When I first went plant-based, one of the things I was afraid would break me was ice cream. I LOVED ice cream. I remember the night before officially going vegan, I even made myself a giant hot fudge sundae as my “last meal” – that’s how big of a fan I was.
Well, guess what? I’m STILL a fan of ice cream. And throughout my time as a vegan I have learned that I can still take part in some ice cream yumminess, without consuming any dairy at all. AND I can even keep it whole food plant based so it’s much healthier than typical ice cream!
You may have heard of the plant based craze, nice cream. Basically, to make nice cream, you throw some frozen bananas in a blender with a little bit of plant based milk of your choice and whatever flavors you want. The bananas are surprisingly very creamy and do a great job at mimicking ice cream! For actual nice cream, you can either eat it soft serve right after you make it, or you can pop it in the freezer for a few hours so that it becomes a more typical ice cream consistency.
Now, nice cream on its own is a pretty incredible discovery (shoutout to whoever figured that out). BUT, as an avid ice cream lover, I have always believed that milkshakes are the superior form of ice cream. If I have the option of getting regular scooped ice cream in a bowl just 5 minutes away from my house, OR getting milkshakes that are 20 minutes away from my house, I will almost always choose the milkshakes. Don’t get me wrong, ice cream in any form is a delicious treat. But something about a milkshake just makes my soul very happy. So, naturally, I took this nice cream concept and turned it into a nice cream milkshake! I have perfected my classic chocolate version over time and am excited to share it with you today! Super simple and super delicious.
(PS: I also love making vegan ice cream in my ice cream maker, but since the average person is more likely to have a blender we will stick with the nice cream version for now!)
ON WITH THE RECIPE!
The best thing about this treat is that it satisfies my sweet tooth and makes the ice cream lover within me happy, but it’s also much healthier than most ice creams out there. It is dairy free and doesn’t contain any refined sugar! Depending on how you feel about various sweeteners, I will provide you with a couple options in the recipe (because I’m awesome like that).
Frozen Banana – Now, it’s very important that you use FROZEN banana here! This is what gives your shake a nice creaminess. If you aren’t a big banana fan, I still encourage you to try out this shake – I’m not normally a huge fan of bananas in smoothies, but for some reason it really works for me in this form!
Plant Milk – You can use pretty much any plant milk you’d like for this recipe! My most common go-tos are almond milk or oat milk.
Pitted Dates or Maple Syrup – Here is where you get to make your decision about your sweetener! Maple syrup is the sweetest option, but if you prefer to use dates that will work as well! Dates have a caramel-like sweetness to them, and they won’t be AS sweet as maple syrup, but they’ll still get the job done. If you don’t have a huge sweet tooth, you can even try omitting both of these completely if you would like – the banana on it’s own naturally adds some sweetness if you just want to rely on that. You do you!
Vanilla and Cocoa Powder – for that good ol’ chocolatey flavor! If you are a fan of cacao powder you could also use that in place of regular cocoa powder if you’d like. Cacao powder is slightly less processed but has a more bitter flavor – so just be aware that the flavor of the overall shake will be a little different if you take this option!
How To Make Your Creamy Chocolate Vegan “Milkshake”
This really couldn’t be much simpler!
- Blend up your ingredients
BING BAM BOOM. DONE.
I suppose you could include “freeze bananas” and “soak dates” if you haven’t taken those steps already, but that’s still super simple!
Tips and Tricks
- Try to wait until your bananas have some brown on them before freezing them! The more brown they are, the sweeter they are going to be. I like to buy two bunches of bananas when I go to the store – one bunch to eat throughout the week, and the other to let get brown for optimal nice cream purposes (clearly, I’ve got my priorities straight!).
- To freeze your bananas, I recommend chopping each banana into four pieces, place them all on a baking sheet, and pop it in the freezer. Once they have hardened, you can move them all into a ziplock bag in the freezer. This ensures that they don’t all stick together into one giant banana block, and chopping each one into 4 slices means that you always know that 4 slices equals one banana! So, for example, this recipe calls for 1.5 bananas – which would be 6 slices if you did it this way.
- If you choose to use dates, I have found that pouring some boiling water on them and letting them soak for about 10 minutes is just about right. This is just to make sure that they are going to blend up nicely! Depending on your blender you may want to adjust how long you soak them for, but I’d say that 10 minutes is probably a good estimate in most cases.
- This one is probably pretty self-explanatory, but feel free to adjust the amount of plant milk based on your preferences! If you like a thicker shake then try a little less, and if you like it more liquified then try a little more! You can always start with a small amount and then gradually add until you get the consistency you want.
- It’s very easy to alter this recipe to make it whatever flavor you want – you can add a dash of cinnamon for a “mexican chocolate” flavor, you could add some peanut butter for a peanut butter cup vibe, you could throw in some frozen cherries for a chocolate cherry twist, the possibilities are endless! Maybe there will be a nice cream ebook in my future… only time will tell!
Creamy Chocolate Vegan “Milkshake”Course: DessertCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Easy
Enjoy this creamy, chocolatey dessert – without any dairy or refined sugar! This is the perfect treat after dinner, on a hot summer day, or even as a sweet and delicious breakfast shake!
1.5 frozen bananas
2/3 cup plant milk
2 Tbsp maple syrup OR 3 soaked pitted medjool dates*
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 Tbsp cocoa powder
- Throw all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth and creamy. Add extra plant milk if needed for thinner consistency, or extra sweetener if you want it sweeter. Pour into a glass and enjoy!
- *to soak dates: pour boiling water on dates and let soak for approximately 10 minutes, until soft
Stay well, friends!