Decadent Chocolate Milkshake You’d Never Know Is Healthy (Vegan, Gluten-Free, Refined Sugar Free, Easily Made Raw)

Today is January 31st, the last day of my 31 Days Of Healthy Recipes series — and time to celebrate! This Decadent Chocolate Milkshake is secretly healthy. Shhh! Your tastebuds will never know. Read on, or jump straight to the recipe HERE.

Decadent Chocolate Milkshake You Wouldn't Know Is Healthy | Will Cook For Friends

I’ve shared a few healthy treats this month (like these and these) but so far they’ve all been practical “tide-you-over-till-lunch” kind of recipes. A nice sweet treat, but not really dessert.

Now that we’re coming to the end of these 31 Days Of Healthy Recipes, I figured, it’s time to celebrate. And what better way than with the most decadent — but secretly healthy — dessert I know?

Enter, the most decadent chocolate milkshake evah!

Decadent Chocolate Milkshake You Wouldn't Know Is Healthy | Will Cook For Friends

I’m a big believer in not depriving myself entirely when I’m trying to eat healthier. Completely eliminating the things I crave just isn’t sustainable — at least, not for me — so instead I make allowances and give myself permission.

Dessert doesn’t have to be guilt-ridden, and it doesn’t have to be a “cheat” from your normal way of eating. Dessert can be healthy, too. Or at least, it can be a healthy part of our overall diets. A milkshake a day keeps the giant-bag-of-skittles away, amiright?!

This luscious glass of chocolaty goodness is sweet and indulgent, but made with just a handful of healthy ingredients that will leave you feeling good from the first sip to the last.

Decadent Chocolate Milkshake You Wouldn't Know Is Healthy | Will Cook For Friends

You’ve heard me say it before: I don’t like cold foods in cold weather. But I make an exception when it comes to ice cream, and all things ice cream related.

This milkshake is naturally vegan and gluten-free (no ice cream here) but it is thick, creamy, and feels just as indulgent as regular ice cream. It’s also made just a handful of ingredients, and takes seconds to make. Even my husband, who is a chocolate and ice cream snob of the highest order, dubbed this recipe a success.

I believe his words were “can I have another?”

Decadent Chocolate Milkshake You Wouldn't Know Is Healthy | Will Cook For Friends

For the past few days I’ve been making a tall glass for each of us to share, and it does double duty satisfying his sweet tooth, and my desire for something a little less gut-bomby or cloying than a regular dessert.

I topped this one off with some chopped hazelnuts and cocoa nibs, and a drizzle of super simple chocolate sauce for even more cocoa flavor. Next up on my list of things to try is making this shake with hazelnut milk in place of the almond milk, and maybe a splash of coffee. Frozen hazelnut mochachino, here I come!

Decadent Chocolate Milkshake You Wouldn't Know Is Healthy | Will Cook For Friends

Thank you so much for following along with these 31 Days Of Healthy Recipes. If you’re just stopping in, you can see all the recipes from the past month HERE. (And stay tuned for more healthy — and not so healthy — recipes to come!)

4.8 from 6 reviews
Decadent Chocolate Milkshake You'd Never Know Is Healthy
Prep time
Total time
Recipe type: Vegan, Gluten-Free, Refined Sugar Free, Easily Made Raw
Serves: makes 1 large or 2 small servings
  • 1 large banana, peeled, sliced, and frozen
  • 5-7 ice cubes
  • 1 cup almond milk, or other dairy-free milk (this homemade hazelnut milk would be amazing -- or you could replace some of the milk with cold coffee, if you want a coffee/chocolate shake)
  • 1 TBSP unsweetened cocoa powder, or raw cacao powder
  • 2 TBSP pure maple syrup (grade B if you can find it)
Optional, for serving:
  • Chocolate fudge sauce (1 TBSP cocoa powder or raw cacao powder + 1 TBSP maple syrup + ½-1 TBSP water, as needed. Mix until smooth.)
  • A few roasted hazelnuts, chopped, or other nuts (almonds, peanuts, or pistachios would all be good)
  • Pinch of raw cacoa nibs, or other add-ons like shredded coconut or crushed banana chips -- whatever you like
  1. Add everything to your blender, and blend until smooth. Depending on how powerful your blender is, you may need to add a splash more liquid, or use the plunger-stick-thingy to keep the mixture moving. I tested this milkshake in a vitamix and a less powerful blender, and both did a great job -- the vitamix was able to handle more ice and less liquid, but both were churned out thick and delicious shakes.
  2. Pour into a tall glass (or two smaller ones) and serve as is, or with a drizzle of chocolate "fudge" sauce, chopped nuts, cacoa nibs, or other add-ons. Devour.
This makes one massive milkshake, or two (probably more reasonably sized) smaller shakes. If you'd like smaller portions, you can certainly try halving the recipe, but depending on your blender it might be difficult to blend the smaller amount.

This recipe contains affiliate links. This means if you follow a link to and make a purchase, I get a small percentage at no extra cost to you. Win-win! I am not sponsored by any of the products or brands that I link to, they are only things I personally use or would recommend.

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33 Responses to Decadent Chocolate Milkshake You’d Never Know Is Healthy (Vegan, Gluten-Free, Refined Sugar Free, Easily Made Raw)

  1. Christine | Vermilion Roots January 31, 2017 at 10:29 am #

    Congratulations, Willow! This is such a great recipe to cap 31 Days of Healthy Recipes! I’ll happily have this for breakfast. ?

    • Willow Arlen January 31, 2017 at 12:25 pm #

      Thanks Christine! I’m so stoked that I made it through the whole month. I had to save the best for last!

  2. Abby @ Heart of a Baker January 31, 2017 at 12:59 pm #

    Oh goodness, this is amazing! Between the toppings and the shake itself, I can’t get over how good this looks!

  3. Meg | Meg is Well January 31, 2017 at 1:44 pm #

    I’ve never been so tempted by a no ice cream non-milkshake in my life! This looks so amazing. Also props for you for doing 31 days of recipes. That is seriously amazing. You’ve got some stamina!

    • Willow Arlen January 31, 2017 at 2:34 pm #

      I felt the same way — I was skeptical when I was making this, but then I added the chocolate fudge sauce on top and I could barely contain myself! It really is the most satisfying version of “nice cream” I’ve had.

      And thank you so much! I am definitely out of stamina, haha! Pretty sure I ran out a few weeks ago, but I managed to make it to the end. As tiring as it was, it was really fun, too. Definitely glad I did it. :)

  4. Kristine January 31, 2017 at 2:15 pm #

    Ohemgee! This looks incredible! And such a simple recipe, love the ingredients! I’m adding this to my list of things to make asap!

    • Willow Arlen January 31, 2017 at 2:34 pm #

      Thanks Kristine, I hope you give it a try!

  5. Mindy Fewless (Coco and Ash) January 31, 2017 at 2:40 pm #

    This sounds so decadent yet healthy!! I would love this!

  6. Lisa | Garlic & Zest January 31, 2017 at 3:00 pm #

    That “milkshake” looks utterly luscious. I love how you used a banana in the blend. I like to freeze overripe bananas and use them when I’m ready to make a banana bread or something, but they work really well in shakes — especially when they’re frozen — you don’t even need to add ice!

    • Willow Arlen February 1, 2017 at 9:34 am #

      Thanks Lisa! I keep frozen ‘naners on hand, too. I actually found I preferred using ripe bananas (rather than brown overripe ones) for this smoothie, though, because the banana flavor wasn’t as strong. Totally personal preference though, it works great either way.

  7. Sus // January 31, 2017 at 3:34 pm #

    I’m so happy to have discovered your blog Willow, your recipes are wonderful and photos simply gorgeous!!

    • Willow Arlen February 1, 2017 at 9:34 am #

      Aw, thank you so much, Sus! I’m glad you found my site. :)

  8. Megan Marlowe January 31, 2017 at 4:46 pm #

    SO MUCH YES!!!! I’m swooning over this hard! Also, make frozen hazelnut mochachino happen, so I can continue the swooning! :) LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!

  9. Cindy Gordon January 31, 2017 at 4:57 pm #

    EVERY single part of this milkshake looks amazing! It fits all my dietary restrictions too! YUMMM

    • Willow Arlen February 1, 2017 at 9:35 am #

      That’s awesome, Cindy! I hope you give it a go!

  10. Allyson January 31, 2017 at 7:33 pm #

    Woo hoo! What an amazing way to end a delicious month! These images are unbelievable!!!

    • Willow Arlen February 1, 2017 at 9:36 am #

      Thank you, Allyson! I’m so excited to have made it through the whole month, but I’m a little sad it’s over, too. I knew I had to end it on a high note!

  11. Christiann Koepke January 31, 2017 at 7:53 pm #

    This sounds and looks SO GOOD!!! I’ll definitely have to give this a try! Thanks Willow! C

  12. michelle @ hummingbird high February 1, 2017 at 8:31 am #

    WHATTTT. i cannot believe that this is vegan and refined sugar free. it looks so creamy and decadent in the photos! nice work. xo

    • Willow Arlen February 1, 2017 at 9:38 am #

      Haha, I know, right? The texture is somewhere between smoothie and milkshake (not as creamy as a real ice cream shake would be) but it is soooo much better than you would ever think from looking at the ingredients. I dunno how banana, ice, cocoa, and a bit of maple syrup can transform into something so delicious, but I sure am glad they do.

  13. Laura (A Beautiful Plate) February 1, 2017 at 2:27 pm #

    This looks so decadent! I literally never would have realized it was 1) healthy 2) vegan 3) refined sugar free. So stunning! Need to try this asap.

  14. Summer February 4, 2017 at 6:01 pm #

    Willow! 100% on the not depriving yourself even when trying to eat healthy. If I didn’t look at the ingredient list of this recipe I would swear it’s an ice cream based milkshake. Also congrats on making it to the end of 31 days of healthy recipes, super impressive and admirable!

    • Willow Arlen February 6, 2017 at 3:09 pm #

      Thank you, Summer! It was quite a month… I’m both glad that it’s over, and sad. I kinda just want to hibernate through February now, haha!

  15. Mark U February 5, 2017 at 2:16 pm #


    I was wondering if it’s okay to use Stevia instead of Maple Syrup as the sweetener since syrup is full of calories? I was really low on syrup so I used honey and it turned out fine but honey also has a lot of calories in it.

    • Willow Arlen February 6, 2017 at 3:17 pm #

      Hey Mark! You should be able to use stevia without a hitch in the milkshake itself. (I don’t use stevia a lot in my own kitchen, so you’ll have to play around with how much you need — I’d say just blend up the milkshake (minus the maple syrup) and add stevia bit by bit until it tastes right.) As for the chocolate “sauce”, unfortunately the maple syrup is a crucial ingredient there as it’s what gives it the syrupy consistency. But really, the milkshake will still taste great without it. :)

  16. Rachel February 6, 2018 at 12:12 am #

    I tried this exactly as written. Almond breeze almond milk and a vitamin, but it came out quite runny. Yummy flavor, but would add less milk next time. Very rich. Thanks

  17. Margaret May 31, 2021 at 11:48 pm #

    Nutritional information? Carbs? kcal?

  18. Hugo August 9, 2022 at 5:17 pm #

    I replaced the maple syrup with monk fruit sweetener and added whey protein powder with coffee ice cubes I had on hand. Best pre-workout shake.

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