Are you lactose-intolerant? Vegan? Do you miss the wonderful world of dairy? My 5-ingredient vegan pumpkin pie milkshake is better for you and better for the environment–19% of animal agriculture's water footprint and 4% of global greenhouse gas emissions come from the dairy industry

Now for a little background on lactose-intolerance. You probably know someone that is lactose-intolerant, but what does that actually mean? Since I am lactose-intolerant and also a nutrition major, I thought I'd briefly describe what is going on in our digestive system when we consume dairy products.

If you are lactose-intolerant, you lack the enzyme lactase that breaks down lactose into two smaller sugars, glucose and galactose. These smaller sugars are able to be absorbed in the small intestine. Without lactase, lactose will pass through the small intestine into the large intestine where it is fermented by your gut microbiota into gases. These gases result in common gastrointestinal symptoms such as diarrhea, constipation, nausea, and abdominal pain. Additionally, sugar that is present in the large intestine will keep water inside which causes bloating.

Did you know that lactose-intolerance is rare in babies? They need lactase to break down lactose in breast milk. After breast-feeding, however, we do not need the lactase enzyme anymore. In fact, adult mammals do not even produce lactase! So how are human adults able to digest dairy products still? Evolution. Some people are lactase-persistent and still produce the lactase enzyme, even after weaning. These people can digest lactose, but many people just stop producing it. Lactose-intolerance is most common in Asian-American and African-American populations.

#SpoonTip: If you're lactose-intolerant and still want to consume dairy products, try taking Lactaid, a supplement that contains the lactase enzyme.

How to Make a Vegan Pumpkin Pie Milkshake

  • Prep Time:5 mins
  • Cook Time:0
  • Total Time:5 mins
  • Servings:2
  • Easy


  • 2 cups vegan vanilla ice cream
  • 1 cup dairy-free milk
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • coconut milk whipped cream
  • Step 1

    Place vegan vanilla ice cream, dairy-free milk, pumpkin pie spice, and pumpkin puree in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.

    Megan Huff
  • Step 2

    Pour into a glass, top with coconut milk whipped cream, and enjoy!

    Megan Huff

Last summer, I worked at a burger joint, and my favorite task was making milkshakes, but there were no dairy-free options. The recipe is quite simple–it starts with a base of milk and ice cream, and then you add ingredients specific to the flavor you are trying to achieve. Since I was not able to enjoy the milkshakes I was making at work, I set out to create this classic diner milkshake at home with 100% vegan ingredients.

To achieve the richest and creamiest vegan milkshake possible, I suggest using Oatly vanilla ice cream and NotMilk. NotMilk just launched in the United States and is available at Whole Foods. It is made by Chilean Food Tech Company, NotCo. Their plant-based milk tastes like milk. There is no nutty after-taste that will affect the flavor of your recipes, since it does not contain any nuts. Additionally, NotMilk is lactose-free, soy-free, cholesterol-free, gluten-free and non-GMO.

If you prefer dairy, just use regular milk and ice cream, and this recipe will turn out just as good

Even if you're lactose-intolerant, there are still so many dairy-free treats to enjoy, like this vegan pumpkin pie milkshake!