New Year, New Milkshakes

2014, you're going to be a better year, I can feel it. And what better way to start a better year than better milkshakes -- plant-b...


2014, you're going to be a better year, I can feel it. And what better way to start a better year than better milkshakes -- plant-based naturally sweetened milkshakes that is. 


These milkshakes are really delicious and are healthy enough to be an everyday treat. Despite being composed of everyday vegan ingredients, these shakes are velvety, rich and smooth. Each shake involves less than five ingredients and comes together in a minute or two in a high speed blender. They are both vegan, fruit sweetened and one is mostly raw while the other can be made totally raw! 
  


The raw ingredients in these shakes provide optimal nutritional benefits. Dates are a great energy source and have a lot of essential vitamins and minerals including iron, potassium, selenium, manganese, copper, and magnesium. They help alleviate constipation, anemia, intestinal disorders, stomach cancer, and allergies. They help reduce bad cholesterol and support proper sexual function, and proper function of the heart and nervous system. Bananas are incredibly good for you. They are rich in iron, potassium and calcium. They are prebiotic, providing beneficial bacteria to the bowel. They help alleviate both diarrhea and constipation. They can help you control your blood sugar and can fill you up to avoid binging later. They also alleviate morning sickness during pregnancy and PMS! And if that wasn't enough, they are high in tryptophan which converts to serotonin in your body, helping to make you happier. Raw Cacao Powder is one of my all time favorite ingredients. A great source of iron, dietary fiber, calcium, zinc, potassium and one of the richest sources of antioxidants on Earth. In fact, raw cacao powder has four times the antioxidant content of traditional cocoa powder. Eating raw cacao helps your body produce more serotonin, making you feel great, and helps alleviate PMS symptoms in women. If you haven't swapped your cocoa powder for cacao powder yet, you should! Coconut water is antiviral, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant rich. It has been used to regulate blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol levels. It can boost energy levels and increase metabolism in the human body. It can be used to treat the stomach flu, dysentery, indigestion, constipation, intestinal worms, cholera, urinary abnormalities, urethral stone, malfunctioning kidneys, dry and itchy skin, age spots, and wrinkles.It is a natural source of electrolytes like potassium so drinking it after a workout is beneficial for hydration of your body.

 
My second shake recipe includes a small amount of roasted organic unsweetened unsalted peanut butter as the only cooked ingredient. Organic pure peanut butter is rich in unsaturated fats that help reduce bad cholesterol in the body. It is also an excellent vegan source of protein, fiber, potassium and vitamin E. I highly recommend using organic unsweetened unsalted peanut butter (I buy mine in bulk from my local health food store, it's just organic roasted peanuts) as it will be free of pesticides, low in sodium and free of trans-fat loaded stabilizing oils found in conventional peanut butter.

Peanut butter is one of those addictive foods that I find hard to put down once I get my hands on it. My chocolate peanut butter shake packs a lot of peanut butter flavor with a minimal amount of peanut butter. This shake always satisfies my peanut butter cravings without leaving me reaching for the jar again.


These shakes may look and taste rich and creamy but compared to real milkshakes they are incredibly healthy and light. The coconut water and ice cubes in each recipe help stretch the natural sweetness and add volume and creaminess to the shakes without a whack of calories, fat and refined sugar. Most vegan shakes call for a non-dairy milk or vegan ice cream which often add a lot of calories and sugar without even providing great flavor. Whenever I use non-dairy milk I feel like I need to add lots of sweeteners or other flavorings to mask their often musty taste. I am a big believer in only using ingredients you can stand the taste of alone. The coconut water and ice in these recipes stand in for non-dairy milk and are much more delicious and healthy in my opinion. 

If you are trying to revamp your diet for the better in 2014, these are two delicious drinks you can feel good about drinking.


Raw Chocolate Milkshake(raw, gluten-free, vegan, paleo, naturally sweetened)

  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • 1 medjool date, pitted and torn into little pieces
  • 1 1/4 cup coconut water
  • 3 heaping tsp raw cacao powder
  • 2 ice cubes (or more if desired)
  • 1 tsp pear butter, unsweetened (OPTIONAL: helps minimize banana flavor but the shake will not be raw if used)
Blend well in high speed blender until very smooth and a little frothy. Stop and start blending to make sure the dates are fully blended in.


Cacao Peanut Butter Milkshake(vegan, gluten-free, naturally sweetened)
  • 1/3 - 1/2 frozen banana
  • 2 tsp organic smooth peanut butter
  • 1/2 medjool date, torn into little bits
  • 3 heaping tsp cacao powder
  • 1 cup coconut water
  • 1/2 cup ice
Add to high speed blender and blend until smooth and creamy and a little foamy. Stop and blend more to ensure the date has been fully blended into the drink.

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