Along the vast, 6-hour-long, mostly deserted (no pun intended) road between Tucson, AZ and San Diego (our favorite vacation spot), there’s a town called Dateland.
Dateland, AZ calls itself a town, but it’s more or less (less, really) just a 5-store strip center and a large grove of date palms. There’s a Quizno’s, I think, and a gas pump. But most importantly, there’s a gift shop–aptly named Dateland. You can buy any kind of date you might imagine, all local. You can also order thick, rich, and super-sweet milkshakes made of vanilla ice cream blended with fresh dates. Like most milkshakes, they’ve got more sugar than I’d like to consume on a regular basis. But also like most milkshakes, they’re delicious. I had to make that happen in my house, but a healthier version with superfood ingredients.
We get dates at a local farmer’s market near our house, and as far as dates-in-drinks are concerned, we much prefer this homemade date shake. It’s great for a burst of energy and a sweet treat all in one, and you don’t have to go to Dateland to get it. Maca powder adds a deep, caramel flavor that’s complemented by the dates and hints of sea salt, and the almonds and pepitas add protein and magnesium.
The shake in the picture is made with some really beautiful local dates, hence the golden color, but I realize local dates are not a delight to which everyone has access. Medjool dates would be my go-to second choice.
A rich, creamy (healthy!) treat made from frozen bananas, almond milk, dates, and superfood add-ins like maca powder.
- 1 frozen banana
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 1-2 dates (depending on how sweet you'd like it)
- 2 tablespoons raw almonds
- 1 tablespoon pepitas
- 1 teaspoon coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon maca powder
- 1 teaspoon ground flax seeds
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2-3 ice cubes
- 2-3 pinches sea salt
- dash of cinnamon
- optional: blackstrap molasses and 1 chopped date for topping
Blend all ingredients in a high-speed blender until smooth.