April 16, 2014 Leave your thoughts
Have you ever gotten a craving for something–be it a dessert, an entree, a breakfast item, whatever–and then realize that you’ve NEVER had the dish before? For some reason, that happens to me. A lot.
So, the first Friday of April, I was sitting around my house, thinking about the chemistry test I had just taken that was deemed “ajdsflahdsfuhaedh IMPOSSIBLE” by my classmates. And suddenly, it hit me.
I wanted a strawberry milkshake.
Then I realized that I had never had a strawberry milkshake before. Like, what?
I can’t even explain it. Sure, I had a few chocolate, vanilla, and black-and-white milkshakes back in the day, but strawberry?! Nope, nada, never.
Perhaps it was because my parents suspected that there were no actual strawberries in the fluorescent-pink shakes presented to booths of fellow customers at diners and Swanky Frank’s, a hot dog place we used to go to on occasion. Perhaps it was because whenever I was presented the opportunity to have a frozen dessert, I’d immediately go for the option with the most amount of chocolate. Perhaps it was just because the universe planned that this would (and should) be my first strawberry milkshake ever.
Whatever the reason, this craving was no accident: these strawberry milkshakes were the BOMB.
Of course, being the kind of girl I am, I didn’t just go to the store, buy strawberry ice cream, and put it in a blender. Nope. I made my own strawberry almond milk AND strawberry ice cream, then blended them together and topped with coconut cream and freeze-dried strawberries for a sweet, refreshing vegan treat. It did take some work, but I promise: it’s worth it.
I’m going to take you step-by-step and show you how to make this shake from the bottom up: then, all what’ll be left to do is to serve it to all of your friends, regardless of their health and food preferences.
First up: let’s make strawberry almond milk.
Soak 1 cup of raw almonds in enough water to completely cover them for 24-48 hours. The longer you soak the almonds, the creamier your milk will be, especially if your blender can be very grumpy (like mine).
Drain the almonds and discard the soaking water.
Blend with 3 1/2 cups of fresh water, 2 cups of fresh (or frozen + thawed) strawberries, 2 tablespoons of honey (or your preferred liquid sweetener), 1 small vanilla bean, and a pinch of salt.
Once the almonds have been well-pulverized, pour the milk into a nut milk bag or an old pair of pantyhose (it’s weird, but I swear it works) and squeeze out as much liquid as possible into a cup or container. Discard the leftover nut pulp or use in smoothies, crackers, or as a dip for fruit.
Your milk should be creamy, just a little sweet, and a lovely shade of light pink.
Yum is right! You could drink this milk on its own…it’s seriously good.
Ice cream time!
In the bowl of a blender, combine 1 1/2 cups of cashews (soaked overnight, or for at least 8 hours) with 2 1/3 cups of coconut milk, 1/2 cup of honey (or preferred liquid sweetener), 2 1/2 tablespoons of vanilla extract, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, 2 heaping tablespoons of arrowroot powder, and 1/4 cup of melted coconut oil. Blend until completely smooth, then transfer to a medium saucepan.
Bring to a boil over medium heat, then immediately strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a large glass dish.
Meanwhile, give your blender a quick rinse–no need to clean it thoroughly, you’re going to use it again soon–and set aside to dry.
In a large skillet over medium heat, combine 3 cups of strawberries (fresh or frozen and thawed) with 1/4 cup of honey, 1/4 cup of water, and a pinch of salt. Using a wooden spoon, break up the strawberries as they cook and bring to a boil. Cook until at least a third of the liquid has evaporated, about 5 to 7 minutes.
Carefully transfer the strawberry mixture to the blender. Puree until completely smooth…
…then push through the same fine-mesh sieve you used before into the glass dish with the ice cream base.
Using a spatula, mix the base and the puree until well-combined and homogeneous. It should be a light pink color with no lumps or clumps.
Let cool in the freezer for 2-3 hours, or keep in the fridge overnight, if you’re feeling patient. (Which I NEVER am.)
When you (and the ice cream base) are ready, put them into an ice cream machine and freeze according to your manufacturer’s instructions. Once well-aerated and creamy, transfer to a glass or metal dish and freeze until solid, about 8 hours or overnight.
Now, you are officially ready to make your milkshake. I suggest investing in an invisible fence because I do believe it will bring hoards of boys (some of them unattractive and unpleasant) to your yard.
In the bowl of a blender, combine 2 cups of frozen strawberries with 1 cup of the strawberry almond milk you made earlier. (If you didn’t have the time or energy to make the strawberry almond milk, just use regular almond milk.) Blend on high until a frosty puree is formed, adding more almond milk if necessary to ease the process along.
Now, it’s time for your ice cream. Add in about 2 cups of the strawberry ice cream you made and, with a spatula, incorporate it by hand into the blended strawberries. Give it a quick wiz in the blender just to incorporate all of the ice cream; you don’t want it to become too thin, though.
If you’re feeling extra-fancy, whip up some coconut cream. To make it, simply pour off the liquid of a can of coconut milk left in the fridge overnight, then whip on high speed until light and fluffy, about five minutes.
Line the rim of your desired glass with crushed freeze-dried strawberries, then pour in some of the milkshake mixture. Top with a dollop of coconut cream and more crushed freeze-dried strawberries.
What’s your favorite flavor of milkshake? Leave me a comment here or on Facebook and let me know!