June 5, 2012

Date Shake — simple, seasonal and sensational!


Almost half the year has rolled by and we are have fallen into June, and further into the long and breathless days of summer. Even with the searing heat and lingering mugginess in this land of Bedouin hospitality, there is so much to love about summer.

The sun, the warmth, the fresh tang of the sea air, and the glow to the skin, makes this a truly magical season.
Somehow everything looks more beautiful in the spirit of summer. Tumbling cascades of bougainvillea swaying in the gentle breeze. Blooming frangipani scenting the air and offering welcome patches of shade. Rustling green leaves bathed in the soft light of the afternoon. Turquoise blue waters gently lapping against the soft white sand. Even the sight of the construction cranes rapidly transforming Doha bay into a skyscrapered fantasy land looks beautiful and inspiring.

And best of all when the temperatures have cooled down, and the quietness of the night has settled in, a stroll down the miles of the palm lined promenade, breathing in fresh air, watching the dhows gliding over the barely ruffled water, and delighting in the nocturnal view of the gleaming array of skyscrapers adorning one of the most beautiful bays in the Arabian Gulf, is great joy.
Yes, there is so much to love about summer.

Summer also marks the glorious bounty of the ripening season. Heavy bunches of dry fruit sagging from the date palms, one of the oldest fruit trees in the Arabian Peninsula, is a familiar sight here in the Middle East. The unripe green dates, as seen now, will soon turn into golden brown sweeties under the caress of the sweltering sun.

Before long the supermarkets will be crammed with a variety of dates—the sacred fruit of the Muslims—and many of us will end up with far more fruits than we could snack on. So lets take advantage of these high-sugar fruits to whip up something weather appropriate.
I’m an unabashed drinks person. Oh yes. And when it’s really hot outside, I love skipping a meal and grabbing a glass of deliciousness—something like this creamy, rich shake, a quick energy booster that’ll keep you satisfied until the next meal.

Date-milk-ice cream concoction is simply heavenly. With a beautifully voluptuous texture and loads of sweetness from the fruit, it is as decadent as milkshake recipes get. Seriously, just one sip and—swoon—you are on dates heaven! Wonder why this shake does not enjoy enough popularity as its other counterparts flavored with vanilla or chocolate.
Dates add a lot of character, and besides the rich flavor, you get the benefit of antioxidants, minerals and fiber from the fruit. But beware, they are high calorie density food, and the carb count of this shake must be through the roof—so drink when you are feeling skinny. Or better still when you plan to skip a meal, like I do.

Date shake, it turns out, is quintessentially South Californian food, invented by a date farmer by the name of Russ Nichol in the 1930s. Now, who would have thought? Not me! I was under the misconception that date shake is as Middle Eastern as the date palmduh.
Coming to the recipe, when choosing dates look for the soft, chewy and sweet kind. To make a smooth drink, soften the dates by microwaving it for a few seconds. Feel free to tweak the recipe to suit your taste, or dietary needs.

Now, don’t you want a sip? You'll not be disappointed!
Date Shake

Ingredients
Makes 2 glasses
Prep: 5 min

½ cup thickly packed fresh dated, pitted
1 cup chilled milk (I usually use skimmed)
1 cup vanilla ice cream 
1 teaspoon chocolate syrup (optional)

For garnish
Ice cream melt and chocolate syrup
Directions

Soften dates by popping it in the microwave on high for 10 seconds.

Pour the milk into a blender, add dates, and process to a smooth puree. Then add ice cream and chocolate syrup, if using; blend again.

Pour into your favorite glasses, garnish with melted ice cream and chocolate syrup, and savor every sip. Yummy!

40 comments:

  1. Divine! That is an unusual/original shake.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  2. Super...thick and creamy shake...

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  3. Your pictures are stunning. One dates heaven right here!

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  4. I am absolutely blown away by these pictures and I want to try this date shake RIGHT now!! Thank you so much for sharing.
    Yours, Thea // sisterMAG

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    Replies
    1. I'm sure you'll be blow away by the flavor, Thea! :) Hope you are having a fantastic day!

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  5. Dates shake looks perfect for the summer at Doha. Stunning pics Nashi! And loved those pics of Doha too. Makes me miss it more and more...

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  6. Wow amazing pictures... Thick n creamy shake.... Just love the parrot picture about to fly

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  7. Healthy and delicious shake, nice clicks

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  8. Beautiful photos! I have never been a great fan of date milkshake but I am sure that's because of the quality of dates used in them. This one looks fabulous.

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  9. gorgeous captures! dates in a shake is fun idea!

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  10. Looks gorgeous to beat the heat.I love dates shakes too.lovely clicks from the arab land :)

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  11. The recipe and the pics are amazing ..:)) Too good..
    Reva

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  12. I just can't take my eyes of your photographs Nashira. I have always loved the drink. But your photographs are making me fall in love with this drink all over again :)

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  13. Incredible pictures, wat an energy booster shake.

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  14. Love the idea of softening of dates in MW....shake looks delectable, creamy and yum....

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  15. Beautiful Nash...those green unripe dates are a treat to watch. Here in Dubai too we can see bunch of green dates hanging down from the trees, real treat I must say.

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    Replies
    1. It's a real treat, I agree. And then I wait for them to turn yellow. Just love snacking on the crunchy, sweet, yellow dates!

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  16. DHUBAI looks wonderful, and so does the shake....

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    Replies
    1. Ah Indu, these are pics of Doha! But those high-rise buildings makes it look Dubai-ish, elle?

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  17. Such beautiful shots, I want to visit!

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    Replies
    1. Please do, I'd be happy to host you!

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  18. great photos! Feel like looking again and again, loved the parrot click esp, too natural! Loved the shake too!

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  19. my husband loooooooves date shakes. We generally don't use chocolate in it, but add some banana sometimes. This sounds quite tasty too.

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    Replies
    1. Try with chocolate syrup, I'm sure you'll like it. For variations, I try blending it with banana, and oh, oats too!

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  20. Slurppp...and I actually wonder why dates shake isn't that popular ! It's known as saudi shake na?

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    Replies
    1. Sadui Shake eh? I'd no idea!

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  21. That's an interesting blend!

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    Replies
    1. And it's quite tasty too! :)

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  22. I came in here for your famous karimeen pollichathu recipe. In fact I tried out that chick pea salad too. It was very good. I request you to post good mushroom recipe and a melon drink if possible, especially as you're so drrruuunk nowadays ;p

    Summer is good babes when you sit in the aircon. I don't fave Summer here!

    LOvely clicks. Hope you got my Vibrant Kerala mag email.

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    Replies
    1. As always, you make my heart happy Ginza! I'll try posting something melon-y soon. And oh mushroom too. I did receive your message regarding the magazine, but there was no link.

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  23. This is one of my favorite drink. Your blog really rocks for me. Thanks.

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  24. Awesome recipe & yummmm...I can feel the taste..hehe
    Thanks for sharing my sweet friend.
    p.s plz label your images, I saw some of your pics on instagram..& i really feel sad at this..why someone steal your awesome clicks :(

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  25. I am going to try this. It sounds too yummy. Love the photos... doha never looked so good..

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  26. I can observed the taste form here. Awesome anxious to have this drink.

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  32. Can I add my recipe for the most heavenly date shake? I do 1 Cup chopped Medjool dates, 1 Cup whole milk, 1 Cup Breyer's French Vanilla ice cream, 1 Cup chopped ice. Blend dates and milk to a puree, add ice and blend till smooth, add ice cream. I have tried less dates (to reduce calories) but only to my disappointment. We are picky about our vanilla ice cream. Thanks for the microwave softening tip!

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A million thank you's for stopping by, taking the time to connect, and coming back to visit again. I genuinely appreciate each of your kind thoughts, lovely words, love and support. Happy, happy to hear from you, and hope to see you again!

♥ Nashi