The Golden Chai-ger | Vegan Milkshake Recipe
When I lived in Texas, I wasn’t one of those people that looked forward to spring. In part, it meant terrible allergies and asthma were right around the corner but also because that meant summer was on its way too. And summers in Texas get pretty brutal unless you like temperatures around 105 F for months.
But here in the Northwest, it’s a completely different story. I still get the occasional allergy problem but the days are just gorgeous. The sun is bright and warm but the temperatures stay pretty mild. You just want to be outside and there are plenty of great mountains, forests, waterfalls, and even an ocean not far away to enjoy. So how can you not like spring and summer up here?
But I also have another reason to love spring. Fresh fruits and vegetables are back in season and overflowing everywhere. It just puts me back in nice cream milkshake making mode (that’s a mouth full isn’t it?). And if you know anything about me from previous posts, I love my shakes.
And lately, I’ve been having a particular craving for a spicy iced chai latte. But have you ever had a chai latte in the form of a vegan milkshake?
It sounds complicated but it’s far from it! In essence, a vegan milkshake, also called a nice cream shake, is a smoothie using frozen fruit (in most cases banana is used as a base) but unlike nice cream, you won’t stick it in the freezer to harden unless you want to. Once you know that connection between the two, a whole world of possibilities opens up. So (you guessed it) I’m really excited to share with you a great vegan milkshake recipe I called the Golden Chai-ger. It uses frozen bananas as its base with hemp milk, chai, turmeric, and few other ingredients you most likely have in your cupboards already. All of which can be bought in bulk if you have a good bulk section except for the coconut milk (and maybe the vanilla).
Sound good? Read on!
I Spy With My Little Chai…Something With Turmeric
For me, turmeric is one of those spices that is most associated with Indian food. I mean come on, it’s a staple in any garam masala mix and gives those dishes that lovely yellow color.
But beyond culinary uses, turmeric has been used in traditional Chinese and Ayurveda medicine for centuries. It is called a superfood or “functional food” and with very good reasons. The benefits of turmeric include:
- Amazing anti-inflammatory properties (especially pain related)
- May prevent or slow blood clot formation
- May reduce symptoms of depression
- Boost skin health (turmeric face mask anyone?)
- Aid function of the liver in detoxifying the body
- Supports digestion and improve IBS
Hence why you see those supplement bottles for powdered turmeric.
I can personally attest to the pain-relieving capabilities of turmeric. When I was regularly training at my kung fu school, I was also regularly drinking smoothies or juices that contained turmeric. There was a period of about a month where my regular consumption of that herb stopped and then I started having chronic mild knee and sciatic pain after training. Little did I know how much that lovely little root was helping me!
So next time before you reach for that bottle of Advil or other NSAID, turmeric can be used as a natural pain reliever. And supplements can help with that if you need a large dose quickly. But why buy an overpriced supplement in a plastic bottle when you can get the benefits from raw turmeric in a delicious smoothie or shake?
Tips to Make a Golden Chai-ger Milkshake
Like any good recipe, my vegan shakes (or smoothies) are easily customizable to make this the best tasting vegan milkshake for you. So here are some suggestions to keep in mind when making this recipe.
- Like all my shake recipes, this one calls for using frozen fruits. As it is better for the environment and minimizes packaging waste, I’d highly recommend freezing your own fruits. It’s really easy to do and takes very little time. Just wash, de-seed (if needed), and store in the freezer a day or two before you need them.
- Overripe bananas are best. To freeze bananas, peel and break the banana into thirds. Store them loosely in the freezer (trust me, you do not want to try to break apart a frozen banana block). And they will be ready to use within a day or two.
- You will need a high-performance blender to make this recipe. These appliances are more expensive than conventional machines but completely worth it. I have a Vitamix 5200 blender and I use it for all my recipes. However, I have been hearing really good things about the Blendtec Total Classic blender as well and the price is comparable (or possibly cheaper) to the Vitamix. However, there are many good choices on the market so I suggest you do your research first before buying.
- And like all my drinks, this one is easily customizable. Don’t want the caffeine from the black tea? Replace the chai with hemp milk at the same amount and add ½ tsp ground cardamom, ½ tsp. ground cinnamon (additional to the ½ tsp. in the recipe so 1 tsp. in total), ¼ tsp. allspice, ¼ tsp. ground clove, ¼ tsp. black pepper,
¼ tsp. ground star anise, and a dash of nutmeg. Don’t have hemp seeds or milk? Add 2 tbsp. raw almonds to a cup of water and blend on high for a few minutes. Presto! You’ve got a quick cup of almond milk. Want it a little sweeter? Add 2 dates (deglets are my favorite).
- If you’d like to use this as a meal replacement, workout drink, or just want a little extra protein, you can easily add 1-2 tablespoons of your favorite protein powder to it. Unflavored and vanilla flavored protein powders work wonderfully!
- To minimize packaging and lessen your environmental impact, try making your own hemp milk. Hemp milk is much better when it is homemade than the store-bought stuff anyway.
- When using raw turmeric or ginger, keep in mind a little goes a long way. A piece of turmeric about the size of your pinky and 1-2 inches long is all you need. Likewise, a slice of ginger about ¼ inch thick and 1 inch in diameter should be enough. You can, of course, adjust the size for more or less depending on your tastes. I wash them before use but I don’t bother to peel the outer skin off either of these since my Vitamix does such a great job thoroughly blending everything. You can choose to remove the skins if you desire but turmeric does stain skin and other things so just keep that in mind when handling it. Likewise, you can replace raw turmeric with powdered at a ratio of ½ tsp. powder per inch raw turmeric. You can also replace the raw ginger with a ½ tsp. ground as well.
- Lastly, I like to make my shakes very thick. To do this you need to pour in just enough milk that it sits about an inch to 1 1/2 inches below the very top of the bananas. Be conservative about this! You can always add more. Start the blender up on a very low setting and see how it does. If your blender is laboring to turn, just add more milk slowly until the blades turn. Be careful that you don’t crank the setting up too high before doing this or you’ll likely burn out your engine.
That’s it! On to the recipe!
Want a chai latte in the form of a vegan milkshake? This recipe uses frozen bananas as its base with hemp milk, chai, turmeric, and few other ingredients you most likely have in your cupboards already.
- 1 ½ medium frozen bananas (approx. 1 1/2 cups)
- 1 slice raw ginger 1″ diameter
- 1 piece raw turmeric approx. 2″ long
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1 tbsp. unsweetened coconut milk (the canned variety)
- 1/4 cup chai *
- ¼ – 3/4 cup unsweetened hemp milk enough to reach about 1 1/2 inch below the top of the fruit
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. cardomom
- 1/4 tsp. allspice
- 1/4 tsp. clove
- 1/4 tsp. black pepper
- 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
Place everything but the banana, chai, and hemp milk in the blender first.
Then add the banana.
Add the chai first and then fill the rest with hemp milk until it sits about 1 ½ inch under the very top of the fruit.
Turn on the blender at the lowest setting and let it run for about a minute. Add more liquid (if needed) to reach the desired thickness. Use the tamper if needed.
Slowly turn the setting to high. Blend just until smooth. Immediately serve.
Makes about 14 oz.
Calories are approximate.
Avoid blending any longer than what is needed. The blades will heat up the drink and make it runny.
1/2 tsp. powdered turmeric = 1-inch raw
For extra sweetness, add 1-2 deglet dates
For a caffeine-free milkshake, omit the chai and replace with Chai Seasoning Mix
Want to try some other vegan milkshake (also called smoothies) inspirations?
- The Texan PB&J Milkshake
- Matcha Green Tea and Pistachio Smoothie
- Pumpkin Spice Smoothie(Without Pumpkin)
- Spiced Pumpkin Smoothie
Did you give this recipe a try?
Or if you have any questions or feedback, you are always welcome to leave me a comment below. I’d really love to hear from you!