I use to often get shakes at McDonalds (thank god I know better now!), and by far my favourite was the shamrock shake. I'm surprised I have never thought about trying to make one myself until now.
According to the Huffington Post, McDonald's Shamrock Shake has 54 ingredients and for the 820 calories it has you could have 1.5 hamburgers, 3.6 small fries, one bacon egg and cheese biscuit, 4.3 orders of hotcakes, and 8 soft chocolate chip cookies at McDonald's. And think of how many people have that as their beverage with their meal there! Holy moly!
|image from the Huffington Post|
I recently came across some smoothie and ice cream recipes that used whole mint leaves instead of extract, which I thought was interesting since I've grown mint in the past (this years is still barely a seedling? huuumm...don't know what that is about), but other than tea I didn't know how to use it. I also recently tried only 1/8 tsp in my trials of creating my no churn Chocolate ice cream, to see how it would be as a background flavour only to have the whole quart end up tasting like mouth wash. So when I saw mint for $1 at our farmer's market last week I couldn't resist. I brought it home and started thinking of using a smoothie "ice cream" base of bananas, milk alternatives, and vanilla extract that I would add the mint to. And it turned out so good this will definitely be in my smoothie rotation. It really taste like it has ice cream.
Fresh Mint, Dried Mint Leaves, and Mint Extract
I suggest using fresh mint if possible because it's easier to control the amount of mint you have it will end up tasting like mint ice cream, not mouthwash. Fresh Mint also has lots of vitamins and minerals. and it also helps to give your shake a pretty green hue. I do add a little spinach in this recipe to help add even more colour (as well as nutrition). I know fresh mint is not easy for everyone to find but, you can find it at some farmers markets, or grow it yourself in a container (don't add to your garden because it's pre-annual and self seeds). I had a mint plant I grew from seed in a container that lasted over a year. If you can't find fresh mint I would try dried mint. You can find this in the tea aisle at most stores and in the bulk aisle of some health food stores. If you cannot find dried mint (mint tea), then I would suggest you use mint extract, as said before be very careful if you do, seriously use one drop at a time, preferably with an eye dropper.
|image from Eating Richly|
Healthy Shamrock Shake
(vegan, Paleo, dairy free, no added sugar)
makes about 3 cups
- 1 large ripe banana sliced and frozen
- 1 -2 T of fresh or dried mint leaves depending on desired mint flavor (can use mint extract instead but be very careful and only use 1-2 drops, a little goes a long way trust me)
- 1/3 cup milk of choice (I used coconut milk use more or less, depending on desired thickness.)
- frozen spinach (a pinch to a 1/4 cup, depending on your preference) *this is what will give it a green color, if you don't like spinach you can omit it will just be white.
- ½ cup of ice
- 1 Tablespoon of stevia (more or less to taste and depending on the brand you use)
- 2 tsp vanilla or a vanilla bean
optional add ins: cocoa or cocao powder, vegan vanilla protein powder, or whey protein powder (will make it creamier but is not vegan).
Put all of the above ingredients in your Vita-Mix or blender, except the ice cubes. Blend everything together and then add the ice cubes in slowly (add more or less at once depending on how strong your blender is). Pour and serve immediately. You can top with whipped cream or coconut whipped cream (which is what I did, pictured above).
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