I adore a rich, thick date shake, full of ice cream, whipped cream and… more cream. Once and a while, only a dairy bomb like that will do. But, I was happy to find this lightened up recipe that I can whizz up when I need a quick (and much healthier) fix.
This is a slightly altered take on Louisa Shafia’s date shake in The New Persian Kitchen, which uses plain yogurt instead of ice cream for creaminess and tang. Add a banana, ice, a drop of vanilla and spices (my pick: cardamom), and out of the blender comes a cold, smooth treat that is different to the original but equally satisfying.
Toasted nuts and seeds on top are a must, and give this shake its signature Eastern twist. I sprinkled mine with shredded coconut and toasted sesame seeds from a recent market sale. Roughly chopped pistachios, almonds or walnuts would be beautiful, too.
The method here is simply knowing your blender. If you have a high-powered blender, like a Vitamix or BlendTec, add all the ingredients at once and blitz until smooth. If your blender requires a bit more TLC, blend the dates, bananas, yogurt, water, vanilla and spice first, then add the ice.
- 6 plump Medjool dates
- 1 banana, sliced
- 1/2 cup plain yogurt
- 1/2 cup water (or milk)
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/8 tsp cardamom
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1 cup ice cubes
- Sprinkling of your favorite topping (I used shredded coconut and toasted sesame seeds)
- Remove the pits from the dates and place in a blender with all ingredients except for the ice cubes. Blend until combined, then add the ice cubes and blend again until smooth.
- If you have a high-powered blender, like a Vitamix or BlendTec, pit the dates then add all ingredients at once and blend until smooth. You may need to use the tamper to crush up the ice and soft dates.
- Pour into cups and sprinkle with shredded coconut and toasted sesame seeds, or your favorite nuts (pistachios, walnuts, almonds are all great)
If you have a high-powered machine (Vitamix, BlendTec, etc), all all ingredients at once and blend until smooth. If your blender needs a bit more TLC, blend the bananas, yogurt and water until combined, then add the dates, ice and spices and continue blending until smooth.
Recipe adapted slightly from Louisa Shafia's The New Persian Kitchen on Epicurious.com