Happy Mardi Gras today everyone!
Though I grew up in Texas, I went to college in Shreveport, Louisiana and spent those 4 years traveling all over the state, eating wonderful home cooked Cajun food straight from the kitchen, listening to well played jazz and zydeco, admiring the hanging moss and plantations hidden around the bayous, and just reveling in the culture with the friends I made while living there. (I didn’t personally run across any gators though…yet.)
I remember leading up to the first mardi gras my freshman year, when all my native Louisianan friends started getting excited about king cake and parades and beads; I had no idea what was in store. For someone not from the region, there is quite a bit with which to catch up. I’ll give you a little lesson, and then a recipe.
Mardi Gras, French for “Fat Tuesday” is the last party before Ash Wednesday, the first of 40 days leading up to Easter in the Christian tradition. This 40 day season known as Lent is a time when Christians usually give up bad habits or choose to be particularly mindful of their actions and attitudes, adding fasting, praying or meditation into their daily routine. The individual choices vary widely in how people choose to celebrate, but those who celebrate Mardi Gras (also known as Carnivale in Europe), for religious or cultural reasons, they are celebrating Lent’s bachelor party, indulging in the sweets, treats, revels and dare I say-debauchery- as a last hoorah before pious living.
Whether or not you celebrate Mardi Gras, you can enjoy this guilt-free King Cake Shake all year round (even during Lent) to remind you to let the good times roll!
King Cake Shake
1 packet or scoop Vanilla Shakeology
1 cup almond milk
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp butter extract or ghee (ghee is healthier but butter extract is lower in calories)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp honey or sweetener of choice (I like agave nectar)
1 cup ice
sprinkles in purple, green and gold (symbolizing justice, faith and power)
- Blend together all but sprinkles.
- Sprinkle a little of each color in the bottom of damp Shakeology cup; pour in shake
- Sprinkle colors on top and enjoy!
Laissez les bon temps rouler!