Cereal drinks are a great way to take your breakfast smoothies one step up in nutrition! This ragi, banana, and dates smoothie makes for a delicious and healthy start to the day.
What are Cereal Drinks?
Cereal Drinks are smoothies or shakes in which one or more types of cereals are added to a regular smoothie base. For example, in this recipe Ragi or finger millet flour is cooked in almond milk and then blended to a smoothie with banana and dates.
It is vegan, gluten-free, and sugar-free. The natural sweetness of bananas and dates is actually more than enough. I love the earthy taste that ragi flour adds to the smoothie. I don’t know if it is only me, but I find the taste of ragi or finger millet a little chocolatey! The fact that it has a deep brown color only helps to add to the experience 🙂
Banana smoothie is a pretty common breakfast accompaniment in our home but when I want to convert it into a complete breakfast, I would usually add a millet or cereal (like this banana oatmeal smoothie) to it. Just about 2 tbsps of millet flours or other grains add more substance to the smoothies in terms of nutrition and help thicken them naturally. This is a great recipe for children too! Add some cooked ragi flour to their morning milk shake and it will keep them going for long.
Long before oats and cornflakes became the popular breakfast grains, cereal drinks made with different types of millets like ragi (finger millet), bajra (pearl millet), and wheat were common breakfast beverages in India. These are usually warm drinks and ideal for winter season to keep you warm from inside and also build up immunity.
Like all Millets, Ragi is highly nutritious, naturally gluten-free and alkaline. Considered to be the least allergenic and most digestible grains available, millets are also recommended for babies, growing children, pregnant and lactating mothers, and aged seniors, in India. Ragi, was especially popular to make a cereal drink or a millet smoothie for children because of its high calcium content. But over the years, this traditional innate wisdom of grains got diluted and completely lost.
Health Benefits of Ragi/ Finger Millet
- Ragi or finger millet has the highest calcium content of all millets.
- It is a good source of dietary fiber, minerals, and protein.
- Since Ragi is whole-grain, it keeps you full for longer and thus stops the urges for unnecessary snacking, helping in weight loss or managing weight.
- It can help control many diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure, osteoporosis and many more.
- Check out this post for the many health benefits of Millets.
Thankfully millets are making a comeback with many people focussing on healthy gluten-free grains. Since last two years I’ve been trying to collect so many traditional millet recipes and it feels like the journey has just started :-).
Cereal drinks are also a great way to ensure a healthy breakfast if you are in a hurry or want to eat it on-the-go, as it packs in all the nutrition in one drink. I would suggest you start your morning with some fresh fruits and a cup of warm lemon-ginger tea and have this filling finger millet, banana, and dates smoothie at around 11am. It will keep you from unhealthy snacking and also fill you up till a late lunch!
Have you tried cereal drinks?
If yes, what’s your favorite cereal or grain to add in smoothies?
If you like this recipe please take a moment to review it and/or leave your thoughts in comments. It will really make my day and encourage me to keep exploring!
Cereal Drinks: Ragi, Banana, and Dates Smoothie
Ingredients (1cup = 240ml; 1tbsp = 15ml; 1tsp = 5ml)
- 2 tbsp finger millet flour ragi flour
- 1 big banana chopped
- 4 pitted dates (I used mejdool dates) soaked in hot water for 15-20 mins
- 1 cup almond milk
- In a small pot, mix together ½ cup milk, ½ cup water, and ragi powder. Bring the mixture boil. Stir to mix ragi flour with the milk without any lumps. Keep aside.
- In the blender jar, add bananas, dates, and the remaining ½ cup almond milk.
- Blend to smooth and then add the ragi and milk mixture. Blend again until well combined.
- Serve warm.
- For a flavor twist, add some cardamom powder or vanilla extract to the smoothie.
- Nutritional Information is approximate information for one serving.
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