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This banana date smoothie is a sweet and energizing drink to replenish your body with essential vitamins and minerals, as well as a good dose of protein. For this reason, this drink is perfect for Ramadan fasts. My father concocted this delicious drink one Ramadan, long ago, before smoothies were even a fad, although the addition of frozen strawberries is my own.
It’s no secret in the Muslim world that dates are a superfood with numerous health benefits. It is no wonder that Muslims ritually start their fast and break their fasts with a date, as was the tradition of the Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) many centuries ago.
Once an oddly shaped dried fruit seeming that only my family and I would consume in our Egyptian and Islamic traditions, here in the Midwest, dates are quickly becoming common place in grocery stores, and for good reason.
Dates are the fruit of the date palm tree, which grows in warm, dry regions such as the Middle East and parts of California. Dates are high in fiber, which helps reduce cholesterol, improves digestion, satiates the appetite, and fight heart disease and obesity. They are also high in Vitamin B, A, and K. B vitamins are the most prominent vitamin store in dates which include B6 and B9 (folic acid), which helps improve metabolism and produce new red blood cells. Dates are also very high in minerals including potassium, copper, calcium, iron, phosphate, magnesium, and manganese.
Although dates are such a sweet treat and thought to be high in sugars, they actually have a high nutritional ratio to the calories as well as a low glycemic index so they absorb into the body much more slowly giving steady releases of energy and several other sustained benefits. Thus, in moderation dates are an excellent sweetener to use in place of cane sugar or other sweet temptations. Whenever I try to cut out dessert and refined sugar from my weekly diet, I rely on these gems to satiate my cravings and give my body a sweet boost.
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This brings me to this deliciously satisfying and filling energy smoothie! This drink is a concoction of my father’s, which he whipped up one Ramadan long ago. During Ramadan, Muslims are fasting from sunrise to sundown, and dates are in high demand! The benefits of a smoothie are obvious as you can squeeze in a lot more nutrition and whole foods into a smooth drink and gulp it all down quickly in the wee hours before dawn when preparing for a day’s fast.
I use organic milk, however you could use coconut milk, oat milk, or almond milk as non-dairy substitutes that will still taste fantastic. Simply toss in 4-6 pitted dates, a whole ripe banana (or a frozen ripe banana), and a couple of frozen strawberries or ice cubes to make this shake that will keep your appetite satisfied and body well nourished for hours! I enjoy this after a workout or before I run out of the house for the day running errands.
- 3 cups cold milk
- 4-6 medjool dates, pits removed
- 1 ripe banana
- 4 frozen strawberries (optional) OR 1/2 cup ice cubes
- Remove the pit from the dates by slicing down the center, vertically along the length of the date.
- Combine all the ingredients into a blender and pulse to chop and distribute, then increase to the highest speed for 1 minute until smooth and frothy.