One of the weirder pieces of health advice I’ve ever been given is Chew your smoothies. At first I was like “Huh? Smoothies are for sipping!” but when I read up on the reason why, it started to make sense. A smoothie is like a nutrient rich meal with carbs, protein and fat. Because they are blended into a liquid, your body treats it like a drink rather than a combination of foods. When your digestive system is confused, it can lead to bad digestion and poor absorption of nutrients.
And isn’t that the whole point of drinking a smoothie – to get in lots of nutrients in one convenient mouthful?! Chewing initiates digestion and in turn releases saliva and pre-digestive enzymes. This tells the rest of your digestive tract that food is on the way and to get ready to break it down. On busy days, I add some chia seeds or a small handful of homemade granola on top of my smoothie as a reminder to chew them.
When I do have the time to sit down and enjoy breakfast, I love to make a smoothie bowl with lots of delicious toppings. It makes me happy to spend a few minutes decorating it beautifully, even if I’m not Instagramming it! Eating slowly and mindfully is another way to help our digestion. I’ve made hundreds of smoothies over the years, but you guys, this one might just be my favourite. This smoothie bowl is inspired by my all-time favourite winter dessert – Sticky Date Pudding.
I’ve been obsessed about trying to create the perfect healthy version of a Sticky Date pudding and a smoothie bowl seemed like a great idea. I wanted the flavour of dates to be prominent, but also the flavour of caramel to shine through.
Dates are a super food in their own right. Medjool dates are the softest and sweetest, with a whole heap of health benefits. They are high in dietary fibre which can help with digestion, can help to regulate hormones and can also be beneficial in lowering cholesterol and blood pressure. Plus they are naturally sweet, like nature’s candy!
Maca powder is another powerful adaptogen that I’ve used before and try to incorporate into my smoothies often. It has a sort of honeycomb-ish toffee taste and can help with anxiety and stress. I like to add some protein and fat to every one of my smoothies because I find it really turns it into a meal that keeps me satisfied for several hours. The avocado helps to make it super thick and luscious, as well as adding some healthy fat.
I used Tropeaka Salted Caramel vegan protein powder because I thought the flavour would be perfect. I was right. This is my new favourite flavour! You can definitely just use your favourite one or skip it entirely. I like this brand because their protein powders are gluten free, dairy free and organic. I have no trouble digesting them like I have had with whey powders in the past. This is not a sponsored post, I just really love this Aussie company and their products!
Smoothie Bowl toppings are almost as important as the smoothie itself. You want taste AND texture. I used some homemade granola, which I always have on hand. You could use a high quality store bought one too. Fresh figs, slivered almonds and a drizzle of rice malt syrup top it off beautifully. I loved every spoonful of this smoothie and it really did give me Sticky Date pudding vibes, but healthy. Dessert for breakfast is my favourite.
This Sticky Date Smoothie Bowl tastes freakin’ incredible, but is higher in sugar than the normal smoothies I make. The frozen banana really helps to make it nice and thick – all the better to eat with a spoon. I have also heard of using frozen cauliflower for the same effect with no sugar. If you try this, please let me know!
Related Post: Papaya Boats with Grain Free Granola
Sticky Date Smoothie Bowl
A delicious smoothie bowl inspired by my favourite dessert ever – Sticky Date Pudding! It’s delicious AND healthy – the perfect way to eat dessert for breakfast.
- 1 1/2 bananas, frozen
- 3 Medjool dates, pitted
- 1/4 avocado
- 1 cup almond milk
- 1/2 teaspoon maca
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, optional
- 2 tablespoons protein powder (I used Tropeaka Salted Caramel protein)
- Pinch Himalayan pink salt
- Fresh figs
- Homemade granola
- Flaked almonds or coconut
- Rice malt syrup, optional
Place the banana, dates, avocado and almond milk into a NutriBullet or high speed blender and blend for 20-30 seconds. Add the remaining ingredients and blend again until fully combined and thick.
Pour smoothie into a bowl and top with sliced fresh figs, granola, flaked almonds and a drizzle of rice malt syrup. Serve immediately.