4 In Healthy treats/ Recipes

Indulge: My Clean Eating #FreakShake Recipe (Pretzel Nut Butter)

Freak shake header

Anyone that knows me knows that I love to create clean eating versions of the most indulgent treats. I do this because I love to indulge (well… who doesn’t?) but I don’t like to have it ruin my waistline. I’m a big believer in making sure you create a diet that works for you. For years I yo-yo dieted like so many do. Labelling foods “good foods” and “bad foods”. Depriving myself of my favourite treats and feeling guilty when I would crack. It’s just no way to live and it’s definitely not a long term solution. Each time I “dieted” I would cut my calories far too low, deprive myself and a few weeks later throw in the towel crying “Oh it’s just TOO HARD!”. If this sounds familiar to you too, let me tell you having come out the other side, it doesn’t have to be hard at all.

I’m a huge fan of Michael Pollan who is a big believer in cooking at home. I decided to let myself eat the sweet treats I wanted – I just had to make them myself. I knew I could make absolutely delicious sweet treats that were better for me.

I started experimenting with sugar free, lower calorie dessert recipes and since I can’t be trusted with a whole batch of muffins, cakes, tarts etc. (they’re low calorie but it’s still not the best to eat them all) I would share my creations with friends.

More and more I find that people ask me for my recipes, so I decided to start posting them here.

Tonight I decided to challenge myself. I have cakes, muffins, pancakes, tarts, cheesecakes and chocolate down pat so it was time to take it to the next level!

I thought: Which indulgent treat should I turn into a guilt free, more nutritious version that my mind and my body could feel good about?

Then I found my victim: The oh so popular Pretzel Nutella #FreakShake that took the world by storm earlier this year.

Photo via @Fran_vs_food

Photo via @fran_vs_food

“Bring it on you pretzel beast of a #freakshake.” I thought. I brainstormed, I experimented and I landed on a recipe I am truly proud of. Of course, this is still an indulgent treat. I’m not suggesting this should now become your nightly dessert (unless you’ve got a pretty sweet calorie bank happening) but this recipe, while a little time consuming is certainly not difficult and is nearly 1/3rd of the calories found in the original! (A full breakdown of the nutrition and comparison at the end of this post).

Without further ado I bring you my Clean Eating Freak Shake: Pretzel Nut Butter flavour (there are a few steps, but I promise it’s worth it)!


  • 2 tbsp Mayvers Peanut & Cacao Spread or sub with a homemade Nutella recipe or other clean eating cocoa spread (no sugar, no salt, no oil)
  • 14g Pretzels (about 7 of the large sized pretzels)
  • 1/4 cup Coconut Cream (must be full fat, leave in the fridge overnight so the cream separates from the coconut water)
  • 1 and 1/2 cups Almond Milk (or any other milk of your choice)
  • 51g Soy Bliss Chocolate Ice Cream or sub with frozen banana ice cream (about two scoops)
  • 15g Du Chocolat Sugar Free Drinking Chocolate
  • Vanilla extract

Optional: Cocoa nibs, 1 tsp coconut oil, 1 additional tsp Du Chocolat Sugar Free Drinking Chocolate.


Prep your whipped cream: 

healthy freak shake recipe clean eating freak shake low calorie freak shake

  • The can of coconut cream must have been left in the fridge overnight to set before you start using it. This allows the cream to separate from the water. The coconut cream must be full fat for this to work.
  • Scoop out 1/4 cup of the hardened cream being careful not to get any water in the mixture (the cream won’t whip well if it’s mixed in with the water).
  • Add the cream to a small bowl along with 1 sachet of stevia and a few drops of vanilla extract.
  • Whip until ribbons start to appear in the cream from the beaters.
  • Place in the fridge to set up while we work on the rest of the assembly.

Prep your chocolate milk: 

healthy freak shake recipe clean eating freak shake low calorie freak shake

  • Add your almond milk to a blender along with the tbsp of Du Chocolat Sugar Free Drinking Chocolate and blend for 1 minute until mixed well and frothy.
  • Set aside.

Now it’s time to assemble.

Nut butter swirl: 

healthy freak shake recipe clean eating freak shake low calorie freak shake

NOTE: If you want your #freakshake to taste just like the original then I recommend following Deliciously Ella’s recipe for homemade Nutricious Nutella (replace maple syrup with brown rice malt syrup to make this IQS friendly).

If you’re not keen on making your own there are a number of other options. Here, I’ve opted for Mayvers Peanut Cacao Spread (they have a number of chocolatey spreads including a Hazelnut Cacao which will give you that Nutella taste).

OK let’s get into it.

  • Take one tbsp of your cocoa spread mixture and spread it along the inside of your glass. This doesn’t have to be pretty – the rustic look is a good one.
  • Spread the second tbsp of cocoa spread around the rim of the glass.
  • Take your pretzels and affix them to the rim.

healthy freak shake recipe clean eating freak shake low calorie freak shake

  • Add the chocolate ice cream inside the glass.

healthy freak shake recipe clean eating freak shake low calorie freak shake

  • Pour the chocolate milk we prepared earlier from the blender.

healthy freak shake recipe clean eating freak shake low calorie freak shake

  • Take out the whipped coconut cream from the fridge. Fill a piping bag with the coconut cream mixture (use a fancy tip if you like) and pipe swirls of cream on the top of the glass.

step 8

  • Decorate with more pretzels and some cocoa nibs if desired.

If you want to take your #freakshake to the next level, mix together 1 tsp of coconut oil (melted) and 1 tsp of Du Chocolat Sugar Free Drinking Chocolate to create a thin chocolate sauce. If you don’t have Du Chocolat sub for t/2 tsp stevia and 1/2 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder.

Drizzle on top of your shake (the sauce will set hard like ice magic when it hits the cool cream and glass).

healthy freak shake recipe clean eating freak shake low calorie freak shake

There you have it! This bad boy is ready to enjoy. But how does it measure up against the original? See below for the nutritional breakdown.

Not only is my version nearly 1/3 of the calories of the original but it has 1/8 of the sugar and is completely dairy free. 

That’s right, my healthy version saves you a whopping 102 grams of sugar!

Clean Eating Pretzel Nut Butter  Freak Shake Calories


Photo on the left via @teresa_tea


freak shake nutritional information freak shake calories

Did you love this recipe? If you make it be sure to tag me on Instagram @SmallPaperThings so I can see it :)

Stay tuned for more #FreakShake recipes to come (I am currently testing a Raspberry Chocolate version!

Enjoy! x

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  • Natalie @ Obsessive Cooking Disorder
    September 21, 2015 at 11:01 pm

    Wow this looks super indulgent, and I’m a big indulger as well haha.

    It’s no weight loss recipe like a kale smoothie lol, but I’m super impressed how much calories you cut out – a MUCH healthier option (and very delicious looking) Nice

    • kate
      September 22, 2015 at 10:56 am

      Thanks for your comment Natalie! I agree, this is definitely still an “every so often” kind of treat but I found myself drooling over the photos of the originals so often, I just had to try to make a “cleaner” version!

  • Mary @ A Merry Life
    September 22, 2015 at 5:32 am

    This looks ridiculously delicious! I’ve never heard of this kind of shake before but now I really want to recreate it!

    • kate
      September 22, 2015 at 10:59 am

      Thank for your comment Mary :) I certainly hope you do try it! A few steps involved but really not very time consuming. It’s a good one if you’re looking for a weekend cheat meal after a couple of weeks of hard work at the gym (or at least, that’s what it was for me)!