This healthy date shake recipe is just like those you’d find in Palm Springs but made without ice cream. It’s a healthy date protein shake that’s high in protein and much lower in sugar. 

A close-up photo of a homemade healthy date shake in a clear glass. This shake is topped with slivered almonds, chopped Medjool dates, and a dusting of cinnamon.

I recently shared 5 Best Protein Shake Recipes and have another one to share. Medjool dates are fantastic for naturally sweetening desserts and smoothies. This healthy date shake is creamy, cold, and naturally sweet. It provides a natural energy boost and is perfect for breakfast, an afternoon snack, or a post-workout recovery protein snack. 

Date shakes are popular in many places but probably most famous in Palm Springs and the Coachella Valley, due to the date farms in those areas. You can find dates there, and one of the Coachella farms sells its fruit at our local Santa Barbara farmers market, but they are also available at most grocery stores. Try a Palm Springs date shake the next time you find yourself with Medjool dates to use up. 

Why This Recipe Works 

Date shakes are typically made with vanilla ice cream and Medjool dates, and occasionally nuts and cinnamon are added. This results in a very high-sugar dessert shake. If you’re like me and prefer healthy smoothies that taste like shakes, this recipe is for you. 

Frozen banana is a wonderful alternative to ice cream, as when it’s blended it becomes super creamy. You can see this in action in this Peanut Butter Banana Nice Cream recipe. If you like super thick and creamy ice cream-like smoothies and shakes, don’t miss this article on How to Make a Smoothie Thicker. Cinnamon, banana, vanilla, and nuts/nut butters all work well with dates. 

The ingredients for a Medjool date shake recipe on a white marble countertop: cinnamon, banana, protein powder, milk, and dates.

What You’ll Need 

  • A blender. I use a Vitamix, which works well to completely puree dates (and everything else). 
  • Milk. Any milk will do here. Soy milk will boost the protein and create a creamier texture. I usually use unsweetened vanilla almond milk. Choose an unsweetened version as the dates add plenty of natural sweetness. 
  • Dates. I use California Medjool dates, but you can use Deglet Noor dates, but they are much less sweet and the flavor will not be the same. 
  • Banana. Use frozen banana slices for the creamiest results. 
  • Protein Powder. It’s important to use unflavored protein powder here as dates are very sweet and using a sweetened powder such as chocolate or vanilla would result in an overly sweet shake. You can omit the protein powder if you’d like or sub with chia, hemp, or flax seeds and oats which add nutrition and bulk. 
  • Cinnamon. Add a pinch of cinnamon if you’d like. It stabilizes blood sugar and tastes lovely. 
  • Vanilla. Replicate the vanilla ice cream flavor with a splash of vanilla extract or dash of vanilla bean paste. 
  • Ice Cubes. Make your date shake thick and cold with ice cubes or milk ice cubes. 
  • Almond Butter. Nut butter is one of the best complementary foods for Medjool dates. Alternatively, you could also add a few walnuts, hazelnuts, or almonds. 

More Shakes and Smoothies You’ll Love 

Yield: 1 shake

Healthy Date Shake

Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 2 minutes
Total Time 4 minutes

Making a healthy date shake at home is easy and makes a terrific breakfast, post-workout protein smoothie, or healthy dessert.

close up photo of a healthy date shake topped with slivered almonds and medjool dates

Ingredients

  • 3 Medjool dates (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or other plant milk)
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 scoop unsweetened plain protein powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon almond butter (optional)
  • 1 cup ice cubes

Instructions

  1. If your dates are not pitted, remove the pit and discard. Roughly chop the dates and add to a blender.
  2. Top with almond milk, banana, protein, cinnamon, vanilla, and almond butter. All the ingredients for a healthy date shake shown in a Vitamix blender.
  3. Blend until smooth, then add ice cubes as needed to thicken. Add more milk if needed to thin. Continue to blend until completely smooth and creamy.
  4. Pour into a glass (or bowl for a smoothie bowl). I like to top this date shake with slivered almonds and a dusting of cinnamon.

Notes

Protein Powder: If you'd like to make this without protein powder, you can sub 1 tablespoon chia seeds, 1/3 cup quick oats, or both. Do not sub a sweetened protein powder such as vanilla, as it will be too sweet.

Optional Additions: Maca, sea moss gel, flax, chia, hemp seeds, spirulina, cacao powder, baobab powder.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 1 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 523Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gCarbohydrates: 87gFiber: 11gProtein: 31g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated by Nutritionix. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee accuracy. If your health depends on nutrition information, please calculate again with your favorite calculator.