Date Milk is a rich, high-protein smoothie, naturally sweetened with dates. This is a drink my dad came up with years ago. He is deeply into healthy eating; nuts, and fruit are a large part of his diet. This drink makes a great breakfast smoothie or afternoon snack.
About this Recipe
- A protein drink made from natural ingredients and doesn’t require protein powder, which is a highly processed food.
- They say imitation is the highest form of flattery. This is one of our oldest posts, originally published 10 years ago, and I see it copied on many other websites.
- Works well with other nuts. One of my favorite alternatives is to use pecans, while my dad often uses almonds.
To me, the perfect breakfast food is well-balanced but high on the protein side of things and, perhaps most importantly, quick and easy to make. Only on the rare weekend morning do I have time to put in the work for anything complicated like an omelet before I rush off to work.
There are so few foods that meet these restrictions. Eggs are wonderful, but I get tired of them. Oatmeal is a little carb heavy. Boxed cereals are almost all carbs, as are the great classics like pancakes, waffles, toast, and bagels.
I like these smoothies because the nuts make them rich in protein, and the dates add lots of sweetness. Over the years, I’ve made many variations of it. When I first started making it, I added honey, which was unnecessary because dates are already so sweet.
Pistachios – Pistachios are my preference for this drink, followed by pecans or almonds. Try it with your favorite nut.
Milk – Plant-based milk works as well as dairy milk, so this can easily be made as a vegan-friendly recipe. The nuts cover for the thinner mouthfeel that comes from most plant-based milk.
Dates – use Medjool Dates. The fresher, the better. I have tried this with other dates, such as Deglet, but they do not blend in as well.
Choice of Nuts
I love pistachios. They are by far my favorite nut. For this smoothie, they seem to have just the right amount of natural creaminess and sweetness to blend in nicely with the milk and dates.
When my dad makes it with almonds, he soaks them overnight. It isn’t necessary to do this, but it helps the almonds blend smoothly.
Choice of Milks
In the past, I have made it with almond milk and coconut milk, which makes it vegan. Plant-based milk works just as well as regular milk, although the result is slightly less creamy. You don’t miss it because the pistachios easily make up for it.
As a Workout Shake
In my opinion, this works excellently as a great post-workout vegan protein smoothie. My husband likes to drop a raw egg into his to give it even more protein. The egg adds a slight creaminess and barely changes the flavor at all. If you are concerned about the food safety of raw eggs, try adding pasteurized egg whites.
The two most important things to remember are
- Use Medjool dates if you can and
- Blend the dates, pistachio, and milk mixture well before blending in the ice. Be patient when blending to make sure you get that smooth texture.
- Add nutmeg and cardamom powder, a pinch each. Or use 1/4 tsp vanilla extract. Some people add cinnamon, but I do not recommend it.
- Adjust the number of dates to get the sweetness that you like
- Add other ingredients for protein and omega-3s, such as powdered flax, chia, or hemp seeds.
It refrigerates well for up to 3 days. It’s best to keep it in a jar so that you can shake it before serving as it starts to separate.
Pistachio Date Milk
- ¼ cup shelled pistachios
- 1 ½ cups milk or plant-based milk
- 4 medjool dates chopped
- 5-6 ice cubes
- Put the pistachios and dates in a blender. Add about a half cup of milk. Blend at the highest setting. Stop the blender and scrape the sides with a rubber spatula, add the rest of the milk and blend again.
- When the mixture is nice and creamy blend in the ice cubes until they are thoroughly integrated into the smoothy. Serve cold.
You can substitute other nuts for pistachios. We’ve had success with soaked almonds (raw, not roasted), cashews and pecans.
Medjool dates are by far the best for this smoothie. If you use a different kind you might try soaking them in the milk for a few hours ahead of times, or even cooking them into a syrup first, to make sure they blend well.
Wow! I wouldn’t have ever thought to add pistacios to a smoothie before. Do you use a Vitamix? I’m not sure my (lame) blender would be able handle the nuts and dates.
Hi Katie, you can definitely do this with your blender. I used to make this with a $15 blender we got from Wal Mart years ago. We have a better one now since that one eventually burned out, but ours is not a Vitamix. The trick is just to not put too much liquid in at first, and to make sure to let it go for long enough, about thirty seconds or so.
Hey,Katie, in my experience, chopper will work with nuts better than blender. I do not have Vitamix, so I use chopper to ground the nuts I use for my vegan chocolates. With blender, the nuts get stuck on the bottom.
Indiaphile, your pictures are amazing.
The nuts don’t get stuck at the bottom with this recipe since it involves plenty of liquid. If they are getting stuck at the bottom then you aren’t using enough liquid. They do tend to get tossed to the sides of the blender and stuck, but I find it only takes one scraping with a rubber spatula before adding the ice and the last of the liquid.
Oh my goodness, how great is that as a comfort food breakfast?! Very lovely pics – and your pistache opening dog is amazing :-).
I’ve made a lot of nut milks before, but not one with pistachios. And I LOVE pistachios! Must make this. 🙂
Hello! I just discovered your blog while trying to get ideas for what I wanted to do with the rest of the pistachios I have. I love this idea! I have a very long very early commute, and this would be a great quick breakfast. I was thinking about making a larger batch sans the ice cubes for a few days/week and simply pouring a glass in the mornings. Do you think there would be any issues with storing it like this?
Hi Julia. Sorry for the delayed response! I make date milk and store it in the fridge for a day or two all the time. I would not recommend storing it for more than 3 days though unless you froze it in ice cube trays or something like that.
I have to pin this. Looks so yummy!