I just returned from a family trip to London and had the absolute time of my life. We saw all of the major sights: Big Ben, the Tower of London, and of course those iconic red telephone booths. We ended up walking over 10 miles a day, and to fuel our bodies we explored the huge variety of food available in the city. One of our favorite spots to grab a bite to eat was Pret A Manger, a chain of cafes where everything is natural and prepared in the individual restaurant daily. While I was resting my aching feet one afternoon I tried a Pret A Manger smoothie, and was blown away! It contained dates, banana, almonds, and chocolate, a combination I never would have thought of yet immediately fell in love with. Not only is it delicious, but this smoothie is absolutely packed with nutrients and super foods. When I got home I made my own version of this drink and it can be pulled together in under 5 minutes for a quick on-the-go snack or breakfast. Who needs fish and chips anyway?
The first ingredient you will need is one banana, the browner the better. The natural sugars found in bananas will sweeten this drink without any refined white sugar that will be stored as fat. Bananas are known for their potassium which can regulate blood pressure, but also serve as a great source of vitamin C to revitalize you immune system. They also contain high levels of a chemical called tryptophan which is transformed into serotonin: a hormone that makes you feel happy!
Next up are the dates. They might not look too appetizing, but dates are definitely something your body will appreciate. Dates are packed with insoluble fiber which is essential to keeping your digestive system running smoothly and have also been proven to significantly lower the risk of stroke and heart disease. Even though they look like old lady skin, dates will help keep you healthy until you are an old lady yourself! For this smoothie you will need 3 dates.
Our next ingredient is unsweetened vanilla almond milk. Almonds are ounce-for-ounce one of the most nutrient dense tree nuts, provide lasting energy, and promote heart health. Almond milk is made of finely ground almonds and water, and provides countless benefits. Compared to regular milk, it contains a fraction of the fat and saturated fat and actually contains higher amounts of calcium! You will need 1 cup of almond milk.
Finally, my favorite ingredient: 1 tablespoon of natural dark chocolate cocoa powder. Since cocoa powder is unsweetened, it provides all of the benefits of the cocoa bean without the negative effects of butter and sugar found in chocolate. Cocoa contains plant nutrients called flavanols which can lower blood pressure and lower your chances of a heart attack, stroke, and diabetes. This bean also contains important vitamins and minerals such as iron, magnesium, phosphorus, and copper yet is very low in fat and calories.
- 1 ripe banana
- 3 dates
- 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
- 1 tbs natural cocoa powder
- This is the easy part – just combine in a blender and power on!