This creamy, iron-rich chocolate sesame smoothie has some delicious fruits and flavor, with a sneaky ingredient!
If you follow me on instagram or Facebook, you’ve seen that I’ve been making smoothies a few times a week! Which is probably more often than I had in the past, but that may be because it is so damn hot here in Las Vegas. Plus, smoothies are the PERFECT way to get so many different nutrients in a way that doesn’t require too much thought.
You may have also seen that I was gifted a MASSIVE zucchini, and had been using that as part of my smoothie base! I’ve been getting lots of questions or people curious about that, and I have to say, it’s an excellent way to use up some zucchini. Since that one is finally done, I used a yellow summer squash from my CSA in this recipe.
This isn’t the first time I’ve used zucchini in a smoothie recipe, here on the blog. That was for these Layered Strawberry Peach Smoothies! So, so cute and tasty. For this round, I wanted to do something slightly more decadent, that was a riff on tahini-date shakes that I’ve had.
Now, the reason why I describe this smoothie as being iron-rich, is that it contains both sesame (tahini) and cocoa powder! Of course, if you wanted to add even more plant-based iron, you could throw in some kale or spinach. It wouldn’t even impact the flavor much! But, it would definitely make it pretty ugly, lol!
As for substitutions, much like my last post on Strawberry Oat Milk Popsicles, this Chocolate Sesame Smoothie has a simple ingredient list and if you substitute certain things you just end up with a whole different smoothie.
- Summer squash – as mentioned, zucchini and summer squash are interchangeable. If you want to get brave and substitute some of it with frozen cauliflower to add in some veggies, be my guest!
- Bananas – They offer more sweetness and a great texture in this application, and I don’t necessarily have a great suggestion for something in place of this. Maybe, just under-ripe mangos so that the flavor isn’t TOO strong?
- Tahini – I love the nutty, distinct flavor of tahini, and it’s a classic Middle Eastern application to be paired with dates. But, if you happen to not have any on hand, sunflower seed butter or almond butter will still be pretty satisfying.
- Medjool dates – You can use diglet or noor dates if you can’t find medjool, but you may have to use more since they are typically smaller. Again, these are essential for flavor and a little sweetness since the squash doesn’t offer any. But, if you’re looking for less sugar, use half the amount.
- Cocoa powder – I use Dutch-processed in this recipe, but you’re welcome to use cacao powder if you want to keep it on the raw-er side. Just adjust to taste.
- Ground cinnamon – you’re welcome to leave this out, I just love how it complements the dates and cocoa powder!
Now, for the recipe! And scroll to the end to see other recipe suggestions if you’re into this chocolate tahini smoothie.
- 2 cups (250 g) chopped summer squash or zucchini
- 4 large medjool dates, pitted and soaked in hot water (save soak water)
- 3 tablespoons (50 g) tahini
- 2 tablespoons (10 g) Dutch-processed cocoa powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Pinch of salt
- 3 large frozen bananas, roughly 2 cups (350 g) peeled and chopped
- 3/4-1 cup (177- 235 ml) water
- Place all ingredients into a blender pitcher, in order listed - using roughly 1/3 cup (80 ml) of the date soaking water. Then, blend until completely smooth.
- If the smoothie does not seem cold enough, add a few ice cubes and blend again. Pour between two cups and serve immediately.
*Substitution suggestions listed in the blog post.
Lastly, if you’re into recipes like this chocolate sesame smoothie, here are some other recipes that you may love! (Just click on the pic!)