I’ve been a milkshake lover since I was six years old and have created some secret tips for making the perfect skinny milkshake. I used to live off McDonald’s chocolate milkshakes or Sonic’s Birthday Cake Shake, and don’t forget about my favorite, which was The Baskin Robbins Mocha Blast. Yes, I still miss all of those, but I don’t miss the sugar surge and crash, the acne I had from all that dairy intake, nor do I miss the unwanted weight those milkshake left me with. What I have found is that making skinny, healthy milkshakes right at home is really quite easy, less expensive, and completely delicious. Plus, I can still feel confident in my swimsuit while drinking plenty of these skinny milkshakes! Check out these simple secret ingredients I like to use at home to make the perfect skinny milkshake!
1. Nondairy Milk
This ingredient is the first essential ingredient to making the perfect skinny milkshake. You can choose whichever type of nondairy milk you prefer, such as almond, coconut, hemp, rice or soy. I prefer almond milk as my first choice, and coconut as my second. The key to keeping it skinny is to make sure you buy unsweetened nondairy milk so you can avoid the nasty sugars added to regular nondairy milks. I love Silk unsweetened vanilla almond milk and I also like So Delicious Sugar-Free Vanilla Coconut milk. Both are non GMO, have no sugar, dairy, gluten or soy. Both are also free of MSG. Nondairy milk is not only lower in calories than regular dairy milk, but also lower in sugar, and higher in calcium, Vitamin D and are around 30-40 calorie versus 120 calories in dairy milk. They are incredibly rich, creamy, and high in potassium as well.
2. Flavored Ice Cubes
The next important ingredient to making a tasty skinny milkshake is to have some flavored ice cubes on hand. All you need is an ice cube tray and whatever beverage you're going to freeze in the cubes. I like to keep a few options available for this, such as frozen almond milk cubes, coconut milk cubes, coffee ice cubes, chocolate almond milk ice cubes, coconut water ice cubes, green tea ice cubes, peppermint tea ice cubes, or chai tea ice cubes. You can also puree veggies like pumpkin or spinach into ice cubes to add a creamy, icy nutritional boost! Flavored ice cubes will give your milkshake a creamy, icy and frosty consistency without watering it down like ice cubes do. These secret flavored ice cubes are the key to giving you that thick and frosty texture for your milkshake just like typical fast food joints serve up!
3. Flavored Extracts
I always keep a variety of flavored alcohol-free extracts on hand, such as almond extract, vanilla extract, coffee extract, and peppermint extract. Check the label to make sure sugars aren’t added. I keep alcohol-free extracts on hand by Frontier Naturals brand because I don’t like the idea of adding alcohol to my skinny milkshakes since alcohol is toxic to the liver. These extracts really take the flavors up a notch in terms of making a tasty milkshake. I am seriously in love with peppermint and vanilla extracts the most! Peppermint tea leaves or vanilla bean can also be used here. These are great ways to add flavor without calories.
My skinny milkshakes would not be complete without stevia! Stevia should be your best friend if you want a good skinny milkshake since it is the perfect substitute for sugar. I prefer pure stevia white extract in a powder or liquid form for the best tasting results. You get a truly intense sweet taste that doesn’t impact your glucose levels, is all natural and not artificial, and contains no sugars, calories, or chemicals. I prefer NuNaturals brand for the best taste. Just a little bit goes a long way! Typical milkshakes can have anywhere from 80-120 grams of sugar, which can add tons of calories to milkshakes. Even natural sweeteners like honey, maple syrup, coconut sugar, molasses and agave will all affect your glucose levels and contain calories. Stevia is free of guilt and it tastes great!
5. Sweet Spices
One of my favorite ways to also sweeten a milkshake is to add depth by adding sweeter spices that provide that “What is that awesome flavor?” factor. You know what I mean, right? You order a milkshake and just can’t pinpoint that unique flavor taste in the background of the shake. All you know is it tastes great! Well, fast food joints and ice cream bars add in spices to add depth and flavor to shakes. You can do the same at home! I like to use sweet spices such as cinnamon, ginger, cardamom and even cocoa powder. Ginger and cinnamon make a great gingerbread shake with vanilla extract during the holidays! Cardamom and cinnamon make a great chai flavored milkshake! All of these sweet spices lend a depth and flavor in small amounts that take things to a whole new level.
6. Add in Healthy Flavors from Foods
If your favorite milkshake is chocolate, add in raw cacao nibs or dutch processed cocoa powder, which is rich in taste and such a healthy source of antioxidants! Cocoa and cacao are rich in antioxidants. Or, maybe you’re like me and love a good coconut milkshake. Simply use 1 tbsp. shredded coconut with coconut milk and coconut extract to make your milkshake skinny. Unsweetened coconut is a great healthy fat and a source of fiber and minerals. If you want a slightly nutty tasting milkshake, add in 1 tbsp. raw almonds, raw cashews, raw almond butter, organic peanut butter, or raw hemp seeds for a nutty taste. You can add healthy foods like these to your skinny milkshake to add in flavors and healthy nutrients at the same time! I also like to use lemon zest or lime juice for a really tasty flavor twist. Free free to throw in frozen fruit as well, just know that can add calories a little quicker.
7. A Good Imagination
A skinny milkshake can’t be made without a good imagination! Pick your favorite flavor of milkshake and think about what you could use to create the same flavors in a healthy way. Perhaps you love a good strawberry milkshake. Use 2 cups of unsweetened almond milk, a dash of stevia, 1 cup of strawberries, and a little vanilla extract with 1 cup of almond milk ice cubes. You’ll get this delightful skinny strawberry milkshake for under 150 calories! Or maybe you love a mocha milkshake like I do! To make, just combine 1 cup of unsweetened coconut milk or almond milk, a dash of stevia, 2 tbsp. of cocoa powder and 1 tbsp. raw cacao nibs. Add in 1 cup of frozen coffee ice cubes and a little vanilla or almond extract. If you love blueberry muffins, add in some blueberries, a dash of stevia, and frozen banana with unsweetened almond milk, almond milk ice cubes and a little vanilla extract with cinnamon. The possibilities are endless when you get your imagination going!
You’ll need a great blender to make a skinny milkshake too. Unless you’re adding in lots of ingredients, a typical blender will work, though the more powerful the better! A Magic Bullet or Nutribullet would be a great tool to have since these are powerful, compact, and affordable. They also make great 1-2 cup servings and are great for travel. Don't forget to put your skinny milkshake in a frozen glass to give it an extra cold edge too! What is your favorite milkshake flavor?