my maca matcha milkshake

about a year ago i posted a recipe for my favorite breakfast smoothie. i was hesitant to post such similar recipes, but here is the new and improved version of my go-to breakfast smoothie. there is no particular reason i was trying to improve it. it was already delicious. but i recently discovered maca and thought i'd try a variation that would incorporate this superfood root and also pack a green punch to kickstart my gloomy seattle winter mornings. you'll have to try both recipes, compare, and let me know which you preferred! 

i like to take walks through east capitol hill, wandering through blocks of incredible homes and massive trees, and typically ending up at my favorite cookie bakery, hello robin. recently, the herbalist set up show just two doors down from hello robin. i was quite excited about this new addition to the neighborhood, since there is nothing else like it in central or south seattle. they have an incredible variety of herbs, tonics, medicinal teas, etc. after my first trip their, i walked home with wonderful herbs to add to a bed time tea to relax and clear the head, and maca to try in my morning smoothies. i was told that maca root powder aids our adrenal glands, giving us increased energy, stamina, immune function and resistance to stress. sold! anything to give me stamina for my uber-active days is worth a try! not to mention, it adds a wonderful malty flavor to smoothies ... giving this almond milk based smoothie a delightful milkshake quality... a milkshake fit for breakfast or a mid-day snack. 

maca matcha milkshake ~ serves 1
1 or 1-1/2 cup homemade date-sweetened almond milk (or unsweetened store bought)
1/2 medium banana, raw or frozen into cubes
1/2 cup frozen pineapple pieces
*1/2 teaspoon ginger juice (or fresh grated ginger) 
1/4 avocado 
handful of fresh spinach 
1 to 1-1/2 teaspoons matcha green tea powder
1 to 2 teaspoons maca powder

*another recent discovery: the ginger people's ginger juice! for those of us without juicers that want to add ginger flavor to cocktails, fizzy water or a smoothie without the pulp of grated ginger... or, for those of us that don't trust our fine motor skills for grating ginger before 8am. 

start with 1 teaspoon of maca. blend all ingredients together until creamy. if using frozen banana, you may need to add 1-1/2 cups milk. if you love the flavor of maca, add a second teaspoon to the mix! 

for date sweetened almond milk ~ makes 4 cups
1 cup raw organic almonds
4 cups water
4 pitted, medjool dates
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)

soak almonds in water overnight or for 8-12 hours. drain and add soaked almondds to high speed blender with 4 cups of fresh water and pitted dates. blend on high speed until milky. use a nut milk bag to strain almond pulp from milk. discard pulp (or good luck finding a tasty use for almond pulp. i still have not.) store almond milk chilled for up to one week. add vanilla extract if you like, or enjoy plain. i've also added vanilla beans to my quart glass of almond milk and reused the bean for adding flavor to several batches of almond milk.