Recently, a friend mentioned a smoothie that she'd tried in a café and loved — she didn't have the recipe, but knew it included bananas, dates, cardamom, and a squeeze of lime. I was a little skeptical, but cardamom is officially my weak spot since traveling twice to India, so of course I had to try re-creating it. Although I'll never know if this is precisely the smoothie my friend loved, I don't really care — this blend is perfection for me.
The flavors in this smoothie are an effortless waltz of exotic, comforting, and complementary. They create a perfect transition from summer drink into autumn.
Although the bananas and dates already make this a filling breakfast, I added chia seeds for additional carrying power to get me through the morning. The cardamom, of course, is pure bliss. I was unnecessarily skeptical about the lime — it's not a distinct flavor, but rather adds a light touch and keeps the smoothie from being too heavy. The last dash of cinnamon and sea salt? That's what takes this smoothie right over the top.
2 medium bananas, ripe
1/4 cup pitted dates, such as Medjool
2 cups almond milk
2 teaspoons chia seeds, soaked if time allows (see Recipe Note)
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 lime, juiced
4 ice cubes
Dash of cinnamon
Dash of sea salt
Combine all ingredients in a blender and purée on high until smooth, about one minute. Serve with a sprinkle of cinnamon and salt. Best if served immediately. (Makes about 4 cups total.)
If time allows, soak the chia seeds in 4 teaspoons of water for an hour. The chia seeds will turn into gel, making them easier to blend. Larger batches of chia seeds can also be soaked (2:1 ratio water to chia seeds) and kept refrigerated for up to a week.