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  • Writer's pictureKelly

My Go-To "Date Shake" (Vegan, Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free, Fruit-Sweetened)

Updated: Feb 21, 2023

What's better than a cool, creamy, decadent Palm Springs date shake on a hot summer day? A vegan, paleo one of course! This is my go-to date shake recipe, and to be completely honest I make it at least 2-3 times a week. OK, well maybe twice a week. It's not an exact copycat Palm Springs date shake- I have added other ingredients that jazz it up a little!



This smoothie is completely fruit sweetened (with a banana and fresh Medjool dates), is 100% vegan, and packs a whopping 27 grams of plant-based protein!!* For those of you who can't do fruit sugar on your diet, there isn't really a good substitute for the fruit in this smoothie recipe, but I'm sure using unsweetened almond milk, peanut butter, a scoop of chocolate, sugar-free, vegan protein powder (such as Vega's Protein & Greens chocolate flavor), flaxseed, ice, and some sugar-free maple flavored monk fruit syrup or stevia syrup (to taste) could make a nice rich frozen treat!

This smoothie is also gluten-free.


My "date shake" recipe is made with peanut butter and chocolate protein powder (or cacao), which I think complement the flavor of the dates very nicely. Truth be told, when a friend came back from a trip to California and told me about Palm Springs' famous date shakes, I had never heard of them before. After hearing the description of the creaminess and sweetness levels of a date shake, I set out to create a date shake that worked on my diet. I had just assumed that peanut butter and chocolate were ingredients in a typical Palm Springs date shake, and didn't find out until much later that they weren't. But boy, am I glad I thought they were part of a date shake!


This smoothie is probably my favorite smoothie to drink, and it is so easy to make!



Nutritional Profile of My Go-To "Date Shake"


Bananas- bananas provide a high amount of potassium and fiber, and can help with anything from relieving muscle cramps to regulating blood sugar.


Dates- dates are filled with antioxidants, fiber, and protein, and are known to be a low-glycemic food, and they fight free radicals in the body thanks to their high antioxidant content.


Peanut Butter- peanut butter is chock-full of protein, healthy fats, and vitamins and minerals, and the monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats in the peanut butter support brain and heart health.


Cacao- cacao powder is rich in iron and antioxidants including polyphenols and flavanols. Cacao is known to help boost HDL cholesterol (the good kind), aid in serotonin production (a feel-good neurotransmitter in the brain), fight free radicals and inflammation, and help with cramps and mood changes associated with menstruation.


Flaxseed- flaxseed is an excellent source of plant-based omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, and protein. Because of the omega-3 fatty acids in flaxseed, this seed supports brain, heart, eye, immune, skin, hair, and joint health. Now that's what I call a super seed! Flaxseed also helps with regularity of bowel movements.


Almond Milk- almond milk is high in vitamin E, and if you buy almond milk enriched with calcium and/or vitamin D (like Blue Diamond's Almond Breeze), your almond milk will support bone and immune health. Believe it or not, some almond milks have more calcium per serving than cow's milk!



Substitutes


For this date shake, you can sub ingredients in this recipe for ingredients that work on your diet. You can substitute any kind of date for the Medjool dates (I highly recommend using Medjool though, because they're so sweet and large). I think Deglet Noor dates could work here, as well as other varieties. I recommend using the banana (fresh or frozen) for this recipe, as it adds a nice flavor and consistency. If you can't do fruit on your diet, see my suggestion above for a frozen PB shake recipe that's low in sugar and is made without fruit. You can substitute any kind of nut/seed butter for the peanut butter. I've tried almond butter and cashew butter and they both work. Although, the PB definitely is my favorite to use, and it complements the dates and the chocolate best.


You can use either a chocolate sugar-free, vegan protein powder or cacao powder in this recipe. The cacao will give it a slightly different flavor, but it still tastes great. You can replace the cacao powder with cocoa powder, and if you can't do any chocolate products on your diet, try leaving out the chocolate protein powder/cacao powder altogether. You can sub any kind of seed for the flaxseed. Hempseed and chia seeds work in this smoothie. For the unsweetened almond milk you can substitute any kind of unsweetened plant milk or use any sweetened plant milk if you're not sugar-free. I've tried other add-ins in this smoothie to enhance it's awesome-ness, so feel free to get creative! I have found that a little full-fat coconut milk in place of some of the unsweetened almond milk and unsweetened coconut milk yogurt really take this smoothie up a notch.




How to Make This Smoothie


Basically, all you need to do to make this smoothie is chop your fruit and measure out your ingredients, add them to a high-speed blender, and blend until creamy. That's it! Add more almond milk as needed to blend. There's no need to soak the dates before adding them to the blender (the blender should blitz them up and incorporate them evenly), but if your dates are extra hard, a good 5-10 minute soak in hot water should do the trick to soften them up enough for this recipe. You can use either a frozen or fresh banana in this shake. I prefer a frozen banana because it makes the smoothie sweeter and thicker, but keep in mind that you may need to use slightly more almond milk to get it to blend. Once the smoothie is blended, pour into glasses and garnish, if desired. I like to mix in cacao nibs to mine for an added chocolate-y effect.


This smoothie takes 10 minutes or less to make and has only 6 ingredients. It can be enjoyed as a hearty breakfast or as a milkshake-esque treat when you're craving dessert. This smoothie is vegan, gluten-free, sugar-free, and grain-free and is delicious anytime of the year (yes, I've made it during the summertime, and it works, trust me!). Hope you like this recipe and find it as delicious as I do. Enjoy!


-K.


*If you use one scoop of a chocolate plant-based protein powder like Vega's Protein & Greens chocolate protein powder.




My Go-To "Date Shake" (Vegan, Paleo, Sugar-Free, Fruit-Sweetened)


Prep Time: 10 min

Cook Time: 0 min

Total Time: 10 min

Servings: Makes 1 to 2 servings (one large glass or two smaller glasses)


Ingredients:


-3 to 4 Medjool dates (pitted)

-1 banana (fresh or frozen)

-1 to 2 Tbsp unsweetened peanut butter (or sub another nut/seed butter)

-1 scoop vegan, sugar-free chocolate protein powder (like Vega's Protein and Greens chocolate flavor) OR 1 1/2 to 2 tsp cacao powder

(or cocoa powder)

-1 1/2 tsp flaxseed meal

-1 to 1 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk (depending on desired thickness // or sub another unsweetened plant milk)


For garnish (optional):


-Fresh Medjool dates, cacao nibs, coconut whipped cream, etc.


Directions:


1. Pit and halve the dates, chop the banana (or break into chunks if frozen), measure out the rest of the ingredients, and add all ingredients to a high speed blender.


2. Blend until smooth and creamy, adding more almond milk as needed to reach desired consistency.


3. Pour into one tall glass or two small glasses, garnish, if desired, and enjoy!



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