Growing up, my family always went on vacation in San Diego, California because it’s just over a 5 hour drive from where we lived in Scottsdale. So every summer, without fail, anytime the temperature was soaring to around 120 degrees, we’d load up the van and make the journey over to the cool relief of California.
There are two stops my family would make ritualistically during this drive, with stop 1 occurring only on the drive to California, and stop 2 occurring only on the drive home.
Stop 1: McDonald’s. My family wasn’t huge on Mcdonald’s growing up, but because we always left at the crack of dawn, my Dad would always get hangry for breakfast about an hour into the drive (exactly when there just so happened to be a 24/7 McDonald’s along our route). So we would drive through, grab a quick breakfast on the run, and hit the road and not stop again until we made it to San Diego.
Then, there was stop 2. Now as a child, I personally adored stop 1 because I was harboring so much excitement and couldn’t wait to get to California so munching on some pancakes in the backseat was a good way to distract myself and make the time go by faster (as I was a notoriously slow eater as a child). But stop 2 was a different story. During my younger years, I hated stop 2 with an undying passion. I would throw tantrum after tantrum to avoid it, but inevitably we would stop anyways. Plus it didn’t help that I was always cranky on the drive home because who wants to leave vacation ever? Not me! But anyways, stop 2 was always Dateland, Arizona. There’s a little shake shack there that serves “the best date shakes around” and my mom is a sucker for a good date shake, especially the best date shakes around. I never really liked the taste of dates when I was little, so I thought this stop was pointless. A waste of time.
But then I got a little bit older. You wouldn’t believe how good these date shakes are! I came to look forward more to the drive home from vacation more than the actual vacation (okay so maybe I’m exaggerating a little, but you get the point). If any of you out there reading this have never had a date shake, please do yourself a favor and get or make one ASAP. Your life will be changed forever. There’s just something about the perfect companionship of the sweet dates with the spicy cinnamon in a cool blend of creamy deliciousness that makes you forget any troubles you may be having and get lost in the euphoria your mouth is currently experiencing.
So now I only have date shakes once in a blue moon due to the unhealthiness and dairy level in them (but it is important to treat yourself every now and then) so I’ve tried to come up with a way to get my date shake fix without all the bad stuff. Then, it hit me. Smoothie bowl, duh???? You make these things literally every day of your life Bailey, why have you not thought of this before?! So I set off like a sprinter in the gold medal race in the Olympics to perfect a date shake smoothie bowl, and oh man I am not disappointed in the result.
Creamy coconut, spicy cinnamon, and deliciously sweet dates PLUS protein AND a serving of veg hiding in there?! You can’t be for real. Oh yes, baby, oh yes. Believe it. And not only are dates a great natural sweetener, but they’re also AMAZING for you! They are packed full of fiber, vitamins, minerals, oils, and many other nutrients that combine to make one powerful treat. Some of the benefits you’re going to get from eating these little natural wonders include: natural constipation relief, help maintaining a healthy digestive system, sexual dysfunction relief, healthy weight gain, healthy muscle development, and a healthy heart. Literally sweet little miracle bites. And dates (in my opinion) totally taste like candy. In fact, I would rather eat dates than candy. THEY TASTE SO FREAKIN’ GOOD!!!!!!
So I think I’ve made a pretty convincing argument here as to why you need this smoothie bowl in your life like right now, so what are you waiting for?! All you have to do is blend and then you’ll be experiencing one of the greatest tastes you’ll ever have. Get going!
Date-Sweetened Cinnamon Coconut Protein Smoothie Bowl
- Combine the frozen banana, cauliflower, dates, cinnamon, protein powder, coconut extract, and coconut milk (I generally start with a little less and add more as needed during blending) and blend together until a smooth, thick consistency has been reached.
- Transfer the smoothie to a bowl and top with your toppings of choice! I topped mine with granola, fresh banana, chopped figs, chopped dates, and cinnamon. Enjoy!