When I was about 12 years old I had my first Starbucks experience. I was wandering the mall with another girl who seemed untouchably hip. We were bearing our souls, which likely meant complaining about family life and confessing our crushes. She suggested we get a coffee drink, which was kind of like a "good" girl's version of a cigarette. At the same time we could feign adulthood with a caffeine habit, we could also indulge in our childhood by getting a caramel frappacino, dripping in syrupy sweetness.
What I didn't care about then was the fact that this drink was packed full of preservatives, mainly made out of chemicals, and was highly acidic. Not to mention I was supporting a monster corporations and a nightmarish dairy industry.
I still often find myself longing for decadent sweet drinks to fill the reward cravings. So this morning I whipped up a healthy smoothie reminiscent of everything I loved about that gooey caramel drink... minus everything I want to avoid as an adult.
7 dates, pitted
4 tablespoons tahini
1 tablespoon liquid sweetener (maples syrup, honey, agave, or coconut nectar)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or vanilla bean scraped, if you may be so lucky)
1 1/2 cups coconut water
1 1/2 cups water
*pink Himalayan salt and extra liquid sweetener for rim
Put all ingredients in a blender and blend well until smooth. (Dates can take away to break down.) Take a glass or mason jar and add a bit of sweetener around the rim. On a plate lay out the salt. Gently rub the rim of the glass into the salt. Pour in the smoothie and serve.