Friday, April 12, 2013

Coconut Date Shake


Date shakes are good. I mean, seriously good. A week ago, Bob and I slipped out of town to Palm Springs to meet some friends. It had been more than 20 years since I was last there. Memories of road trips to Palm Springs were on my mind, taken with my friend Rebecca during our years of living together in Los Angeles. The two of us would bop into town, shop for howling coyote- and cactus-themed tchotchkes for our apartment, spend the afternoons by the pool with frosty cocktails, and then gobble Mexican food at our favorite little hole-in-the-wall spot.


A trip to Palm Springs was never complete, though, without a stop along the way for date shakes at Hadley Fruit Orchards. Date shakes are synonymous with Palm Springs, given all the date palms that grow in the surrounding Coachella Valley. According to California legend, the date shake was invented in the 1930s by a local date farmer. I hadn’t thought of date shakes in many years, and during our whirlwind visit I developed an intense craving.


There are many varieties of dates and Hadley’s uses deglet noor. These also happen to be my favorite dates, with their irresistible soft, sticky, caramel sweetness.  Vanilla ice cream, milk and dates are the classic date shake ingredients. Lately, though, we’ve been devouring pints of coconut milk ice cream, so I decided to use a vanilla flavored one along with coconut milk for my date shake. After chopping the dates, I blended them with coconut milk until they were almost smooth and then added the coconut ice cream.


Oh my. Luscious, rich, creamy and filled with sweet dates, this shake is heavenly and truly a blast of nostalgic taste for me. Today, there was an afternoon break in our April showers, so after whirling one up I was able to steal outside and sip my shake in the sun. Granted, this wasn’t the hot sunshine of Palm Springs (last week was 90 degrees!), but I popped in a festive little umbrella and pretended I was sitting under a palm tree in the desert. Life is good.


Coconut Date Shake
Serves 2-3 (it's rich!)

1 1/2 cups deglet noor dates, pitted and roughly chopped (medjool dates can be substituted)
1 cup whole coconut milk
1 cup vanilla coconut milk ice cream (we’re quite fond of Luna & Larry’s Coconut Bliss)

In a blender, whirl the dates and coconut milk together until fairly smooth. Add the ice cream and blend until creamy. Pour into glasses and serve. The shake is thick, so a spoon may be needed, as well.

30 comments:

  1. Oh wow did this bring back memories, I also used to go to Hadley fruit orchards and have their date shakes. Your post brought back memories that I had forgotten about I love this!!

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    1. I'm so happy this evokes memories for you, too, Suzanne! It's amazing how the taste of something can send us reeling back in time. I hope you can enjoy a date shake soon! Have a wonderful weekend!

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  2. I've been thinking about this - I've become a date fan since the Jerusalem spinach salad and have wanted to try using them in a different way. Will give it a "whirl" this weekend! oh 90 degrees sounds so great!

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    1. Oh, Beth, 90 degrees was incredible! It felt so good to warm myself after all of our damp chill. I'm a big date fan, too - such a good snack to keep on hand, and I like pureeing them to use as a sweetener, too. Love the Jerusalem spinach salad! This shake is not quite as virtuous as a salad, but certainly a delicious way to enjoy dates. I hope you enjoy it. Have a terrific weekend!

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  3. This looks so superb and tasty.

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    1. Thank you, Nik! I appreciate you stopping by. Have a wonderful weekend!

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  4. These are some of my favortie flavors - sounds amazing! I have yet to go to Palm Springs but it's on my list :)

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    1. Dates and coconut are truly delicious, aren't they? Palm Springs is a marvelous get away. We took a couple of gorgeous hikes and it was lovely to see the stark beauty of the desert combined with the lush palm trees and springs (the name "Palm Springs" became clear!). And the sun felt oh so good - we could use a little more of it here right now! I hope you can visit sometime. Have a great weekend!

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  5. I've been working with coconut more and more over the past year, and now I'm in love with dates. So I've got to make this. It sounds like such a wonderful combination of flavors!

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    1. Isn't coconut wonderful, Susan? Whipped coconut cream is my new favorite - with a little vanilla and maple syrup it's delicious to top desserts (or eat straight from the bowl!). Dates and coconut do pair deliciously so I think you'll like this shake. Hope you have a terrific weekend!

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  6. This sounds like a super rich, delicious, creamy drink! I am definitely trying this :) Might skip the coconut ice-cream as I have no access to it.

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    1. It really is a marvelous treat,Chinmayie! After blending the dates and coconut milk, you could add some ice and blend again to freeze it a bit (in place of the coconut ice cream). When I tasted the date/coconut milk mixture it was delicious and I could easily have eaten it as is. I hope you enjoy the shake!

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  7. I adore Palm Springs. Such a great weekend getaway. Next time, I'm having a Date Coconut shake!

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    1. I do need to get to Palm Springs more often than every 20 years, Erina...you're right, such a marvelous weekend away. I think you'll love the date shakes - hope you can enjoy one soon!

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  8. Gosh, this looks terrific! I'll bet this is hugely tasty! But I love anything with coconut. Love the last picture - so nice! Fun post - thanks.

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    1. Thank you, John! I'm a fan of anything coconut, too. I love how festive a little cocktail umbrella can be...I really should pop them in drinks more often. :)

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  9. Goodness I want one now! I fell in love with coconut shakes in Thailand & I am thinking dates would be a very happy addition. I think I need one to make me feel a little tropical as the days get shorter :)

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    1. Coconut shakes in Thailand? Good to know - we're going to be visiting one of our exchange students there in December. I know what I'll be indulging in! And yes, a tropical drink is always good for adding a bit of warmth to the shorter days. Cheers!

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  10. I love coconut ice cream and can just imagine how good your shake must be.

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    1. Coconut ice cream definitely makes the shake extra rich and thick - just the way we like them. :)

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  11. This looks amazing Hannah! So rich and decadent. Such beautiful pictures too! :)

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    1. Thank you so much, Brandi! This is indeed a decadent treat. I'm happy to have re-discovered date shakes. I'll be whirling them up more often as summer approaches (or we may not wait that long...).

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  12. Oh Hannah, life is definitely good. I'd love to play pretend with that glass, sitting on a Verandah too. I always say the best memories are those that involve food....somehow!

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    1. You are so right, Oz! Food is woven into some of life's best memories - gathering with loved ones, a bit of warm sunshine, something tasty to eat...all good. I hope you are well.

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  13. Lovely! I love dates in shakes and my boys think they are the hugest treat ever. If I added coconut ice cream their little heads might just explode. =)

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    1. Your boys are right, Brooke...dates are a marvelous treat, especially in shakes. I recommend adding some ice cream next time! :)

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  14. Have I told you how much I love anything and everything that is remotely related to coconut?!?!?! This is amazing!!

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    1. Oh, thank you, Kiran!! I share your love of coconut in any form. :)

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  15. I'm so glad I found your blog today. :-) I have HEAPS of dates that I simply must use. This recipe sounds delicious. :-)

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    1. Hi Krista, I'm envious of all your dates! Such a wonderful sweet treat. I hope you enjoy the shake. I also like blending dates with coconut milk and ice for a lighter variation. I'm happy you stopped by!

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