What's Happenin'

A Sidelines blog

Good Food Hunting: Strawberry Cream Shake

August 22, 2013 By: janwest Category: What's Happenin'

By Kat Wojtylak

The strawberry and cream shake gets a boost from freeze dried berries since frozen fruits aren't always ideal in terms of taste.

The strawberry and cream shake gets a boost from freeze dried berries since frozen fruits aren’t always ideal in terms of taste.

Summer is coming to an end, and with it the winding down of show season. Slowly we start getting depressed because daylight is shorter and our access to fresh ice cream and riding time is becoming limited. That ice cream bit may just be me however.
Ice cream or sweets splurges are something most of us can relate to in some way (for those dairy intolerant stick with me). We’re emotional over something- our horse decided to pull a stunt that left him lame before finals, your significant other threw their red shirt in with all of your riding clothes including the new breeches you bought, or you’re just sick and tired of it all. We’ve all been there and had some version of that ‘kind of day,’ where a pint of ice cream or visit to your secret stash is the first line of defense towards mending emotional breakdowns.
Ice cream, the universal cure for emotional upsets.

Ice cream, the universal cure for emotional upsets.

I hate to burst your bubble and possibly throw your emotional state right off the cliff, but have you happened to look at the nutritional label for ice cream lately? Holy Butterfinger! It’s absolutely and utterly heartbreaking to know that you can no longer eat a pint of ice cream in one sitting if you want to maintain weight (good thing you’re not a jockey). But it’s also scary not knowing what half of the ingredients are in it too.
Healthy alternatives usually mean no flavor and the inability to satiate even the barn dog. Luckily for you I stumbled upon an amazing fix for ice cream lovers without the huge guilt to rack up with it. The recipe started off as a shake to substitute for my morning meal which I do on days when I work out. It’s a good way to get nutrients, but not feel weighted down or starved. Normally I’ll throw yogurt, flax seeds, a banana, some type of frozen or fresh fruit and a splash of fruit juice in the blender. These are good, but due to the way our food system works, the frozen or fresh fruit (especially those which are out of season) doesn’t taste like a whole lot. While this shake can get me through my morning, there isn’t enough sweetness or taste there for me to feel like I’m getting satisfied as if I were to have one later in the day when I’m craving ice cream or a cookie. This is exactly how the recipe hunt got started, take the components of a shake but amp it up to feel like I’m getting a sweet treat but without all the calories and heaviness.

It’s a simple fact of compensating for what is lacking in the base recipe. In terms of the lame fruit with no flavor or taste, I added freeze dried fruit in addition to the frozen fruit. This not only enhances the color (we eat with our eyes), but also added the flavor of the berry back into the mix. For the subtle sweetness I was missing, I added in sugar and some vanilla- these are two ingredients in ice cream so it was a natural step. As far as the creaminess, I tried experimenting with a number of “creams.” Cream is in ice cream, but if it was unhealthiness we were trying to cut down on, then this wouldn’t suffice. I did try a vegan version and non-fat in terms of skim milk, the results were lack luster for me. I finally settled on organic whole milk which had a ton of flavor, vitamins and had just the right amount of creaminess. From all that, a recipe was born.

It’s a simple recipe, but I urge everyone to try various versions based on their own preferences. I insisted on the use of sugar because this shake became a healthier alternative to my plate of brownies in an emotional frenzy, and it satisfied my own sweet tooth. Omit the sugar or try honey or agave syrup. You can consider using different combinations of frozen fruit- perhaps peaches and raspberries, and then mix up the freeze dried fruit for whatever you can find. For those whose taste buds reflect a need for lightness, by all means- use skim milk or almond milk! Perhaps those vegans out there can help recommend an Almond Milk or other “milk” in which is creamier than what I chose to help make this more palatable for the masses. Be warned, the salt in this recipe is not one I would omit as it enhances the flavor of the recipe exponentially. But even if you stick to this very basic recipe, it’s satisfyingly delicious in times of weakness!

To full plates and eating your tarte out.

Strawberry and Cream shake mimics a milkshake without tons of extra calories and a bright burst of berry flavor.

Strawberry and Cream shake mimics a milkshake without tons of extra calories and a bright burst of berry flavor.

Strawberry Cream Shake

1 cup of frozen strawberries
1/2 cup of freeze dried strawberries
1 cup of whole milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons of sugar (optional)

In a blender, combine all the ingredients. Blend till smooth, adding more milk until desired consistency is achieved. Serve with a straw and fresh strawberry- or drink straight from the blender!

About the writer: Author Kat Wojtylak is a horse enthusiast turned food blogger. She maintains a day job in the horse world handling marketing and brand support to various companies, while enjoying her evenings and weekends writing recipes and blogging all about her culinary experiences. Visit her blog at EatYourTarteOut.com or email her at tartechic@eatyourtarteout.com.