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DIY Kitchen: chocolate milkshake you can feel good about

2013 September 25
by Rachel Turiel

This post has nothing to do with the new neighbors:

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Nor the fact that two nights ago our garden got spanked by hail and then frozen by frost:

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Look at me, I’m in tatters, yeah, I’ve been battered. Splattered all over Durango. To live in this town you must be tough, tough, tough, tough, tough! (Name this song for extra credit)

From the pre hail/frost/concussion halcyon days (Dan’s brother, Cory, helping out with the tomato harvest):

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This post is not even about how we’ve had 3X as much rain as usual this September, which makes our sploshy-full rain collecting barrels about as superfluous as a shaving razor in our bathroom. Nor is this post about how Dan left today for bow hunting, again, just as Col announced, feverishly, “I have a little asthma in my throat,” and Rose begged to sleep in the living room, under a chair (and did). Nor is this post about how I’m on day 25 of not eating sugar, grains, dairy nor alcohol, which is a little like breaking up with America.

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This post is really about chocolate milkshakes. Specifically, the kind of chocolate milkshakes you can offer your kids like you’ve suddenly become the mom they dream about, like my friend Tara who makes meals based on what her kids actually like, rather than, say, the five eggplant refugees just shuttled into the safe-house of our fridge, while frost sneaks around outside. (My kids have actually told me, sheepishly: “We wish that you were still our mom but that you cooked like Tara.”)

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Last spring, when I interviewed Dove Creek dryland bean farmers for an article, Mike Coffey, 3rd generation bean farmer sent me home with a box full of various homegrown beans. Intrigued, I held up the bag of “Mortgage Lifters,” white beans as big and fat as a toddler’s thumb.

“Oh, those Mortgage Lifters? Ya either love ’em or ya hate ’em,” Coffey explained.

(We loved ’em).

Which is to say, it’s a good thing bean farmers don’t do their own marketing, but, in the name of transparency, I will say that I like these for the usual reasons: quick, easy, healthy, sugar-free, protein-rich, yummy. And while the kids and I put these chocolate milkshakes in the “insanely delicious” category (and their similarly eggplant-fed friends have also loved them), there are several of Col and Rose’s friends who remain suspiciously and politely un-hungry for the hours they’re visiting, and will not be trying these milkshakes. We think they’re sweet and creamy and rich, but I’m curious what you think. Report back?

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Pretty innocuous, right?

Ingredients: (makes approx 3 cups)

2 whole bananas, peeled, frozen and cut into chunks (you can use fresh bananas, but the frozen ones give it a real milkshakey mouth-feel)

2 cups milk or plain yogurt or coconut milk

3 TBSP unsweetened cocoa powder

3 TBSP peanut butter (almond butter excellent too)


Blend and serve! I use a food processor rather than blender, and I’m not sure if a blender can handle frozen bananas. If you don’t have a food processor, try either semi-thawed bananas or fresh bananas.

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27 Responses leave one →
  1. Sara Parks permalink
    September 25, 2013

    Shattered by the Stones! I haven’t even finished reading yet….

  2. Sara Parks permalink
    September 25, 2013

    Oops, didn’t mean to wreck for the rest. I love music trivia. How goes the diet? Been pretty good on my side. Some cheating. But not too bad. Protein central for sure. I may stick with it for a while longer. But some beer is called for on these lovely sunny days. The weather the other day blew over our chicken coop down here; they’re all fine!

    • Rachel Turiel permalink*
      September 25, 2013

      The diet is good; I am eating extremely well. I miss beer terribly.

  3. Andrea permalink
    September 25, 2013

    For a post that has ‘nothing to do’ with a lot of things, I could comment on a lot of things. I will say that rose is starting to look a lot like your mother. No?!?

  4. Kathy permalink
    September 25, 2013

    So that’s what the bucks look like in late September! They were on my hill in July. They have GROWN! Thanks for the photo. Wonder if they wandered around the place in 1890?

    • Rachel Turiel permalink*
      September 25, 2013

      Oh, I bet they did.

  5. Molly permalink
    September 25, 2013

    “[A] little like breaking up with America.” I’m going to become annoying repeating that quote.

    I had one swiss chard plant and it looks like a broken old umbrella, as do the nasturtiums and the tomatoes and even the parsley and chives. The yarrow is being a little mean, showing off the sturdy, but the zinnias are a little more humble knowing they might or might not be back next year. I don’t know if I could ride the real-farmer roller coaster. Such a stomach dropper.

    • Rachel Turiel permalink*
      September 25, 2013

      I know what you mean about the real-farmer roller coaster. Feeling relieved that while I’m pretty invested in chard leaves, it’s not *actual* money in the bank.

  6. September 25, 2013

    I kept waiting to see how you were going to incorporate beans into the milkshake, lol. Sorry about the frost. Hope you had some warning. Its late for a frost there. You made it an extra couple of weeks! As for blenders and frozen bananas, most can handle it with no problem. Remember, the main reason people buy a blender is to make frozen margaritas using ice cubes. I make smoothies containing frozen peaches/berries and a frozen banana all the time. Plus a blender is SO much easier to clean than a food processor. Don’t tell the suspicious friends its chocolate milk, tell them its a chocolate smoothie. Nothing in there a kid wouldn’t eat alone. Yum. Rose is so danged cute.

    • Rachel Turiel permalink*
      September 25, 2013

      We did have warning and covered everything that matters. And yes, it is a late frost, although the past couple years have been even later, so I got a teensy weensy bit forgetful and entitled.

    • September 25, 2013

      Me too! Waiting for the toddler thumb milkshake. Breaking up with America is stuck in my brain in the best way. xo

  7. September 25, 2013

    I’d love to hear more about your diet! I recently tried to do a Whole30 but only made it to the Whole15 :) Life got in the way! I’d like to try again to quit grains and sugar– it’s really hard isn’t it?!

    • Rachel Turiel permalink*
      September 25, 2013

      Seriously – I’m eating so well. Mostly really high quality meat and vegetables and good fats. AKA a hell of a lot of avocados. For lunch I just ate sausage cooked with kale and sweet potatoes. I’m really capitalizing on soups with a meat base and scads of vegetables. I’m adding coconut milk and bacon fat to everything and losing weight (which is not my motivation). I’m extremely motivated because I’m trying to clear something up that has plagued me for too many years.

      • Jennifer Smith permalink
        September 25, 2013

        Good for you for sticking with it! Bacon fat makes everything taste better!

  8. Jessica permalink
    September 25, 2013

    I have a very similar smoothie for breakfast a few days a week – even today!! Add some cinnamon for a kick. If you slice the bananas before freezing them they blend up super well. I use a stick blender myself, which isn’t as powerful as a regular blender. If I’m feeling greens deficient (like today), I’ll toss a handful of chopped kale in there. I keep that in the freezer too. You can’t taste it but it sometimes adds to the texture. Do you make your own peanut butter? I don’t, but do use organic with just peanuts and salt.

    My hubby teases me that I don’t buy bananas to eat, just to let them get overripe and freeze for smoothies. : )

    That pic with Rose and her smoothie is the best!

  9. Zoe permalink
    September 25, 2013

    Oh yes, the no grains, sugar, dairy or alcohol thing. Once upon a time, it would have been the dairy that would have been so so hard. Now, at this point in my social and family life, it is definitely the beer. I’ve been doing something close to this, but the beer… well, I just can’t go out dancing to Dead and not have a beer. I just – I caaaaan’t!!!


    Still eating way more veggies than I used to, and being ever so much more creative with my seasonings! And sweet things! Many non-sugar options that are yummy as hayellll!!!

    I feel your pain, but not really, because beerz. But sorta. Closeish. :-)
    And I’m sooooo making this milkshake for Connor this week! Yummeh and a half I bet! Given the kid’s love of almond smoothies, this will be a winner!

    • Rachel Turiel permalink*
      September 25, 2013

      Zoe, glad to hear you’re still dancing, given *everything.*

  10. Jennifer Smith permalink
    September 25, 2013

    Those look like the same gang bangers that frequented our old house. Crazy hail and freezing temperatures the other day and today I’m making sun tea, gotta love Durango.

  11. Chi-An permalink
    September 25, 2013

    Funny, I thought the beans were going in the smoothie too. Your recipe sounds a lot like a smoothie my kids made recently. We always have a stock of bananas in our house, however 3/4 of our household only eats green or yellow bananas, shying away from any bananas with freckles on them. So when our bananas get too ripe, it’s either smoothie time or banana bread time!

    My usual smoothie ingredients are yogurt, banana, splash of milk, couple of ice cubes, and whatever fruit we have on hand, especially if it’s already going a little mush.

    No sugar, grains, dairy, or alcohol… I think you just eliminated approximately 87% of my diet.

  12. September 25, 2013

    Ooooh, sounds yummy! We are now on an elimination diet too for migraines in our 9 yo and myself and can’t do cacao and peanut butter, but I will give those a try afterwards! Report back on your elimination diet! It’s tough, isn’t it?

    And I got to laugh and the un-hungry children during all the hours of their visit: we have a lot of that too here! Some love or cooking, some, well, would rather stick to what they know and recognize as food!

  13. anne permalink
    September 25, 2013

    I make this exact smoothie all the time, but with 10oz of frozen spinach added. It isn’t exactly brown (more like camo green), but I swear it still tastes exactly like a chocolate milkshake! I also add dates sometimes for extra sweetness and because I love the little chewy bits they make. Another yummy one: pumpkin puree instead of cocoa powder, coconut milk, and add some pumpkin pie spices and a tiny bit of maple syrup. sooooo good.

    I keep starting the whole 30 and quitting, despite feeling awesome while on it. maybe tomorrow….

    • Rachel Turiel permalink*
      September 25, 2013

      The pumpkin puree with coconut milk sounds like something I’d love.

  14. Morgan permalink
    September 26, 2013

    A blender can definitely handle frozen bananas! And that sounds like a delicious trick-me-into-thinking-its-a-milkshake treat! Thanks!

  15. Emmanuelle permalink
    September 27, 2013

    Rachel, I am totally in love with those bucks. I can’t stop looking at them. So beautiful and dignified and relaxed at the same time, AND in a garden!

    Also, Rose’s green eyes :o)

    Hurray for day 25! Or by now 27… And welcome to the club of no sugar, no gluten, no alcohol, no cheese or milk. (Though I do eat yogurt, and thrive on quinoa). It is indeed very fulfilling!

    Your decadent smoothie recipe was so mouth watering that I had to try it, although the original version was too rich for me – I used “light” coconut milk, and one teaspoon of almond butter, adding almond milk – and a teaspoon of coconut flour for texture. It was fantabulous.

    I should add that I am famous (among my friends ;o) for my black bean soup, to which I add (towards the end) 1/2 cup of light coconut milk and a pear or two. And sometimes a spoonful of cocoa. I let the whole thing cook for another 15 mn in the cast iron pot, then let cool to room temperature (it will thicken) then blend in batches.

    Yum !

  16. September 30, 2013

    I had to laugh when you said being off grains, sugar, dairy and alcohol was like breaking up with America. I know what you mean. I am also off of those things and it’s hard! I can’t wait to try this yummy recipe. I love making coconut milk in my Vitamix, thanks for a great idea. I saw this post on the Prairie Homestead Barn Hop, keep up the good work!

  17. Sara permalink
    October 12, 2013

    just tried the milkshake—my daughter was skeptical about the peanut butter, so I left it out of hers (think I could get it in if she weren’t watching)
    My blender did fine when I used the ice crush button.

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