A bright green smoothie with spinach, mango, and added sweetness from dates.
Having a smoothie (at any time of day) is always a good option. They’re versatile enough to include many different fruits and you can easily hide some vegetables. This recipe contains spinach, mango, banana, yogurt, almond milk, oats, and a date. The oats add heartiness and protein, you don’t need to include them but I wouldn’t skip it!
I learned so much about dates in the book Dates: Postharvest Science, Processing Technology and Health Benefits by Muhammad Siddiq. Dates have been grown and consumed for thousands of years, “the earliest evidence of date palm cultivation goes back to 4000 BCE in Ur, lower Mesopotamia (now Iraq), where the date palm trunks were used for the construction of the temples; while in the Nile Valley, date palm cultivation goes back to 3000 BCE” (Siddiq et al. 2). The date tree produces fruit for many years, “the date palms begin producing fruit when they are about 7 years old and generally produce fruit for 75 years” (Siddiq et al. 8). The nutritional profile of dates includes flavonoid glycosides, “[these] are a group of chemical compounds found in many commonly eaten foods. They have beneficial side effects on human health [which] include antioxidants, strengthening of the immune system, protection against cancer and cell damage, and reduction in capillary fragility” (Siddiq et al. 262). I even learned all the different forms you can eat dates, “besides fresh consumption, this fruit is processed into a wide variety of value-added products: such as dry dates, date paste, date syrup, date juice concentrate, date jam, date butter, date bars, date chutney, date relish, and date pickles. Date oil and date coffee are some of the by-products produced from date seeds” (Siddiq et al. 2). The next time I make date bars I am absolutely going to try date coffee!
For this smoothie, if you don’t have a high powered blender I would soak the date in boiling water for a couple minutes and drain it before adding it to your blender/food processor. This will soften the date significantly and help out in the blending process. Give this smoothie a try!
Makes: 1 smoothie
1 cup frozen mango
1 cup spinach
½ cup yogurt
¼ cup oats
1 date (soaked, optional)
Splash of almond milk (or milk of choice)
1. If you don’t have a high speed blender add boiling water to a small bowl with the dates and let sit for a couple minutes. Drain.
2. Add all the ingredients to your blender. Add more or less almond milk depending on how you like the thickness of your smoothie. Blend until combined.
Siddiq, Muhammad, et al. Dates Postharvest Science, Processing Technology, and Health Benefits. John Wiley & Sons, 2014.