Are you hopelessly addicted to ice cream, or do you just like it a whole lot? I am totally with you on both counts! For me though, I worry about my total consumption of this creamy treat and what it means for my health since I consume so much of it. For some of my fixes, I decided to set out to find ways to cut the calories but not the taste- this recipe in it’s shake-y goodness does not disappoint! For those of you who prefer a creamier shake but not ice cream, I believe you’ll have a winner in this as well
I’m from New England and despite the time of year, it always seems like we can go for some ice cream or a cold shake. In some places you’ll see that New Englanders seem to consume the most ice cream. No one can actually pinpoint where this “statistic” came from, but everyone who lives there knows we have quite the obsession for this cold treat. It was because of this fact that I was concocting a summer time shake when there was still frost on the ground.
The recipe started off as a shake to substitute for my morning meal which I do on days when I work out. It’s a good way to get nutrients, but not feel weighted down or starved. Normally I’ll throw yogurt, flax seeds, a banana, some type of frozen or fresh fruit and a splash of fruit juice in the blender. These are good, but due to the way our food system works, the frozen or fresh fruit (especially those which are out of season) doesn’t taste like a whole lot. While this shake can get me through my morning, there isn’t enough sweetness or taste there for me to feel like I’m getting satisfied as if I were to have one later in the day when I’m craving ice cream or a cookie. This is exactly how the recipe hunt got started, take the components of a shake but amp it up to feel like I’m getting a sweet treat without all the calories and heaviness.
It’s a simple fact of compensating for what is lacking in the base recipe. In terms of the lame fruit with no flavor or taste, I added freeze dried fruit in addition to the frozen fruit. This not only enhances the color (we eat with our eyes), but also added the flavor of the berry back into the mix. For the subtle sweetness I was missing, I added in sugar and some vanilla- these are two ingredients in ice cream so it was a natural step. As far as the creaminess, I tried experimenting with a number of “creams.” Cream is in ice cream, but if it was unhealthiness we were trying to cut down on, then this wouldn’t suffice. I did try a vegan version and non-fat in terms of skim milk, the results were lack luster for me. I finally settled on organic whole milk which had a ton of flavor, and had just the right amount of creaminess. And from all that, a recipe was born.
It’s a simple recipe, but I urge everyone to try various versions. Use different combinations of frozen fruit- perhaps peaches and raspberries, and then mix up the freeze dried fruit for whatever you can find. For those whose taste buds reflect a need for lightness, by all means- use skim milk or almond milk! Perhaps those vegans out there can help recommend an Almond Milk or other “milk” in which is creamier than what I chose to help make this more palatable for the masses. But even if you stick to this very basic recipe, it’s satisfyingly delicious! Bottoms up!
Strawberry Cream Shake
1 cup of frozen Strawberries
1/2 cup of freeze dried Strawberries
1 cup of whole Milk
3 tablespoons of Sugar
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla
1/4 teaspoon Salt
In a blender, combine all the ingredients. Blend till smooth, adding more Milk until desired consistency is achieved. Serve with a straw and fresh strawberry- or drink straight from the blender!