Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Frosty Fail

Many of us go through spurts where we try to be more healthy, maybe shed a few pounds, get stronger, boost our metabolism, all that good stuff, but many of us don't want to give up those foods we love most. What do we do? We try to find healthy "substitutes." Sometimes it works, but in my experience the substitute recipes usually are a grave disappointment because we have the real thing in our head. Today's Pinstrosity runs exactly along those lines. Dieting but craving a Wendy's Frosty? Don't try this at home, according to pinner Cecillie.

The Original Pin

The ingredients and directions are as follows:

3/4 cup Almond Milk
about 15 ice cubes
1/2 tsp Vanilla
1-2 Tbsp unsweetened Cocoa powder
1/3 of a Banana


  1. Blend.
  2. Enjoy.
Cecillie had a little bit of trouble with that last step. 

The Pinstrosity

She said, "I LOVE Wendy's Frosties. They are smooth & creamy & just all around yummy. I bought all the ingredients. I followed all the directions. It tasted just like unsweetened cocoa powder mixed with cold water, with a hint of banana aftertaste. ugh. I don't much like banana flavor anyway but had used the banana because it was part of the recipe. I tried adding more vanilla flavoring. nope. I tried adding about 1 cup of vanilla ice cream. still no. Out of desperation (and trying to make it smooth & creamy like a frosty) I added about 1/2 a cup of greek yogurt. I had just seen a post about a "healthy shamrock shake" using cottage cheese, but they said you could use greek yogurt instead, to give it the shake consistency. I won't be trying that one either. I'm going to slit open a Frozen Hard Lemonade instead... and look for recipes that use unsweetened cocoa powder or almond milk, since this is the first time in my life I've bought these items & now they are probably going to go to waste. And now I have more dishes to do. FAIL."

I'm not a fan of bananas in drinks either (not to mention I'm now allergic to them), but bananas are often used in smoothies and blended health drinks to add some sweetness and to give the concoction a more smooth consistency. In smoothies it works where there are other fruit sugars. When it is all alone against the powers of unsweetened cocoa, vanilla, almond milk, and of a banana has pretty weak sweetening powers. On top of your sweetening issues is the consistency problem. You need something thick in there to combat the almond milk (again, one-third of a banana isn't going to do much). 

My tips:
  • Use at least one whole banana, maybe two if you want to try to make the original ingredient list work. But, that would give it a much stronger banana taste which means much less like a Frosty. 
  • Try kefir instead of almond milk. It is thicker, creamier, and still healthy. You can get unsweetened, unflavored kefir in the dairy section of most grocery stores. 
  • If it still is weirdly not sweet at all, but you still want to go healthy, you may try Truvia. Truvia is derived from the stevia plant, which is a natural sweetener. only need a pinch or two...this stuff has some major sweetening power in it. 
  • Buy a Frosty. 


  1. Here's my tip: Make the real thing every once in awhile for a treat using real chocolate ingredients. I've been on a smoothie kick myself and am enjoying them with frozen berries, nonfat vanilla yogurt, some apple juice and a little sweetener (yes I use the dreaded splenda but I don't care. It works and I like it!!). Yesterday i made one with banana, pineapple, pineapple juice and yogurt and I practically gulped it down in less than 5 minutes, it was that good!

  2. I saw another pin that used a frozen banana. I haven't tried it but I just bought all the ingredients yesterday!

  3. You could also add more ice for some thickness, or perhaps freeze your yogurt/dairy sub in an ice cube tray. A problem with blended ice is that it melts quickly, waters down your drink, and in general feels sort of gritty. If you can freeze one of the other staple components, you won't have that problem. One of my favorite healthy smoothies is: frozen mixed berries/frozen strawberries, vanilla whey protein powder, OJ/milk (and splenda to taste, if it's not sweet enough). It turns out nice and thick, no banana needed.

    If you stuck to milk instead of OJ, you could add in cocoa powder or use a chocolate-flavored whey powder to get a chocolate-berry smoothie, that would be quite healthy still. Not exactly a frosty, but it would be similar.

    1. ^also, if you didn't want to invest in a whole bag of whey powder, you could try a flavored protein drink and reduce the amount of milk you put in. A good rule of thumb for this recipe is to add your fruit to the blender (a cup or so always worked for me), then any powder, and then add liquid until it is about level/barely covers the top of the fruit.

  4. The ratio of the ingredients does look like a recipe for failure. I don't know what a "Frosty" is, but sometimes I blend a banana with regular, cow's milk (enough to cover the banana pieces) and it's just sweet and creamy enough for me. There's no way 1/3 of a banana will do with veggie milk and 15 ice cubes.
    Cecillie can use all the cocoa in a tonne of other recipes, including instead of baking chocolate (butter+cocoa).

  5. For an unhealthy but easy frosty, use a cuisinart style mixer with 1 cup ice cream and a pack of chocolate instant breakfast. It is very close to the consistency and flavor of a Wendy's frosty.

  6. I’ve done something similar before, but I recommend 3 changes to the above recipe:
    Let the banana ripen till it’s totally black and soft - it gets sweeter and less banana-y at the same time
    Freeze the banana
    Omit the ice cubes - I can only imagine they water it down - and use more banana instead
    Done this way, I’ve made a shake identical to this and it’s delicious, with no extra sweetener added.

  7. Why would they have you use UNSWEETENED cocoa powder if they wanted it to be sweet like a Frosty? They're only $1.00, I'd rather just buy one :)

  8. There are two varieties of almond milk, sweetened and unsweetened. I think she probably used the latter, and needed the former.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.