Dessert, Snack, Breakfast, Gluten Free, Fall, Spring, Winter

COCO BANANA DATE SHAKE

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There is a little fruit & nut shop en route to Palm Springs that is famous for their date shakes. They only have date or date-banana and they are delicious. They are made with the creamiest of ice creams. I remember getting them with my mom and sister when we'd drive out to see my grandma and we swore we each needed our own. We would drink them fast, the cold sweetness being just the refreshment driving through the hot desert. I could get through about half of it before the heavy cream coated my insides and the thought of finishing the whole shake seemed like a task. I can still see the cup they came in in my memory. A taupe-ish color with swooshes of pink and purple and a big thick straw so the chunks of date could get through. I guess I've always had an affinity for all things ice cream. 

Speaking of, in an effort to cool it on the ice cream habit we've come to around here, I am finding alternatives for a more nutritious frozen treat. We're having some warm days this week, so this coconut-banana-date shake is just the thing for an afternoon snack. I don't usually go for bananas in shakes/smoothies, but it keeps everything cohesive and smooth here. The combination is sweet and creamy, without too much of either. This is the shake I have no problem polishing off. 

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COCO BANANA DATE SHAKE // Makes 2

I included a note for a bit of protein powder here because the times I am needing a shake is usually when I am a just moderately hungry - early morning before a workout or afternoon slump time. Adding a bit of protein to a shake or smoothie helps it "stick to my ribs" until a real meal. It is by no means necessary. I don't want to pump a particular brand of protein powder, but there are a plethora of plant based options, as well as good quality whey proteins (such as Tera's Whey) that don't have a bunch of junk fillers in them. Read your labels and know you usually get what you pay for on this one. I also like the addition of oats in smoothies and think this would pass for a quick breakfast if you added them here. They make a lot of sense with these ingredients. Let me know if you try it.

If you want it similar to a milkshake or ice cream, use regular coconut milk. The light kind will still be creamy, but much thinner and a coconut beverage (the sort you find in the fridge) will be like an everyday smoothie. Up to you. 

2 cups coconut milk

4 large pitted Medjool dates, chopped up

1/2 scoop vanilla protein of choice (optional)

one small banana, preferably frozen

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1-2 cups crushed ice

splash of orange juice

In a blender, combine the coconut milk, dates, protein (if using), banana, cinnamon, ice and splash of oj. Blend everything together well until the dates are in tiny pieces and everything is smooth. Adjust with as splash of this or that as desired. Enjoy cold. 

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