Ever since popular coffee chains rolled out the concept of sweet, blended, iced coffee drinks, most people agree: frappés are awesome. Understandably, with these beverages serving as a glorious union between a cold-brewed latte and a milkshake, what's not to love?
The term “frappé” has been around for a couple decades now – stemming from the trademarked name “Frappuccino” that coffee leader Starbucks uses to categorize their line of blended drinks. But the coffee-free superfood iterations of the frappé are quite new to the scene. Ranging from the deliciously basic Matcha frappé to the uber-trendy “unicorn” frappé, these fresh beverages are available in a slew of colors and flavors that lure your tastebuds as quickly as they garner Instagram likes. While this next generation of healthier drinks is starting to make its way into mainstream coffee shops – Starbucks created an international phenomenon when they introduced their version of the Unicorn Frappuccino a few months back – you can easily recreate this blended magic at home! Plus, making your own frappé ensures you can control the quality of ingredients and sugar content. While the recipes are flexible, here are the best ways to create your ideal frosty drink.
Mastering the Base Ingredients
Keep in mind that frappés are essentially a borderline milkshake, so you'll want to start with a creamy base. While ingredients like almond milk or soy milk will do the trick (opt for sugar-free varieties), you'll get a much better result using a liquid with a higher fat content, like canned coconut cream or a blended cashew cream (use a 1:3 nut-to-water ratio). You'll also want to think about a sweetener, as frappés are usually fairly sweet! Some of the best options include stevia, monk fruit, Coconut Palm Sugar and maple syrup. You’ll also want to have some ice handy – about 1-2 times the amount of liquid that you're using.
Exploring Superfoods and Flavors
Here's where the fun happens! Unlike a smoothie, a frappé doesn’t normally include fruit or vegetables, but it can include fruit and veggie powders. These condensed forms of produce are richer in nutrients (they're very condensed), flush with color (thanks to antioxidants), and often light on flavor (which makes the addition of even hardcore vegetables like beets and kale possible). You can go a traditional route by using Cacao and Maca Powders for a chocolate frappé; create a visually vibrant drink with Goji Powder, yellow turmeric or bright blue spirulina; or even concoct a functionally designed drink using beneficial superfood blends like the Daily Superfood Beauty Boost or Focus Boost.
You'll also want to consider adding a condensed flavor. Natural extracts and food-grade essential oils work best, such as vanilla, peppermint, rose or almond. Warming spices can also be used, such as cinnamon and nutmeg. When adding flavor, keep in mind the theme of your superfoods. If making a Matcha frappé, consider something complementary like mint. A slightly fruity frappé like Acai may pair best with something floral like rose. This is where your creativity comes into play.
Making the Frappé
If you can make a smoothie, you can make a frappé. You start by blending your milk or cream, sweetener, superfoods and flavoring. Adjust your blend as needed to create the color you're after, and taste for flavor – the frappé should taste a little over-flavored and over-sweet at this point. Next, add the ice and blend again, adding enough ice to achieve a thick, frosty texture. Taste once more to make sure your flavor game is on point, make any final adjustments and pour into a serving glass. If you're a true frappé aficionado, you can top with some coconut whip, drizzle with a superfood caramel sauce or Cacao sauce, and sprinkle with additional superfoods like Cacao Nibs or Chia Seeds. All that's left to do is pop in a straw and enjoy your homemade frappé!