Welcome to ‘365 days of guilt-free shakes series’ – 100% sugar free !
It’s not the typical milk shake recipes that are going around but with a totally unique interesting recipe that is 100% sugar free, packed with nutrients and incredibly sweet for a sweet-tooth with a ‘natural secret ingredient’. Dig in to find out the secret sweetener that can be easily made at home.
Around September 2011, as part of my diet-revision I mandated eating fruits (banana and a seasonal fruit), veggies, dry fruits and milk. Sometimes I skipped the fruits or missed the milk. So, I decided to combine the milk and fruit to a routine breakfast shake and the routine was a success. After a month, my heart was guilty about one thing! I was adding SUGAR to the shake!!! which was an extra-unhealthy add-on 😯 , this is when I started the hunt for a NATURAL HEALTHY SWEETNER. Next thing that comes to our mind is honey! right?…well, I had made shakes with honey occasionally but I was not pleased with it as I felt the honey kind of overrides the actual taste and an unconfirmed buzz that ‘honey when added to COLD milk/water increases weight gain’!…Google it. I am not sure about it and I simply didn’t want to experiment it 😐 . So at first I decided to add one ripe banana as a sweetener along with a seasonal fruit and a glass of milk for 2 servings. It worked and I was happy with it 🙂 …and after a few weeks of shaking with some seasonal fruits, I realized some fruits required extra sweetener 🙄 and again the hunt was on! At this time as part of my revised diet I was eating dried figs and apricots soaked overnight in 1/2 cup of water and one fine morning after eating the apricot and figs, I tasted the water…it was SWEEEEEET! 😛 and I hurried to test my shake with this fig & apricot soaked water and guess what?…it became a permanent sweet-fix for my shakes…woohoo!…and a series of ‘Guilt-free’ shakes evolved 😀 …I tried with almost all the fruits and it was equally sweet and incredibly tasty. As of now, the tested fruit shakes number has crossed 100! and the ‘to-try fruit-shakes’ list has crossed 300! and still adding on 🙂 and gradually I will upload all the tried & tasted sugar-free fruit shakes just for you!
We have read and still keep reading that there are tons of benefits in including the fruits as part of our daily diet routine, apart from all the vitamins and minerals they provide, they play an important role in maintaining a healthy weight by hunting down the excess body fats. So is that all true? Yes, it’s true. I believed this just after 3 months of shaking! Now, it’s your turn to believe!
FAQs (Frequently asked questions) about these shakes:
1) About Soaking dried Figs and apricots:
We generally eat the dried figs and apricots as it is…but I suggest you to wash it by soaking it in warm water for a minute, then 3-4 rubs using your fingers and discard the water, rinse once again with normal water and now fill it with drinking water (water just enough to cover the dry-fruits) and let it soak overnight (for morning/breakfast shake or at least 7-8 hours during the day for evening/post-workout/post-dinner shake)
2) Now how many figs and apricots to soak and how much soaked water should we use?
My shakes are for 2 people. For 2 people, I soak 2 dried figs and 2 dried apricots overnight in 1/2 cup of water and next morning I use the soaked water for my milkshake (increase the number of figs and apricots according to the head count and add an extra tbsp of water for extra fig and apricot used)
3) What is the general fruit shake recipe with this fig-apricot soaked water?
My milkshakes include 1 seasonal fruit, 1 banana, 1 ½ cups milk and 1/3 cup fig-apricot soaked water for 2 servings. Occasionally you will see some ‘banana-skipped’ milkshakes. I do this when I use 2 really sweet seasonal fruits (eg., Pear+Watermelon, Mango+Apple etc). Double/triple the ingredients used here for even (number)of servings (eg., for 4 servings – double the above recipe, for 6 servings – triple the above recipe etc, for 8 servings – double*double, for 10 servings- double*triple, for 12 servings- triple*triple etc). For odd number of servings…how do I say this!…kind of tricky…for 1 serving – half of ‘2 servings ingredients’. For rest of the odd servings (3,5, etc.) – the ratio is even number of servings + adjust the fruit, milk and sweetener for the extra person…If this is confusing, feel free to write to me and I will give you the exact measurements for any number of servings 🙂
Click here to see a sample ‘ fruit shake recipe video for 2 servings ‘
Remember, to soak the correct number of figs and apricots for the actual number of servings (eg., soak 5 figs and 5 apricots for 5 servings)
4) What can we do with the soaked figs and apricots?
Here are some ways I enjoy having them
- Usually I eat in the morning with a glass of water, a date and 4-5 soaked almonds (as show in slide – pic A)
- Occasionally make a shake with banana or pear or litchi. (Some shakes with soaked figs and apricots will be uploaded on the fruit shakes page. Look for shake #3, #4, #16, #17,#25, #26 ) (will be added gradually) in this page
- Rarely, I chop them and cook with oats porridge along with raisins and banana or slice and add to my breakfast cereal along with some crushed nuts (as in Pic B)
5) How to make it healthier:
Instead of using full fat/ full cream/ standard milk make it health-friendly by using low-fat milk, 2%reduced fat milk, slim milk, calcium enriched milk (not so tasty 😉 ) or organic milk…I prefer to use organic-low fat milk.
When it comes to fruits, go organic with these fruits – Apple, Pear, all berries (Strawberry, Blueberry, Raspberry, Blackberry (not the phone 😆 ), Boysenberry) and any fruits that we eat with skin-on.
6) Any milk alternatives for Lactose intolerance?
Yes, you have a variety of tasty healthy alternatives for milk. You can use almond milk(unsweetened), coconut milk (not the canned one – look for drinkable carton based ones with natural flavours), soy milk, rice milk, and some more lactose-free non-dairy milk options which I haven’t tasted so far – oats, multigrain and hemp milk.
For a tasty glass of shake, go with ALMOND and COCONUT 😛
7) Is there any other natural sweetener you have tried?
Yes, the second secret sweetener is ‘Soaked Golden raisins and its water’ 🙂 . I have made many shakes using the soaked golden raisin and the final feedback? – 100% sweetness guaranteed 😈 . This is the best natural sweetener for slightly-tangy fruits like strawberry, nectarine, peach, apricot, cherry, plum. Some shakes using soaked golden raisins are shake #26, #37, #92, #104, #200, #201, #243 and some more (these will be uploaded here)
8) Can I substitute the Cavendish (Robusta/common yellow) banana with different varieties of small bananas?
Yes, you can use small bananas. Use 2 small ripe bananas for one big Cavendish banana. You can also use the ripe red/pink banana as in picture.
9) Can I adjust the milk ratio used here?
Yes, you can adjust the milk ratio depending on your serving glass size.( The ratio is simple, use half of number of serving glasses)
For 1 serving, amount of milk should be = 1/2 of the serving glass
For 2 servings, amount of milk = 1 serving glass
For 3 servings, amount of milk = 1 1/2 serving glass
for 4 servings, amount of milk = 2 serving glasses and so on…
(in my case – for 2 servings, I use 1 serving glass of milk and sometimes little less with watermelon or 3 fruits shakes)
Some more facts:
You can use both ‘dried Turkish apricots’ and the ‘dried seeded – apricots’
This shake can be used as a flavoured milk for cereals ( sometimes, I have it
with cornflakes and rice puffs )
If the milk that you are using requires boiling, boil it and refrigerate for minimum
4-5 hours (or overnight) for a chilly shake!
If you have more questions about this shake or you want the exact serving measurements for you or your family, please write to me 🙂
‘Shake a day to trim your fats day by day’ 😀