I've never thought of a smoothie as a meal in itself. A great addition to a weekend breakfast maybe. A good use for last-summer's berries. A reminder that it won't snow forever. But smoothies never seem to have the staying power or the chew factor that I usually deem necessary in my breakfasts. Probably the ones I've made in the past involve too much sugar and not enough protein.
When we went to the Yucatan last month, though, I found myself wanting a light and cool lunch in the middle of the day--I just couldn't face a plate of enchiladas in 80 degree heat. We stayed a few days in this little town south of Cancun called Puerto Morelos that had a smoothie-coffee-sandwich shop on the corner (Le Cafe d'Amancia--check it out here). The smoothies were good with fresh fruit and milk (you could also get fresh juices for those of you who are dairy-free) though not mind-blowing. For that I would have to go back a few days to the tumblers of strawberry-pineapple-orange juice we ordered and reordered in Valledolid, but that's a whole other post.
When we came back, I found myself craving smoothies for breakfast. I wanted a recipe without sugar so that I could feed it to myself and to the 18-month-old Little Potamus sans guilt. When I found a one that contained dates, I knew I was on the right track. I'm always totally amazed at the ability of dates to make more conventional sugars totally unneccessary. Add some peanut butter, and it's starting to get more substantial. I've become totally addicted to the following recipe, though it's taken some adjustment to my banana buying habits. I have to buy far more than I'm used to so they don't all get eaten up before they ripen enough to freeze!
Protein-Packed Breakfast Smoothie
Makes 1 pint glass.
1 chopped frozen banana
1/2 c. plain yogurt
1/2 c. milk of choice
4 chopped dates (rehydrated, if neccessary to make them soft)
1 tbsp. nut butter
Dump all of the ingredients into the blender, and blend until your smoothie is smooth, creamy, and, well, smoothie-like.
Check out these protein-packed smoothies for more ideas:
Karina's Vegan Blueberry Smoothie