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Most people give up on their healthy diet 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! And you can create that balance by swapping in healthier versions of ingredients like sugar.

When I get a serious sugar craving, I whip up this 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. And then throw in a tablespoon of almond butter to create the nutty richness, and add a little protein to help avoid any blood sugar rush.

The taste is akin to a rich, frosty chocolate shake that’s sure to satisfy your sweet tooth. If you want to add 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

Naturally Sweetened Dairy Free Chocolate Smoothie

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 and sweetness. 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.

Add a Boost of Coffee

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, and always add a little decaf coffee into my chocolate cakes. Did you know the coffee bean and cacao beans are related?  Perhaps that is why they taste so good together.

Now let’s make our Almond and Date Smoothie!

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Dairy Free Almond & Date Chocolate Smoothie

Dairy Free Almond & Date Chocolate Smoothie

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  • Author: Andrea Sprague


This smoothie satisfies a sweet craving without relying on something that is full of refined sugar. Bananas and dates act as our sweeteners, which are whole foods that havent been refined and they are also full of minerals and nutrients. You can use any dairy free milk you like. 



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


  1. Place the nut milk, dates, cocoa powder, almond butter, sea salt, vanilla and banana in a blender and process until completely smooth. You may need to blend for 30 seconds to 1 minute, depending on blender speed, to get the dates to break down.
  2. Add ice cubes (and coffee is using) and blend again until smooth and frosty (about 5-10 seconds). Pour into glasses and enjoy immediately.


Here’s Another Dairy Free Chocolate Smoothie

I have another delicious, naturally sweetened chocolate smoothie recipe on my YouTube channel. You can watch me make the recipe and bonus, get a second recipe to try out in your own kitchen. This one uses whole cacao beans instead of powder which are full of nutrients and give me a boost of energy, perfect for a long work day.

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