Gourmet Milkshake

You read that right. It says milkshake. Not smoothie. But honestly, they’re practically kissing cousins.

So why am I making a gourmet milkshake instead of a smoothie?

Because the Dairy Council of Arizona declared June as Arizona Dairy Month. Did you know that there are more than 100 dairy farms in Arizona? Ninety-eight percent of them are family owned and operated, although these aren’t small farms. Most have 1,500 to 2,000 cows. The farms produce 508 million gallons of milk a year, and it only takes two days to get the milk from the farm to the grocery store.

Milk and other dairy products (yogurt and cheese) are rich in calcium, Vitamin D, potassium, and protein. The USDA recommends two to three cups of dairy per day. No one is recommending a milkshake a day, but for a special treat, I don’t mind indulging in a milkshake every now and then.

As part of the AZ Dairy Month celebration, chefs around town have created some inspiring milkshakes. (Read the Phoenix New Times Chow Bella story about the Mooving Milkshake Pop-ups.”)

A sweet little birdy asked me if I’d create a milkshake you could make at home in honor of the month long celebration.

I’m using local milk (Shamrock Farms) and local artisan ice cream (Sweet Republic).

The rest of the ingredients: banana + pink peppercorn + lavender aren’t local, but no matter, because the spirit — and backbone — of this gourmet milkshake is local.

How to describe the flavor? Sweet, rich, floral and spicy. In a word: fantastic!

How will you celebrate Arizona Dairy Month?

Banana + Pink Peppercorn + Lavender Milkshake

Makes 1 large milkshake (about 16 ounces)


1/2 cup whole milk
2-1/2 teaspoons pink peppercorns
1 teaspoon culinary lavender buds
1 medium banana (room temperature, or frozen for a thicker shake)
1/2 pint vanilla ice cream

Place all ingredients in the order listed in a blender and blend until smooth.


* There is method to the madness in the order of ingredients. Always put liquid in the bottom of the blender first. The rest of the ingredients will blend much quicker and easier.

** This recipe easily converts into a morning smoothie. Eliminate the milk and replace the ice cream with an equal amount of vanilla yogurt.

13 replies
    • Gwen Ashley Walters
      Gwen Ashley Walters says:

      Kalia… thanks for the comment. Hope you do try it… you can find pink peppercorns in some grocery stores, or look in the bulk section at Sprouts if you don’t want to buy a bunch.

  1. Ty!
    Ty! says:

    OK I’m officially making this for my entire office. I’ll send photos —– keep your fingers crossed for me! (and the co-workers). Hoping Whole Foods has the pink peppercorns, will report back!

  2. go lb. salt
    go lb. salt says:

    gwen, awesome recipe. the pink ones are awesome on vanilla ice cream, but most are a bit reluctant to try them. and, technically those are pink pepper berries (not peppercorns) and they do grow locally, but won’t have the same flavor profile as those grown in some place like the french island of reunion. catch us at gilbert farmer’s market this Saturday. we have the pink ones!

    • Gwen Ashley Walters
      Gwen Ashley Walters says:

      Thanks! You are correct… they’re not technically peppercorns. I didn’t know that you had a local stash, though. Would love to try them to see how they’re different. Do that still have that slight tingling, numbing effect?

  3. go lb. salt
    go lb. salt says:

    no tingling numbing effect at all! we tell everyone when they sample them – zesty pepper flavor, no pepper heat, sweet & citrus-y.

    they are great for use in recipes and dishes where you want that pepper flavor but don’t want the pepper heat – your choice with the lavender was brilliant! the citrus-y note would nicely support the floral along with the vanilla.

    if the pink pepper berries are grown in areas that are too hot or too dry they have a bit of bitterness or tingle to them, but they shouldn’t. our’s aren’t grown locally, we’ve looked into it – the quality is terrible. we only import and are VERY selective. if you get the chance, come visit us for a salt & pepper tasting sometime, we’d love to have you!

    • Gwen Ashley Walters
      Gwen Ashley Walters says:

      I am intrigued by the ones you have, but I have to admit, one of the reasons I love pink peppercorns is precisely because of that tingling, numbing effect. I’ll have to get to the Gilbert Market and check it out!


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  1. […] it isn’t just Sonic anymore. Chef inspired milkshakes (like this one by local chef Gwen Ashley Walters) are becoming all the rage. Using simple, natural ingredients like strawberries or peaches from the […]

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