Whenever I visit Palm Springs, I always make time for a date shake. This smoothie version is a healthier choice that let’s you enjoy the regional specialty without making the trip. The walnut milk adds another layer of flavor and balances the dates’ natural sweetness. If you’re feeling indulgent, go ahead and use vanilla frozen yogurt in place of the yogurt and ice.
plus more for soaking the walnuts
plus more for optional garnish
about 8 cubes
For the walnut milk: Place walnuts in a bowl and cover with water. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside at room temperature to soak at least 1 hour to 12 hours (this helps remove some of the tannins and makes them blend smoother). Drain walnuts and rinse thoroughly. Combine walnuts, 3 cups water, honey, 1 teaspoon of the vanilla, and salt in the carafe of a blender then blend on low until very smooth, at least 2 minutes.
The walnut milk will last up to 5 days in the refrigerator.
For the date smoothie: Combine the 1 cup of walnut milk with the yogurt, dates, cinnamon, and remaining 1 teaspoon of vanilla in the carafe of a blender and blend on high until the dates are broken up and the mixture very smooth, at least 1 minute. Add ice and blend briefly on high until ice is just broken up. Pour into chilled glasses, garnish with additional cinnamon (if desired), and serve immediately.