Healthy Chocolate-Chip Cookie-Dough Protein “Blizzard” … for real!!! (gluten free & can be vegan too!)



I know right?

Come on, a chocolate chip cookie dough blizzard… that I’m saying  is “healthy”… and packed with protein, and gluten free… and can be vegan??

I must be losing it, book me into the loony bin… how could this be possible?!

Well… IT IS.



With a mix of whole, healthy, unrefined, good-for-you ingredients, combined, and morphed, then a dash of Nutritionist love…this Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Protein ‘Blizzard’… or wanna-be Blizzard… was created!

I was seriously in Heavenly bliss for the 5 minutes it took me to eat this.

So… darn..delicious!

So, here’s the back story to this recipe.

Every single day to and from work, and to and from many other places I often drive to, I pass a Dairy Queen.. this one random Dairy Queen just chillin’ out, has been there forever, and I don’t imagine it’s going anywhere any time soon.

So every single time I drive past this DQ… I think of a Blizzard. The only thing I really used to ever get at Dairy Queen (we all know DQ isn’t known for their burgers…blehhk!!)

I haven’t had an actual Blizzard in SO long, and although I do crave one just a teeny tiny little bit every time I drive past that one DQ, I just can’t bring myself to go get one.

First of, they have like a trillion calories (seriously, look it up, it’s on the website), second of all super high-fat/high-sugar foods pretty much act similar to a violent laxative in my body (and, well yeah, that’s no fun as I’m sure you can imagine), and well third, they’re just BAD FOR YOU.

….but, they taste hella good, I’ll give them that!

So, my solution? Make my own that will leave me feeling happy and not frantically searching for the nearest porcelain throne.

So.. first of all, I just want to get something right out into the open.

This Healthy Blizzard of mine… is not “low calorie”. That being said, “low calorie” doesn’t always mean “healthy” either! Remember, calories don’t determine the nutritional value of foods!

This Blizzard IS however, made from whole, unrefined, good-for-you ingredients, and is MUCH lower in calories than the typical DQ Blizzard which sits at around 1,000 calories a pop (at LEAST!).

I wouldn’t eat this Blizzard every single day, but as an occasional snack, post workout meal, or a healthy indulgence dessert, this is definitely a good choice!

I had my Blizzard for a post-workout meal one day, after some heavy lifting and a decent amount of cardio, and it was perfect for my body, and also fit nicely into my typical “meal” calories.

The first step to this Blizzard is to make the “Chocolate-Chip Cookie Dough” balls.

These are super easy to make and pretty much a combination of raw cashews, oats, almond milk, pure maple syrup, and dates!

Combine it all in a food processor, fold in dark chocolate chunks (I used Lindt 70% dark chocolate, which is dairy free… and the less sugar the better, or if you can find a dark chocolate with no refined sugars that’s even better!), and roll into little balls, freeze, and a few hours later, voila! Cookie Dough! 

These little cookie dough balls are great on their own as a little energy giving snack! I only used a few for my Blizzard and left the rest in the freezer to have as a little sweet bite here and there. Just remember… moderation :) Don’t go eating 10 all at once!

For the “ice cream” in the cookie dough blizzard I used an old recipe I did last year when I first started the blog… Vegan Peanut Butter & Banana Ice Cream.

Basically, (and this isn’t news to anyone, I know) you blend up frozen bananas, and it turns into a beautiful ice cream like consistency!

I added peanut butter to the mix, and oh, you-know-it, PROTEIN POWDA!! Yup, gotta get my protein in there! So I used my fave all natural Vanilla North Coast Naturals whey isolate… now, to make this ice cream base vegan, just sub in a vegan protein powder!

Once I had my ice cream base, I popped it into the freezer to firm up for a couple you can imagine the wait for this Blizzard was allllmost unbearable! 

FINALLY, the Blizzard was ready to assemble! I scooped my firmed up Peanut Butter & Banana “Ice Cream” out of the tupperware into a glass, then a grabbed a few of the chocolate-chip cookie dough balls and cut them into smaller pieces, then in with the ‘ice cream’ they went!!

How I managed to get through taking so many pictures of this delicious concoction of perfection without devouring it is beyond me, but I did it!

The best part is that the cookie dough balls soften quite a bit when at room temperature, so as they thawed, I was able to mix them into the ‘ice cream’ so there was chunks of cookie dough deliciousness all throughout the Blizzard… just like the real thing!

So, I bet you all want to know… how does my Blizzard stack up in comparison to the DQ Cookie Dough Blizzard?

Let’s see..

NITK Cookie Dough Blizzard:

388 Calories

42g Carbs

12g Fat

33g Protein

6g Fiber

16g Sugar

(Medium Size) DQ Cookie Dough Blizzard:

1,030 Calories

157g Carbs

40g Fat

17g Protein

1g Fiber

117g Sugar

 Ummm.. so yeah… 117g of sugarONE HUNDRED and SEVENTEEN… ?! For REAL, WHO needs that?!  (…and that’s a medium sized Blizzard…they have large!) 

Clearly, you can see, there’s a substantial difference between the two, and I promise you, my version tastes just as delicious. 

If you still aren’t convinced, here’s the ingredients list of the DQ Cookie Dough Blizzard taken right off their website:

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough: Unenriched Wheat Flour, Sugar, Margarine (palm oil, water, soybean oil, mono and diglycerides, artificial flavor {milk}, colored with annatto, calcium disodium EDTA added as a preservative, vitamin A palmitate added), Chocolate Chips (sugar, chocolate liquor, cocoa butter, soy lecithin {emulsifier}, vanilla), Powdered Sugar (sugar, corn starch), Butter (cream, salt), Pasteurized Eggs, Brown Sugar, Corn Starch, Natural and Artificial Flavor, Salt. Dairy Queen Vanilla Soft Serve: Modified milk ingredients, sugar, glucose, mono and diglycerides, guar gum, polysorbate 80, carrageenan and artificial flavour.Fudge: Glucose-fructose, concentrated skim milk, hydrogenated coconut oil, fructose, water, cocoa (processed with alkali), cocoa, algin, salt, mono and diglycerides, potassium sorbate, dextrin, sodium phosphate, disodium phosphate, soy lecithin, artificial flavour.


and…what’s in mine?

raw cashews, whole rolled oats, unsweetened almond milk, natural vanilla whey isolate, dates, pure maple syrup, 70% dark chocolate, bananas, natural peanut butter. 


I like mine better.

Ok, enough enough, let’s just get to the recipe Christal! 

5.0 from 8 reviews
Healthy Chocolate-Chip Cookie-Dough Protein "Blizzard" ... for real!!! (gluten free & can be vegan too!)
Serves: 2
  • For The Cookie Dough:
  • 30g raw cashews
  • ⅓ cup rolled oats
  • 1 scoop vanilla whey protein isolate (or a vegan protein powder)
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • ⅓ cup pitted dates (soak in hot water for easier blending)
  • 30g dark chocolate (preferably 70% cocoa or higher)
  • For the 'Ice Cream':
  • 2 bananas, cut into chunks and frozen
  • 6 ice cubes
  • ½ cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon natural peanut butter
  1. Peel bananas and cut into quarters and freeze. (I always have frozen banana chunks in my freezer for smoothies, or 'ice cream')
  2. In a food processor combine cashews, oats, and protein powder. Pulse until almost a flour consistency is achieved.
  3. Add in the maple syrup and almond milk and pulse a few more times.
  4. Add in the dates and process until all is well combined and the batter resembles thick sticky paste.
  5. On a cutting board, cut chocolate into small chunks with a knife.
  6. Transfer to a bowl and fold in chocolate chunks.
  7. With wet hands (very important your hands are wet as this will prevent the cookie dough from sticking, and will roll easier), roll cookie dough into small round balls. Place on a plate or cookie sheet covered with parchment paper.
  8. Batter makes 20 balls.
  9. Freeze cookie dough balls for at least 3 hours.
  10. Once banana chunks are frozen you can make the 'ice cream'.
  11. In a food processor or blender combine banana, almond milk, ice cubes, and peanut butter. Blend until smooth.
  12. Transfer to a tupperware and freeze for 2 hours or until firm. (if you leave for longer, and the ice cream is too hard to scoop, just let it thaw on the counter for a bit)
  13. Once your 'ice cream' is thick and scoopable, divide between 2 glasses.
  14. Add in a couple cookie dough balls to each glass, and enjoy!
Makes 20 cookie dough balls - use 2 per Blizzard 'Ice Cream' makes 2 servings.
Nutritional Information
Calories: 388 kcal Fat: 12g Carbohydrates: 42g Sugar: 16g Fiber: 6g Protein: 33g

*Inspired by DAMY Health 

I hope you enjoy my healthified version of the Chocolate-Chip Cookie Dough Protein Blizzard!

The recipe and steps needed to make this might seem a little daunting, but it’s actually very easy, and the time it takes, well…. it’s SO worth it!!!


Have a great day!



Nutritionist in the Kitch


  1. Anna S says

    It would be awesome if your future recipe posts included the recipe in the beginning.. With so many pictures in this blog post, it takes forever until the actual recipe loads. :) Just a friendly suggestion.

    • Christal says

      Hey Anna! Thanks for the suggestion! This post is older when I used to upload huge photo files, new posts load much quicker as the files are smaller! :)

  2. says

    FYI, you actually want to avoid high fat meals (like things with a lot of nuts/cashews) post workout! Fat slows absorption of the other nutrients you really need for recovery – carbs and protein – during the post workout window. The recipe looks delicious though.

  3. Lauren says

    I am a HUGE healthy eater but I ca not get into fruit flavored ice creams, shakes, anything! Is there a recipe for a vanilla healthy protein packed ice cream that I could mix with this amazing cookie dough instead? (I do like PB ice cream though) any suggestions?

  4. says

    No, this is WAY better than the poopy DQ blizzard- in taste and of course in nutrition! Thanks for sharing, because if it were me, I would be really greedy and not share this at all. Just kidding. Thanks!

  5. Erinn says

    I made this today and OMG! It is SO good!!! I have been switching over slowly in the last two weeks to a no processed foods / no refined sugar way of life (changing my whole health and way of life – – it’s been a struggle, but a good one!) I LOVE Blizzards and there is one right next to my work . . . when I searched “healthy blizzard” your blog popped up.

    This is a wonderful treat and I actually felt guilty eating it because I couldn’t believe it was healthy – – (isn’t it sad how we somehow thing healthy food can’t equal delicious food?! I’m changing that for myself, that’s for sure).

    This is proof you can have both (in moderation of course). :) Thank you! You rock!

    I’m moving to S. Korea soon where some of these things are hard to find – – but I’m sure I can find someway to make it work :)

  6. Emily says

    This looks EPIC, and I’m really excited to try it, but I’m allergic to nuts. I figured I could use my rice milk, but what would you recommend as a substitute for the cashews? Thanks for this awesome recipe!

  7. Kira says

    Christal, this is awesome! I made everything this afternoon, so I could have it for dinner tonight. Don’t judge…. :-) It did not disappoint!! I subbed the maple syrup for a sugar free caramel syrup, and did half dates and half prunes. Just, wow… Will be making this again. And again, and again!! So glad I found your blog!!

  8. Stephanie says

    I just made these “balls” and before I even stuck them in the freezer, my boyfriend ate half of them. They are so good he couldn’t wait :) Thanks for the recipe! Can’t wait to eat them in the actual blizzard!

  9. Heather says

    HI! This is amazing and I love everything about it but I am allergic to tree nuts :( Stinks because they are used in a lot of healthy cooking alternatives. Do you know if there is anything that is not a tree nut I could substitute for the cashews in the cookie dough? Thanks!

  10. Nathalie says

    Can I say OMG?! I’ve been on a low carb diet for 6 months, with weekends to eat whatever… I haven’t had a smoothie in forever (seems like it anyway!!). This was soooo good! Love the banana ice cream. Made the cookies without maple syrup and chocolate chips though, it was sweet enough for me as is. Thank you! I’ll save this one for next weekend 😉

  11. Christa says

    Just picked up dates and cashews – so excited to try this out! I did somehow skip over that I need almond milk. Could I use skim milk instead or would that just throw it way off?

  12. Alanna says

    Hello! I’m making this right now and I’m excited. The only protein powder I have is my bf’s (chocolate), so we’ll see how the flavor turns out. Question- how much is in your scoop? Are they generally all the same size or is yours about 42g too? Grr I just read it has an artificial sweetener which gives me nasty migraines. Do you have any recommendations for a substitution?

    • Christal says

      Hi Alanna! My scoop is 1/4 cup – not sure the gram amount off hand – I love North Coast Naturals protein powder – it has no artificial sweeteners or flavors! It’s the North Coast Naturals 100% Iso Protein! You can buy it in stores in Canada or online at

      • Alanna says

        Thanks for the info! I used half of that protein powder and half whole wheat flour. It came out really yummy! And no migraines :) The only problem is that when I wet my hands to form the balls, it mixed with the flour and got pasty, so I wouldn’t recommend doing what I did. Otherwise, the bf, mother, and bff (and I) all liked it very much. Thanks for sharing!

        • Christal says

          Hey Alanna! So glad you liked it, yes it’s a fine line on how much you want to wet your hands lol, so it doesn’t stick but also doesn’t get pasty, I had to play around a little bit!

  13. Stephanie says

    I love looking over your recipes and trying them out. I live in the U.S. and sometimes your metric measures throw me. Can you tell me what the equivalent of 30g is in cups. Thanks so much!

  14. Stacy says

    Saw this pinned on Pinterest and laughed when I read the description. A “healthy” cookie dough shake? Yeah right. I tend to lean towards the Paleo style of eating, with a few exceptions, and I’m excited to see that this is pretty darn Paleo friendly minus the oats (which I still eat on occasion!) I can’t wait until I REALLY need my cookie dough fix now!

    • Christal says

      It would probably have a different taste, and more fat, as there is added oils in the roasted cashews – but still taste yummy!

  15. says

    Oh my gosh this looks amazing!!!!! I am definitely going to try this. I tried a recipe for vegan cookie dough balls, and they were amazing, but definitely not healthy. This look fab. Thanks for sharing!

  16. says

    Greetings from Colorado! I’m bored at work so I decided to browse your website on my iphone during lunch break. I love the info you present here and can’t wait to take a look when I get home.

    I’m shocked at how quick your blog loaded on my mobile .. I’m not even using WIFI, just 3G .
    . Anyhow, very good blog!

  17. Maya says

    This looks amazing! First time commenter here :) I have everything but the dates and am going to grab some and make this!!! The husband just went gluten/dairy free and I know he sorely misses his ice cream. Thank you!


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