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« Double Chocolate Brownies | Main | Top Recipes of 2013 »

Almond Date Banana Smoothie

Almond Date Banana Smoothie

It is a new year. When the calendar on the wall is replaced, my mind drifts to thoughts of resolutions and new beginnings—often whether I'd like it to or not. This time last year I shared with you how I felt I no longer needed to make a list of resolutions. I was already keeping both mind and body healthy; a list to remind me to do so felt redundant. This year, however, is quite a different story.

When I took a teaching job and moved across state lines this fall, it threw my life, my predictable patterns and routines, into disarray. Even though months have passed, I haven't been able to get the fragments back in order. I often feel like a puzzle with the outer edges intact, but missing a few pieces in the middle.

Almond Date Banana Smoothie
Almond Date Banana Smoothie

I pay for a membership to a gym I rarely attend. More often than not, it feels as though I'm paying for the privilege of guilt; a packed gym bag sits in the front seat of the car acting as a silent, but continual reminder. As my days are long and filled with the hours of a first year teacher, I find I do not often cook for pleasure anymore. When dinner rolls around, I opt for the least involved option, which is often take out or some version of plain noodles covered in a fried egg. Truthfully, I eat this type of meal half a dozen times a week, throwing nutrition out the window. I miss food, real food.

I have been working on these changes for awhile, however slow progress may feel at times. Just this afternoon I filled the refrigerator with a real, honest to goodness pork roast. Progress. It seems that when the new year slides in, we compile lists of all the things that we are doing wrong, instead of congratulating ourselves for the things that we are doing well. I, too, am guilty of this, if my prior confessions are any indication. It is noble to want to better ourselves, but I also believe that we shouldn't forget how far we've come on our journeys of self discovery. This is perhaps the most important thing we can do.

Almond Date Banana Smoothie

When I was reading quotes about the new year, I was drawn to the one I shared with you above. As a teacher, I feel that for everything I do right in the classroom, there's a misstep that follows, whether it be a genuine mistake or simply something I could have said or explained better. By the day's end, there's a dozen of these little missteps that follow me to bed, before I bury them and start anew the next morning. If I'm making mistakes, whether I'm in the kitchen inventing a new recipe or leading young minds through the field of physics, I'm learning something new. I'm trying something new.

I may not be perfect, never perfect, but I am strong and doing well. I'm making mistakes because I am putting myself out there and trying something new. While some aspects of my life may be neglected now, I'll figure it out. I always do. For your next year, I hope you make mistakes too.

Almond Date Banana Smoothie

Lately I have been craving a good smoothie, but haven't gotten around to making one until this weekend. This Almond Date Banana Smoothie is naturally sweet and has a character all its own. A frozen banana composes the base, a spoonful of almond butter adds a nutty tone, and a handful of dates gives it a rounded flavor. Small pieces of date are left in the drink, giving a nice little treat for each bite. Though this smoothie may be simple, the flavors are sophisticated and perfect for an early morning or afternoon on the go.

One Year Ago: Candy Cane Cupcakes, Chocolate Dairy-Free Ice Cream, and Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal
Two Years Ago: Peppermint Pinwheels, Candy Cane Popcorn, and Chocolate Clementine Cupcakes
Three Years Ago: Gingerbread Cheesecake, Peppermint Ice Cream, and Banana Cinnamon Muffins

Almond Date Banana Smoothie

Yields 1 serving

1 large banana, frozen
6-8 dried pitted dates
1 tablespoon almond butter
2 teaspoons ground flaxseed (optional)
3/4 cup (180 ml) almond milk (or regular milk)

Place all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. Pour into a glass and serve immediately.

Reader Comments (17)

Gorgeous smoothie! I love all of the flavours in this. Your comment about the gym reminded me of the Friends episode where Chandler tries to cancel his gym membership. While I've never gotten around to joining a gym my yoga mat is looking at me forlornly at the moment as I've been too sick to use it the last 5 weeks.
I love that quote so much - it's so inspiring! I'm also really digging this smoothie AND the glass it's in. It's so pretty!
I am really big on smoothies right now. I need to try this one. Gorgeous!
I like this smoothie, I have been making it for awhile. It's in Gwyneth Paltrow's cookbook, "It's All Good." Is that where you found it?
01.6.2014 | Unregistered CommenterJulie
Julie-- Actually, no. I've never had the chance to pick up one of her cookbooks. I had these ingredients in my cupboards and threw them together on my own. I'm not surprised this flavor combination has been done before--it is wonderful. After looking up Gwyenth's, we did use very different ratios and varied ingredients. I do cite my sources when I find inspiration elsewhere; this just seems to be a case where we both had similar ideas.
01.6.2014 | Registered CommenterKristin Rosenau
"Make new mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes." I love this quote. The smoothie looks amazing as well!
I love smoothies and since I don't have my blender, I am a sad gal :)
01.7.2014 | Unregistered CommenterMarta
Your photos are absolutely stunning, and this smoothie sounds so phenomenal! I love that it's not exactly "fruity", but sounds more sweet and nutty. Love it, and definitely trying soon. Gorgeously written post, as well.
Happy New Year! Loving this post :)
I am enjoying this right's amazing. Do you happen to have any nutritional info on it?
01.8.2014 | Unregistered CommenterMollie
Teaching is so difficult. Your first years will burn you out. Balance is incredibly hard to achieve and the work is never ending. But summer comes and somehow in September you're gung-ho to do it all again -- and better this time. Keep it up! And don't worry about the gym. It will still be there in June. :)
01.8.2014 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda
Do take time each day for YOU...whether it be exercising your body or your need the timeout to restore you. And, yes, Amanda is the close of summer, you will feel recharged and ready for another great year!!! Teaching will always require a great deal of time and energy from you, however, as you 'season', you will find short cuts and learn how to prioritize 'what really makes the difference'. Best wishes to you...our children need inspiring, capable and caring teachers, and it sounds like you 'fill the bill' -- thank you!
01.8.2014 | Unregistered Commenterretired educator
This looks so good. I look forward to trying this recipe soon!

Today is my first time to read your blog and I really, really like it so far.
I went back and read your post about quitting grad school, cooking, and now teaching something to high school students that years ago seemed gone from your life forever. As a current college student I found reading about your journey and the way life can surprise you encouraging. I'm not sure if that makes sense, but it is encouraging.

I'm excited to continue reading your blog and trying some of the recipes you so kindly share in this space.

P.S. Your photos are beautiful too!
01.11.2014 | Unregistered CommenterSarah
I love that quote! This past summer I listened to Neil Gaiman's speech which that was quoted from - so inspiring. I loved it.
This smoothie looks so delicious. I absolutely love dates more than you can imagine. And these flavour combinations sound just perfect!
I hope you have a wonderful, blessed & ambitious new year!
pinning this. :)
01.11.2014 | Unregistered CommenterAbbie
That quote has made me feel relief! I am always making mistakes and getting annoyed - but I guess it's true.. at least I'm doing something new! Beautiful recipe too - happy new year x
01.13.2014 | Unregistered CommenterTrisha
Looks lovely & delicious!! How much would you say is 6 dates equivalent to in sugar or honey? I'm a bit scared of using dates as I think it's a bit sickly sweet for my liking. Then again, I've only tried it by itself. Maybe if I combine it with other things it doesn't taste so sweet...
01.15.2014 | Unregistered CommenterArianha
I tried this today. It's the best smoothie I've ever tasted.
03.30.2014 | Unregistered CommenterIda

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