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Growing up, I never let a March pass without getting at least one shamrock shake from McDonald’s. [Yes, I have eaten at McDonalds ;-)!] I loved the mint flavor, the whipped cream topping, and the cherry on top. Plus, this shake meant that spring was here or coming, and I always associate the taste with warm afternoons, lacrosse practice, and carpools home with my friends.
It’s not news to anyone that the McDonald’s Shamrock Shake is loaded with sugar (and who knows what else). That is certainly not fake news. But believe me, I’m not here to totally bash this festive treat. There is a time and place for everything!
BUT what if I told you that you could get the same delicious minty taste PLUS some extra nutrition. And that you could do all of this in less than 5 minutes?
As a dietitian, I like to focus on what we can ADD to our diet, instead of what we can take away! It’s something that I discuss with almost all of my patients and clients. I love to think about food as a vehicle for nourishing our bodies and our minds–chock full of nutrients AND meaning. Instead of always thinking about different foods as carbs, fats, proteins, or a good source of ___ vitamin or mineral, I like to take a step back and attach a new meaning.
Does drinking a smoothie help you relax? Maybe it wakes you up? Or maybe you don’t enjoy smoothies because you attach a negative emotion or past event to them, like a restrictive diet or weight loss program? All of these are important questions to ask yourself when you prepare food and make food choices.
For me, drinking a shamrock shake was a fun activity that usually followed high school lacrosse practice. So, coming up with a healthier version of this shake brought back these memories, and has bridged my teenage years with my current lifestyle. You never know what you will come to realize by exploring how and why you feel about certain foods!
This Healthier Shamrock Shake recipe was originally posted a few years ago as the “Vegan Shamrock Shake.” I’ve recreated it today with better photos, and some improved recipe tips. BTW – this is husband and, I presume, kid-friendly! 😉 Honestly, I really do think it tastes like a shamrock shake!
Don’t believe me?! See for yourself…
Healthier Shamrock Shake
- 1 cup coconut milk - full fat (the kind in the can works best)
- 1 banana - frozen or fresh
- 1 large handful spinach
- 1/8 tsp peppermint extract - more to taste
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
- 70% dark chocolate - shaved, for garnish
- In a blender, combine all ingredients except chocolate, and blend until smooth. If you used a fresh banana instead of a frozen one, you may want to add ice to make it colder. Garnish with shaved or chopped dark chocolate. Enjoy!
Pin now to make later for St. Patty’s Day!
Have a great week everyone!