The key to this sublimely delicious, refreshing and healthy smoothie is the simplicity and quality of the ingredients. Many summer fruits are quite perishable and smoothies are a convenient way to make use of them before they spoil. In this recipe, the strawberries provide the dominant flavor; dates and banana add sweetness and body without obscuring the bright strawberry essence. Sunflower seeds or cashews lend additional thickness and high quality nutrients. Using a frozen banana creates a thick, luxurious smoothie but you can use a fresh banana if you don't have any frozen ones on hand. The recipe yields one generous serving, enough for a light meal.
Sublime Strawberry Smoothie:
2 medjul dates, pitted
2 tablespoons raw, unsalted sunflower seeds or cashews
1 cup or more nut milk or soy milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 handful very ripe strawberries, hulled
1 large banana, frozen
cinnamon powder for garnish
Place dates, sunflower seeds or cashews, nut milk and vanilla in blender and process thoroughly until very smooth. Blend in strawberries. Cut frozen banana into four or five pieces and blend in one or two pieces at a time until mixture is just smooth, adding a little more nut milk if needed. To preserve thickness of the smoothie, don't over blend. Serve immediately in a chilled glass or dessert bowl, garnished with a pinch of cinnamon powder.
Variations: Other very ripe summer fruit such as apricots, blueberries, raspberries or blackberries may be substituted for the strawberries. Use what's season and ultra ripe for best results!
How to freeze a banana: Select ripe banana, peel and wrap in waxed paper. Press on the wrapped banana a bit to flatten before placing in freezer to shorten freezing time.
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