The 4 Ingredient Green Smoothie

This is the most simple green smoothie ever! Just 4 ingredients, deliciously creamy, and naturally sweet. 130 calories. | pinchofyum.com

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.

The 4 Ingredient Green Smoothie - naturally sweet and full of green power with just 4 ingredients. | pinchofyum.com

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.

The 4 Ingredient Green Smoothie - naturally sweet and full of green power with just 4 ingredients. | pinchofyum.com

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.

The 4 Ingredient Green Smoothie - naturally sweet and full of green power with just 4 ingredients. | pinchofyum.com

So technically this is called a green smoothie because anytime I blend something up in my 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.

This is the most simple green smoothie ever! Just 4 ingredients, deliciously creamy, and naturally sweet. 130 calories. | pinchofyum.com

5.0 from 5 reviews
The 4 Ingredient Green Smoothie
Author: 
Serves: 1-2 (nutrition facts are for 2 servings)
 
Ingredients
  • 1 large banana
  • 1½ cups vanilla almond milk, unsweetened
  • 3-4 Medjool dates, pitted and chopped
  • 2 cups spinach
Instructions
  1. 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.
Notes
Other optional tips:
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.

Nutrition Green Smoothie

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Comments

  1. I think I’m in love with that straw. Love almond milk and bananas and spinach but never blitzed dates before! They are super sticky sweet!

  2. Have you tried grilling dates? They are AMAZING, they caramelized and get this cool crunch. Do it! They are delish!

  3. Yum, this looks just amazing and I love how easy it is. I add dates to nearly every smoothie I make, they are just my favorite. Seriously like candy!

  4. Green smoothies are my favorite breakfast recipes! They are so healthy and delicious. I always add water (or plant milk), dates, spinach and fruits. My favorite is mango-orange-pineapple smoothie :)

  5. Such a beautiful color!! I need this in my life. Also, I now totally want to re-watch the entire Office series!

  6. This is so great. I needed a good green smoothie recipe, and I love the use of dates. Can’t wait to try this!

  7. HA! I have watched The Office maaaayyybeee 4 or 5 times fully through? It’s just too good, especially the early episodes. I’m glad I’m not the only one who does this!

  8. This post might have actually convinced me to try a smoothie with spinach in it… I’ve always stayed far away from green drinks in the past but I think you just changed my mind.
    I love your straws, too!

    • Yay! My family all mocked me for making one on vacation… but then they all gathered around me and asked for a taste (and liked it)! They’re not as scary as they seem. :)

      • I agree with spinach. I sometimes use kale but really spinach is kinda sweet, not at all heavy like green smoothies sometimes are, and I just love the taste in a smoothie. My wife as we’ll will drink a green spinach based smoothie but just shakes her head at a kale one

  9. shashi @ http://runninsrilankan.com says:

    4 ingredient no-sugar smoothie means I can have 2 servings right?
    Love the use of dates as a sweetener in these – I am a sugar lover myself, as a kid we used to eat sugar straight up from the jar! Its a wonder I have all my teeth still! :)

  10. 4 ingredient no-sugar smoothie means I can have 2 servings right?
    Love the use of dates as a sweetener in these – I am a sugar lover myself, as a kid we used to eat sugar straight up from the jar! Its a wonder I have all my teeth still!! :)

  11. that is a wonderful recipe! I can’t wait to drink mine, too. Often!
    By the way, I wanted to say that I’m excited for your new venture. And I pray it will be evident in a short while that you have made the wisest decision. There is nothing better than enjoying life while you do what you love.
    (Remember to write your blog in a way you can quickly convert it to a book everyone wants to read)

  12. I am a bit guilty to say that I STILL haven’t tried a date. I’m secretly awed by all those people who make these healthy desserts and stuff with dates! To be honest I don’t even know where to buy them haha. But I am no stranger to the green smoothie train. Also: that comment about a hot day being 55? YES. Same thing here in Michigan ;)

    • I’ve seen them at regular grocery stores, usually in the produce section (at least for the Medjool dates) but I always get big containers at Costco!

  13. I happen to adore dates. One of my favorite snacks. This smoothie looks fantastic!

  14. This is really similar to my go-to basic green smoothie recipe. Ugh, so weirdly good for something so healthy. Have you tried making energy bars/balls with dates yet? If not get on it, you will love them!!

  15. This looks delicious, and I love that you used a blender instead of a juicer! I’m a big fan of using natural sweeteners- I try my hardest to use honey, maple syrup, and fruit to sweeten things I make. One of my favorites is sweetened with only maple syrup and fresh fruit-strawberry chia seed pudding (if you haven’t tried chia seed pudding yet, you definitely should! It’s fascinating and yummy.) http://www.bowlofdelicious.com/2014/03/29/strawberry-chia-seed-pudding/

  16. I feel like I’m so late to the ‘green smoothie’ party, but now that I’m here, I’m here to stay! I just started loving and making green smoothies (I even have a post coming out on Friday for a fruity green smoothie) and would never have thought to add dates, I’m totally going to go buy some after work and add them to my smoothie! Thanks for the awesome suggestion!

  17. I love sweetening with dates! My daughter calls them “football peppers” because I guess she thinks they look like a cross between mini peppers and footballs. No amount of telling her otherwise convinces her that she should call them anything different.

    I love the idea of putting them in smoothies. I don’t think I have done that, which is funny as I have sweetened so many things with them.

  18. We’re “Office” fans, too. Our current fav is “Psych”. I was pleasantly surprised on how that show has grown on us. Anyhoo, back to the smoothies… I love to add spinach in our smoothies, but I never thought of using dates. What a brilliant idea! Thanks for sharing this simple recipe.

  19. This looks absolutely delicious! I’m always on the scout for more smoothie recipes! I basically lived off of green smoothies when I got my wisdom teeth out, so I’m putting yours in my “omg smoothie” folder! ;)

    http://caseythecollegeceliac.blogspot.com/2014/05/celiac-and-wisdom-teeth-part-3.html

  20. this sounds wonderful and so simple..

  21. I haven’t heard of using dates before, so apparently you aren’t the only one behind on the food trends. I’m so intrigued, and must try!

  22. My 2 year old and I have a big green smoothie every morning and we just might have to start adding dates for a little extra natural sweetness! Thanks for sharing = )

  23. Yum! I drink green smoothies almost every day. Usually with peanut butter and honey but I’m always looking for ways to change it up! Totally going to try this!!!

  24. “and honestly, does that after school/after work snack impulse ever go away?” Nope. At least not in my experience! This looks like a much more reasonable snack than a million cheese & cracker stacks, or jelly beans, or m&ms…

  25. I love dates so much in smoothies, and believe it or not, raw pie crust! I also love the Office. Fiancé and I are watching the series over again on Netflix and it’s just as good as the first time.

    • Exactly. It’s like, why even bother with anything else? I end up crying at all the Jim-and-Pam love story episodes all over again even though I already know what happens.

  26. I love smoothies and I’m always looking for a new recipe to try. Looks delicious! xo

  27. I love smoothies like this. So versatile!

  28. I love spinach smoothies and this one is so simple but tasty!

  29. Can’t wait to try it! Love the cute straws!

  30. I can never seem to find dates. I really want to try this smoothie. I have a green smoothie most days for breakfast. Never with dates though.

  31. Dates freak me out buuuuuut I maybe could kinda, sorta do this green smoothie. Love the photos!!

  32. Poor little dates. So under appreciated because of their wrinkly brown little bodies. Little do people know what a gold mine of delicious sweetness lies inside! This smoothie looks delicious and so simple too!

  33. Green smoothies are my morning go-to. I love adding dates sometimes as well, but the problem is that I find myself taking a bite out of each one before I throw it in the blender!

    They are like candy!

  34. I’ve been dreaming up a green smoothie with dates and matcha – I like that you use dates instead of sugar.. I’m almost scared of that white stuff now. This looks so healthy ! Makes for a great breakfast drink too.

  35. Ahhhh aren’t dates the most delicious sweeteners on the planet! All this time, I’ve been eating dates as they are! never once did the thought of using it as a sweetener occur to me! I love this smoothie and how it gets transformed into something deliciously healthy with dates! !!!!

  36. This smoothie looks amazing!

  37. I am relatively new to the date party. I haven’t yet used them in a smoothie, but I can see how they would naturally thicken and sweeten. Looks refreshing, pinned!

  38. LOL, my friends started calling me a “granola person” when I decided to go vegan. Take one look at me and you’ll see why that’s funny. I’m the poster child for Lilly P, gin and tonics, and pearl necklaces. Unless I’m in my running or yoga gear…..

    This is MY kind of smoothie. In fact, as soon as I finish telling you how much I love the look of this recipe I’m going to go whip one up for breakfast. Here goes, I love the look of this recipe!

    Blendtec, here I come!!

  39. I so need this right now! I LOVE dates!

  40. I’ve always loved dates but never thought to put them in a smoothie- great idea!

  41. What a great and simple combination! Definitely going to make this the next time I have dates in the house.

  42. I adore dates, especially in smoothies. I also like to slice them partway open, dollop on a spoonful of nut butter and then hoover them as a sweet/protein-rich/high fibre snack. I have stop myself at two though – otherwise it’s sugar rush city.

  43. Lindsay, I used to think I hated dates (tried one of my dad’s neat as a child and …. bleurgh!) but like you I’ve recently discovered how delicious they are in healthy raw snacks. The smoothie looks and sounds so so healthy. I have to admit I’m a little suspicious of the spinach but I trust you that the dates make it palatable … I might be tempted to add some fruit though as you suggest! :-)

    • It’s all in your mind. Once you try it you’ll love it… my whole family was really skeptical of the green-ness but they loved it. :) It’s sweet and yummy and you can’t taste the spinach at all IMO!

  44. I love simple. This is so awesomely simple. On another note I read you post last year about choosing to not go blogger full time and I recently caught your post about deciding to go full time blogging. Time can change everything. Good luck, but you don’t need it :)

  45. I always have leftover dates from my bars and never thought to use them in a smoothie. GREAT idea!

  46. Christine says:

    I think I have a new favorite smoothie! In trying to avoid processed sugar, the dates made this sweeter than I expected- delicious. So grateful to have found your blog. Love it and love that you love Jesus!

  47. I didn’t care for this quite as much as I thought I would. I chopped up the dates first but the blender didn’t make them much smaller. Perhaps I should try this recipe in my food processor next time. The color of the smoothie was beautiful!

    • Yeah, the dates are really hard to incorporate. The Blendtec does it really well but that’s a major powerhouse blender. Another tip would be to soak the dates in a little bit of water prior to blending – might help them soften!

  48. You’re still ahead of the date game Lindsay — I have yet to buy them! I’ve heard so many wonderful things, but I know how easily I get addicted to new sweet treats (especially the healthy ones) and kind of told myself to wait and see… But I think your smoothie/sipper/green-glass-of-pure-joy convinced me. And afternoon snacks, school-related or not, are always a must!

  49. Great recipe, thanks. However, one small picky point. It’s “dagnabbit” not “dangnabbit”

  50. Just had this smoothie for breakfast. This was so good & filling(yup drank it all)! I’m trying to eat healthy and this definitely will go in my rotatation. So glad I found your blog. Can’t wait to try more of your recipes.

  51. I’ve never had almond milk before, and I can’t get it in my area (not the US). Is there any reason why I can’t just use cow’s milk? Should I add a little vanilla extract, since you use vanilla almond milk?

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