If you ever find yourself driving down I-1o toward Palm Springs, stop into Hadleys or Shield’s Date Farm to treat yourself to a homemade date shake. Introduced to California in 1769 by missionaries, date palms thrive in the hot, sunny climate of the Coachella Valley. In fact, about 95 percent of US grown dates come from California. Opened in 1924, the historic Shield’s Date Garden is a great place to sample many date varieties, each fruit with its own unique taste. But the stand is most famous for its date shake recipe — sweet, creamy and delicious.
Dates are a nutritious and delicious snack. The dates nutritional value includes a good dose fiber, B-complex vitamins and more potassium than bananas. They also contain selenium, which protects against heart disease and cancer, and have only 23 calories per bite.
If you can’t find dates in your market, you can order them online, along with Shield’s famous date crystals.