I have never been a “cup a day” kind of person. I try to avoid caffeine, rather than racing to it every morning. But last summer, after a hard day of shopping, I was standing in a Target store that had a Starbucks. It was hot, I was thirsty, and I was just a little bit curious about what had caused millions of people to become devoted followers of a little mermaid on the side of a coffee cup. I knew they had some kind of icy coffee drink so I ordered a “Decaf…Tall…Mocha…Frappucino.” (Am I the only one who feels silly spouting off that kind of list to order something?)
It was DELICIOUS! It totally hit the spot with the icy chocolaty coffee taste and texture and the whipped cream on top felt like such a decadent splurge. Yum! But with the deliciousness came guilt! I am just too CHEAP to spend that kind of money on a drink on any kind of regular basis. So, now that I was mysteriously hooked, I had to find a more inexpensive substitute!
As a great starting point I went to an old trusted source of frugal recipes, a blog called “Hillbilly Housewife.” (There’s a link on the right under our ”Links!”) There is a recipe there for “Magic Milkshakes” that have made my kids happy for quite some time. It is an inexpensive milkshake (read, NO Ice Cream!) that is still thick and cold and deliciously chocolatey. So from there I experimented with the ingredients until I got something closer to Frappucino that I really liked. Since I was nursing a baby at the time, I was literally drinking this by the blender-full, so I had to keep it decaf, and I substituted Truvia (stevia) for some of the sugar. But talk about a great way to get your calcium! Yum, Yum, Yum! So here are the ingredients:
1 1/2 cups cold water
1 Tablespoon decaf INSTANT coffee
1 Tablespoon Truvia
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 Tablespoon cocoa powder
1 Tablespoon canola (or vegetable) oil
1 Cup nonfat powdered milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups ice
1/2 cup milk
5 second spray of cooking oil spray (to help with emulsification)
Combine all ingredients into a blender. Process on low until the ice is chopped, then turn to medium for two minutes. It takes a little time for the powdered milk and cocoa powder to really absorb the liquids and blend. Pour and enjoy! Makes about 4 1/2 cups or around 35 oz. Of course, I adjust this regularly and add a little more coffee, or less sugar or ice, depending on my mood! I find that I don’t even miss the whipped cream, but you can add it if you want an extra treat. Have fun experimenting!
For all the info you would ever want about Starbucks’ Frappucino or other drinks, check out the wikipedia article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frappuccino