Most people give up on their resolutions because they feel deprived. They follow a particular diet to the letter, but after a while, they’re sneaking candy bars when no one’s looking. While I believe in cutting down on sugar and processed foods, I also believe that we deserve a little indulgence from time to time. It’s all about balance!

When I get a serious sugar craving, I whip up my Almond & Date Chocolate Smoothie. I use almond milk as the base (but you can use any milk you like) and combine it with raw cacao powder. The dates and banana serve as a natural sweetener so you don’t need to add sugar. The taste is akin to a rich, frosty chocolate shake that’s sure to satisfy your sweet tooth. If you want to adds some greens, toss in a few kale leaves or a small handful of spinach. You won’t notice they are in here.

Bowl of Dried Dates

Using dates and banana as the sweeteners, gives us a little sweetness along with their inherent vitamins and minerals AND fiber.  The beauty of a recipe like this is YOU control the amount of sugar, even in its natural state. It all depends on where you are with the amount of sugar you are eating. This may not be sweet enough for you if you are used to eating candy and drinking soda or a zebra mocha latte from Starbucks every morning. So start where you are now. Try this out as the recipe states, then add one more date in if you need to, or add a Tbsp maple syrup until you really like the taste. You can start there and then lower the sugar content as your taste buds change.

For a nice “mocha” variation, you can add some cold coffee which really makes this feel decadent. I love the combination of chocolate and coffee.

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Dairy Free Almond & Date Chocolate Smoothie

Dairy Free Almond & Date Chocolate Smoothie

  • Author: Andrea Sprague


This “smoothie” helps me to satisfy a sweet craving without reaching for something that is full of refined sugar. I am allergic to dairy, so I use almond milk. Feel free to substitute whatever milk you like. I used dates as the sweetener to lower the sugar content, plus dates are full of nutrients.  You can substitute 1 Tbsp maple syrup or agave for the dates as well.



1 cup unsweetened, plain or vanilla almond milk (hemp, hazelnut and soy milk are good too)
2 pitted medjool dates, chopped 
1 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tbsp almond butter
Pinch sea salt
1 tsp alcohol free vanilla
½ medium banana,frozen
5 ice cubes
½ cup cold coffee, optional


Place the nut milk, dates, cocoa powder, almond butter, sea salt, vanilla and banana in a blender and process until completely smooth (I blend for 30 seconds to 1 minute, depending on blender speed, to get the dates to break down).


Add ice cubes (and coffee is using) and blend again until smooth and frosty (about 5-10 seconds). Pour into glasses and enjoy immediately.



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