream” mixed with other ingredients (we enjoy strawberries in our banana ice "cream" as well as an avocado recipe) to reduce the saturated fat and sugar from traditional ice cream.  Hey, my body thanks me, too! 

 

Using dates is a fantastic way to enhance a recipe with natural sweetness, but not using a more refined, less nutritious sugar.  Dates are loaded with potassium, fiber, calcium and phosphorus, meaning they can help aid occasional constipation, as well as support bone health.

 

 

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