Recipe: Banana Date Smoothie

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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 recreating 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 drinks 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.

Banana Date Smoothie

Serves 2

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.)

Recipe Note

  • 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 refrigreated for up to a week.

Per serving, based on 2 servings. (% daily value)
3.7 g (5.8%)
0.2 g (1.2%)
0 g
36.5 g (12.2%)
5.2 g (20.8%)
21.4 g
2.8 g (5.6%)
152.9 mg (6.4%)

(Image credits: Michaela Cisney)