The One Thing I Always Do When Sweetening My Smoothie with Dates

published May 26, 2017
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(Image credit: Laura Wright)

I know fruit smoothies can be plenty sweet on their own, but I like a little something more. My sweetener of choice is dates. They add the extra sweetness I crave along with subtle notes of rich caramel, and I feel good knowing I’m satisfying my sweet tooth with something wholesome.

These dried fruits have also changed the way I make smoothies. When I toss dates into my smoothies, there’s always one thing I do first to guarantee the smoothest drink possible. Can you guess what it is?

Blend the Dates First for a Smoother Smoothie

To get the smoothest, creamiest smoothie possible I blitz my drink in two steps. (I promise it’s way less fussy than it might sound.) I always start by blending the liquid and dates together first, along with any greens (particularly tough greens, like kale or collards) if I’m using them. It’s quick, about 30 seconds, and just enough time to give those thick and sticky dates a head start on breaking down. After that I toss in all the remaining smoothie ingredients and continue blending as normal until everything is smooth.

Why It’s Worth It

If you’ve ever sweetened a smoothie with dates, I’m willing to bet you’ve found tiny chunks of chopped-up, unblended dates floating through your smoothie or collected at the bottom of the glass.

Here’s the deal: Unlike fresh or even rock-hard frozen fruit, even the softest dates are super fibrous and tough. So it takes a little more work and time to break down these ultra-sweet fruits — especially if they’ve been sitting around for a while. Giving them extra time to process upfront means pouring a cool, creamy smoothie without any pieces of dates hanging out on the bottom of your glass.

Our Favorite Smoothie Recipes Sweetened with Dates