I was rummaging through my kitchen last week when my stomach began to rumble and I knew it was time for snack. What I wanted was a cold, creamy drink — not a smoothie, not a bowl of ice cream, but something rich, sweet, and refreshing. What happened next was a moment of sheer exhilaration, when what started out as a sad uninspired drink recipe, turned into the most delicious, lively, and exciting concoction that I am so thrilled to be sharing. What resulted was my Cashew + Date Milkshake. Yes this is a dairy-free, refined sugar free milkshake, with all the creamy and sweet flavors of a childhood milkshake, but without the lactose and sugar.
There are recipes that take many tries to get right — when one ingredient amount is off and you desperately try to find the right balance. This was not one of those, this was a one hit wonder! A few ingredients and a few minutes later, I had a wonderful vegan milkshake that tasted too good to be true. Cashews are great for ice creams and milkshakes for they high in fat, creamy in texture, and mild in flavor. Dates are natural sweeteners and they add a smooth, caramel flavor. Vanilla almond milk compliments the vanilla extract in the milkshake, but regular almond milk or any milk would do. A pinch of cinnamon and salt will go along way and bring out all the sweet and warm caramel flavors throughout the drink. Since cashews are mild, the cinnamon and vanilla extract will really help boost the flavors. Oh and don’t forget ice. Lots and lots of it. I usually add a good two handfuls, but if you don’t like ice and want a richer, creamier milkshake, I suggest to add less. I LOVE ice, especially during the summer, and when it’s blended in a drink, those ice flakes are EVERYTHING.
I can’t tell you enough how delicious and creamy and rich and sweet and just decadent this Cashew + Date Milkshake is without you trying it yourself! It’s really easy to make, you only need one kitchen gadget (a blender), and a few minutes. This is a taste-as-you-go recipe, meaning adjust the ingredients and amounts to your liking. This is a very forgiving recipe. It’s supposed to be fun and exciting. I had major flashback moments to drinking milkshakes as a child, and this recipe was just as good if not better than the original. When I’m feeling extra indulgent, I top with some raspberry coconut ice cream (hint hint, stay tuned for this recipe!) and melted chocolate (cocoa powder + melted coconut oil mixed together).
One last thing! It’s that time of year for the Saveur Blog Awards, celebrating bloggers, photographers and cooks. If you have a moment and could please nominate me, Fried Parsley for the #savblogawards, it would mean so much! The link is here. Only takes a minute and there are a few categories to choose from. Best new voice, best food instagram — whatever you think! Really appreciate it. Thanks so much!
In a high-speed blender, add the cashews, dates, almond milk, vanilla extract, cinnamon, salt and ice. Blend until smooth. Pour into a glass and serve immediately! Optional: I added a scoop raspberry coconut vegan ice cream (I will soon share recipe on the blog) and drizzled on chocolate (cacao + melted coconut oil), but the milkshake is just as good on its on. Enjoy!
Makes: 1-2 milkshakes
Time: about 5 minutes
1 cup whole raw cashews
3-4 pitted dates
1/2 cup vanilla almond milk (add more for thinner consistency)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 - 1 1/2 heaping cups of ice (or two large handfuls)