09/23/2014 02:32 pm ET Updated Nov 23, 2014

The Best and Easiest Vegan Chocolate Milkshake Ever

James Ransom

Every other Thursday, Gena Hamshaw of the blog Choosing Raw shares satisfying, flavorful recipes that also happen to be vegan.

Today: A smooth, chocolatey milkshake, with frozen bananas and almond milk standing in for dairy. Stop what you're doing, and make one now.

This milkshake recipe is so intuitive and familiar to me that I tend to take for granted how absolutely delicious it is. I've made banana and almond butter shakes, often with the vital addition of cocoa powder, dozens of times.

So when I whipped up this chocolate "milkshake" (there's no regular milk involved, but see if it doesn't taste like one of the richest, creamiest shakes you’ve ever had) last week, I wasn't expecting to have the reaction I did; I was amazed at how a mixture of such simple things (bananas, almond milk, cocoa, dates) could taste so good. I took my first sip, sat down at my dining room table, and stopped everything so that I could savor the entire glass. I suppose it's never too late to rekindle your love affair with an old standby.

More: Make your almond butter from scratch -- here"s how.

This shake will benefit tremendously from bananas that have had time to get nice and ripe before you peel, chop, and freeze them; the riper they are before freezing, the creamier and sweeter your shake will be. If you don't have almond butter, cashew and coconut butter are great substitutes, and soy or hemp will also do nicely for the milk base (just don't use rice milk here -- it's not quite creamy enough). Peanut butter works well in the recipe, too, though its flavor is so strong that the taste profile will shift immediately from "chocolate milkshake" to "chocolate peanut butter milkshake" -- which may not be such a bad thing, after all.

Vegan Chocolate Milkshake

Makes 4 small or 2 large servings

2 ripe medium or large bananas, peeled, chopped into pieces, and frozen

2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

2 pitted medjool dates

1/4 cup almond butter

1 1/2 cups almond milk (soy or hemp will work well, too)

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here.

Photo by James Ransom

Gena's new book Choosing Raw: Making Raw Foods Part of the Way You Eat is a thorough, relatable guide to incorporating raw and vegan foods into any diet. It's full of no-fuss recipes for every meal, which range from fully raw to mostly cooked, with plenty of snacks and desserts to keep everyone happy.

This article originally appeared on The Best -- And Easiest -- Vegan Chocolate Milkshake

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