Note: this recipe post and pictures have been updated :)
Cookies and cream is very hit or miss for me. Well to be honest it’s normally a miss. Because almost always cookies and cream means a cloying puddle of sugar-y white with tiny flecks of black nothingness. This egregious sin is most prominent when you find things that are flavoured like cookies and cream that really shouldn’t be flavored like cookies and cream…like diet cookies and cream flavored things…or cookies n’ cream Muscle Milk. Shudder
However a good cookies and cream milkshake with good vanilla ice cream and crunchy pieces of Oreo (or Oreo-like chocolate wafers)? Yum. Sign me up.
Unfortunately it is not everyday that you can ingest a pint of ice cream with crushed Oreos. Sadly. So I wanted to come up with something that mimicked the sweet cream + vanilla flavors of cookies and cream without the ice cream. Still sticking with the Oreos though, hard to easily come up with something that matches that flavor. If you do want to be slightly healthier you can do what I did and buy the Trader Joe’s “Jo-Jos”, which contain no trans fats and have ‘real’ ingredients.
For the base I use unsweetened vanilla almond milk which is a creamy yet neutral base. To make it thicker I added in a bit of plain non fat Greek yogurt and handful of cashews, which when blended produce the smoothest, creamiest non-dairy base. Lastly extra vanilla (even though the almond milk was already vanilla flavored). It is one of those cases where the sake of adding a flavour more reminiscent of childhood nostalgia, artificial vanilla is best – but obviously the real thing is lovely too.
The Healthy Cookies and Cream Smoothie
- 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
- 1/4 cup plain non fat Greek yogurt
- 1/3 cup of raw cashew pieces
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (artificial or real)
- Stevia, agave or sweetener to taste (I like to use 1 packet of stevia and 2 tablespoons of agave)
- 6 Oreo or similar chocolate wafer style cookies (cookie only, no filling)
- Soak the raw cashews in the almond milk overnight. (Alternatively blend for a long time (~3 minutes), preferably with a high powered blender)
- Add the almond milk, cashews, yogurt, vanilla and sweetener to your blender. Blend thoroughly until smooth, longer if you the cashews were not pre-soaked
- Add in 4 of the 6 Oreo cookies and blend until they are mostly integrated in the smoothie.
- Pour the smoothie into a cup and then crumble the last Oreo cookies into the smoothie and stir. These will be nice crunchy pieces of Oreo to make this feel like a real Oreo milkshake.
I like the almond milk, cashews and agave/stevia here for the more neutral taste that highlights the cookies and cream flavour but if you don’t mind the distractions: coconut milk, brown sugar and/or honey, etc. would be fine. And if you want to emulate one of my favourite milkshakes of life at Harry’s in downtown La Jolla, the aptly named and even more expertly flavoured “Silver Fox” – add in some bananas and peanut butter!
Last but least take heart in that if you use vegan yogurt and use real Oreos your milkshake will be entirely vegan! Strange but true. Even the Oreo filling is actually vegan too. The things you learn living with a vegan roommmate (also: separate cutting boards are a must and learn to love pasta).
What to do with the cream centers you threw away? Don’t really have a recipe for that but I am in possession of a sister and a boyfriend that love the cream centers and I’m sure someone you like would love some triple or quadrupled stuffed Oreos.
Fun story: I have always hated the cream centers of Oreos but my sister adores them. Growing up in Brazil we didn’t buy Oreos that much because they were imported and expensive but we had a Brazilian knock off brand called Negresco. Whenever we ate Negresco I would sit side by side with my sister and I would give her the cream centers and she would give me her cookies. I would eat all the cookies and she would take all the cream centers and roll them into a huge ball and eat them like an apple. She also liked to do that with cheese. Haha. Luckily I don’t think she reads this blog because she always gets very upset when I share this story.