I'm a vegan foodie with a serious sweet tooth, and I've been making dairy-free milkshakes for years.
Vegan Oreo Milkshake
If done right, vegan milkshakes are just as good as the ones with dairy. Dairy-free ice cream has come a long way, and it's far from bland. It's totally delicious and, these days, there is a myriad of flavors to choose from!
Whether you are on a vegan diet, want to lower your fat intake, or simply can't digest dairy products, this recipe will work for you. It's so simple to make, and the best part is you only need a few ingredients and a blender.
- 1 1/2 cups vegan ice cream
- 6 cookie sandwich cookies, like Oreos
- 1/2 cup dairy-free milk, I prefer to use canned coconut milk
- Start by adding the milk; adding the liquid first will help mix everything really well. Then add the other ingredients, but let the ice cream soften for a bit before you add it in. If the ice cream is too hard, it won't blend as well, which will force you to add more liquid and thin out the shake.
- Once all the ingredients are added, blend until creamy. As you blend it, pay attention to the consistency. For a thicker shake, add more ice cream (or less milk). You can eat it as is, or freeze the mixture to eat it as an ice cream treat for later. Add vegan whipped cream to your milkshake and top it with Oreo cookie crumble for decoration.
Are Oreos Vegan?
Oreo cookies are not labeled vegan, but people often refer to them as being a vegan snack. Even PETA has listed Oreos as vegan. But they aren't really vegan.
While they don't contain any dairy products, Nabisco, the company that makes these cookies, has stated that the sugar they use may contain bone char. Furthermore, many environmental groups have criticized Nabisco for their use of unsustainable palm oil, which is one of the key ingredients in these biscuits. Palm oil production from companies like Nabisco has been linked to deforestation and habitat loss. It's also the leading cause of orangutan deaths in South East Asia. If you are interested in learning more about palm oil, orangutans, deforestation and human rights violations, I've included some more videos down below.
Options for Similar Cookies
That being said, there are many companies out there that make cookies that are similar in taste to Oreos. Many of them are organic, vegan and don't contain palm oil. You can even make these cookies at home (see the video below).
The Secret to a Thicker Shake
This recipe calls for a cup and a half of vegan ice cream. That might seem like a lot (it's almost an entire pint of ice cream!), and it's about the same amount that non-vegan recipes use in their milkshakes. The good news is that since this recipe is dairy-free, you aren't getting the same fat content as you would from regular ice cream. The best part of this recipe is that it can be tweaked to accommodate your personal tastes and preferences. I often use cashew milk for my milkshakes, but if you make your shake with coconut milk or cream instead, you will get a thicker shake. You can add more or less ice cream to suit your preference. Remember: The more ice cream you add, the thicker it will be, and vice versa.
If Your Milkshake Is Too Sweet
If you want the taste of Oreo in your shake, but find that with 6 cookies and all that ice cream it ends up being too sweet, you can reduce the calories by only using the cookie crumble part of the cookie in your recipe and omitting the icing center of the cookie. The icing doesn't contribute very much in terms of flavor and it's easy to remove from the cookies. There are even Oreo-type cookies that are sold without the icing. Or you can just make your own! It's an easy way to reduce sugar without compromising taste.
The Order of Ingredients Going Into the Blender Matters
When I first started making milkshakes and smoothies, I would add my ingredients into the blender haphazardly. Sometimes it would turn out OK, but sometimes it wouldn't blend properly and would come out too chunky. Then I started doing some research and I discovered that a lot of the pros put the liquid into their blender first before the other ingredients. The order in which you put your ingredients into the blender actually matters. It really helps to blend things properly if you add the milk first. Adding ingredients in a specific order really made a difference for me.
Tips to Make an Amazing Vegan Milkshake
- Add some coffee or cayenne pepper to your milkshake: try adding instant coffee or already brewed cold coffee. Coffee and cayenne enhance the flavor of chocolate and cut the bitterness of cocoa.
- The best non-vegan milkshakes use full-fat milk or cream to make the drinks rich and creamy. If you want to replicate the texture and creaminess of a dairy milkshake, use a nut milk that's also rich and creamy: try cashew milk, oat milk or coconut milk instead of almond milk. You can even use vegan cream.
- Put your glass in the freezer to chill before making your drink. This will keep your milkshake nice and cold.
- Add a little vegan Xantham gum into your milkshake (preferably in liquid form). Xantham gum is used at places like Starbucks to prevent their drinks from separating. It will also make your milkshakes and smoothies thicker.
- Add a tiny dash of salt. A little bit of salt adds contrast to the sweetness in your drink and enhances the flavors.
- Quality and fresh ingredients are important. With any milkshake, the fresher and better quality the ingredients, the better it will taste.
- Try using vanilla bean paste instead of extract for recipes that require vanilla.
- Add some pudding, dates or frozen banana for flavor, sweetness and thickness.
- For a healthier and more filling milkshake, add some peanut butter and/or protein powder.
- You can even try adding veggies like spinach to make it healthier.