Inspired by my favorite green smoothie, this minty protein shake is a healthier option to satisfy your Shamrock Shake cravings.
I have a confession: I’ve never had an authentic Shamrock Shake. In fact, I couldn’t tell you the last time I was in a McDonalds. However, Bry has had is fair share of the St. Patrick’s D ay-inspired treat and can vouch for the tastiness of this healthier alternative. While I fully support indulging every once and awhile, drinking something that contains 550 calories and 86 grams of sugar, all from artificial ingredients just isn’t worth it to me. Especially when I can make my own at home.
So what makes my shake healthier? Besides the obvious of lower calories and fat from nixing the ice cream, the most important (to me at least) is quality ingredients. No weird food colorings or thickeners and fresh mint instead of mint flavoring. Plus my shake has a major nutrition boost thanks to 1 cup of spinach and a banana.
There were two main things I wanted to get just right when making this smoothie: flavor and texture. To get the minty flavor, I used leaves from 2 sprigs of fresh mint, and for the sweet, vanilla ice cream flavor I used a combo of unsweetened vanilla almond milk, vanilla extract, banana, and vanilla protein powder. Those last two are also the keys to the texture of the smoothie. If you haven’t jumped on the frozen banana smoothie train yet, now is the time. Something magical happens when bananas freeze, then are blended: they become so smooth and creamy. To make the shake nice and thick, you want just ½ cup of almond milk per 1 frozen banana. The final texture key is protein powder. My go-to is Sunwarrior Classic Plus, Raw Organic Plant Based Protein, Vanilla as I like the ingredients (all plant-based) and it also helps thicken your smoothie.
It took me awhile to like green smoothies, mainly because every time I’d make them there would still be spinach pieces that didn’t blend fully and the texture would gross me out. I’ve since figured out the key to a smooth and creamy green drink: blend the spinach and milk first until the spinach is fully blended before adding in the rest of the ingredients.
And don’t worry about all that fresh mint going to waste. I have a minty recipe coming up Wednesday as well as these awesome Mojito Chicken Tacos and these refreshing Banana and Pineapple Mint Smoothies.
So here’s a toast to a lucky start to the week!
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I’ve never done the Shamrock Shake thing either, because like you, I couldn’t tell you the last time I was in a McDonalds (except to use a restroom while on road trips!). I see my friends posting about them all the time – they sound pretty scary, while you’re sounds like a Shamrock Shake I can truly enjoy!
Thanks Many! You’ll have to give it a shot 😉
Love the addition of FRESH mint to get that crisp and refreshing flavor. I have had a Shamrock Shake, but it’s been YEARS…so I really don’t even remember if it was good or not!