Our month in Austin is coming to a close far too quickly. I only have two more nights left before we pack our bags and head north. I kind of want to throw a flailing fit about it. “It’s not fairrrrrrr!”
I haven’t crossed off all the restaurants and activities on my Austin bucket list, so I’m feeling some intense pressure to take advantage of every minute left. It always kills me to leave a place without seeing it all. I just want to cross off one place on my list so I can move on to the next, but that’s not going to happen with Austin. It rarely happens that way. I almost always want to go back! There’s always more to see and do, isn’t there?
I feel the same way about Austin as I do about my trip to Israel last fall. I’ve been meaning to tell you more about it since my pomegranate salad post, but it was such an overwhelmingly fast and beautiful eight days that it’s been difficult to put the experience into words. Sharing my experience is made even more challenging by the political situation in Israel. I’m not qualified to explain it and even if I were, I certainly couldn’t sum up millennia of history in one blog post. I can only tell you about my experience, so keep reading if you’d like to hear and see more.
I have so many photos to share that I decided to break up the trip into a couple of posts. First up? Tel Aviv, Israel’s colorful city on the Mediterranean Sea, which is where we spent the majority of our eight days in Israel. The weather was warm and sunny, which was much appreciated after a week in Portland. It’s a healthy, active city with an impressive variety of vegetarian/vegan restaurants. One of my favorite experiences was our private yoga session on a rooftop!
Tel Aviv’s climate and general atmosphere reminded me of Barcelona and Rome. It’s a beach city that never sleeps and the people watching alone is reason to visit. My big head of curly, dark hair camouflaged my American roots so well that I felt at home over there.
Western and Eastern cultures collide in Tel Aviv with fascinating results. It’s a modern city, founded just over one hundred years ago near the ancient port of Jaffa, which contrasts sharply with Jerusalem. (Or so I’m told. We didn’t get to visit Jerusalem due to the recent violence.)
Many big-name tech companies, like Google and Facebook, have research and development facilities in or near Tel Aviv. The city is full of start-up companies, too, and we got to meet a few of them at a bustling co-working space. Israelis embrace innovation and technology. They don’t judge “failed” companies harshly like Americans tend to do. Instead, they embrace failures as part of the learning process. They inspired me to try to do the same.
Of course, the food and dining options in Tel Aviv are incredible. We ate so many fantastic meals over there that they’re all a big blur. The markets are bursting with fresh produce and plump dates. Restaurant highlights included Village Green, which is a family-owned vegetarian/vegan restaurant (check out the meals I photographed against the white picnic table) and Nanuchka, a Georgian restaurant that literally went vegan overnight.
One of my other favorites was Café Louise, where we must have sampled just about everything on the menu. They handed out tiny tahini-date-banana “shakes” to enjoy before the endless dinner options started passing by. I loved that shake! I’ve since recreated it at home a few times. It’s rich and creamy, featuring nutty tahini and sweet dates, two of the Middle East’s most beloved ingredients. I’d definitely call it a milkshake over a smoothie, since it’s such a decadent treat. It’s a little on the unusual side, but I hope you’ll give it a try!
▸ For more of my favorite cooking tools, shop my healthy kitchen!
Tahini Date Shake
- Prep Time: 5 mins
- Total Time: 5 minutes
- Yield: 2 small shakes 1x
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Blended
- Cuisine: Middle Eastern
- Diet: Vegan
Creamy, dairy-free shake made with tahini, dates and bananas. This rich smoothie would be a lovely after-dinner drink or afternoon treat! Recipe yields two small shakes.
- 1 cup almond milk or milk of choice (nut-free if necessary)
- 2 sliced and frozen ripe (but not overripe) bananas
- ¼ cup tahini
- 4 Medjool dates, pitted and torn into pieces
- 1 drop of real vanilla extract
- Pinch cinnamon
- Optional garnishes: pinch of cinnamon and/or sesame seeds
- In a blender, combine the milk, frozen banana slices, tahini, dates, vanilla and cinnamon.
- Blend until smooth. Taste and add more vanilla or cinnamon if desired. If you’d like to lighten it up, blend in some ice as well. Pour into glasses and serve immediately.
▸ Nutrition Information
Disclaimer: My trip to Israel was provided by Vibe Israel, a non-profit group that hosts small groups of media professionals at a time and shows them around the country. I’m sharing the experience because I found it so inspiring. Opinions are my own, always!
Oh my goodness, those figs! Dreamy! So fun to hear all about your adventures. Also love the reminder to embrace our failures as part of the learning process. Inspiring advice!
You could try making this with Silan, which is dates “honey” sirup and is easier to blend.
Love all of these photos, Kathryne, and this tahini shake sounds divine. I spent a brief period of my life in Israel but haven’t been back since (I was 7)…your post makes me want to check it out again. x
Dani @ DaniCaliforniaCooks
When I was in Israel, I subsisted off dried dates and figs. It was awesome!
Oh my goodness girl! You’re in Austin! I haven’t kept up like I should have – a belated welcome to this city!
Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar
Austin sounds like such a delight! Definitely a foodie haven! And this shake looks awesome too. Definitely need to try!
dishing up the dirt
Pinned! I’ll be recreating this on my blog soon. Thanks for the inspiration Kate!
Wow, never thought of that combo! Looks divine!
Ooh, I would love to go to Tel Aviv. Thank you for sharing these vibrant photos with us!
And I *never* would have thought to put tahini in a shake. Yum.
Sarah @ Making Thyme for Health
I had no idea Tel Aviv was so friendly to vegan and vegetarians! Your pictures are beautiful. I hope to get a chance to visit one day!
I adding dates to my smoothies too but I would have never thought to combine them with tahini. That sounds so creamy and delicious!
jaime : the briny
i can’t get enough of tahini in smoothies/shakes. i make a really similar smoothie but with cardamom instead of cinnamon. so good. your pictures are making me seriously hongry. and thirsty!
Oh, cardamom sounds lovely!
Alexa at Sweet Little Kitchen
I have a few leftover dates from when I made granola bars – now I think I’ve finally figured out what to do make them! Love the unique combination of ingredients.
Amy @ Thoroughly Nourished Life
I get that feeling whenever I travel to a new place too Kate! I guess you can console yourself by planning another trip somewhere soon – that’s my strategy (even if it’s just a weekend adventure somewhere local).
Tel Aviv looks amazing! I didn’t know that it would have so many amazing vegetarian/vegan options and all of those meals look like they’ve waltzed out of my dreams :)
I can’t wait to see more photos of your trip!
Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat
I’m so happy you did a post on the rest of your trip, Kate! Unfortunately I didn’t make it to Israel during my 5 years growing up in the Middle East but it sounds like the food scene is definitely worth going for. Enjoy the last bit of your time in Austin! :)
I love seeing all the photos and hearing about your experience in Israel. Isaac went a few years ago for birthright and came back with epic tales. I hope I get to visit sometime.
This shake is definitely happening considering I have over six huge containers of Medjool dates sitting on my dinning room table right now. :)
That’s a lot of dates! It’s really a beautiful country. I really want to see more of the Middle East now!
Kate, this shake saved my day! I was upset when waking up this morning because I had nothing to eat for breakfast (excepted a very ripe banana that I didn’t know what to do with) but felt SO hungry (or hangry should I say), and then, when checking my bloglovin feed, I found your recipe. I had everything to make it and it was the perfect solution to use this poor little banana! (so, yes, it even works with fresh banana) And of course it tasted absolutely delicious! I was a bit sceptic about tahini in a shake, but it pairs so well with dates and brings so much richness and creaminess! Thanks to you, my day had a new (and good!) start!
Perfect!!! Happy to hear that you found my shake in time, Nina. :)
Dixya @ Food, Pleasure, and Health
its a beautiful experience and thank you for sharing that with us. And I will be making this shake very soon, immediately after i stock up on tahini :)
It’s refreshing to hear about Israel in a non-political context and see that there is beauty, vibrancy, and joy (yummy, yummy joy) in a place so associated with frequent sorrows. Looking forward to our next stop on the tour!
Thank you, Anne! I appreciate it.
That looks like an amazing trip! I would love to travel there one day. The food looks amazing and inspiring too.
I have not been to Israel in 20 years but I did spend a year there after high school. The food is fantastic and the history rich. Too bad you didn’t see Jerusalem. I think it is wonderful that Israel is doing PR trips to media. That is a great way for people to hear about this wonderful, young and advanced place.
Christine // my natural kitchen
I love hearing about your trip! Tel Aviv sounds so wonderful – I would love to go eventually! Those spices and dates in your photos look so, so amazing. This shake looks perfect too! I have made something similar and really love these flavours together. Can’t wait to see and hear more about your trip!
Stephanie @ Mind Body Feed
Love the addition of your travels and the photos are gorgeous!This is also one of my favorite smoothie recipes but I have yet to try it with tahini. Can’t wait to give a try!!
Tessa | Natural Comfort Kitchen
Great photos! It’s so cool that you’ve do this much travelling this early on in life. I’m almost 30 and I have yet to cross an ocean! Perhaps after getting through your upcoming posts on the trip I’ll have no choice but to pick a destination and book that flight :)
Book a flight! I’m all for it. :) I got to spend a semester in France during college and I’ve been traveling as much as possible ever since!
Rebecca @ DisplacedHousewife
Your trip looks amazing!! The photos are beautiful and the way you describe Tel Aviv sounds so inviting…the food, the beach-y vibe… I’m so excited to make this shake…I have everything in the fridge and I’m thinking it’s going to be lunch today. Delicious!!! xx
Honey, What's Cooking?
You put my worries to rest. Tel Aviv is one of those places I’m so paranoid of visiting due to the unrest in surrounding areas. Looks beautiful.. I wanna visit. :-)
This shake looks amazing, I usually add some dates or prunes in my shake if they are lying around with bananas, but tahini, yum. I’m gonna buy some. What brand of tahini did you use? The orange/white/brown container?
I felt safe there! I really wish we could have gone to Jerusalem. I actually used Whole Foods’ brand tahini and it was great. Can’t say I have a favorite brand yet!
J.S. @ Sun Diego Eats
I make a tahini banana honey shake but I love the addition of dates here!
The first time I had them in shakes was during a 120 F day when we were (perhaps unwisely) biking around Palm Springs. I thought I was going to die unless we stopped somewhere with AC and this little shop that had date shakes materialized so I went in and ordered one even though I thought it sounded a bit odd….turns out dates are nature’s answer to caramel :)
Dates are totally nature’s caramel! I’m learning to like them. So far I like them best in smoothies!
Sometimes, it’s actually a good thing that you don’t get to see all the attractions in the places you have visited so you have more reasons to come back! Oh and that market looks incredible. So stuffed with good food to keep one healthy and fit.
SO excited to read this, i can’t believe you came to visit and i didn’t even get a chance to invite you for a nice freshly squeezed Israeli green juice! next time :)
LOVE the pictures… BTW the facebook Israeli HQ are located in the rightmost building in your skyscraper pic. can’t wait till the next posts
Oh, that juice sounds great! Hope you found my tabbouleh post with more photos!
I loove tahini but never tried it on a shake!! Such a cool idea <3
Amy @ Parsley In My Teeth
Thanks for sharing these great photos from your trip. Sounds like it was incredibly awesome! And I love the Middle Eastern flare the tahini adds to this delicious smoothie!
lynsey | lynseylovesfood
you had me a tahini date shake but the photos and story of your trip are amazing. roof top yoga is my jam, while those spices and dates are my dream. thanks for sharing. xo
I’m afraid Israel is one subject you can’t stay on the fence about if you are going to write about it. It seems your post has done the PR a favour and although I do understand you don’t want to get involved, I think you have, just by writing this. I will not be going to Israel nor Tel Aviv but I would look forward to reading your future post about restaurants and the warm welcome you would also receive in Gaza or the West Bank. I am just an ordinary Scottish woman who likes reading about food but I am sorry I now must unsubscribe. I hesitate to write because I know you meant no harm but I felt upset reading this and all the comments. I too can see how beautiful it looks but it is built on the suffering of others and that I can’t stomach. with best wishes Kate
Kate, I hear you and I understand where you are coming from. I would gladly visit Gaza or the West Bank if I were invited. I hesitated in accepting the invitation, but I agreed because I hoped that sharing my experience would stimulate interest in the region as a whole. We almost only hear about conflict in the Middle East and I think it’s important to be reminded of the beauty and kindness that can be found in that part of the world.
Your site has been a lifesaver for me and my family, but when that ‘beauty and kindness’ is kept from an oppressed people while you get to experience and indulge in it with no harm to your person and as a ‘travel inspo’ to others, it prioritizes an oppressive regime and their PR over human rights.
Sarah @ Making Thyme for Health
I made this shake over the weekend and it was to-die-for! Now I need to stock up on more bananas to freeze because I’m already craving another one. :) Ugh, so good. Thank you so much for sharing!
Hooray! Glad you loved it, Sarah.
what a great smoothie! I love dates and tahini, so I must try this soon.
Tel aviv is an amazing city, so happy you enjoyed your trip.
Thanks, Sina! I enjoyed it very much!
I’ve been enjoying your blog for a while now, from Jerusalem, Israel, and was really excited you visited. Tel Aviv is awesome, and Israel as a whole is a very special place. For the reader Kate who “had to” unsubscribe: Yes, Israel is complicated, and not always in the right, but I think the moral thing to do is to learn about those complexities from both sides- without passing severe judgments. Focusing on the people and culture, not governments is a good way to start.
Thank you, Leah. :)
I made this shake after dinner tonight and it was DELICIOUS. It tastes like a milkshake but better! I bought a jar of tahini to make hummus but after I saw this recipe, I wanted to try it because I had all of the ingredients on hand. I cannot wait to make it again tomorrow!! LOVE YOUR BLOG!
Awesome!!! So glad you enjoyed it, Alice!
I love your recipes and check in every so often when I have some veggies that I’d like to make “come alive.” To be honest, I don’t always read the blog, and often scroll right down to the recipe because I’m a work from home mom of three and right now I just don’t have the time (some day…). But when I saw the title of this blog I felt compelled to read all the way through, including each and every comment! I was never a Tahini fan, generally only eating it on Falafel, which I ate very rarely. I won’t tell you what I thought dates looked like, but I used to not be able to get one into my mouth! But my husband,who is from a city right next to Tel-Aviv, changed all that! He introduced me to the soft and delicious Mjejool dates, and slowly but surely, I have now come to love Tahini in many forms. As “odd” as this drink sounds, I’m going to have to try it! And to make up for the reader who “had to” unsubscribe because you simply visited another country and documented it, I plan to subscribe to support your journey and make up for the lost readership!
Thank you, Aviva! I’m glad to hear that you appreciated this post!
Your trip photos look amazing! I love reading your blog posts, and appreciate how frequently you supply a steady stream of delicious recipes and color. Did you bring back any interesting flavors/spices from your trip? I am looking for recipes with nigella seeds, and know they are used atop middle eastern breads, among other things. As I kid, my father used to bring us home crescent rolls from a local bakery in Hartford, CT. I never knew what the tasty black seeds were and only recently realized they are nigella sativa, sometimes called black cumin. Thank you!
Thank you, Anna! I can’t recall if I had any nigella seeds over there. If I did, I probably mistook them for black sesame seeds! I definitely came back with a greater appreciation for tahini and dates. They use them in everything! Oh and halva, too.
Another winner! I was out of bananas so I subbed Goya frozen ripe plantains.
Thanks, Dave! Glad you enjoyed it.
Yours was my gateway to tahini smoothies. and like a previous poster stated I cannot get enough of tahini in my smoothies! It’s bad. Real bad. I really love the addition of cinnamon and nutmeg or cardamom, and am SERIOUSLY hooked on the halva with blended frozen strawberries (I do banana and strawberries sometimes)…I don’t blog and don’t want to name drop but maybe you’re familiar? I’d love to see your version, Kate!!
Awesome, thanks Jennifer! Your strawberry halva smoothie sounds amazing!!!
Loved your review of Tel Aviv. Yes it is the city that never sleeps.
I’ve been living here for the last 47 years and love it (from New Jersey) You can try tahini with selan (date honey) in your morning yogurt and granola. Healthy and good for you.
Hi Sue! Thank you. Tel Aviv was so lovely. Your breakfast suggestion sounds great!
Usually I don’t like bananas in smoothies, but I thought they went really well with this whole mixture! Delicious shake, thanks for sharing. Glad you enjoyed Tel Aviv.
Definitely gonna try this! Kate next time your in Austin I would recommend trying Peace Bakery off N. Lamar and Breaker. Super awesome Mediterranean restaurant and bakery.
Thanks, David! I just added it to my list!
Just made this. Yum! And a great source of calcium.
Obsessed with this shake and sharing with every one I know. Thanks!
Delicious and unique! Glad you loved Israel. It is the most special place.
I made this, but with coconut milk instead of almond milk, and it turned out great! Thanks for this recipe :)
This was amazing. The tahini seemed like such an odd addition, but it turned out so delicious! I used 3 dates instead of 4 and I didn’t have vanilla extract and it still turned out perfect. Thanks for another outstanding recipe.
Thank you, Carrie! I’m glad you liked the smoothies.
Hey Kate! Do you think I could subtitute yogurt for tahini?
I had the most delicious tahini, date, banana and walnut smoothie when I was in Israel. I was hoping to recreate the recipe at home and after a quick google for inspiration, I came across this. I never before realised how unique the flavour of date and tahini was to this country and drinking the smoothie while looking back at the photos really brings back the memories!
Yoram Ottolenghi has a great documentary where he tours through Jerusalem, in both Jewish and Palestinian homes and shows how food can be a means to bring people together. Highly recommended, as Israel has such an original and diverse cuisine.
Thanks for the recipe and photos.
As an Israeli I can tell you you made a very nice description of Tel Aviv. People and food cautivanted every visitor.
Gastronomy is a symphony where the different cultures that live there play they own flavored to create wonderful dishes with middle eastern / Mediterranean accents . Markets are a joy of the senses and invite you to eat and cook Great shake loved it Thank you.
I tasted some amazing banana ice cream yesterday at my local farm shop and I was so tempted to get some but my body really doesn’t agree with dairy so I resisted temptation! When I got home I made this with a frozen banana from the freezer and it was everything I needed and more. Second time making it and definitely not the last.
I’m so glad this hit the spot, Georgia!
All of your recipes are awesome . Thank You So Much . Joanne
Thank you, Joanne!
This was absolutely delicious!! My boyfriend and are huge fans of your recipes. I’ve already bought three copies of your cookbook. One for us and two for gifts. I rarely give cookbooks as gifts but we’ve been so impressed with your cooking that I’m excited to share it with my loved ones.
We made your Southwestern Kale Power Salad for dinner and I noticed this shake recipe on your site. A few hours after dinner, we were craving a sweet treat and realized that we had everything for the date shake. It absolutely exceeded our expectations. You are a fantastic chef and your recipes never disappoint. Thank you for another delicious recipe Kate! :-)
Thank you so much for such a kind comment, Alicia! Thanks for buying the book and sharing it with others. And I *love* this as a sweet-tooth craving, too! Thank you for reading. :)
wow this is just fantastic! so delicious. i added a few handfuls of ice and i used fresh home made unfiltered almond milk. it turned out like ice cream so i served it in a bowl with a spoon. i will be making this again and again. next time i’ll try adding a bit of fresh mint. thank you so much for the wonderful recipes you provide.
Tasty! Thank you, for your review. And, you are very welcome!
I found this recipe by chance. I was searching smoothie recipes with tahini as an ingredient. All I can say is, WOW! Am I ever glad I found this one. It was amazing and extremely satisfying to my sweet tooth. Going in my recipe box as a new fav! Thanks for sharing.
I am glad you did! Thank you for the kind words and for your review, Tan.
Oh goodness Kate. This one is a winner!!! 5 stars aren’t enough.
I used homemade almond milk and am drinking this for breakfast.
Thank you so much for another wonderful recipe.
You’re so sweet, Morgan! Thank you. I appreciate the kind words and review.
A super delicious recipe! Was needing something to do with the Tahini I got from Israel.
I love that! Thank you, for your comment and review Shivi.
Delicious! I like to spoon it out of the glass like a dessert. So good, the perfect treat.
Thanks for your review, Elena!
I was not expecting to like this as much as I did! It is DELICIOUS and a perfect dessert/afternoon snack. Definitely will make again and again.
Great to hear, Olivia!
this is a really delicious adaptation of the tahini-date shake i fell in love with last october when i visited tel-aviv. i discovered this shake at a super cute breakfast/lunch cafe, and couldn’t resist ordering it. it blew my MIND, it was so delicious. ever since then, i’ve been dreaming of that shake and wishing i could visit that cafe on command.
i found this version of the shake and it’s quite delicious, although the one i devoured was slightly different and maybe a little more dreamy but still delicious!
the one i had in tel-aviv had walnuts and oatmeal in it, and i forget which milk substitute, but the other ingredients seem to be the same.
i just made this for dinner even though it’s traditionally a breakfast meal (treating myself!) i don’t have any pecans right now, but i did make this as-is and added about 1/4 cup of rolled oats with some ice, only 1 banana, and used oatly oatmilk. it’s like drinking ice cream for dinner!
highly recommend :) and recommend playing around with ingredients, too!
thanks for creating this post for us tel-aviv dreamers!
Thank you for your detailed feedback!
thanks for the lovely recipe! I used some more milk and added pomegranat seeds on top
will definitely have this shake again :)
I finally made this for breakfast this morning after fantasizing about it for several weeks. Y’all, it delivered. I ended up taking half of it into work for my smoothie-obsessed coworker because it was too good not to share. It is so thick and creamy and exactly the right level of sweet. Another absolute winner- I’ve never made a recipe off this site that wasn’t a solid 10/10.
I’m glad you did! Thank you for sharing, Sofie.
Really delicious! Can’t wait to make this on a hot summer day.
This literally tasted like a vanilla milkshake – so delicious!!!
I didn’t plan on leaving a comment, but when I realized there were only 19 reviews, I was shocked! I absolutely love the recipes that you share, and this one is no exception.
I love tahini, and I can’t wait to try it out the day I visit Israel or even Ethiopia as they supposedly have the best sesame seeds in the world, but in the meantime, I have to content myself with what I have in China.
I used to drink smoothies with berries, but ever since I tried this tahini, banana and date smoothie, I fell in love to the point that I use those ingredients for my oatmeal as well.
Thank you for sharing this, and keep up the great work!
What an excellent substitution for a shake. I have never tried tahini in a smoothie/shake before and man was I missing out! Thank you for yet another great recipe
Thanks for the recipe, hope you enjoyed your trip to Palestine! <3
This was so delicious! And super quick and healthy! Perfect dessert!
Late but still relevant, I made this and really enjoyed it! I soaked the dates beforehand in warm water to make them easier to blend. I also froze 50% of the oat milk to make it a thicker texture as well!
Overall truly loved the subtle nuttiness of this. Will be making a lot this summer!
SO delicious! I doubled the recipe, but only used three bananas and it was more than enough. I think next time I will try with one less date as well. Such a treat, thank you as always for the foolproof recipes.
Where has this been all my life? So delicious
I decreased tahini to two tablespoons and added one cup spinach. This was my single serving morning smoothie. Absolutely delicious!
Great to hear, Mary! Thank you for your review.