Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Date Coconut Shake

Hi!!!  I have missed you these last weeks, and I want to make up for my absence on this site with a scrumptious recipe, one I’ve actually made six times in the past two weeks. I present you with the Date Coconut Shake. 

A date milkshake??  Oh yes. I grew up in Southern California, and date shakes were one of the culinary pleasures of taking road trips that veered off into desert territory near Palm Springs where the date trees were plentiful. The date shakes of my childhood were traditionally made with a base of vanilla ice cream, and the pureed fresh dates added a beguiling honeyed depth to this frosty treat. We’d usually enjoy the shakes from the renowned Hadley Fruit Orchards, though were it up to me, I’d have been much more thorough in my research by stopping at all the various roadside stands along Highway 10 proffering these special milkshakes.  (You only have so much input in the family decisions when you’re a kid!)

Memories of post-school road trips are looming large now that it is late June, and those childhood date shakes are naturally springing to my culinary imagination.  As I am trying to limit my consumption of refined sugar these days, I have been riffing on this awesome dairy-free version that was recently posted on the lovely Not Without Salt blog. 

Coconut milk substitutes nicely for regular milk, and a few spoonfuls of almond butter give the mixture a little more oomph.  In lieu of ice cream, a generous cup of ice cubes turns this into frozen happiness. I may have to do a side-by-side comparison with a more traditionally ice cream-based shake, but for now, I am perfectly delighted to enjoy this coconut milk version on a regular basis.  Happy summer!

Three Years Ago: Chocolate-Raspberry Bars
Four Years Ago: Orzo Salad
Five Years Ago: Key Lime Cosmopolitans

Adapted from a recipe by Ashley Rodriguez on Not Without Salt

I use the So Delicious coconut milk beverage available in the refrigerator section of the grocery store.  Ashley’s recipe calls for either peanut or almond butter, but I find the peanut butter competes too much with the dates, so I use Trader Joe’s almond butter.

5 large soft Medjool dates, pitted and coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons creamy almond butter
1 cup coconut milk
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1-½ cups ice cubes
A few dashes of nutmeg, for garnishing (optional)

Place the first five ingredients in a blender jar.  Blend for 10 to 15 seconds till the dates are finely chopped and the ingredients are smooth.  Add the ice cubes and blend until the shake is creamy and thick. 

Pour into glasses immediately and top with a dash or two of nutmeg, if desired. Makes 1 to 2 servings, depending on how voracious your appetite is!

1 comment:

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