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!
Healthier Shamrock Protein Shake
- ½ cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
- Leaves from 2-3 sprigs fresh mint
- 1 cup spinach
- 1 frozen banana
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 1 scoop vanilla protein powder I used Sun Warrior
- Place spinach, mint, and almond milk in blender. Blend on high until smooth and no flakes of spinach or mint are visible.
- Add in frozen banana, vanilla extract, and vanilla protein powder. Blend on high until smooth and creamy. If you want it even thicker, add in ½-1 cup of ice cubes and blend until smooth.
- Pour into glass, grab a spoon (my preference) or a straw, and enjoy!