Every summer, starting in May and lasting until November, our town basically goes through menopause. The mood lifts as finals end, the energy level slows as college kids bolt home for vacation, and the locals experience a constant hot flash as the temperature shoots up to 100°+ and refuses to drop.
Although we’ve lived here for 6 years, I still haven’t gotten used to it—our fans whirring as fast as their blades will spin, our AC bills shooting through the roof, and the freezer always bursting at the seams with ice cream cartons and every imaginable popsicle flavor.
To avoid heat stroke and huge dehydration from my morning runs, I set my alarm for an ungodly hour to jog through the shaded neighborhoods before the devilish sun starts beating down on my shoulders. As long as my head hits the pillow at a reasonable time the night before, I rarely feel groggy for the rest of the day.
But last Friday, the house never cooled off, despite dueling fans blowing air through the bedroom, and I woke up sweating in the middle of the night. Too uncomfortable to fall back asleep, and with my mind spinning through grocery lists and recipe ideas, I laid awake for at least 3 hours before finally drifting off just as the birds began chirping to greet the sun.
Needless to say, when my alarm buzzed mere moments later, I felt like a zombie on autopilot pacing through my running route. When I unlaced my shoes at home, I immediately padded into the kitchen to make something cool and refreshing—and with a big caffeine boost to keep me awake!
In just a matter of minutes, I started gulping down this Skinny Almond Joy Frappuccino. Sweet and refreshing, with that irresistible combination of nutty almonds and tropical coconut, I almost felt like a little kid ripping open wrappers while in between houses on Halloween—it tasted exactly like the candy bar!
Although frappuccinos sound like a fancy coffee drink, they’re incredibly easy to make. As long as you have a blender—and remember to refill your ice cube trays the night before—you can easily mix up your own at home for a fraction of the cost! And then you can avoid the local coffee shops, where caffeine-deprived patrons line up to recite their orders and practically lunge at the counter as the barista sings out their drink. (Although maybe that’s just the norm for college kids in my town…)
For the signature almond and coconut flavors, I turned to a new product: Silk Coconut Almond Milk Blend. (No, this isn’t a sponsored post; I just really enjoyed it after making my popsicles!) It contains only 50 calories per cup, and Silk managed to find the perfect light balance of the two flavors.
But after mixing in the double-strength coffee and cocoa powder, they slightly masked the delicate almond and coconut taste. To compensate, I added a few drops of almond and coconut extracts to really bump up their flavor. You can find both on the baking aisle near the vanilla extract. They’re shelf-stable and keep for ages, and you can make these, this, these, these, these, and these with the leftovers!
For my healthy frapppuccinos, I prefer to blend the coffee, milk, and cocoa powder first before adding the ice. Yes, even with my powerful high-speed blender! Cocoa powder often tends to clump when added to liquids, so a few quick pulses before dropping in the ice helps prevent that. Then add those ice cubs and sweetener, and blend until it’s smooth.
Now for the best part… The chocolate on top! Finely chop a little bit of dark chocolate or miniature chocolate chips, and sprinkle that over the finished frappuccino. I prefer adding it as a garnish on top instead of inside the drink because it easily gets lost among the ice—and it could potentially clog the straw if not broken up by the blender blades!
Easy and refreshing, this Skinny Almond Joy Frappuccino is the perfect mid-morning pick-me-up or late afternoon treat to satisfy your candy cravings—with a bonus caffeine boost! Its trio of familiar flavors—chocolate, coconut, and almond—are rich and balanced. Even better, each large 16 oz serving contains barely 50 calories, which is 30 calories less than the fun-sized candy bar!
I’ll definitely drink to that. ♥