This smoothie is everything you could possibly dream of. Creamy, sweet, packed with a ton of flavor, tastes as satisfying as a vanilla milkshake from a fancy restaurant but has all of the nutrition your body deserves. Not only is this recipe dairy-free (yay for being lactose-free), it is soy-free and gluten-free. And all natural sooo obviously yum.
Last week I surprisingly went until Thursday without going to the grocery store. Going to Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods for me is the equivalent of a shopaholic going to Nordstrom. I see something new every time and love looking at the exotic snacks and pre-made meals they have. Today, for example, I stopped in Whole Foods to grab some Purely Elizabeth oatmeal and a single-serving Almond Breeze for the airport tomorrow morning and I found so many new holiday items. One of which was Whole Foods 365 brand figgy bread pudding mix. I’ve never even had figgy pudding and it looked SO good.
Anyways, I went all last week WITHOUT stopping at Whole Foods and it was quite the milestone for me. However, Trader Joe’s lured me in and among the many things I ended up with…a HUGE bag of butternut squash for $5, frozen mushrooms, frozen strawberries, crunchy almond butter (only the best)… I forced myself into buying a bag of whole roasted and unsalted cashews. I haven’t had cashews in a few months and despite being so expensive, they’re a nice change from always eating sunflower seed butter and almonds (my staples).
After I grabbed the cashews, the $4.49 box of dates had to go home with me as well. Suddenly, ideas of smoothies were stirring in my head. That and envisioning how great my new jar of almond butter would taste with some dates.
When I got back to my dorm room that night, I made this smoothie and let me tell you… it was the closest and greatest thing I’ve had to a dessert in quite some time. I was surprised how well it turned out and definitely will continue to make it weekly. As you should too!
Thanks to my friends at Vega, I received an ENORMOUS jar of their new and improved All-in-One Nutritional Shake in French Vanilla flavor which is coming out early 2015. If you’ve tried their Nutritional Shake before, you might agree with me that it has a distinct taste to it. Not bad just a little chalky I’d say. Most likely due to the greens, pea protein and hemp protein (in my opinion).
Once I tried this, I could not even taste protein powder in it what-so-ever which I was REALLY pleased with. I would love to try the chocolate flavor with this smoothie once it is released to see how over-the-top and dessert-like I could get with this recipe.
- 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
- ¼ cup unsalted cashews
- 1 large frozen banana
- 1 date
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3-5 drops liquid stevia (if desired for extra sweetness)
- 1 scoop of Vega Nutritional Shake French Vanilla (or whatever vanilla protein you have on hand)
- Handful of ice
- Combine all ingredients into a high powered blender and blend until well combined but thick.
- Add more ice to get a thick consistency. Thick is best!
- Top with a few cashews for added crunch and decoration.
I was quite proud of this smoothie because although high in sugar from bananas and a date, they are all natural sweeteners. A treat smoothie (or shake) like this every now and then is what you need in your life!
Unlike a vanilla milkshake from Chick-fil-A with an ingredient list including: Icedream (whole milk, sugar, nonfat dry milk, artificial flavor, corn starch, mono & diglycerides, microcrystalline cellulose, carrageenan, guar gum, Yellow 5 & 6), milkshake base (whole milk, sugar, cream, whey powder milk, nonfat dry milk, artificial flavor.
Keywords catching my eye being Yellow 5&6 and artificial flavor not once but TWICE. Why have artificial when you can take a few moments to make your own vanilla milkshake with healthy fats from cashews and natural sugars and colors that won’t leave your body in a sugar crash?
Thank you to Vega for supplying me with their new, unreleased All-in-One Nutritional Shake which will be available January 2015. You can purchase their products here.
All opinions are my own.