Smoothies are not only delicious and energizing, but they just so happen to be our favorite pick-me-up packed with vitamins and nutrients when the day began with one too many donuts.
Someone who knows a thing or two about smoothies is former Top Chef: Just Desserts pastry chef, Malika Ameen. Earning accolades for a wide range of impressive desserts, Ameen has gained quite the acclaim from the likes of Martha Stewart to Michelle Obama.
With a belief that "spice opens a world of possibilities" for the creation of memorable and delicious desserts, Ameen shares a creamy date and almond smoothie for Womanista from her new cookbook, Sweet Sugar, Sultry Spice.
Perfect for a brunch spread or an afternoon refreshment, Ameen says it's also very simple and comes together with the push of a button.
"This smoothie is a little dessert in a glass," she says. "And you can personalize it, too… add a little honey or agave for a sweeter smoothie — although I think the dates make it perfectly sweet — and cocoa powder for a chocolate treat, or a banana for something more filling."
Creamy Date and Almond Smoothie Recipe
Active time: 8 minutes | Serves 6
⅔ cup firmly packed, pitted dates
2 cups unsweetened almond milk
½ teaspoon ground Vietnamese cinnamon
1 vanilla bean
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
Place the dates in a small bowl and cover with boiling water. Let stand until very soft, about 5 minutes. Drain, pushing out any excess water. Slice the vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape out the seeds. Discard the pods or set aside for another use. Put the soaked dates, almond milk, cinnamon, vanilla bean seeds, and nutmeg into a blender and puree until smooth. Add the crushed ice and blend again. Serve immediately.
Make ahead: The smoothie base can be made without the ice and stored in the refrigerator for up to two days. To serve, just add ice and blend.