Confession: I actually haven't ever had a real, McDonalds Shamrock Shake BUT I've done a lot of research and talked to a lot of people who enjoyed them in years past. To be honest, I have always wondered why that glowing green milkshake tasted like mint and vanilla - "what does that have to do with St. Pattys?", I would wonder. But, the more fun side of me embraces the Shamrock shake as a totally made up kitchy American tradition that people who crave healthier, plant based options should get to enjoy as well.
When developing this recipe I wanted it to be as nourishing as possible while still being a totally dessert-like indulgence that hit all the same flavor notes as the original (minus the processed grossness). My version only contains whole food, plant based ingredients - thats right, no food coloring, dairy or artificial flavors here ...and, according to those who have tasted a Shamrock shake, this version totally has it going on. This thing is frothy, creamy and totally shake-like, even though it is technically a smoothie.
The recipe involves many green ingredients to ensure the color is as Irish (?) as possible - zucchini, spinach, mint and avocado - yes, Irish. By the way, if you've never tried zucchini in your smoothies, you really should - it adds the same creamy texture as bananas but without the sweetness - great for those times you want to keep things lower in the glycimic index. The avocado adds to the richness and the mint give it the classic 'shamrock-i-ness'.
The traditional drive-thru shake is topped with whipped cream and cherry but I opted for a drizzle of vegan chocolate shell because who doesn't the combination of mint and chocolate?...Sounds better than mint and cherry to me. LOL
Anyway, let me know if you try my healthy, plant based version of a Shamrock shake and how it compares to the original.
Serves: 1-2 (depends of if you want it as a meal or a snack) • Prep Time: 5 min
Healthy Vegan Shamrock Shake
- 1 frozen banana
- 1 small frozen zucchini
- 1 packed cup spinach leaves
- Handful fresh mint leaves
- 1 cup plant milk
- 2-4 ice cubes, depending on how icy you want it
- 2 pitted medjool dates (or sub maple syrup)
- 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp. pure peppermint extract (optional)
- 1/4 avocado
Vegan Chocolate Shell
- 1 tbsp. coconut oil
- 1 tsp. coco powder
- 1 tsp. sweetenner of choice
1. In a high speed blender, add all ingredients except avocado and blend on high till frothy and well combined.
2. Once fully blended, plus in the avocado till just combined and the mixture is icy and creamy.
NOTE: Blending the avocado in at the last second is optional, you can totally chuck it in to start but from testing I realized that resulting texture is a bit too whipped and fluffy if your goal is to stay true to milkshake texture.
3. Add to a chilled glass and top with chocolate shell or vegan whipped cream!