This is the story of how I started loving dates.
Not go-out-for-sushi-and-come-home-and-watch-reruns-of-the-Office-dates. <— love those too, though, and are we the only people that watch series of TV shows that we like all over again? It’s just so hard to fall in love with something else.
No, but the dates I’m talking right now about are little brown wrinkly things that are incredibly, um, how do I put this… ugly? but taste like a sweet charm straight from the Earth. Maybe even like Earthy Lucky Charms. Granola-People food. Au naturale sweetness.
Spoiler alert: wrinkly brown Earthy Lucky Charms dates are the star of this green smoothie show, and you don’t have to be a Granola-Person (which I am not) to love this.
Bjork and I are trying to use more natural sweeteners in our sweets, because HELLO we love sweets but heaping spoonfuls of sugar on all your food isn’t the best thing for your body. Dang nabbit.
I’ve had a love affair with straight up sugar for a looong time. I can trace the roots of this obsession back to my former days of cereal-eating, which, by the way, is a habit that’s wayyy too expensive now! More than $4.00 for a box that’s gone in like 2 hours? I’ll take the oatmeal pleez. But you better believe, during all my cereal phases, I ate my cereal just to get to that sugary milk at the bottom. Straight up milk and sugar after a whole bowl full of carby yums. This whole sugar dilemma is all cereal’s fault.
Good news for sugar lovers who are trying to eat less sugar: there’s a magic sugar-lover’s fruit called Medjool Dates. And let me guess – you guys have been using them for years? Arriving a few years late to food trends — that’s how I like to roll.
I had seen these Medjool dates around the interwebs in all those suspiciously delicious looking healthy dessert recipes but I don’t think I had ever tried them myself until just a few weeks ago. We ❤ them! Bjork might even love them more than me, which he probably won’t like me revealing to the masses online, but my job here is to talk straight about food, okay? He loves them.
We are now semi-Granola-People who eat them drizzled with almond butter, soaked in overnight oats, and pureed into smoothies.
So technically this is called a green smoothie because anytime I blend something up in Blendtec (love that big ol blender!) I consider it a smoothie. I don’t juice, I just smoothie.
But also technically the consistency of this particular “recipe” is more like a juice. It’s thin enough to sip easily through a straw. In fact, it might have been too easy to sip on because I think I had this thing downed in a matter of seconds. So I’ve alternately titled the most simple green smoothie as The Green Summer Sipper.
I made this after work one day as an “after school snack” – and honestly, does that after school/after work snack impulse ever go away? I think it might have just become a permanent part of my life after 15+ years of habitual after school snackin – and on this particular day it was soooo hot, like 55 degrees (#minnesota), and this simple 4 ingredient green smoothie sipped through a black and white polka dotted straw just HIT THE SPOT. It was so cool, refreshing, healthy, but also filling. Green Summer Sipper might imply proper, controlled, slow-ish drinking, but I sipped that thing gone in a matter of seconds. sluuuurrrppity slurp.
My parting wish today is that you would find yourself sitting in the sun, magazine in hand, sipping on this 4 ingredient green smoothie A-S-A-P. And all will be right in the world.
- 1 large banana
- 1½ cups vanilla almond milk, unsweetened
- 3-4 Medjool dates, pitted and chopped
- 2 cups spinach
- Puree everything together in a blender until very smooth. There should be no flecks of spinach or small pieces of dates left - everything should be incorporated and smooth. Serve immediately.
1. Add some ice to the blender.
2. Make it thicker by using yogurt.
3. Add different fruits (my faves are mango and peach because they don't mess up the green color of the smoothie).
4. Add chia seeds, honey, flax, protein powder, etc.