Learn how to make the creamiest, easy strawberry milkshake without ice cream.
It's like the best homemade strawberry frappuccino but healthy!
To make this delicious strawberry shake you can use fresh or frozen strawberries and the milk of your choice. These are the two basic ingredients you'll need, plus a few more for extra sweetness or flavor (which are optional).
This recipe uses equal quantities (by weight) of strawberries and milk, in order to create a thick, creamy texture without ice cream.
It is also made without ice or ice cubes, because it dilutes the taste. Instead, for an extra cold shake, use frozen strawberries or chill some fresh ones in the freezer for a few hours.
- Strawberries (fresh or frozen)
- Sweetener of choice (stevia, maple syrup, agave, sugar)
- Vanilla extract
- Freeze-dried strawberry powder (for stronger strawberry flavor)
- Powdered milk (for even creamier texture)
Strawberries: If you make this smoothie during strawberry season, you can use fresh strawberries. Choose the most ripe, juicy and aromatic fruit you can find and chill them for a few hours in the freezer.
If it's not strawberry season, then using frozen strawberries is probably better, because they will be more flavorful and sweet.
If you have any leftover strawberries, I'm guessing you'll be making this milkshake again the next day, but you can also try this super healthy banana & strawberry smoothie with adaptogens.
Sweetener: Bonappetit.com in the article on how to intensify the berry flavor suggests adding some sugar and a bit of salt.
Maple syrup or stevia sweetener is my two favorite choices but you can use what you have in hand, including sugar.
I've found that the only sweetener that doesn't dissolve easily is honey, so if you try that you may have to blend for some extra time.
Depending on the sweetness of the fruit, the quantity of the sweetener may change. The best way to determine how much to use is to taste and adjust accordingly.
Freeze-dried strawberry powder is optional, but if you like an ultra fruity milkshake, this ingredient will bump up the strawberry flavor.
And it's not just me saying this. You can also see a similar technique from America's Test kitchen in this video for how to maximize strawberry flavor.
Powdered milk: This milkshake is already very creamy, even without ice cream. However, if you like it even thicker, you can add a few tablespoons of powdered milk.
Transfer the strawberries, the milk, the vanilla extract, the sweetener and the salt to a blender and blend on high until smooth. You may have to stop and mix with a tamper (or a spoon).
Taste and adjust the quantity of the sweetener, then blend for a few more seconds.
Pour the milkshake into a tall glass and garnish with a whole strawberry on the rim.
*For the marbled effect and the whipped cream topping read read the "Serving and garnishes" section.
Variations - Substitutions
To make this strawberry milkshake vegan and dairy-free, you can substitute the milk with almond milk or coconut milk (not the canned type). Once you begin blending, the mixture will thicken and become almost sorbet-like.
This doesn't happen with regular milk, so I have the feeling that it's caused by the additional ingredients in dairy-free milk which are used to make it thicker and creamier.
However, this doesn't affect the taste or anything else. Continue blending using a tamper or shaking the blender often, until the mixture becomes creamy.
Instead of strawberries you can use a mix of frozen berries (such as blueberries, raspberries, cherries, cranberries) or fresh berries cold from the fridge.
Instead of freeze-dried strawberry powder you can use cranberry powder or acai powder (Acai berries are considered a super food and I use acai powder in this acai bowl nice cream).
Any berry powder will make this smoothie taste more fruity.
If you are used to milkshakes with ice cream but also want a healthier version, you can try adding a few tablespoons of Greek yogurt instead of your classic vanilla ice cream.
Yogurt will add more protein to the recipe, but because it tastes sour you may need to increase the sweetener.
Serving and garnishes
For the healthiest option, serve this strawberry milkshake plain, with a straw and a fresh strawberry on the rim of the glass.
If you want it to be more like a strawberry frappuccino, you can top it with whipped cream. To make it, you will just whip ¼ of a cup very cold heavy cream with a teaspoon of powdered sugar, until stiff peaks form (these quantities are for 1 milkshake).
To make the marbled effect inside the glass, add a tablespoon of strawberry puree in the serving glass and then pour the milkshake. Add a few drops of strawberry puree over the whipped cream too.
To make the strawberry puree, just blend 1 heaped cup of fresh strawberries (200 grams) with ¼ cup granulated sugar (50 grams).
If you're making only one milkshake, you will have leftover strawberry puree. However if you reduce the quantities, it may not blend very well.
That's why I make it with one cup strawberries and store the leftover in the fridge for 3-4 days. It goes very well with sliced bananas and other fruit, or with some bread and butter (instead of jam).
If making the strawberry puree seems too much of a trouble, you can also use a store-bought one or even some strawberry syrup.
More garnishing ideas:
- Sprinkles: Add a sprinkle of colorful or chocolate sprinkles over the whipped cream to give your milkshake a fun and festive look.
- Chocolate Drizzle or chocolate shavings: Drizzle some chocolate syrup or sprinkle some chocolate shavings over the whipped cream for a luscious appearance.
- Mint Leaves: Place a small sprig of fresh mint leaves on top of the whipped cream for a pop of green color and a hint of refreshing flavor.
This strawberry milkshake will last in the fridge for up to 2 days. The best way to store it is inside a glass jar with a lid tightly sealed or inside a serving glass with the top part wrapped with plastic wrap.
Store it without any toppings and add them just before serving.
For a caffeinated frappuccino, make sure to try this easy coffee ice cream frappe recipe.
This is a perfect recipe for small parties and celebrations like Valentine's Day but make sure to check more Valentine's Day recipes if you're searching for what to make for your other half.
Best strawberry milkshake recipe without ice cream
- 1 Blender
- 2 tall glasses
- 3 cups (500 g) frozen strawberries
- 2 cups (480 g) milk
- 3 tablespoons (45 g) maple syrup or the equivalent stevia sweetener (you may need more)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- A pinch of salt
- 2 teaspoons freeze-dried strawberry powder, optional
- 4 tablespoons powdered milk, optional
- Transfer the strawberries, the milk, the vanilla extract, the sweetener and the salt to a blender and blend on high until smooth. You may have to stop and mix with a tamper (or a spoon). Taste and adjust the quantity of the sweetener, then blend for a few more seconds.
- If using strawberry puree (read notes) add 1-2 tablespoons on each glass. Then pour the milkshake into the glasses and garnish with a whole strawberry on the rim.
- To make the strawberry puree, just blend 1 heaped cup of fresh strawberries (200 grams) with ¼ cup granulated sugar (50 grams).
- To make the whipped cream, you will need to whip ½ of a cup very cold heavy cream with 2 teaspoons of powdered sugar, until stiff peaks form (these quantities are for 2 milkshakes).
- Instead of frozen strawberries you can also use fresh strawberries. Chill them in the fridge or even better in the freezer for a few hours before using them.
- If you plan to add whipped cream on top, don't fill the glass all the way up because the milkshake will overflow (you can see that from the photos).
- If you don't have a high duty blender, it will be easier to blend the milk with half of the frozen strawberries until smooth, and then add the rest of the strawberries.
- The milkshake will have a stronger strawberry flavor if you use almond milk. However the texture is creamier and smoother with regular milk (read the "Variations - Substitutions" section for more details).
Some sources mention that milkshake is considered a beverage while others say it's a dessert. The truth is that it's a little bit of both, but what matters is that you enjoy it whenever you like.
This strawberry milkshake without ice cream is a healthy version of your classic milkshake something that also makes it suitable for breakfast!
For another healthy-ish dessert, try this strawberry panna cotta with Greek yogurt.
The healthiness of a strawberry milkshake depends on its ingredients and how it is prepared. While strawberries themselves are a nutritious fruit, rich in vitamin C and other antioxidants, milkshakes often include additional ingredients that can affect their overall healthiness.
To make a healthier strawberry milkshake, you can consider the following:
Use low-fat or skim milk instead of whole milk.
Choose reduced-fat or low-fat ice cream or frozen yogurt options, or even use frozen banana or yogurt as a base.
Include a higher proportion of strawberries to enhance the nutritional content and natural sweetness.
Limit or avoid adding additional sugars or syrups.
Many recipes call for ice cubes because they'll make the drink colder. However, ice cubes will weaken the taste of the milkshake.
If you prefer a creamier and richer texture without dilution, you can omit the ice cubes or use alternative methods like freezing the fruit or using frozen yogurt to achieve the desired thickness and coldness.