All of my friends can attest that I love Palm Springs, California.  I love the dry heat, the desert, the people and their laid back attitude, I love how gay-friendly a town it is and I adore all of the mid century modern architecture.   Most of all, I love the date palms that are grown there; not just because they’re beautiful, but because of their amazing fruit!

Dates aren’t just deliciously sweet, they’re also quite healthy.  Dates are loaded with a great mix of vitamins and essential minerals like vitamins A and B-6, iron, potassium, calcium, magnesium and copper.  They also have anti-oxidants and loads of fiber.  It’s no wonder these delicious gems have a thousands of years long history in the Middle East and the Indus Valley.  There is archaeological evidence that date cultivation was happening in Eastern Arabia as far back as 6,000 years ago.

I love eating dates raw.  I like to chop them up and throw them into my oatmeal and I particularly enjoy them rolled in raw shredded coconut.  My most favorite use of the date is a good old fashioned California date shake.  When we go to Palm Springs, I usually get a date shake the moment we drive into town, even before getting to our hotel.   I particularly love the vegan date shake at Nature’s Health Food & Cafe, though they make a great one at Palm Greens Cafe, as well.  Oh how I wish they sold these here in New York.   With my Vitamix, I can (and do) make these in the comfort of my home any time I wish.

One important note about the blender you use with date shakes;  Most blenders are not strong enough to adequately pulverize raw dates and you often end up with lots of unblended chunks in your shake.  I use a Vitamix Professional Series 750 for this and it works great but, clearly, not everyone has a Vitamix.  If you’re going to attempt this with a regular blender, try chopping the dates into small pieces first and then freezing them solid before using.  Regular blenders have an easier time with dates when they chop up like ice.



1 cup of low-fat soy milk, almond milk or hemp-seed milk

1 medium size banana

4-5 dates, pits removed. (I prefer Medjool as they blend better, but any type will work)

1/4 cup of coconut water (or plain water)

1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract (may skip this is your milk is vanilla flavored)

A nice handful of ice.





Combine all ingredients in your Vitamix (or a strong blender) and blend until smooth.

(For those of you obsessed with throwing  more protein into everything you blend, you can certainly add a shot of vanilla-flavored protein powder like Vega or Sunwarrior.)

I hope you enjoy this as much as I do.