Cherry Garcia Shake (vegan)


My husband and I used to have a Friday night ritual we called Chuck & Chunk Night. It was so dubbed because we’d pick up a chunky pint of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream (like Chunky Monkey) and then go home and eat it while watching the show, Chuck.

Chuck, eventually ended, but Chunk Night lived on. And without a show to signal what night we should indulge, Chunk Night gradually morphed into every night.

Pretty soon, Chunk Night took on a new meaning that wasn’t sweet. As our scale numbers rose, I started to have a love/hate relationship with those sinful dudes, Ben & Jerry. I wanted to cut back on ice cream, but couldn’t. I’d abstain for a few hours only to anxiously rush to the store (often late at night and occasionally in my PJ’s) to get my fix.

I was an ice cream addict when I went to a class where I learned that dairy and sugar contribute to a host of diseases like cancer and heart disease (for more info, check out the movie, Forks Over Knives). This knowledge distressed me. Certain that I’d never be able to give up ice cream, I thought I was doomed to be fat and die young.

Eventually, however; I gained control and have been clean for 14 months now. It was a challenge at first, but it’s easy for me now. I credit much of my success to learning how to make delicious ice cream like treats that are sugar-free, dairy free and good for you.

I’ve already shared two of my favorite better than ice cream recipes, Skinny Chocolate Shake and Almond Joy Milkshake, and today I’m going to share a third. When you taste my thick, rich, super sweet Cherry Garcia Shake, you won’t believe it’s sugar-free and wholesome.

Cherry Garcia Shake

This makes one serving


1 cup almond milk

1 frozen banana

1 10 ounce package of frozen cherries

2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 teaspoon cocoa-nibs (optional)


Place all ingredients, except cocoa-nibs, in a blender. Blend for 45 seconds or until desired consistency is reached. Sprinkle with cocoa-nibs. Enjoy!

Note: This recipe works best in a high-speed blender like a Vitamix.

For those of you who don’t know, I’ve historically been a poor food photographer. I’m improving, but I’m still a novice. I tried to take a nice photograph my Cherry Garcia Shake, but it was hot today and I couldn’t snap a good photo before it lost it’s rich, thick shake-like consistency.

So, I’m using a photo courtesy of The Diva Dish. You might also want to check out her cherry chocolate shake recipe. It’s also vegan and with coconut milk and chunks of home-made vegan fudge balls it looks decadent!


About celestedimilla

Hey there. I’m Celeste, California girl, writer, psychotherapist and burgeoning plant-based foodie.
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39 Responses to Cherry Garcia Shake (vegan)

  1. Poppy says:

    I love your honesty as always Celeste and love the sound of this shake! I could’ve done with it today as it was so hot but will probably be a thunderstorm tomorrow – good old English weather! 🙂 I have all the ingredients though so will remember this one! P.s, how many servings do you get from this? Poppy 🙂

    • I feel for you with the thunderstorms Poppy. I used to live in the Midwest and we had thunderstorms and tornados out there. We rarely have thunderstorms in SoCal, however. And you get just one yummy serving from this! Thanks for asking about that, I’ll add that to the post. Celeste 🙂

      • Poppy says:

        Wow, I’ve never experienced a tornado so probably should stop feeling sorry for myself!! 🙂
        That’s great, thanks for letting me know about the serving, I will make this soon 🙂

    • I think it’s fine to complain about the weather – we all do it. Crappy weather is just no fun! I hope your thunderstorms roll through quickly. Celeste 🙂

  2. run4joy59 says:

    This looks fantastic…I’m making the attempt to give up ice cream…so far, I’ve been substituting thick smoothies…not quite the same thing, but still pretty good. I’m going to give this Cherry Garcia shake a whirl (ha! pun most definitely intended). Now I’m going to go check out those other two recipes…

  3. Thank you, Celeste! This sounds wonderful. I get “hungry” for ice cream, especially when the weather is warm, like it is right now. (Not that it needs to be.) I can’t wait to check this out. Great photo, and yours will be just as beautiful. (They probably already are. You’re just being too hard on yourself.)

    • I love this recipe Deborah, I hope you like it too. And thanks so much for the kind thoughts about my photos. I probably am being too hard on myself – that’s my nature! I hope you’re having a wonderful weekend! Celeste 🙂

    • Aha-some… Looks divine:).
      Have to try this.
      Any other fruit I can use? Not a big fan of frozen cherry…
      Your blog rocks, Celeste:)

      • Thank you for your kind words – you’re such a sweetheart! Two frozen bananas instead of the cherries would be delicious. Bananas and cherries are the only two fruits I’ve used with chocolate, but you could experiment with other fruits. Orange and chocolate are a great combo. I haven’t developed a recipe, but you might try a frozen banana and an orange. Maybe I’ll experiment with that today. I hope you’re having a wonderful weekend! Celeste 🙂

  4. Mark says:

    Wow that is a great story Celeste! Sacrificing the sacred dairy cow has allowed you to be healthy, happier and wiser! I think anytime people conquer an addiction it requires soul searching and persistent commitment to develop new better habits! Go sis! 🙂

    • It just tickles me that you’re following my blog Mark. So supportive of you! Anyway, you know that everyone in our family has a sweet tooth. I really wish I was one of those people who could eat one piece of chocolate and be okay. I’m not! But I’ve got things under control (well most of the time anyway). I hope your job search is showing some prospects and we look forward to seeing you guys soon! Celeste 🙂

  5. januaryrowe says:

    I think that I’m gonna really. really. reallllllly. like this blog!!!

  6. Jeanne Allen says:

    This is a recipe I will have to make for Bill. He is a big Cherry Garcia fan.

    • If you want to make this even yummier (although less healthy) for Bill, throw in some chocolate chips. I haven’t done that, but I bet it would be fab! I hope all is well with you guys on the East Coast! Celeste 🙂

  7. Honey, on a regular basis I used to buy myself a pint of Haagen Daz double chocolate chip ice cream and eat the WHOLE thing. Usually after I’d consumed a bag of Orville Redenbacher’s buttered popcorn. When I think about that!!! How far we’ve come.

  8. Hi Celeste! This sounds delicious. What a great idea! I too had an ice cream addiction which contributed to me getting very sick. I can’t wait to try this recipe! I’m bummed because I usually have cherries and cacao nibs on hand but I skipped them at the grocery store this week. Oh well…there’s always next time.

  9. natarunmore says:

    I too loved ice cream! It was a love hate relationship, and I’m glad I finally broke it off haha. The vegan versions are so good though! I’ll have to try this it looks yummy.

  10. HeartBound says:

    Looks and sounds amazing! It’s so satisfying to be able to eat food that tastes great and makes you feel great too.

    • I know! Now I don’t feel guilty and crappy after I indulge. It’s like having your ice cream and eating it too. Thanks for your comment – I really appreciate it! Celeste 🙂

  11. Wow! That food photography course you took must have been incredible – this picture is lovely. Makes me want to make this shake right now!

    • Hey Anetta! I really appreciate your comment, and I hope you try this shake. I must admit, however; that I didn’t take this photo (there’s a note about it at the bottom of the post). My food photography has improved, but I’m still a novice. Have a wonderful week! Celeste 🙂

  12. RMB Photography says:

    Great photo and even greater recipe Celeste! Make me one with carob please!:-)

  13. aouatt77 says:

    I have to make this.

  14. Sophie33 says:

    I made it just now & loved it so much, as did my husband Peter! xxx Yummy too! x

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