Afternoon wake up drink

So I know there are lots of people out there like me, well, maybe not “like” me, but who need a quick pick-me-up in the afternoon, don’t want a hot coffee in the middle of a hot day, or just need something to keep them going a few more hours on a late night, but want to avoid all the calories and fat from stopping somewhere and buying a “frozen coffee” drink. Well I’ve been working on this for some time, and finally found something that not only tastes better than than a McDonald’s caramel frappe, but is pretty darn healthy too!

I have been getting into this habit of just getting the words up on my posts and nothing else, but this is no exception! I have too many things to say and too short a memory to get it all done in one shot… maybe I need to schedule these events in my life, but from what I know, spontaneous writers are more productive than scheduled ones (and have less instances of writers-block), so here it is, and I’ll update with pictures and links to other sites when I get to it!

Joel’s Afternoon wake up drink!

Now you do need to do some prep work to make this drink, it is not a spontaneous thing, and everytime I’ve tried to make it as such it did not work out so well. These directions make just about 45 fluid ounces, is loaded with caffeine and protein, moderate on the fat, but it is the good kind! And can be modified many ways and still come out just as good!

prep time: at least 5 hours (have to freeze somethings)
production time: less than 3 minutes

Lets start with what you need:

  1. A blender
  2. Mini ice cube trays
    • It took me forever to find these, but bath and body works got in a 2 pack for $1.99 (give or take $0.50) last month with 1cm x 1cm x 1cm cubes, these are perfect sized and break up fast in the blender (also 2 trays is exactly what you need for 50-75oz of drink!
  3. At least one pack of Starbucks Via ready brew coffee
  4. Silk Vanilla Almond Milk
    • This can be replaced with other varieties of “milk” I prefer Silk Vanilla Almond milk for it’s taste and nutritional value, plus the nuttiness of the Almond flavor combined with the Hazelnut non-fat Dairy creamer is extra yummy! Soy milk is high in estrogen and you really don’t want that (most people anyway), and apparently cow’s milk is not very healthy for humans, plus I am highly lactose intolerant!
  5. Unsweetened baking cocoa squares
    • Think Hershey’s Chocolate bars in 100% cocoa, I found Ghiradeli ones on closeout sale at a Walmart one time and bought a stack of them for $0.50 each, if you can find them, I think chips will work just as well. substituting less than 100% cocoa is fine, but not as healthy. Substituting powder is fine, but not as much fun as chewing up the pieces while you are drinking! You do really want to avoid non-100% or any that has any ingredient other than “cocoa” as these items will have different types of oils and sugars added to them that are not that healthy for you (normally I see palm oil or palm something else)
  6. Vanilla Whey Protein powder
    • I buy Body Fortress at walmart, comes in a nice little tub for about $12 and has 26g of protein per 70cc scoop, it’s cheap and has what I want in the ingredients. This item can be skipped, you get protein from the cocoa and the almond milk; however protein helps keep you full and it you are pulling a long night or an all nighter, this will help you skip that extra meal or two you might otherwise get hungry for during the 6+ hours you would otherwise be asleep.
  7. Coffee!
    • Big DUH here! cannot make a coffee drink without coffee, and lots of it! I recommend a blend that is not super dark or strong as the flavor is really strong in this type of drink, where it is not as strong when you drink hot coffee, you will definitely notice the “burnt” taste of dark roasted beans. I prefer a blend roasted locally here, as the coffee has the best flavor if brewed within a week or so of roasting. Breakfast blends are good for this drink, again, avoid anything called “dark” or “columbian” or “any thing with a synonym to strong in it’s name.
  8. Straws
    • Why straws? because you don’t want to be tipping up your cup, have nothing or very little come out, so you tip it farther and then get a baseball sized lump of ice in your face! also, avoid flex straws, the bendy section gets clogged up really easy with chunky drinks, and if you actually bend it they are normally cheaply made and have holes in them and once you bend it the straw stops working well…
  9. Truvia
    • Why Truvia? well unless you like your coffee black (and if you do, I doubt you’ll like this drink!), you are going to want sweetener of some kind. I choose Truvia, not just because I indirectly work for the company that makes it (I honestly did not know that until about 5 months after I started working for them, I swear), but because
      1. It is all natural
      2. It Doesn’t have some funky after taste
      3. Pregnant ladies can have it (although they should not be drinking this, unless you used decaf!), although my ife was not pregnant when I started using it, and yes I’ve tried several stevia varieties and this is the one I prefer (I used to use the yellow packets, Splenda, before I tried this). Sweetleaf is good, but has a funny after-taste because they add something else to it.
  10. Non-fat hazelnut DAIRY creamer
    • Buy the liquid one, not the nasty powder, hazelnut, because hazelnut+vanilla=french vanilla and tastes yummy! and non-dairy creamer is scary!
  11. Caramel Syrup
    • Pick your favorite, I like both Smucker’s and Hershey’s, but don’t get fat free, it tastes horrible! and don’t buy “caramel topping” either, make sure it is syrup syrup, like chocolate milk syrup, only caramel!

Right, so hopefully I got every thing on the list, if I reference something below that was not listed above, sorry, you’ll figure out that you need it! (like a coffee pot and a blender, I hope you have these already!)

Prep time!

  1. First things first, brew some coffee!
    • You’ll need about 6 cups to make 40-50oz of this drink.
    • You will need to let it sit out for a good 2-3 hours to cool (don’t put it in the fridge hot, you can screw up your fridge (ices up the cooling vents which are normally located at the top in the back, steam rises), you can spoil food that is close to or above the steaming hot coffee, and you can ruin your refrigerator shelving if it is plastic and decides to melt because of the hot coffee. Oh yeah, more importantly your coffee pot can crack or explode!
  2. Continue chilling the coffee in the fridge
    • After the coffee is not longer hot to the touch (not even really warm, should be pretty close to room temp), put it in a container (I have a pair of those aluminum water bottles that are labeled specially for coffee, you won’t want to put water in them after this, unless you are really good at cleaning skinny bottle that you cannot see what is inside!), and let it sit in the fridge for a good 2 hours more (the first step takes the coffee from 170-200 degrees F down to around 85-95 degrees F, this step is to get it down to 40 degrees F before freezing some, again a food safety step), If you like getting food poisoning and clogging up your refrigerators cooling system with ice, you can just skip these two steps and go one with your life, if you survive the food poisoning…
  3. Now we can make ice cubes!
    • Time to pour the coffee into the ice cube trays, here is where it gets tricky, the good news is these tray DO have overflow grooves on all corners of each cube, so the coffee is more likely to flow into another cube, than over the edge. The bad news is that the difference between the overflow grooves and the edge of the ice cube tray (and your counter) is approx 1.5mm or slightly less than the thickness of hydrogen bonding, which you will learn to manipulate in this step. In order to prevent making too much of a mess here are some tips.
      1. Pour in an “L shape” filling the outside row first
      2. Pour very slowly
      3. Each tray needs only about 1 cup of coffee, so only have 2 cups in the device you are pouring out of
      4. After you have all but the last row filled, stop pouring and tip the ice cube tray to let the coffee “flow” into the remaining cubes.
      5. Don’t overfill the Ice cubes, it makes it harder to get them out, and may give you “too much frozen coffee” which make the drink separate (the liquid will go to the bottom and the ice will float on the top, not good for straw drinking). You should be able to see the edges of each cube wall sticking “above” the level of the coffee, and each cube should have a convex “bubble” on top, like liquid in a test tube.
  4. Put the trays in the freezer, but do NOT stack them, else they will be stuck together.
  5. Remember to freeze your Cocoa!
    • Most companies wrap their chocolate in aluminum, if yours is, then it will be fine in the freezer for up to 3 months, if not, wrap it up in some aluminum foil to help preserve it. Also, don’t throw away the paper wrapper, this helps protect the chocolate as well
  6. Wait
    • This is all you can do before the actual making of the drink and it takes more than 2 hours in a standard freezer to make these ice cubes, and you do want them VERY solid.
  7. When you are ready to make your drink you don’t just want to “throw everything in the blender” there are certain things that must go in before others. (this step will most likely have the most sub steps, and may have more sub-steps than there are full steps in this guide!)
    1. Put the ice cubes from only one tray in the blender
    2. Put the chocolate squares in
      • You only need two squares or a 2″x1″ chunk, make sure it stands up vertically, use the ice cubes if necessary (this will help it break up better). Alternately you can break it up as much as possible before hand, it isn’t easy to do effectively by hand, and the blender will do it for you, although this will make the largest “chunks” in the entire drink
    3. Put the second tray of ice cubes in the blender
    4. Put one scoop (70cc) of Whey powder in the blender
      • The whey powder is fairly thick and dense and will not just fall through the cubes to the bottom of the blender, you never want powder at the bottom of the blender, unless you intend on shaking your blender halfway through the blending process
    5. Put two packets of Truvia in the blender
    6. Put one packet of StarBucks Vanilla Via ready brew coffee in the blender
    7. Pour approx one fluid ounce of Hazelnut non-fat Dairy creamer in the blender
    8. Pour approx 3/4 of a cup of Silk Vanilla Almond milk in the blender
    9. Add the rest of your chilled coffee to the blender
      • It would be a good idea to stop pouring when you get close to 40oz or slightly over 40oz, regardless of how much you have left; however more liquid is a very good thing in this drink, as not enough causes separation between the frozen particles and liquid when poured into your glass (think slushy vs. snow cone)
    10. Start blending on the slowest setting until most of the chunks are broken up
      • You can tell by listening, when the blades hit a solid object larger than a pin head, if you can hear, and you listen for it. Slower is better for breaking up the pieces, if there is not enough liquid, the mixture will not “blend” this is bad, add more coffee if you have some, else add more Silk Vanilla Almond milk, or whatever you substituted.
    11. Open the blender up and add the caramel syrup
      • You want to add enough to completely cover the top of the contents of the blender, without touching the sides. IF the caramel touches the side of the blender, it will stick and not mix in, plus it is harder to clean. Any blender work it’s cost creates a vortex in the center while blending, this draws things from the top down to the blades in the center, then forces it back out along the edges. Pouring the Caramel on top and not touching the sides will let it get sucked down and distributed into the beverage, giving an even dispersion of flavor and just about the right quantity. You don’t want too much Caramel as it can easily over flavor the drink and also is really high in sugar. The taste should have “hints” of caramel, not taste like Caramel. There are a lot of flavors in this drink and you don’t want any one to over shadow the others.
    12. Continue blending on a medium-high speed to mix the Caramel into the beverage
      • Again, if the blender is “churning” the mixture instead of smoothly blending it, you need more fluid! only add cold coffee or Silk Almond Milk/whatever you substituted with, so as not to overbalance any of the flavors. This should be a liquid that you can drink, not viscous motor oil like beverage.
    13. When you no longer hear regular “chunks” hitting the blender blades, kick it up to high speed to for a few seconds to finish it off
    14. Pop the top and pour a glass!
      • It should pour like a slushy into the glass, if you get lots of runny liquid and then the ice comes chasing it down and splashes into your glass after it, then you didn’t have enough liquid/had too much solid matter (ice, chocolate, whatever)

    To increase the nutrition, or just to give variety, try using frozen dark chocolate covered Almonds, Dark Chocolate Peanut M&M’s (not recommended if you are using the Almond Milk), frozen blueberries or cranberries taste great too! I tried frozen strawberries once, not a fan…

    So there you have it, 2500 words on how to make a Frappe!
    pictures will come later, as I just made this before typing the whole thing up, I’ll have to take pictures next time. I’ll try to get step by step pictures next time I make it and I’ll add them. Hopefully I’ll have links added before then. I’m going now to take pictures of the food products and get them added, but I’ll post this first.

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