This Chocolate Thick Shake, which is made from a base of oat and hemp milks, cocoa powder and superfood, antioxidant and flavonoid-rich cacao nibs, is super satisfying and contains a whole lot of nutrition. It’s the healthy treat I needed after a few days of indulging in tastings of new foods at the Natural Products Expo East last week.
Natural Products Expo East
As the lead Instructor for the Essential Vegan Desserts at Rouxbe, recipe developer, food writer, and a naturally curious person, I taste a lot of ingredients, foods, and recipe tests. This week, I am eating as lightly as possible and loading extra greens and exercise to balance the two full days of the tastings of new products I did at the Natural Products Expo last weekend. In addition to talking with vendors, I ate many slices of irresistible bread and butter and cheeses from Miyoko’s, enjoyed tuna and crab cakes from Good Catch, sampled chocolates galore, and ice cream too. (I’ve known Coconut Bliss ice cream for a while, but Daiya has a new ice cream that’s excellent.) I downed cups of plant milks in lattes and shakes, and I enjoyed good tasting low- or no-sugar yogurt. As for the vegan sprinkles and natural food colors, I looked and asked questions.
Philadelphia Vegan Restaurant Week
I’m trying to remain focused on balance even with this week’s first-ever Philadelphia Vegan Restaurant Week (I did have one fabulous mutlit-course treat meal, though thanks to Chef Lenka at Plough and the Stars). Add to this the Les Dames d’Escoffier Philadelphia Harvest Dinner, with food by 20 chefs, and I have a lot of good eating ahead of me.
Chocolate Thick Shake
My certainty that deprivation does not work has led me to the Cocoa Thick Shake I created for VEGWORLD Magazine. The fact is I will want something sweet to balance the big bowls of kale, cucumbers, celery, and beans I’m eating. VEGWORLD follows the pillars of whole foods, plant-based diet: no sugar, oil, nuts, seeds, coconut allowed. I was tasked with creating 2 desserts for the food issue. I accepted the challenge and made a Chocolate Thick Shake and a Mango Quinoa Pudding. I’m going to share the Chocolate Thick Shake with you and make one for myself later.
Chocolate Thick Shake
Makes 2 1/4 cups for 2 servings
- 1/2 cup rolled oats
- 1/4 cup hemp hearts
- 6 Medjool dates, pitted and halved
- 1½ cups filtered water
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, taste add more
- pinch sea salt
- 1½ tablespoons good quality non-alkalized cocoa powder, or unroasted cacao, more to taste
- 1½ tablespoons cacao nibs, more to taste
- 2 to 3 ice cubes
- Pour 1 1/2 cups filtered water in a blender container, preferably a high-speed blender.
- Add the oats, hemp seeds, and the pitted date halves. Set aside for 10 minutes to allow the oats, hemp, and dates to soften.
- Add the vanilla and cinnamon. Start the blender on low, and increase the speed to high. Blend until the ingredients are completely incorporated.
- Add the cocoa, nibs, and ice cubes and blend, again starting on low and increasing the speed to high. Blend until thick and creamy.
- Pour into 2 glasses and enjoy!
Variation: Chocolate Banana Thick Shake
To each cup of the Chocolate Milkshake, add 1/2 frozen banana. Blend until creamy.
Photo by Hannah Kaminsky