Thursday, July 24, 2014

Vegan Medjool Date Milkshake

My mom raves about the Medjool date milkshakes she used to have when visiting Arizona and California. Mom and Dad travelled through the area in their RV for several winters. Prior to their travels, neither one of them had tried a Medjool date milkshake. It was a 2 for 1 coupon Mom found that inspired them to visit the Medjool date farm and order up a couple of milkshakes.

After that, they returned at least once a year to get another one. "Medjool dates are delicious," says my dad. "The milkshakes were super good, not too sweet. Best I've ever tasted." It should be noted that "not too sweet" isn't necessarily reliable coming from Dad. He has the most incredible sweet tooth I have ever witnessed.

The campground Mom and Dad stayed at was in Yuma, Arizona on the banks of a river. Over a little bridge was California and the Medjool date farm where they bought their milkshakes. Fortunately we can enjoy the same delicious Medjool dates right here in Canada.

Natural Delights Medjool Dates are grown in the Bard Valley, which straddles California and Arizona. The Bard Valley lies in a beautiful, sunny corner of the Southwest, its palm date gardens watered by the Lower Colorado River as it makes its way to the Gulf of California.

Summer being an optimum time for a cool, refreshing shake, I decided to use some of my lovely Natural Delights Medjool Dates to make a vegan version of Mom and Dad's milkshake of choice. Besides being moist, delicious and naturally sweet, Medjool dates are full of antioxidants, free of fat and low-medium on the Glycemic Index. And Medjools are not treated with pesticides or preservatives.

You'll find Natural Delights Medjool Dates in the produce section, because Medjool dates are a "power fruit," loaded with essential nutrients like fibre and potassium. Medjool dates are a fresh date with a deep amber colour and they have a crinkly skin that shimmers with natural sugar crystals. Inside, the texture is caramel-like and chewy.

My Vegan Medjool Date Milkshake contains only three ingredients (with the option of adding cinnamon as a fourth). I did a bit of research and found that many of the milkshakes in the Bard Valley are made simply of Medjool dates, ice cream and milk. I switched out the dairy versions in favour of vegan vanilla ice cream and unsweetened almond milk.

I blended chopped Medjool dates with almond milk until the Medjools were well blended. Next up, I added the vegan ice cream to the blender for creamy goodness. I have tried the recipe both with cinnamon added and without. It's yummy either way.

You can also make your Vegan Medjool Date Milkshake without cinnamon and then add a bit of cinnamon sugar mix on top to pretty it up a bit. It's a quick, smooth and creamy summer dessert. If you can't go to California, why not bring a piece of California to you?

Vegan Medjool Date Milkshake

by Joann MacDonald
Ingredients (1 serving)
  • 1/2 cup Natural Delights Medjool Dates, pitted and coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 cup non-dairy vanilla ice cream
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon (optional)

In a blender, process the Medjool dates with the almond milk until fairly smooth (about 2 minutes).

Add ice cream (and optional cinnamon) and blend for another minute or so until smooth.

Pour into serving glass and garnish with cinnamon, cinnamon-sugar, chocolate shavings or cacao nibs.

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  1. Sounds delicious! I just bought the dates to try it soon.

  2. This is a bit of a silly question, Jo, but do I need to soak my dates before I make this? I bought a nice big box of them from Longo's recently to use in a cacao slice, and they didn't seem juicy enough, if that makes any sense!

    1. Not silly at all! They don't need to be soaked, but they do need to be blended with the non-dairy milk and it can take a while depending on your machine. It's all about the blending them with something. :) Good luck! Jo

  3. I was reading a Jamie Oliver cookbook and he talks about a simple shake he had where it's just dates and milk blended up and that it was super refreshing. I have to make some date syrup and try that as a sweetener too (when my blender jug is replaced...)

  4. MMmm I love the sound of this smoothie!!! =)

  5. I'm definitely going to make this.

  6. PINNED! My husband adores dates!!

  7. I haven't had dates in ages, that looks awesome!

    1. They make a sweet but healthy little treat. :)