This simple date banana smoothie recipe comes together in a rich and thick smoothie that feels and tastes just a little bit like Christmas! The mix of ground cardamom and cinnamon powder go so well with the blended banana and milk that the very first sip will make you wish it was some 30 degrees cooler in the tropics, just so you can curl up in front of a crackling fireplace with a cup of this goodness in your hands, just like how they do it in the movies.
But, alas, it is hot out here in Malaysia. And smoothies are best when cold instead of lukewarm. Plus, a date banana smoothie is the kind of drink you want to kickstart your day, or maybe give you that energy boost for the afternoon doldrums.
Packed with goodness
This small portion of smoothie may not seem like a whole lot, but what it appears to lack in volume is more than made up for in terms nutrition.
If you’ve been checking out our other smoothie recipes you’ll recognize this familiar trifecta: banana, dates and milk. This is a great base for exploring all sorts of smoothie combinations. Bananas give smoothies a richness and creaminess with minimal fat, while dates add sweetness and an incredible dose of vitamins. Milk, on the other hand, makes smoothies a little easier to swallow while giving you all that added benefit of calcium. Of course, if you’re vegan or lactose-intolerant, you can always swap regular cow’s milk with any of the many other alternative milks available in the market to suit your dietary requirements accordingly.
Let’s get spicy
Besides these three awesome ingredients, our date banana smoothie recipe also contains two familiar and easily available spices: cardamom and cinnamon, both of which have great health benefits. Cardamom, for example, has high level of antioxidants believed to be beneficial for those with high blood pressure. It also has great anti-inflammatory effects, is used to help digestive problems and can even treat bad breath and prevent cavity, making you 100% more kissable! That’s a pretty good deal, right? If these reasons are insufficient to convince you to add some cardamom to your smoothie, this little spice also has antibacterial properties, can help treat infection, may help you breathe better and lowers blood sugar levels too. It’s considered to be a pretty safe spice, although pregnant women are advised to exercise some caution and not go overboard with consuming cardamom.
Cinnamon, too, is packed with antioxidants – even more so than garlic! And just like cardamom, cinnamon is anti-inflammatory and consuming it can help freshen your breath while promoting dental health (ahem – see point on being extra kissable above). It can also help reduce the risk of heart disease, fight infection, diabetes, may inhibit cancer growth, promotes healthy skin, helps with allergies and can even be beneficial for those with neurological disorders. And as an added bonus, adding a little cinnamon to your food naturally sweetens it up and cinnamon leaf extract also acts as a natural preservative.
Finally, there’s chia seeds. If you haven’t been hiding under a tempurung these last few years, we’re pretty sure you would have heard of this popular superfood. Whether consumed cooked or raw, chia seeds are packed with fiber. It can also help lower cholesterol and blood pressure levels. It’s high in omega-3 fatty acids, protein, low in calories, full of antioxidants, and when soaked in water, chia seeds absorb 10-12 times their weight, expanding and keeping you full for longer. And because chia seeds don’t actually have much flavour, they’re very easy to add to your meals. Just sprinkle them dry over your regular dishes, or soak them in water, milk, or any liquid overnight to give your drinks a more solid content. Just never ever try eating a spoonful of dry chia seeds as the seeds will stick to your throat and start expanding, causing breathing difficulties!
Got that? Let’s make a smoothie.
- 100g (1) frozen banana
- 20g (2) pitted dates
- 120ml (1/2 cup) milk
- ¼ tsp ground cardamom
- ¼ tsp cinnamon powder
- 1/8 tsp (pinch) sea salt
- ½ tbsp chia seeds
Making date banana smoothie
- Except for the chia seeds, place all other ingredients in a high powered blender, starting with the frozen banana and date. Blend until smooth.
- Pour date banana smoothie contents into a glass, and sprinkle with chia seeds.
- Serve immediately while still cold.
- Get all your ingredients ready before bringing out your frozen banana and milk or they will warm up and your date banana smoothie won’t be as delicious.
- Temperature is key to making delicious smoothies – you want it cold! If you can’t get your ingredients cold enough, add a little bit of ice during the blending process. Don’t add too much or it will water down your smoothie. Alternatively, serve your smoothie in a cup or glass filled with ice to keep it cool.
- Different types of dates vary in sweetness. Adjust the quantity as needed. However, if your banana is very sweet and ripe, you may not need to add dates at all.
- Vegan? Feel free to swap milk with any vegan milk that you like.
- No chia seeds? That’s fine. You won’t get the added goodness of this ingredient, but it won’t affect the flavour or your date banana smoothie if you leave it out.
- It’s best to add the hardest ingredients at the bottom of the blender so they are closest to the blades.
- A high-powered blender will make the process of blending your smoothies faster, ensuring it remains cold once the blending process is complete. However, not everyone can afford to fork out a pretty penny for one those blenders. We used the Philips ProBlend 5, which crushes ice faster than your usual blender. This makes them perfect for ice-based frozen drinks, and a pretty good option for non-ice-based smoothies as well. You will need some liquid to get the blender moving smoothly though.
- Blender cleaning tip: add a drop of dishwashing liquid into the blender and fill it with about 1/5th to ¼ of water. Give it a few pulses to clean your blades and the bottom of the blender much more easily. Don’t ‘blend’ the water for too fast or for too long though or you may end up with overflowing foam instead!
Did you feel it? That date banana smoothie coziness? It’s like wearing your favourite oversized wooly jumper on a rainy autumn’s day, feeding your soul while also feeding your body with a cool drink packed with nutrients, anti-oxidants, fiber and plain old simple goodness. And even if you’re only on your way to brave the traffic to work or struggling to meet the day’s deadlines, our date banana smoothie will help transport you someplace else, even if it’s only in the mind, for a few precious minutes. After all, mental health is just as important as body health!
So come on, let’s dig out that under-used blender of yours and whip out some date banana smoothie. And let us know where yours took you by tagging your pictures with #butterkicap. We’d love to follow along!