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Date smoothies

I'm trying to make a date smoothie with a nice consistency AND with the dates mixed evenly throughout. When I tried the other night, I used some chopped-up dried dates. Was that a mistake -- should I have used fresh? The dates ended up in a goopy mess on the bottom of the glass, NOT what I've seen in some date smoothies I've bought.

I also didn't freeze the yogurt in advance -- I suppose I should do that next time.

Also -- I'm using a two-speed Osterizer -- do I need to upgrade my blender to make a proper smoothie?

TIA for the advice!

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  1. I believe shields date farm in Indio uses crystallized dates for their famous date shakes. They almost look like pellets/

    2 Replies
    1. re: kare_raisu

      Hmmmm...OK, thanks, that's one difference. I think the yogurt temp. is another. The date shakes out that way (I've been to a place called Hadley's) are what I'm sort of trying to replicate...

      1. re: Neely_Ohara

        I've been to Hadley's! Near Palm Desert! Date shakes ....mmmm!!

        Hadley's sells a date shake "base." If worst comes to worst, you could probably order it from them.

    2. I've only been able to get the dates to float throughout when I use really thick ice cream. If you want to minimize chunks, blend the dates with a little milk or water at the beginning so it becomes a paste before you add in the bulk of your ingredients.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Pei

        I have cooked with dates for years and when I put them in once specific cookie recipe it said to cook the dates on the stove with a little water. This made a quick paste which I think could be used for a date shake or smoothie..worth a try

      2. There is a small town off the 8 freeway in Southern California called Dateland...it's some kind of date growing mecca. Anyway, there is a diner in Dateland that sells a mixture for date shakes. The consistency is like a think jam.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Dagney

          Dateland is in Arizona East of Yuma.

          1. wow, ive never heard of, or thought of making, a date smoothie or shake but it sounds great. i love dates. when i used to work in a restaurant, there was never time for breakfast so i used to raid the walk-in and grab one or two of the nice jumbo deglets we used to have for cooking, etc. one or two of those big boys can go a long way. id nibble them while sipping coffee while prepping for the day. i figured i got a bit of fruit, decent little bit of fiber, and all that sugar (natural tho it maybe) made me smile and made the coffee taste great. ahhh, memories.

            1. It's been a while since I made a date shake, but I use a 450 watt Osterizer, with ten speeds. Some shakes take longer to blend, but this model always does the job. With dates, I used the fresh medjools, pitted and cut up a bit. I use ice and lowfat milk, though, rather than ice cream. My blender came with a special blade for ice cream shakes, though I've never used it. Maybe if you're using ice cream, you could ask if there's a new blade for your model at an appliance shop? Oster sells tons of parts, according to the guys at the shop.

              1. Dates have that hard skin that might be a problem. I wonder if you soaked them in hot water for a while to soften them, they might blend better in a smoothie. I know some recipes call for doing this with raisins before you cook them.

                1 Reply
                1. re: xnyorkr

                  You know, that makes sense. The texture of the dates probably had something to do with why they "globbed" at the bottom of the mixture.....I'll try that....

                2. Bon Appetit has a recipe in their current issue for a Vanilla Date smoothie... 1 cup each of nonfat yogurt and skim milk, 1 c of pitted medjool dates and 1/2 tsp of vanilla. Blend that all together until smooth then add a couple cups of ice. I made 1/2 recipe this morning in my osterizer (using Fage Total 0% Greek yogurt) and it came out great. Actually next time I'll cut back on the dates a bit as this is too sweet for my taste.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: mimilulu

                    Sunday Suppers at Lucques has a recipe for date shakes I believe. . .

                  2. Soak a cup of dates in a cup of water overnight. Put it through a food processor the following day. This will make a paste / emulsion that will blend beautifully. Do not use too much as it is very sweet. Make a lot of it and freeze small portions in plastic baggies

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: nasigoreng

                      Try using a half (1/2) cup of water with one cup of dates overnight before processing. This is a better consistency.

                    2. I make date chutney sometimes, and what I do is remove the stone and boil them until they mush together into a soft mass. I use about 1 cup dates to 1 1/2 cups water. They blend will with my other chutney liquid ingredients, so I think you could apply the same principle to a shake/smoothie.

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: luckyfatima

                        I'd love to get your recipe for the date chutney! It sounds like it would be really good.

                        1. re: haiku.

                          I don't usually measure, but I can give you an idea. I boil the dates into a soft mass, 1 cup dates, 1.5 cups water. I soak about 1/2 cup tamarind (the Indian kind with seeds and fibers) in 1 cup hot water. When it is cool, I strain this and get tamarind water. I boil this with the date pulp and stir in salt, +/- 1 tbs roasted cumin powder, =/- 1 tsp roasted red chile powder, and a bit of chaat masala, maybe 1-2 tsps (Shan Brand is good). Add water if it looks too thick. Sometimes it needs a little sugar as well. It should taste tangy, sweet and mildly hot and be liquidy but thick enough to glaze a spoon. I chill, then taste again and adjust for seasonings. Keeps well for a few weeks. Goes well with kabaabs and fried snacks like pakoras, samosas, kachoris, etc.

                          1. re: luckyfatima

                            Thanks. I'm definitely going to make some this weekend.

                            1. re: haiku.

                              I forgot to say that I put the tamarind water and date pulp in the blender, season, and then boil it down. Hope it comes out to your liking.

                      2. I'm not into chunks and so would never use dates--at least those that are commonly found for sale--without soaking them. There's a lady on YouTube who came up with the idea of soaking them (pitted, of course) in coconut water and keeping it in the refrigerator for smoothies. She uses fresh water, I use canned, and it works great (I admit to giving it a once-over with my Bamix before I use it which is undoubtedly overkill).

                        You can also seek out a soft variety such as barhi, halawi, khadrawi, or honey dates; these blend up well without soaking but I'm still inclined to soak, especially if they're going to be used in something cold like a smoothie or shake. And if you're going to do smoothies seriously, consider a Vitamix. The reconditioned machines are good value and carry the same warranty as new.