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Veganizing the Starbucks Frappuccino

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By Aylin Erman, EcoSalon

The frappuccino gets a major health revamp.

While it is high in calories, sodium, and cholesterol, it’s really the sugar content that blows one of Starbucks’s beloved beverages out of the water. Starbucks’s Caffe Vanilla Frappuccino Blended Smoothie contains 310 calories per 16-ounce serving, in addition to 3 grams of fat, 2 grams of saturated fat, 10 milligrams of cholesterol, 220 milligrams of sodium, and 67 grams of sugar.

Sugar will go straight to your head, give you a short-term high, and then leave you lethargic and glum. It spikes your blood sugar levels, leads to weight gain, is nutritionally empty, contributes to candida, and, to put simply, is actively bad for you. If you are going to consume sugar, get it from something a bit more decadent and lasting than a down-in-a-hot-second drink, regardless of how delicious it may be!

My version of a vanilla Frappuccino smoothie is sugar-free, save for the optional chocolate syrup glaze and whipped cream, using a few drops of zero-calorie, low-glycemic stevia instead. The recipe also goes a step further by replacing cow’s milk with almond milk. Almond milk is a mere 40 calories per 8-ounce serving and avoids the common issues that arise when ingesting dairy, such as hard-to-digest proteins, hormones, depletion of enzymes and vitamins through pasteurization, saturated fat, synthetic chemicals, and a boo-ing cow.

Cutting corners in so many other ways, it’s up to you whether you want to indulge with a topping of whipped cream and chocolate syrup. You can find vegan variations of both in your local health food store.


Sugar-Free Vegan Vanilla Frappuccino


  • 1 cup coffee cooled
  • 1 cup almond milk, soy milk, or rice milk.
  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 handfuls of ice
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 4 drops of liquid stevia, or 2 packets of powdered stevia
  • Whipped Cream (optional)
  • Chocolate Syrup (optional)


Combine all ingredients in a Vitamix and blend until smooth.

Bon Appetit!

Aylin Erman currently resides in Istanbul and is creator of plant-based recipe website GlowKitchen.

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