Dates. I'm not talking about the activity you go on Saturday nights with your lover. I'm talking about the sweet, juicy, unctuous little fruits that are to die for.
Let me keep it real, real quick. I used to not like dates. I thought they were weird and didn't taste so good. Until Ayurveda. I just realized I was eating the wrong kinds! Anyway, let's get back to the dates.
Dates. They are revered in Ayurveda to be filled with ojas. Ojas? Well, ojas is the subtle essence of kapha. Ojas is what gives us our immunity, and keeps our bodies healthy and vibrant. It gives us suppleness, the ability to be tender and loving. It makes sure that all the moving parts in our body are a well-oiled machine.
It's important to nourish our ojas. There are different ways to do this. Food, being one of them. Dates are a great way to do this, because it has many of the same qualities as ojas--sweet, juicy, etc. Dates are also great for reducing vata and pitta. This shake is my go-to smoothie replacement. It's filling, nutritious, and I promise you a treat everyone will love.
Pour all ingredients into a blender and blend on medium speed, until all ingredients have been processed completely, and you are left with a smooth and creamy shake.
Alternatively, you can warm the milk, dates, and figs on the stove to soften them up a little for approximately 7 minutes. Then, combine all ingredients including the warm milk with dates in the blender, and blend until all the ingredients have been well incorporated.
*Note: If possible, try to use organic, non-homogenized milk for the date shake. Also, you can switch out the dates for dried figs every now and then for some variety. Both are great ojas-promoters. You can also add in ½ -1 tbsp of Spirulina/Blue-Green Algae. The color will change to a pretty green, but you won’t be able to taste it at all.
Milk is revered in more ways than just one in Ayurveda. There are so many benefits of drinking milk that I couldn't even get into all of them right here. Specifically, cow's milk is said to be one the greatest medicines to man. It's a great source of healthy fat and proteins that help maintain and nourish our bodies. From an Ayurvedic perspective, milk is said to nourish many of the tissues--including our nervous and fat tissue. It's even great for our skin. However, my favorite quality of milk is its grounding effect on the body. There is nothing like a warm glass of milk in the evening before bed, or on a Saturday morning curled up in bed with a book.
Of course, the milk that I am promoting comes from cows that are not brought up in factory farms. It's important to know the source of our animal products. If the animals are under stress, then all that energy is going to go into that product, thus affecting our bodies with that same energy.
Even though I'm not a huge fan of thick milk, I always recommend everyone to drink as close to raw milk as possible. This may be in some form of organic, non-homeginized, full fat milk. (PS--if you are like me and don't like the thick milk, make your own less fat milk by just adding water. It's the less processed way of doing it, without taking away the healthy fats that come from milk).
With all of the benefits that milk has, it can also be hard to digest for many people. Milk can also be tricky in the sense that it increases phlegm production in the body, making it less than ideal in the cold and rainy months. One way to counterbalance those side effects is to add some heating spices to the milk that will help ease the digestion.
I love this milk recipe because it's really easy to make, and is so good for the body and mind. A warm glass of milk at night before bed can do wonders on your slumber. It's great for vata, calming the nervous system, and all-around grounding. Make this recipe your own and get creative!