Sunday, January 16, 2022

Mark Bittman’s Rich Berry Shake

I have an affinity for smoothies, but I normally shy away from them due to all the sugar. Without fail, I've watched cooking shows and videos of people adding servings up servings of fruit and sugar fruit juice to a blender to make a smoothie and deeming it healthy. To each their own I suppose, but if I drank something like that I would be having a major sugar high and then a major sugar crash that left me tired and sluggish for hours. No, thank you!

This is why I like Mark Bittman's shakes. He has a handful of shake recipes in the back of How To Cook Everything that are way healthier than the alternative! Years ago, I made his  Banana-Vanilla Shake  and I bet I've made that recipe 100 times. It is simple, consisting of 1 banana, 1 cup of milk, crushed ice, vanilla, and a tablespoon of so of sugar. It makes 2 shakes and is easily within the realm of normal sugar intake for the day. We absolutely love that one and I highly suggest clicking the link above and giving it a try!

This week I wanted to try my hand at his Rich Berry Shake, so I began by making his sugar syrup the night before. I added some vanilla to the sugar syrup and let it get nice and cold in the fridge overnight
The next morning it was as simple as grabbing some frozen berries and blending them up, straining the the berry mixture through a sieve to remove all the pesky berry seeds, adding the mixture back into the blender with some milk, crushed ice, and sugar syrup and blending it all up. The end result is refreshingly sweet and fruity, with a nice frothy consistency that is reminiscent of a strawberry milkshake, but without all the calories.
Certainly everyone has their own idea of what healthy is and different things work for different people, but I definitely love both this Rich Berry Shake and also the Banana-Vanilla Shake listed above if I'm in the mood for something smoothie-like or milkshake-like, or just something plain sweet. It is a much healthier alternative than ice cream or a traditional smoothie.

 Bittman's Rich Berry Shake

Adapted from How To Cook Everything

by Mark Bittman

Serves 4-6

4 cups strawberries or other berries, cleaned

6 cups milk or a mixture of milk and cream

1 cup, ice (optional)*

sugar syrup, see blow

freshly squeezed lemon juice or vanilla extract to taste

*Note: I added the ice to this recipe because I wanted to have a drink that was froth and semi-frozen. I like how the ice adds some density to the drink without adding calories. 

Puree the berries in a blender and put through a sieve if necessary to remove seeds. Combine all the ingredients in a blender and whiz until smooth. You may need to do this in batches; simply divide the ingredients in half and recmobine them for a moment before proceeding to the next step. 

Taste and adjust seasoning by adding more lemon juice, vanilla extract, or sugar syrup if necessary.

Sugar syrup: Combine 2 cups water and 2 cups sugar in a small saucepan and turn the heat to medium. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is completely dissolved. Store in the refrigerator.






  1. Well now I'm definitely craving this! So into all things berry lately.

  2. That's a winner! I haven't tried a smooth in ages, too much sugar as you mentioned. I like your take on this and it looks delicious. Trying to get my post organzied before Sunday!

    So I looked at Goodreads and realize my user name is Tina. That isn't helpful when trying to find someone! Maybe I ought to add my last name - Culbertson. If you click on my book blog here -
    Then look to the right side of the page, there is a Goodreads widget. If you click on any of my reviews in that widget you'll find me! Then I can follow you from there.

  3. I love anything with berries which are full of antioxidants. That's my idea of a healthy fix. Together with some crushed ice, that can be my icecream for the day!

  4. I’m not that much of a internet reader to be honest but your blogs really nice, keep it up! I’ll go ahead and bookmark your site to come back in the future. Many thanks


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