Well, guys, it’s finally here: it’s Election Day 2016 in the U.S. Thank the Lord! I know most of you are with me in feeling that sentiment, regardless of your political affiliation. This election year has been a rough one; this contest has most of us pretty darn stomach-in-knots nervous.
Two points that may ease your mind today as they have eased mine:
1) While our actions can feel minuscule and insignificant in the face of the batshit crazy that seems to dominate our nation’s landscape these days, collectively, we can all make a positive difference. Small actions can add up and turn the tide! Exercising our right to vote is one way we can show our government leaders that we are paying attention to their actions – so get out there and vote!
2) Alcohol-imbibing is a time-honored form of calming nerves and delivering solace that, when enjoyed responsibly, can make days like today a little more bearable. So after you vote and before you park yourself in front of the TV to follow the election results, whip up this bad boy: a little boozy chocolate milkshake.
A few excellent traits of this drink: for one, except for whatever sugar may exist in the liquors, it is processed-sugar-free! And instead of ice cream being used, we have frozen bananas providing the creaminess! Plus, the chocolate flavor comes from my favorite super-food obsession: unsweetened raw cacao, packing a powerful punch of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals such as magnesium, iron, and copper! Win, win, and win! And if you substitute another ounce of vanilla vodka for the Irish cream liqueur, this baby will be vegan (or you can Google “vegan Irish cream recipe” and make your own animal-friendly version. Love the creativity and ingenuity reflected in such recipes – there is a vegan substitute out there for everything – so inspiring!). And if alcohol is not your thing, this milkshake sans the boozes is a still-incredibly-delicious, even healthier treat that will give the Shirley Temple a major run for its money.
If you are looking for a thick milkshake, which I prefer, the bigger the bananas used, the better. Also, using bananas that have been in the freezer for at least a day will ensure that they give the shake that rich ice cream-consistency. I realize not everyone has frozen bananas on hand as I often do (I LOVE banana smoothies!), but even freezing your bananas for a few hours should provide some benefit. To give you a better idea of my discoveries: for Draft 1 of this recipe, I used two large bananas that were frozen solid, and the shake had an excellent thick consistency. For Draft 2, the bananas were smaller, and while one was sufficiently frozen, the other had only been in the freezer for about four hours. The shake still turned out delicious, but as you may deduce from the photo above, the consistency is much thinner. It’s all about your preference – so happy blending!
– 2 good-sized frozen ripe bananas
-1 1/4 cups unsweetened almond milk – or more, depending on your desired consistency
-2 tbs. unsweetened raw cacao
-1 ounce (2 tbs.) Irish cream liqueur (such as Bailey’s or Carolans)
-1 ounce (2 tbs.) vanilla-flavored vodka
Throw all ingredients into a blender and process until smooth. If you find you’d like to produce a thinner consistency than what you’re initially seeing, add a little more milk and blend until the shake suits your preference. Pour into glasses and enjoy! Makes two servings.