A glass filled with a coffee smoothie made with dates, banana, cauliflower, almond milk, almond butter, and cacao nibs.

A trend I’ve observed among the spring 2019 cookbooks is wellness and plant-based eating. Of the many, Well + Good is perhaps the most overtly focused in these areas, with recipes to improve skin, sleep, mood, digestion, energy, focus, and sex (…watch out! Alexandra’s Kitchen is getting ris-que!!).

The book, written by journalists Alexia Brue and Melisse Gelula, who launched the website Well + Good a decade ago, includes recipes from experts and authorities in the health and wellness sphere, including Mark Hyman, Venus Williams, Misty Copeland, and Bobbi Brown.

Also: Marcus Antebi, founder of the juice chain Juice Press, who, while training as a competitive boxer, altered his diet to consist primarily of cold-pressed juices, smoothies, and salads. His “competitive coffee smoothie” recipe caught my attention for a number of reasons:

  1. It called for 3/4 cup of brewed coffee, which would solve my dumping-the-rest-of-the-coffee-pot-down-the-drain problem.
  2. It called for cauliflower, which I immediately dismissed as weird, but which apparently is good for mental clarity, and which I could get down with as long as the smoothie didn’t taste too cauliflower-y.
  3. With banana, almond milk, almond butter, and dates, it sounded delicious.

I gave it a whirl, cauliflower and all, and couldn’t have been happier with the result: It tastes like a coffee milkshake. You would never know a blast of vegetables is in the mix — cauliflower disappears the way spinach does in smoothies — and how nice to get a little cruciferous boost in your mid-morning (or afternoon) pick-me-up?

I have made one of these coffee smoothies every day since discovering it, and I find myself looking forward to it until I do — it’s such a treat! What’s more, I have reduced my coffee waste to zero. Score!

Let me know if you give it a go.

An overhead shot of a blender with the ingredients to make a coffee smoothie inside.

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A glass filled with a coffee smoothie made with dates, banana, cauliflower, almond milk, almond butter, and cacao nibs.

Competitive Coffee Smoothie with Dates & Banana

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Adapted from the Well + Good cookbook.

Tailor this recipe to your liking. For instance: the original recipe calls for half a banana, but I use a whole; the original recipe calls for 2 tablespoons almond butter, but I use 1; the original recipe calls for melted almond butter on top, but I omit.

And before you poo-poo the cauliflower, know that you don’t taste it. It disappears the way spinach does in smoothies. For ease of preparation, I purée half a head of cauliflower in the food processor, and I store it in a quart container in the fridge.

Also: I’ve been pouring leftover coffee into a Mason jar and stashing that in the fridge, so I always have cold coffee on hand to make this.

Also: I slice up a banana and stick it in the freezer first thing every morning so it’s nice and cold when I’m ready to make my smoothie.


  • 1 banana, sliced and frozen
  • 3/4 cup leftover coffee
  • 1/4 cup almond milk or other nondairy milk
  • 1 tablespoon almond butter
  • a handful of ice cubes
  • 2 Medjool dates, pitted
  • 1/4 cup cauliflower, see notes above
  • pinch sea salt, such as Maldon
  • cacao nibs for sprinkling, optional


Place all ingredients in a blender, and purée until smooth. Pour into a glass, and top with cacao nibs if you wish.

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Blender
  • Cuisine: American