Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Vegan Monkey Milkshake

One of our favorite desserts is an ice cold Vegan Monkey Milkshake.  We got this idea from some fabulous friends of ours who used to live locally, but alas moved away to SC.  We miss them very much and think about them when we make this tasty dessert.  :)  

We don't have desserts very often, and rarely any with processed sugar in them anymore, so this, while being plenty sweet in it's own right, is down right decadent for us these days.  We had a fierce craving for them the other night after Sonny went to bed, so I set about making them.  They are actually ridiculously easy.  Seriously.  All you have to do is make sure you have frozen bananas in the freezer.  The nice thing about them is there really is no recipe either, you just make them how you want them.  I'll give you ingredient suggestions, but really it's all about how you want it to taste.

Get your monkey on!

Vegan Monkey Milkshakes

several ripe, frozen bananas (chopped into chunks)
a can of unsweetened baking cocoa (you can get it from any super market - just make sure it's unsweetened)
non-dairy milk of your choice (almond, soy, coconut)

Peanuts/natural PB
unsweetened shredded coconut
mint extract

Chop several frozen bananas into 1-2" chunks and dump in blender.  (High powered blenders like a Vitamix or Blendtec work best, but you can do it in a regular blender with a little extra liquid.)  Put several heaping tablespoons of the unsweetened baking cocoa in the blender, add some milk and start blending.  Obviously if it's too thick to blend well, then add more milk.  Stop and do taste tests to see if you want more cocoa flavor in there.  If you really enjoy banana flavor then you probably won't need as much cocoa cause you'll enjoy the chocolate banana flavor.  If banana isn't one of your faves, then add more cocoa to disguise the banana taste.  By the time we are done with our milkshakes adding cocoa and extras, you'd barely know that banana was the base of it all.

So that's the basic recipe for Vegan Monkey Milkshakes and they are super great just like that.  (And I promise that if you add the right amount of cocoa, the banana flavor is not overpowering - for all you banana skeptics out there.)  But it's fun to get wild and add other things like peanuts or natural PB for a nice PB/choc taste.  Or this last time, I added unsweetened coconut shavings to my shake and that was a-MA-zing.  Super good.  I can only imagine what it would taste like if I had used coconut milk along with the coconut shavings.  (Alas, husband is not such a fan of coconut flavor, which is why I just added shavings to mine at the end.)  Mint extract is also a fun thing to add for a nice mint chocolate shake.  Jazz it up with whatever you want!  Perhaps some chopped almonds and cherries?
Vegan Monkey Milkshake with coconut shavings

A quick note about the bananas.  You can get the sweetest banana flavor if you freeze when the skin is starting get speckled with brown spots.  Obviously if you wait till it's solid brown all over, it could be past it's prime.  But freezing when the banana is all yellow with no brown, will yield a less sweet banana, thereby decreasing the sweetness of your shake.  Also, be sure to peel your bananas before you freeze them (just in case people didn't already know that).

Let me know if you come up with some fabulous flavor combinations!  This is such a good base, that I'd love to have an arsenal of flavors to bust out depending on my mood!

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