Homemade Frappuccino (healthy, creamy & dairy-free)

By Ann Fulton

Frappuccino fans rejoice! This healthy, dairy-free coffee smoothie is creamy and decadent like a Frosty but naturally sweetened with dates - and no bananas!
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Frappuccino fans rejoice! This healthy, dairy-free coffee smoothie is creamy and decadent like a Frosty but naturally sweetened with dates-and because not everyone loves them, no bananas! Dessert-worthy but loaded with enough nutrients and staying power to be a meal.




If you have yet to dream about coffees smoothies, you surely will after one sip of this incredibly cream, surprisingly healthy recipe!

Dairy-free and naturally sweetened, this super-satisfying treat has a pure coffee flavor and the texture of a Wendy’s Frosty. Plus it’s loaded with wholesome ingredients, making it a guilt-free dessert or satisfying meal replacement.

As an easy way to ramp up my daily intake of vegetables, I like to add a hearty dose of spinach. This muddies the color (think swampy green😳) but the taste is undetectable.

Because I’ve been trying to make my smoothies as nutrient-packed as possible and not rely solely on fruit, I’ve been experimenting with frozen cauliflower lately.

Like a banana, frozen cauliflower adds great creaminess to a smoothie. The flavor is almost neutral, but do note that it doesn’t provide sweetness.

For those who wish to try, I recommend starting with no more than ½ cup of frozen cauliflower, which is blanched first. Raw will be too fibrous and not create the same level of creaminess.

Because it’s frozen, cauliflower will thicken a smoothie, too. So you may like to go light on the ice-or perhaps use it as a way to may a thicker, spoonable smoothie.

Think of this ingredient as another tool in your healthy smoothie bag of tricks!

Cold brew coffee ⇩⇩ works well, but if I don’t have any on hand, I simply brew an extra cup and cool it in the fridge until ready for this delicious smoothie. Chilled leftover coffee is fair game, too.

Cold Brew Coffee -- easy to make and so smooth

This smoothie has a good coffee flavor when regular ice cubes are used, but for the best flavor, use coffee ice cubes instead. To make them, pour brewed coffee into an ice cube tray and store in the freezer overnight.

I often make ice cubes out of leftover coffee as I have it and them store in freezer bags to have on hand as needed.

If you don’t have a couple of cheap plastic ice cube trays, buy them on your next grocery store run. It’s worth it!

The same can be said for the hemp hearts. Though hemp hearts may be an unfamiliar ingredient, they are a complete source of plant-based protein and provide all the essential amino acids. (I either purchase them in bulk at a nearby market—Lemon Street for locals—or buy the Bob’s Red Mill brand at the regular grocery store.)

Hemp hearts look like a somewhat crummy version of steel cut oats, and while they have practically no taste, they do provide creaminess.

Cashew butter provides added creaminess, protein, and healthy fats and has a neutral enough taste to not detract from the pure coffee flavor. In a pinch, you could use almond butter.

On a trip to California years ago, I learned all about the health benefits of dates. They promote digestion, are high in disease-fighting antioxidants, and are a good source of fiber, calcium, iron and a variety of other nutrients.

I’ve become a big fan of using them as a natural sweetener in baked goods and smoothies and adore the caramel-like flavor they supply. Those caramel undertones makes dates perfectly suited to this smoothie and a bonus for those who don’t care for bananas.

Frappuccino fans rejoice! This healthy, dairy-free coffee smoothie is creamy and decadent like a Frosty but naturally sweetened with dates - and no bananas!

My husband and kids love this smoothie, too. Thanks to older son John for holding his serving for sake of a photo on a very hot day. We had to go fast so the smoothie didn’t melt!

Frappuccino fans rejoice! This healthy, dairy-free coffee smoothie is creamy and decadent like a Frosty but naturally sweetened with dates - and no bananas!

Smoothie highlights:

  • No bananas in this smoothie. Medjool dates provide fantastic natural sweetness with a caramel-like flavor (plus fiber and iron) that really enhances the recipe.
  • Cashew butter lends creaminess and protein with a very subtle nut flavor. You could use almond butter, but my favorite by a smidge is the cashew butter. The nut butter also takes the place of almond or other milk, making way for more coffee flavor!
  • If hemp hearts are new to you, they’re worth seeking out. A complete source of plant-based protein, these add yet another layer of creaminess and very subtle flavor to the smoothie.
  • Great way to use leftover coffee or to make use of cold brew. Decaf, full strength, or half-caff all work well. You could use plain old ice cubes, but for the deepest coffee flavor, I highly recommend making ice cubes out of coffee.


Homemade Frappuccino (healthy, creamy & dairy-free)
Yield: 1 (16-ounce) smoothie
This creamy coffee smoothie is dairy-free and sweetened with fruit-but no bananas! It's much healthier than the popular Starbucks drink and makes a healthy breakfast, lunch or dessert.
  • ⅔ cup (150ml) brewed coffee, chilled (decaf or regular)
  • 4-6 Medjool dates*, pitted (soak in hot water for 15 minutes if not soft; drain well and cool slightly)
  • 1½ tablespoons (12g) hemp hearts**
  • 1½ tablespoons (24g) cashew butter
  • A pinch sea salt
  • 2 cups coffee ice cubes (can sub regular ice cubes for a weaker coffee flavor)
  • Optional: 1-2 cups lightly packed baby spinach; 1 teaspoon cacao or cocoa powder
  1. In a high-speed blender, combine the cold coffee, 4 of the pitted dates, hemp hearts, cashew butter, sea salt and optional ingredients, if using. Blend until the dates have broken down and the mixture is very smooth. Taste the mixture and add more dates if you’d like it to be sweeter. Keep in mind the smoothie will seem somewhat less sweet after the ice cubes are blended in.
  2. Add the ice cubes and blend until a thick, frosty-like texture is achieved. It should have the texture of a milkshake. Serve right away.

*Medjool dates are my pick for best flavor; they are also bigger than many other varieties, so you’d need more of the smaller dates to achieve similar flavor.

**For an alternative to the hemp hearts that provides a similar level of creaminess and health appeal, I’ve used ½ cup of frozen cauliflower florets. Note that, in this case, frozen cauliflower is preferable to fresh because it’s been blanched and will break down more easily.

Mocha option: I’ve recently taken to adding 1 level teaspoon of cocoa or cacao powder. Optionally, for a pronounced mocha flavor plus added protein, you can add a half scoop of chocolate protein powder.

Tip: I occasionally go a little heavy on the ice cubes, resulting in an extra-thick smoothie. If you find you’d like to thin the smoothie, a splash of your milk of choice will thin it with a delightful coffee + cream effect.

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Recipe lightly adapted from Megan Gilmore, Detoxinista. As Megan says, the smoothie “tastes like a fancy coffee shop drink, without the refined sugar or dairy. It’s paleo and vegan friendly, and can be made with or without the caffeine – either way, it’s ridiculously delicious.”


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  1. W

    This is ridiculously delicious. I used powdered peanut butter because it’s what I keep on hand and only 2 dates. But spinach?! Brilliant! You can’t even tell. I could drink a gallon of this stuff.

    1. Ann Post author

      Haha I love your comment. This recipe has been a bit of a sleeper on the blog, but everyone here adores it as well. Thanks for taking a moment to let me know.