And another ingredient that I hide from my kids: Dates. (They don't like dates.) Dates provide natural sugar, iron and tons of potassium. Not to mention calcium and magnesium in a near perfect 1:1 ratio, ideal for busy kids who play soccer 3 hours or more a day.
Without the plump, soft deep amber-brown Medjool dates, which are transformed by the blender into chewy bits, the Nutter Butter would be just another smoothie.
Dad was always game to stop and buy us all date shakes; he was notoriously enthusiastic about good deals. The all-you-can-eat buffet in Las Vegas was his ultimate bargain food experience. The Hadley Date Shakes were a close second.
For a printable version of the recipe, click on the file below it.
Nutter Butter Smoothie
The name of this smoothie is borrowed from Jackson Hole Organics, where you can purchase a darn good banana date smoothie. My kids don't get to eat many Nutter Butter cookies, so the name holds a certain intrigue for them.
Ideally, you should have a large supply of very ripe bananas, peeled, cut up and stashed in the freezer in snack-size baggies.
- 1 frozen banana, in pieces
- 1/2 cup almond butter
- 1 cup almond milk
- 2 Medjool dates, pitted and quartered
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
- Place frozen banana pieces in the bottom of a blender jar.
- Add almond butter, almond milk, dates and almond extract,
- Blend until very smooth.
Homemade Honey Almond Butter
- 3 cups raw unsalted almonds (skin on or off)
- generous pinch of Kosher salt, to taste
- 1 tablespoon honey, to taste
- Preheat oven to 350ºF. Place almonds on a baking sheet and toast until just turning brown, about 5 minutes.
- Cool toasted almonds slightly. Place in the bowl of a food processor.
- The almonds will go through several stages on their way to becoming almond butter, which usually takes 4-5 minutes. Process for 2-3 minutes until they form a coarse meal. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
- Continue processing until the butter starts to ball up on the side of the bowl. Break it down into smaller chunks with a spoon.
- Process until the almond butter is as smooth as you like. Add large pinch of Kosher salt and honey, and pulse 2-3 more times. Taste. Keep adjusting until it is has the perfect balance of salty and sweet.
- Store in an airtight container for one week in the cupboard, or three weeks in the refrigerator.