It’s that time of year… Shamrock Shakes are officially back!
Although this seasonal McDonald’s minty-green dessert drink has been around since the 1970s apparently, I admit I didn’t know of this creation until 2011 when one of my clients asked me about it. My parents must have missed the Shamrock Shake memo when I was growing up…
I’m not one to count calories and I don’t think it will do anyone any good to bash the original Shamrock Shake. I truly believe we should be really, really enjoying what we eat and drink so that we are living a balanced and fulfilling life.
However, within my practice and also nationally across the board there is a HUGE need for more fruits and veggies on our plates! That said, I have thought to myself: what if I could share with people a “Jennafied” version of the McDonald’s Shamrock Shake that tastes great and also offers a wide variety of health benefits?
In this case… having our shake and drinking it too?
AND to boot, I get to support local businesses like my friends at The Fuller Cup who will actually be serving this tasty seasonal treat next week!
Warning: This shake is NOT low calorie, low sugar, low carb or low fat. If those are the types of recipes you are seeking, you’ve come to the wrong place.
But if you are interested in a shake that can help support more balanced blood sugar, higher vitality, sustained energy levels, stronger immunity, better digestion, and less food cravings… AND you want something KID-FRIENDLY… keep reading!!!
I made this shake a bunch of times in the last week (while experimenting and finalizing the recipe), and each time it served a different purpose than the time before: so far, it’s been a breakfast, snack, and dessert. It worked out great every time and believe it or not, I’m still not sick of mint or chocolate… yet!
This Triple Green Shamrock Shake also makes for a great post-workout meal or snack in that it gives us everything we need for fueling our muscles after a workout:
- Simple and complex carbs
- Bioavailable (well-absorbed) protein
- Healthy fats
- Greens (added bonus!)
I don’t think we can get more complete than that! (Note: you can always adjust the portions of ingredients to customize your individual needs.)
Most if not all of these “secret ingredients” are so eclectic that you might never expect to find them in a Shamrock Shake. I’d love to share with you the methods behind the madness – the purpose and intention that went into choosing each component of this Triple Green version of the original Shamrock Shake!
Bananas: Well-known for their high potassium levels, bananas fly under the radar when it comes to all the other stuff they offer! Did you know one banana gives us about 25% of a day’s worth of vitamin B6, which works as a coenzyme in our metabolism and immune system? They also have fiber and lots of trace minerals like manganese, copper and magnesium (1). AND bananas are high in tryptophan, an amino acid which is a precursor to serotonin which I think we could all use a little more of, at least up here in the Northeast!
Hint: I recommend using frozen bananas so that you get more of an ice cream texture, minus the banana flavor.
Dark leafy greens: Yup, you guessed it – Green food #1.
You can use any kind. Spinach, kale, collards, mustard greens… they are LOADED with vitamins, calcium, iron, magnesium, antioxidants, fiber, and they will even help keep food cravings at bay. There is no such thing as a “magic bullet”, but if there was… Let’s just say adding some of these to your routine won’t hurt. 😉
Avocado: I just picked it because it’s green 😀
But really – avocados are great for so many reasons. They’re high in heart-healthy monounsaturated fat, fiber, potassium, B vitamins… and they actually help stabilize blood sugar too! Did you ever notice you feel significantly fuller when you include some avocado in your meal? It’s not a coincidence. They take a long time to digest, making a meal lower in glycemic index and helping us to feel energized for longer. Plus, they are so versatile (you will never believe I use them to make an amazing chocolate mousse!).
Collagen peptides: This ingredient is not friendly for vegans or vegetarians, and you can absolutely swap this out for a whey or plant-based vanilla or plain protein powder of your choice. But I opt for collagen peptides because, like bone broth, they offer amazing benefits for maintaining vital, healthy intestinal cells, digestion, and skin when used on a regular basis. They also, like avocados, promote satiety and more stable blood sugar. Collagen peptides melt right into lots of foods and beverages like smoothies, coffee, oatmeal and soups to name a few! No one product is good for everyone though, so listen to your body or consult a professional if you find they aren’t working for you.
Nutty Life cashew milk: This stuff is made with lots of love by local, passionate Nutty Life founder Caroline Huff! No fillers, 8-35% cashews per bottle, and sweetened with dates. I am so grateful that it’s offered at the Fuller Cup in the form of latte’s, Shamrock Shakes or on its own by the bottle!
Note: ANY kind of milk for your Shamrock Shake is totally fine! I just like to share what I do and why.
Raw honey: One of my favorite sweeteners to this day! It’s got 22 amino acids, 27 trace minerals and lots of enzymes (2).
Note: Don’t give honey to children 12 months or under because their systems are not equipped to metabolize certain microbes in it.
Traditionally, mint leaves have been used to settle the stomach, promote better digestion, cleanse the palate and even reduce inflammation (3). Plus, it makes for a great natural mint flavor and again… green color!
Peppermint Vitality oil: This is the real deal. I occasionally apply one or two drops of it topically over the skin on my abdomen. This oil seems to kick any digestive upset right in its tracks! In this shake, that one drop of peppermint oil really gives an extra boost of flavor and it also makes for a happy stomach the rest of the day.
***Believe me when I say ONE drop of this is the magic number for one serving! If you exceed 1 to 2 drops internally at one time you can actually trigger symptoms of reflux or stomach pain. Too much of a good thing is not a good thing!***
***Don’t use peppermint oil if you are prone to gallstones and have not had your gallbladder removed.***
Chocolate: Enough said. But also… vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants… Read more about the benefits of chocolate here.
WELL! Now that you have made it this far and you’ve got the lowdown of this Triple Green Shamrock Shake, it’s finally time for the recipe…
- 1 frozen peeled, chopped banana
- Handful (2 tablespoons) frozen dark leafy greens (i.e. spinach/kale)
- 1/4 of a ripe-enough avocado
- 1 scoop Vital Proteins collagen peptides (or protein powder of your choice)
- 1 cup milk or dairy substitute of your choice
- 1 tablespoon raw honey (or other liquid sweetener of your choice; use maple syrup for vegan or FODMAP)
- 1 sprig fresh mint leaves (or more for garnishing)
- 1 drop Peppermint oil (order here) OR 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract (found near vanilla extract in baking section of supermarket)
- 2-3 tablespoons semi-sweet chocolate chunks (optional)
Directions: Combine all ingredients together in high-speed blender, Vitamix or NutriBullet/Magic Bullet etc. Blend for several minutes; optional garnish with fresh mint leaves or chocolate shavings.
ENJOY and happy St. Patty’s Day!!!