Thursday, June 22, 2017

The Scoop on Shakes and Smoothies

Summertime is the time for a cold and creamy milkshake. This sweet drink that goes way back in time, is a creation of milk, ice cream, and flavorings such as chocolate syrup. Back in my waitressing days (yes, I was a server) I'd make these drinks that took time using steel containers that you stuck into a machine (my shakes often whirled too fast and spilled onto the floor and ended my short restaurant career)...
The real scoop is, milkshakes were messy to make (on the job), and often included imitation vanilla ice cream and artificial whipped cream. No fresh fruits or assorted nuts. But times have changed or maybe I have morphed into a health nut and continue to think outside of the can and shake things up in the kitchen.

Several years ago when I penned the chocolate book I was treated to a former European hotel spa in Reno. Imagine savoring a Chocolate Silk Hydrotherapy Bath treat complete with an oversized bear claw Jacuzzi-style bathtub full of bubbling water and a chocolate scent while savoring house made chocolate truffles. After 30 minutes there was more in chocolate heaven. I was given a chocolate scrub/French manicure  and a tall chocolate milkshake to sip. But the perfectionist in me now says, "The shake could have been dark chocolate infused with fresh fruit chunks for a healthier kick."
So, just for you, dear readers, I’ve concocted an awesome chocolate delight that’ll wow your eyes and taste buds—at any age.

Sweet Double Chocolate Shake/Smoothie
* * * * *
4-5 ice cubes
1/2 cup organic half and half
1/4 cup organic low-fat milk
1 cup premium, all-natural chocolate ice cream
1 teaspoon premium unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup banana slices
1 tablespoon nut butter (your choice)
Strawberries and nuts (for topping and/or garnish)

Put all ingredients in a blender. If it has the smoothie button on it, all the better. Blend until thick but not too thin. Pour into glass mugs or glasses. Garnish with berries and nuts. Serves two small shakes or one large one. Hold the whipped cream unless it’s the real stuff you whip up yourself from scratch. * You can put the chocolate shake/smoothie(s) in the freezer for 15 to 20  minutes to make it colder.

This shake/smoothie was a super cool treat this week as our Tahoe heatwave is in the works. The chocolate is calming and energizing, the healthful ingredients are flavorful and well, summer healthy. A homemade shake/smoothie is simple to create and as I always say, you can control the ingredients to keep it healthy just the way you like it. 

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