I have never understood how people could have smoothies as a meal. To me, they’ve always been a snack; maybe a part of breakfast –but not the whole thing. But I do appreciate how many awesome, nutritious foods you can pack into a smoothie, so I’ve been trying to turn over a new leaf. I’ve tried a few, and though the all-fruit ones don’t grab me, I read somewhere that there are smoothies out there that taste like cake. THAT got my attention.
As a lifelong baker (and smoothie skeptic), this smooth and creamy cake-flavored smoothie is an easy transition for my taste buds into this brave new world of smoothies, and it keeps me satisfied if I drink it for a meal. It has carrots, dates, pineapple, and coconut milk, and it gets extra heft and creaminess from Hodgson Mill Gluten Free Quick Rolled Oats and extra good stuff from Hodgson Mill Flax Chia Blend.
If you’ve never added oats to a smoothie, you’re in for a treat. These quick rolled oats are milled so finely that I have had no trouble adding them straight to the blender without cooking first, and they give a slight creaminess to the finished product. The Flax Chia blend also thickens it slightly, and adds just a faint nutty taste in the background.
Ready to start? Come, gaze into my blender . . .
Dates make the sweet base of this smoothie. Sometimes they can harden when stored, so soaking them in warm water and blending them into a paste before adding the other ingredients ensures they’re completely smooth.
After blending the dates, I layered all the rest of the ingredients—cooked carrots, Quick Rolled Oats, Flax Chia Blend, spices, coconut milk and almond milk (or another milk of your choice), and last of all the frozen pineapple chunks—and my blender was good to go. Every blender is different, so you may need to add a few ingredients at a time and blend as you go if you think yours will struggle. As you can see above, the liquid covers more than half of the solid ingredients—that’s a good sign that your ratios are right on and your smoothie will be drinkable, not just spoonable like ice cream. (Unless you like that.)
Pulse and blend until all the liquid is swirling easily throughout the blender for at least 5 seconds. Again, every blender is different, so you’ll have to use your judgment, but it may take 30-90 seconds or more. Try not to overmix, because the frozen pineapple will melt.
Now is your chance to taste the smoothie, and if you’d like it thinner and more pourable, add a little more milk of your choice and blend again. Repeat until it’s the right consistency for you. You’ll need to add just a little liquid at a time and blend, because it’s easy to make it thinner, but it can be hard to thicken it up again.
That’s it. Now I see the appeal –quick, flavorful, and packed with nutrition powerhouses like dates, carrots, flax, and chia seed. I love the comforting taste of carrots and spices balanced with the sweet tang of pineapple, and the creamy texture from the oats and coconut milk. If I didn’t know it was so good for me, I’d think it was a shake! How could I not love starting my day like this?
What do you think? Are smoothies part of your routine, or are you a skeptic? If you love smoothies, do you have a favorite flavor combination? (I’m looking for recommendations!)
Since this is a new product for us, we're also hosting a Giveaway! Check out the widget below. One way to win would be to leave a comment below, telling us your favorite smoothie flavor, or what you would make with Hodgson Mill Flax Chia Blend if you win. Good luck!
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Spiced Carrot Cake Smoothie
- 1/2 cup dates chopped and pitted (about 5-6)
- 1 cup carrots peeled and chopped
- 1/4 cup Hodgson Mill Gluten Free Quick Rolled Oats
- 2 Tbsp. Hodgson Mill Flax Chia Blend
- 1/8 tsp. ground ginger
- 1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. vanilla
- 1/2 cup pineapple juice
- 1/2 cup coconut milk
- 1 - 1 1/2 cups milk (I used almond, use your preference)
- 1 cup pineapple chunks, frozen if desired
- pinch salt
Soak dates in 2-3 Tbsp. warm water at least 20 minutes, or overnight. Simmer chopped carrots in 1 cup water covered over medium heat for 15-20 minutes, until tender enough to spear with a fork. Let cool completely, about 20-30 minutes (you can do this step ahead of time, and even freeze the cooked carrots ahead of time if you like a very frosty smoothie).
Add soaked dates and their water to blender. Blend until you have a smooth date paste. If your blender has trouble getting to all the date pieces, add 1/4-1/2 cup of the milk so that the blades are surrounded by liquid, and scrape sides down with a spatula. When dates are completely smooth, add the rest of the ingredients (cooked carrots (I include the water that they simmered in), frozen pineapple, Quick Rolled Oats, Flax Chia Blend, spices, vanilla, pineapple juice, almond milk, and coconut milk) and blend until completely smooth and the entire smoothie is swirling smoothly inside the blender for at least 5 seconds. Test by tasting a spoonful, and if you would like a thinner smoothie, add more milk by 1/4 cup increments, blending and tasting again after each addition until it reaches desired consistency.
Pour and serve immediately. It may be refrigerated for 24 hours, but the texture will change slightly and it may become thicker.
If desired, you may replace oats with more Flax Chia Blend – use a total of ¼ cup. If you would like a slightly sweeter smoothie, try adding 1-2 Tbsp. maple syrup or honey.
Makes 2 servings
Inspired by The Spicy RD
You can find Spiced Carrot Cake Smoothie and other recipes from Hodgson Mill by visiting the Recipes page.