Recipe: Black Seed Smoothie

Put down your pastel pink sipper, this tall dark number deserves your attention.

Put down your pastel pink sipper, this tall dark number deserves your attention

(Photography by Elena Mari and Nathan Legiehn)

Your Instagram feed is dripping with pastel ombré smoothies and millennial pink, topped-to-the-nines smoothie bowls. That is not this drink we put in front of you, true, but do not be deterred! You’d be overlooking a powerhouse drink, and not to be snobs about it, perhaps superior-tasting smoothie to the #unicorn variety. Sesame is just… deep in flavour. If you’ve ever tasted sesame ice cream, you know how well this nutty seed plays with sweet stuff, like the dates in this recipe. A love for that dessert ’s what stopped us in our tracks when we saw this tall, dark number in The Greenhouse Cookbook, and turns out, it’s what inspired them to make it. Try this smoothie in place of your berry and banana go-to tomorrow morning, and you might never look back. 

Black Seed

This is an attempt to recreate (in smoothie form) the black sesame ice cream at our favourite Japanese restaurant. You can find black tahini in a health food store or online. It is a deeper, nuttier and more distinctive version of its beige counterpart, and in concert with nut milk, it achieves something very similar to the creamy original. We arguably got a bit carried away with the addition of mint and cacao nibs; we love the mint-chocolate-chip effect they bring, which somehow works well with the black sesame, but we won’t be offended if you leave them out.


  • 1 cup smoothie milk (also in The Greenhouse Cookbook) or other non-dairy milk
  • 1 frozen banana, roughly chopped
  • 2 tsp black tahini
  • 1 Medjool date, pitted
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp raw cacao nibs, plus extra for garnish
  • 4 drops drops peppermint extract or 1 heaping tablespoon chopped fresh mint
  • 7 ice cubes


Pour the Smoothie Milk into a blender, ensuring that the blades are submerged. Add the banana, black tahini, date, cinnamon, vanilla, cacao nibs and mint.

Blend for 30 seconds, or until well combined. If your blender has more than one setting, start on a low speed and slowly build up to a high one to keep everything from jumping toward the lid of your blender and making it harder to clean.

Taste and adjust if necessary, then add the ice cubes and blend on a high speed until smooth. If you can no longer hear the crunch of ice when you switch off the blender and hear the motor winding down, your cubes should be thoroughly pulverized. Pour into a tall glass and serve topped with cacao nibs.

Excerpted from The Greenhouse Cookbook: Plant Based Eating and DIY Juicing by Emma Knight with Hana James, Deeva Green and Lee Reitelman. Photography by Elena Mari and Nathan Legiehn. Copyright © 2017 by Greenhouse Juice Company. Published by Penguin, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.

Servings: Makes 1 large smoothie or 2 small smoothies


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