One day last week, my best gal pal was coming over for one of our habitual Afternoon Tea dates. Being the 21-going-on-75ers that we unashamedly are (bar the weekend, of course, when tea is replaced with vodka), my best friends and I always relish in the rare delight of lazing around in our moccasins for a few hours while chatting frantically about anything and everything (often forgetting to breathe), getting stuck into dark chocolate and, of course, drinking copious amounts of tea. Green, Chai, English Breakfast, French Earl Grey, Peppermint…
Incidentally, I had the whole day off, which naturally means a day of recipe invention, experimentation and converting my kitchen into an A-grade bomb site. With the extra time on my hands, I decided to jazz our tea date up a little. In the true tradition of all bona fide afternoon teas, one fundamental element was called for: sweets. And what do I love even more than sweets? HEALTHIFIED SWEETS!
So, I got to work on a little feast: raw vegan Coconut Cream and Strawberry Slice , strawberries dipped in homemade raw vegan almond chocolate and –lo and behold– THE BEST healthy choc-banana smoothie EVER! I decided to be all outrageous and skip the tea (many cups of China Jasmine were consumed post-fiesta, of course), and what a decision it was.
This delightful concoction is definitely more of a thick shake than a smoothie. It has all the naughty tastes and textures of a thick shake, but is 100% healthy AND, what’s more, it’s sugar free! As much as I adore healthy smoothies, it can’t be denied that they taste just that – healthy. Which is great, don’t get me wrong, but it’s a given that a wholesome smoothie packed with spinach and berries won’t titillate your taste buds quite like a thick shake made from ice cream and chocolate fudge sauce will.
THIS ‘smoothie’, however, is guaranteed to titillate your taste buds. When I was younger, a McDonald’s choccie thick shake was always my chosen 6-Nugget Happy Meal accompaniment, and no, it wasn’t my dessert because a shake is “just a drink!”. I’d have a large Chocolate Sundae, too. I kid you not, the first gulp of my Choc-Banana Thick Shake took my straight back to my enchanted childhood. It was magnificent.
This thick shake is so incredibly creamy, chocolatey, sweet and, as one can expect, thick. So wonderfully thick, in fact, that the thin straw I served it with was quickly ditched for a spoon. I definitely recommend a thick straw if you’re planning on drinking this liquefied chocolate velvet. The secret to such a smooth, creamy and thick result? Frozen bananas.
To add to the indulgence factor, I whipped up some choc-almond fudge to drizzle around the edges of the glasses. I then used the leftovers to coat strawberries with before rolling them in crushed pistachios and shredded coconut…
Choc-Banana Thick Shake with Chocolate Fudge Sauce
Serves 2 (or one fat me)
- 3 frozen bananas (I peel and chop fresh bananas into halves and store them in a container in the freezer, so I always have them ready to go)
- 2-3 tbs raw cacao powder, or to taste (I use Loving Earth brand)
- 1 tbs almond butter
- 2/3 cup milk of choice (cow’s milk or vegan nut milk such as almond or cashew for vegans or lactose-free)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2-3 drops liquid stevia, or to taste (if you’re not too concerned about keeping it sugar-free, a tablespoon or two of pure maple would also be delicious)
Choc-Almond Fudge (optional):
- 3 tbs raw cacao butter buttons, melted (I use Eco brand. If you don’t have any, you could use coconut oil but it won’t have that creamy, real chocolate effect)
- 1-2 raw cacao powder, or to taste
- 1/2 tbs almond butter
- Splash of vanilla extract
- Splash of pure maple syrup (can leave out to make it strictly sugar-free)
- liquid stevia, to taste
- If you’re making the chocolate fudge, combine the relevant ingredients with the melted cacao butter. Stir vigorously until fully combined. You can either drizzle the chocolate around the edges of your serving glasses before you pour the drink in as I did, or top your shake with it. Because it sets like real chocolate, you will need to move quickly with it. If it starts to harden, simply melt it down again slightly.
- To make the thick shake, add all ingredients to a high-powered blender or processor and blend until completely smooth and creamy. Pour into servings glasses and enjoy immediately.
- If you have leftover chocolate, dip strawberries into it and then roll them in crushed pistachios and shredded coconut. YUM! Or, you could just eat it by the spoonful…
- If you only want enough to serve one person, there might not be enough ingredients for the blender to work properly. I’d suggest still making enough for two servings, and store the remainder in the fridge for ‘later’. By later, I mean immediately after your first glass, before you realise how full you are.