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Whether you're lactose intolerant, vegan, or looking for alternatives to dairy, you're about to see just how many ways you won't miss the moo juice in one of the most iconic ice cream treats. You'll discover ways to make these dairy-free "milk" shakes just as rich and creamy, just as sweet and sinful, just as delicious as the original with ingredients like nut milks and nut butters, medjool dates, coconut milk, and even avocado. Break out the blender. It's time to shake things up. (Sorry, there's no way to not go for the bad pun.)
1. Amaretto Sour Vegan Shake
There's no moo in this milkshake, but there is a healthy splash (okay, 1/3 cup) of amaretto. Think of it as a Happy Hour shake for a hot, summer afternoon. Get our Amaretto Sour Vegan Shake recipe.
2. Paleo Pumpkin Smoothie
Don't let The Man or some coffee empire try to tell you that pumpkin is a limited-time, strictly-for-fall flavor. You march yourself into that grocery store and grab a few cans of pumpkin puree and show the world you can have your pumpkin pie spiced milkshake for the 4th of July if you feel like it. Get the recipe here.
3. Vegan Chocolate Milkshake
Bananas, cocoa powder, medjool dates, almond butter, almond milk – simple as that, and the combination makes the most rich, chocolate-y shake. If you're leery of a too-sweet concoction, cut back to one date; or, add a dusting of espresso powder to the mix to give it a mocha edge. Get the recipe here.
4. Vegan Vanilla Cashew Shake
You know those healthy, substitute-y recipes that tell you you'll hardly miss the meat/cheese/dairy/gluten and you're like, "yeah, right"? Well, we've got a winner here. This shake is proof it's possible to replicate the creamy, rich consistency and flavor of an authentic soda fountain vanilla shake without ice cream. A healthy helping of cashews will do that, but it's the slick nature of the chia seeds that give this shake a good shot of protein and a great texture. Get the recipe here.
5. Kava Shake
If kava isn't in your repertoire yet, this simple, sweet shake is a good introduction. South Pacific islanders drink this powdered root for its sedative properties. You won't find any of the typical muddy, wet cardboard flavor here, and you may get some of the ground root's interesting, er, side effects. Get our Kava Shake recipe.
6. Chocolate Banana Avocado Milkshake
Yes, you're going to put an avocado in the milkshake, and you're going to like it. Nevermind the claim that "you can't even taste it" -- you can feel it in there. All creamy and luscious, like a rich, premium ice cream with a high butterfat content, only it's all monounsaturated fat that can helps lower your cholesterol level. Good for you. Get the recipe here.
7. Tastes Like Ice Cream Kale Shake
They say we eat first with our eyes, so you may have to close yours' while you sip this rich, smooth shake to be a true believer. The unmistakable hue is the only clue that there's kale involved. The key is getting the mix ice-cold. You can use extra ice, or plan ahead and freeze those bananas. Get the recipe here.
8. Mango Raspberry Vegan Shake
Sweet mango, ripe, tart raspberry and a sprinkling of toasted coconut – this shake delivers layers of flavor and texture. If you're scaling back on sugar, substitute frozen natural mango juice for the sorbet. Get our Mango Raspberry Vegan Shake recipe.
9. Almond Joy Smoothie + Milkshake
Is it a smoothie? Is it a milkshake? It's both. Two great recipes, one outstanding flavor combination. The lighter smoothie is built for morning consumption; the rich shake is squarely in dessert territory. Get the recipe here.
Colleen Rush is a food and travel writer who eats, drinks, cooks, and writes mostly in New Orleans, but also ... everywhere else. She is the author of "The Mere Mortal's Guide to Fine Dining" (Broadway Books, 2006), and coauthor of "Low & Slow: Master the Art of Barbecue in 5 Easy Lessons" (Running Press, 2009) and the upcoming "Low & Slow 2: The Art of Barbecue, Smoke Roasting, and Basic Curing" (Running Press, 2015). Follow her on Twitter or Instagram.