This Chai Smoothie tastes like a frozen chai latte from your favorite coffee shop! It has the perfect balance of sweet and spicy flavors, with plenty of filling fiber in each sip.
Why You’ll Love It
It’s naturally sweetened. You can make this smoothie with dates or a frozen banana, both of which add fiber and nutrients. I prefer the caramel-like taste of the dates, but you can use whichever you happen to have on hand.
It’s filling. This recipe calls for ground flax seeds, which add fiber and healthy fats, along with hemp hearts, which are a complete source of plant based protein. That means they contain all the essential amino acids your body needs! Together, these two additions will help keep you feeling full for hours.
It’s allergy friendly. This recipe is naturally gluten-free, dairy-free, and nut-free as written. It makes a great treat for those following a special diet.
It’s flexible. If you don’t keep hemp hearts or ground flax seed on hand, it’s easy to swap those for a spoonful of almond butter. It will add creaminess and fiber, too!
You get to control the caffeine level. When you make this with traditional black tea, the smoothie will have some caffeine inside. However, you can also make this with decaf tea, instead, or just use your favorite milk, instead. Either way, the spicy flavor will come through.
Ingredients You’ll Need
What’s in a chai smoothie?
- Ground Flax seeds
- Hemp hearts (which are hulled hemp seeds)
- Ground cinnamon
- Ground ginger
- Ground cloves
- Vanilla extract
- Brewed tea
Using dates will give you the most neutral-flavored sweetness, but using a frozen banana works, too. If you need a sweeter drink, you can always add a splash of maple syrup or honey, too.
Want to add more protein? You can add a scoop of your favorite protein powder, or even a scoop of collagen, if you don’t need a vegan recipe.
How to Make a Chai Smoothie
1. Brew the tea.
Pour 3/4 cup of boiling water into a mug with your favorite tea, and let it steep for 3 to 5 minutes. It’s best if you can do this in advance, so the tea can cool completely before you use it.
Hot tea will melt the ice, so your smoothie won’t have as much of a thick & slushy texture if you use it while the tea is still warm. Feel free to brew a big batch of black tea and keep it stored in the fridge for a few days, if you’d like to make this smoothie on a regular basis.
Pro Tip: If you are using dates that are not already soft and squishy (they should be very easy to split apart with your fingers to remove the pit), you can add them into the tea cup as it brews, so they will soften from the hot water at the same time!
2. Blend the base.
Add the pitted dates, flaxseed, hemp hearts, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, vanilla, and a pinch of salt to a high-speed blender.
Pour in the brewed tea (as cool as possible) and blend until very smooth, at least 60 seconds. You can taste the smoothie at this point, but keep in mind that the flavor will be diluted when you add the ice in the next step.
3. Add the ice.
Once the base is totally smooth, add in the ice cubes and blend again. This will give the smoothie a slushy texture.
Be sure to use the measured amount of ice cubes, when possible, so the flavor doesn’t get too diluted. If you add too much ice, the flavor will become much more mellow, and not quite as sweet and spicy.
Once the smoothie has a slushy texture, with the consistency of a milkshake, it’s ready to serve right away.
Tip: Leftover smoothie can be poured into an ice pop mold for a frozen treat later!
Substitutions & Common Questions
Which tea works best? Just like making an iced chai latte, I recommend using plain black tea for this recipe, like an English breakfast tea, rather than a chai tea bag. If you already have chai tea on hand, you will probably want to cut-back on the spice in this recipe, or your drink will be too spicy in flavor.
Can I use a frozen banana? When making a banana smoothie, keep in mind that the banana flavor will come through, along with the chai spices. In this case, you won’t need to use as much ice, since the frozen banana will also contribute a slushy texture. I recommend adding only a small handful of ice in that case.
- To prepare the tea, add the tea bag to a mug and pour the boiling water over it. Let the tea steep for 3 to 5 minutes. Remove the tea bag, and let the tea cool. (You can do this in advance, and start with 3/4 cup of cooled tea.) Alternatively, you can skip this step and use milk instead of tea, for a caffeine-free drink.
- Add the dates, hemp hearts, flax, cinnamon, vanilla, ginger, cloves, and a pinch of salt to a blender. Add the cooled tea, and blend until very smooth, about 60 seconds, making sure there are no more visible pieces of dates.
- Add in the ice and blend again until a slushy texture is achieved. Serve right away for a milkshake-like texture. Leftovers won't have the same texture, but you can store them in an ice pop mold in the freezer for a frozen treat later.
If you try this chai smoothie recipe, please leave a comment and star rating below letting me know how you like it!