Dates and Coffee Milkshake

During summers, you crave cool and refreshing drinks. If that craving is satisfied with a feel-good ingredient combination like dates and coffee, it gives you an upbeat mood. The best part is that you can spin off a milkshake in less than 15 mins, and it does not feel like a lot of work. During one of my visits to Mustafa, I stopped at the dates section and was amazed at the variety they had in stock. I decided instantly that I wanted to use them in some form of drink or dessert. For this Dates and Coffee milkshake, I have used Khudary dates from Mustafa. They ended up being a perfect pick for this aromatic and amazingly refreshing drink.
Recipe Details :
Serves: 2 pax
Time: 15 mins
Difficulty: Easy
Ingredients :

  • 12 de-seeded dates (6 dates per glass)
  • 1.5 tsp instant coffee powder
  • 6 cardamom pods
  • 4 ice cubes
  • 330 ml milk

Dates and coffee milkshake

Dates and coffee milkshake


Method:

  • Split the cardamom pods and powder the seeds using a mortar and pestle. Freshly pounded cardamom is better since that imparts a pleasant aroma in the drink.
  • Put the cardamom seeds, de-seeded dates, coffee powder, milk and ice cubes into the blender and blend it till the dates and ice have broken down into a smooth drinkable texture. The blending process should take maximum 2 minutes.
  • Dates and coffee milkshake

    Dates and coffee milkshake

  • Serve immediately. This drink can also be made in advance and stored in the refrigerator. In that case, before serving, stir the drink well to redistribute the dates.

Tips:

  • For those who don’t like caffeine, you can substitute coffee powder with hot chocolate powder. I have tried a version of this drink using Hershey’s Hot Chocolate and its equally amazing and refreshing.
  • You can also soak your dates in warm milk before you put them in the blender for 10-15 mins. This is an optional step in case you want a very soft texture.
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Strawberry Lemonade

When the weather gets warm, you need a go-to summer drink. Ideally, it should be one you can make easily, in bulk, and store so that you can sip it whenever you want. Strawberries work perfectly with lemons to make a great refreshing drink. Try it and you will end up liking it berry much!

Recipe Details :
Makes: 4-5 glasses
Time: 20 mins
Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients :

  • 2 cups water
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 10-12 strawberries, hulled and halved
  • 1 tbsp grated lemon peel
  • 2 cups cold sparkling water
  • Mint leaves for garnish (optional)

Strawberry Lemonade

Strawberry Lemonade


Method:

  • Take a medium saucepan and mix the sugar into the water. Bring it to a gentle boil. Reduce the heat and let it simmer till the sugar dissolves completely.
  • Switch off the flame and remove the saucepan from the heat.
  • Let the mixture cool a little. Add the lemon peel and lemon juice and stir well.
  • Once the mixture cools completely, strain it into a clean pitcher.
  • In a blender, puree the strawberries into a fine mixture and add it into the pitcher with the lemon juice. Stir the juice well and refrigerate.
  • Strawberry Lemonade

    Strawberry Lemonade

  • To serve, pour some of the chilled mixture in a serving glass and top it off with sparkling water. Stir well and garnish with mint leaves.

Tips:

  • Let the sugar syrup cool before adding the lemon juice and peel.
  • If you want a smoother drink, you can strain the strawberry puree through a fine mesh.

Dragon Fruit and Berry Smoothie

I have been trying out a lot of smoothies over the past few months  – they are just so refreshing! They are also my favourite way of including fruit in my diet (other than salads and juices). During one of my meals at Thai Express (a restaurant chain in Singapore), I had the dragon fruit juice that they have recently launched and it was quite good. I have seen this fruit in the grocery store during my umpteen visits to the supermarket – but I had never dared to buy it. On the exterior, it is a dark pink, oval-shaped fruit with a cactus-like appearance. Somehow, the way it looked always deterred me from buying it. But after tasting the juice at the restaurant and seeing it so widely used in southeast Asia, I knew I had to try it in a smoothie. When you cut it open, the fruit has a dark red/purple interior studded with small and edible black seeds. It is rich in antioxidants and its flavour is quite similar to kiwi fruit. I loved the way the smoothie turned out because it was delicious – and the pink colour imparts quite an exotic appearance. Adding berries just gives a nice texture to the smoothie and makes it a wholesome breakfast on its own.

dragonfruit

Dragon fruit

Recipe Details :
Makes: 2 glasses
Time: 15 mins
Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients :

  • 1 dragon fruit, cut in half and the interior scooped out
  • 1/3 cup blueberries
  • 10 strawberries, cut in half
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 2 tsp pumpkin seeds (optional)
dragonfruit berry smoothie

Dragon fruit and berry smoothie

Method:

  • Add all the ingredients in the blender and blend until smooth.

Tips:

  • You can adjust the amount of almond milk to achieve the desired consistency in the smoothie.
  • For sweetness, I have tried adding honey or unsulphured blackstrap molasses. Both work well and complement the fruits.