I dreamed up this St. Patrick’s Day Vegan Thick Shake last night as I wondered if there actually was a need for yet another green-tinted food for this holiday. No doubt, you’ve been seeing plenty of those, including mine, which includes Chocolate Beer Cupcakes and Matcha Mousse. This glass full isn’t so pretty, and the grated chocolate- could have been more so, but it’s sooooo delicious and read on– freeze it and you’ve got ICE CREAM too!!
As to green food, the fact is that I eat mountains of green food daily. When people see the size of my restaurant sized bowl filled with mixed salad greens and super greens, like kale, collards, mustard greens, broccoli, and so on, they ask, “how many are you feeding?” Honestly, while I enjoy sharing meals, those big bowls of green vegetables are for me. And then I am set to have my daily dose of the brown food that I like best, which is, of course, chocolate. So why not another green recipe? But what?
I was thirsty, and not too hungry and that is what led me to this blender-made St. Patrick’s Days beverage. Yep, often this is how I dream up recipes. What came to my mind was a creamy, thick, maybe mint or lime scented shake. The test one base Vegan Thick Shake recipe was good enough to share with you. But, remember, this recipe is infinitely variable, so please make it to your taste. I drank half and refrigerated the rest overnight. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that the shake maintained the creamy consistency, good taste, and bright green color.
I used lacinato kale and wilted it to further tame the flavor. Generally, I use raw kale, and you can do that too, or use spinach. I used a teeny bit of mint oil since I didn’t have fresh mint leaves, which would have been my first choice. No mint is necessary if you don’t like it. Be careful though with mint oils and extracts. Use just a little and build to taste. Some taste better than others.
The cashews: You are welcome for this tip!
- 1/2 cup raw cashews, dry weighs 2.5 ounces
- 1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked weighs 3.3 ounce
This is important information to have if you’ve soaked a quantity of nuts, ie: more than 1/2 or 1 cup. After soaking and draining, the weight and cup measures will have changed.
Following are some ideas to make the base recipe your own:
- Add a tablespoon of tahini and freeze for ice cream – really!
- Add some pistachio nut butter.
- Use spinach instead of kale.
- Add more kale, or less, raw or wilted
- Add frozen banana to make a slightly thicker, creamier shake
- Taste and decide of you want the tablespoon or more of coconut sugar. It is not necessary.
- A pinch of salt brings up the flavor, but leave it out for a salt-free shake.
- Do use vanilla extract, as vanilla rounds flavors and sweetens.
- Use fresh mint leaves.
St. Patrick’s Day Happy Vegan Thick Shake
Makes 1 3/4 cups: 1 to 2 servings
- 1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked* and drained
- 2/3 cup water
- 1 large leaf lacinato kale, stemmed and wilted or raw, or use spinach
- 3 to 4 pitted dates, soaked or 1/4 cup date paste or more to taste
- 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 drop mint oil or extract, more to taste (optional)
- 1 tablespoon coconut sugar, optional
- Grated dark chocolate. for garnish
Soak the cashews a few hours or overnight, or quick soak them in boiling water, drain.
Wilt the kale in a bowl of boiling water, drain.
Add the cashews and water to a blender. High speed is best, but any will do.
Blend, starting low, and quickly, moving to high speed until a smooth cream is achieved.
Add the kale, 3 of the dates or date paste, and vanilla, and blend until fully incorporated.
Taste and add the optional coconut sugar or more dates.
Blend until really creamy. Add a few ice cubes if you like your shakes icy cold.
Pour into a glass, grate the dark chocolate on top. Serve cold.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Now make some Winnie Goldberg Costigan’s Irish Soda Bread and Kale Butter, and be happy and healthy.