I feel like I’ve been missing out on these for so long. Unnecessarily.
I don’t drink coffee. Like, ever. Because of this, I didn’t think Starbucks ever had a place in my life. Sure, I’ve had their hot chocolate a few times and a cupcake once, but neither impressed me much. Especially for how expensive they were.
Then a very good friend informed me that the vanilla bean frappuccino at Starbucks didn’t have coffee in it. And that it was pretty amazing with a dash of cinnamon on top.
The next day I texted Steve when he got off and he brought one home. I’m sure he felt like a fish out of water, too, because he doesn’t drink coffee either.
Delicious. Like super-duper delicious. But also super-duper sweet. Whatever frappuccino syrup they use is probably full of corn syrup. (Just a guess. But I’m willing to bet I’m right.)
I loved the idea of them though, so I decided to make my own naturally-sweetened, dairy-free copycat Starbucks version. (That doesn’t cost $5 a cup.)
I created a base out of almond milk, Date Paste (you can use honey or a low-carb sweetener if you like), and the black seedy stuff from a vanilla bean pod.
UPDATE: Vanilla beans have gone up drastically in price since I posted this. You could also use vanilla bean powder or an affordable vanilla extract to get that vanilla flavor.
I froze half of the sweetened milk base into ice cubes and stored the rest in the fridge — sort of a sweetened milk ice situation. When I’m ready for one, I blended the cubes with the liquid base and made a half-frozen drink that has the same consistency of an A&W Root Beer Freeze. (Seriously, have you ever had one of those? To die for.)
The good news is that you can keep a big supply of cubes in the fridge and whip up some liquid mixture whenever you want a Starbucks vanilla bean frappuccino. But not a lot of syrupy sweetness.
The bad news is you’re out of luck for a few hours if you don’t have a supply of cubes.
Don’t run out of cubes.
But if you do…. you could make some base with extra sweetener and vanilla and blend it with some ice cubes. Adding extra sweetener and flavor would keep it from getting diluted from the ice cubes.
Also, if you’re wondering what Date Paste is, click over and read my post on how to make it! It’s easier than you think and makes a great natural sweetener.
If you’re a fan of healthy frozen blender treats you NEED to check out the others I have on my site!
More Healthy Frozen Blender Treats
5-Minute Paleo Strawberry Ice Cream – Frozen strawberries, date paste (Again. See how useful it is?), and a hint of orange juice brighten up this tasty dairy-free ice cream.
Raspberry Sorbet – This is a raspberry variation of the one I just mentioned using freeze-dried raspberries for big punch of raspberry flavor!
Grilled Pineapple Whip – Honestly, I think Disneyland Dole Whips are overrated. Try making them at home with frozen GRILLED PINEAPPLE. Yes, it’s as good as it sounds.
5-Minute Mango Sorbet – Another frozen fruit blender sorbet with just 3 ingredients!
Paleo Chocolate Ice Cream – The first thing I ever made in my Blendtec blender. (I got right to the good stuff. Haha.) It’s still a family favorite after all these years. We love adding a drop or two of peppermint oil to this.
Frosty Pumpkin Pie Shots – A paleo, naturally-sweetened, frozen version of pumpkin pie. Hard to imagine, I know. But incredibly tasty!
- 2 1/2 cups almond or coconut milk
- 3 Tablespoons date paste (see note)
- 1 vanilla bean
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
- vanilla stevia, to taste (optional)
- dash of cinnamon
- coconut cream (optional)
- Put the milk and date paste in a blender. Split open the vanilla bean with a sharp knife and scrape out the insides using the back of your knife. Reserve the pod. Put the insides in a blender with the milk. Add the vanilla extract and pinch of salt. Blend the mixture until thoroughly combined. Taste and add a little vanilla stevia or more date paste if you'd like it sweeter.
- Pour enough of the milk mixture to freeze one standard tray of ice cubes. Freeze.
- Meanwhile, cut the reserved vanilla pod in half width-wise and put it in the remaining milk mixture. Chill until ready to use.
- When the portion in the freezer is frozen solid, put the cubes in the blender. Discard the pod from the liquid mixture and pour it over top. Blend.
- To serve, divide the frappuccino between two glasses (or three, if you're feeling generous) top with a drizzle of coconut cream (optional) and a dash of cinnamon.
- Repeat all summer.
- Making date paste is easy. For directions, follow the link below to the date paste post I wrote. If you don't want to make it, you can use 2-3 pitted medjool dates. You'll have to blend it longer to get them chopped up finely.
- Vanilla beans are pricey, I know. You can substitute vanilla bean paste (Nielsen-Massey brand is great). The vanilla bean paste does have sugar, though, so if you're completely avoiding refined sugar you may want to get a vanilla bean or simply use extract.