I almost got in a fight over milkshakes once.
You see, in my humble and objectively correct opinion, milkshakes should be thick. Creamy enough to stir, but almost too thick to drink from a straw.
Apparently there are other ways to make “milkshakes” because a while ago I was sitting at lunch as my friend sloshed together milk and vanilla ice cream in a ratio that could only produce cold, barely sweet liquid with icy chunks. I asked him what monstrosity he was making, and he tried to tell me it was a milkshake. I (only half facetiously) called him a liar. I take frozen desserts very seriously.
This started a table-wide discussion on what makes the perfect milkshake, and also the start of my disillusionment with the world as I realized that most people I know prefer slurpable vs spoonable shakes.
So in a sort of compromise, I’m providing a milkshake recipe that can be tuned to your own preferences. Add more or less liquid, and the shake will be more or less thick. Magic.
These milkshakes are far from traditional, but they’re delicious, and not in a health food substitution kind of way. If you’re a classic chocolate milkshake kinda person, just leave out the figs and sub in cashews for the walnuts, and it’ll be just as tasty. Sprinkle with granola to add the perfect crunch, and enjoy poolside or computer-side; I’ve done both.
Chocolate Fig & Walnut Milkshakes
Makes 4 large milkshakes
Note: To make classic chocolate milkshakes, increase the cashews to 1 cup, and leave out the walnuts and figs.
In a pot bring 2 inches of water to a rolling boil. Add:
- ½ cup raw cashews
- ½ cup dried figs
Boil for 3 minutes, then drain. Add to a blender along with:
- 3 cups non-dairy milk*
- ½ cup toasted walnuts**
- ½ cup dates
- ¼ cup coconut palm sugar
- ½ tsp stevia, or 2 tbs coconut palm sugar
- ¼ cup cocoa powder***
Blend until completely smooth and creamy.
To make milkshakes, there are 2 options:
Option 1: Chill the mixture, and then churn in an ice cream maker for 20 minutes. This should create the perfect milkshake consistency. Thin with non-dairy milk as necessary.
Option 2: Pour the mixture into an ice cube mold, and freeze. Once completely frozen, add about half of the cubes to a blender with ~½ cup of non-dairy milk, and blend! Thin with milk as necessary.
*The consistency of the final milkshakes will reflect the fat content of whatever non-dairy milk you use. Use canned coconut milk for very creamy (and a bit coconut-y) milkshakes, or unsweetened cashew milk to lighten them up. Rest assured that the milkshakes will be plenty creamy regardless of what milk you use; the whole cashews and walnuts guarantee this.
**Toast the walnuts in a saucepan at medium heat until fragrant, being careful not to burn them.
***I prefer dutch-processed, but any type should do. Reduce to 2 tablespoons for a fainter chocolate taste.
On a side note, I built a lightbox over the weekend to help me take more pictures. One of the problems I’ve encountered is that I do most of my cooking early in the morning or after the sun has set, both awkward times to take photos. With this lightbox, I have pretty good lighting regardless of the hour. Expect more recipes as a result.