Healthy Shamrock Shake Recipe

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When March rolls around, we start seeing green! 

St Patrick’s Day means green, cold, and creamy “Shamrock Shakes” at no other than McDonalds. 

If you’ve been with us for a while, you know we love putting a healthy spin on not-so-healthy classics. You’re in for a treat because we really outdid ourselves with this one. 

Not only did we cut way back on the sugar and empty calories, but we also loaded our shamrock shake with protein, so it can serve as a meal replacement or a filling snack to hold you over until your next meal—and no green food coloring is required!

Love the McDonald’s Shamrock Shake, but trying to eat cleaner? You’re in “luck” with this St. Patrick’s Day treat! Keep reading to see how we revamped this sweet treat with our homemade shamrock shake recipe.

How to make shamrock shakes?

Our healthy copycat shamrock shake recipe is made from fruit, a little sweetener, and a protein shake. That’s it! 

A classic shamrock shake should be minty, creamy, and feel like a treat. With ingredients like fresh mint, honey or maple syrup, avocado (yep!), and frozen banana, we think we totally nailed that familiar combination.

Rather than use vanilla ice cream, green food coloring, or whipped cream, we made our healthy shamrock shake creamy with a delicious vanilla protein shake as the base.

What’s in a shamrock shake?

In a small McDonald’s Shamrock Shake, there are 500 calories, 51 grams of added sugar, and ingredients like high fructose corn syrup and artificial coloring. Consuming about ¼ of your daily calorie intake on one drink? What a “sham.”

While they don’t actually use green food coloring, they do include Yellow 5 and Blue 1—which, as you’ll remember from elementary school art class, combine to make shamrock green. 

Having indulgent treats here and there is not going to derail your nutrition goals, but why reserve treats for once and a while? 

In our remake of this recipe, there are 275 calories and 21g of sugar per serving, along with a natural sweetener and green coloring from mint extract and avocado. 

We know it can be super discouraging when you start reading the labels on your favorite foods, only to find out they don’t fit into your lifestyle or macros. We believe in finding ways to treat yourself while still staying on track. 

Sticking to mostly whole ingredients, prioritizing protein, and cutting back on added sugar are our pillars when developing recipes, and this shamrock shake is no different.

Our Shamrock Shake Ingredients

Unlike the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, you won’t have to search far and wide for the simple ingredients in our shamrock shake.

Core Power Fairlife Elite Vanilla Protein Drink

This gives our shamrock shake mass and nutritional substance. You can totally substitute your preferred protein drink, but we suggest sticking with a vanilla-flavored option. 

If you can’t find a healthy vanilla protein shake, you could try substituting coconut milk (if you want a dairy-free option) or whole milk as a creamy and satiating base.

Vanilla extract

Vanilla extract adds a ton of natural flavor—and just a little goes a long way! If you have fresh vanilla bean to add, that would also be an excellent option.

Frozen banana

If you haven’t started freezing your overripe bananas, now is the time! 

They are great to have in the freezer when a dessert craving strikes. They can be blended into soft serve ice cream with just a little liquid like milk or water or, of course, elevated with a few extra ingredients, like in this shamrock shake. 

When you notice you have a few ripe bananas browning on your counter, peel, slice, and throw them into an airtight bag or container. You can also buy bananas frozen at most grocery stores if you didn’t plan ahead.

Liquid sweetener (maple syrup or honey)

Maple syrup and honey are all-natural sweeteners that pack a ton of sweetness. Be sure to read your labels, as many bottles are marketed as maple syrup, for example, but list many other ingredients. 

We recommend 100% maple syrup if you opt for this sweetener.

Avocado

Surprise! You don’t need food coloring to make food green. Avocado is perfect for this shamrock shake because it adds both color and creaminess. 

You could use a fresh or frozen avocado. The trick is the same as with bananas—if you can’t eat your avocados quick enough, no problem. 

Just peel, dice, and throw in a bag in the freezer to add creaminess and healthy fats to your smoothies and desserts.

Mint leaves or peppermint extract

If you can find fresh mint leaves, they add a bright, fresh, minty flavor to this shamrock shake. Mint extract also works well in a pinch and usually adds a nice green color.

Ice

Of course, we need ice to make our shamrock shakes nice and cold.

Healthy Shamrock Shake Recipe

Healthy Shamrock Shake Recipe

Love the McDonald’s Shamrock Shake, but trying to eat cleaner? You’re in “luck” with this healthy shamrock shake recipe!

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Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes

Course Drinks
Cuisine American

Servings 2 servings
Calories 293 kcal

Ingredients

  

  • 1 Core Power Fairlife Elite Vanilla (42g protein)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 2 tbsp honey or maple syrup
  • ½ avocado (frozen or fresh)
  • 10-12 mint leaves or 1 tsp peppermint extract
  • 1 cup ice (can be adjusted to suit your consistency preference)

Instructions

 

  • Blend all ingredients (the banana does not need to be defrosted, just take it out of the freezer and throw it in a blender; this helps add creaminess that a room-temperature banana won’t)
  • Process or blend until smooth
  • Pour into a tall glass and enjoy your healthy vanilla mint milkshake!

Nutrition

Serving: 1 servingCalories: 293kcalCarbohydrates: 38.5gProtein: 22.4gFat: 7.4gSugar: 21g

Keyword shake
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Shamrock Shake FAQs

Why are shamrock shakes so high in calories?

The original McDonald’s shamrock shake uses ingredients that may taste really good but are also loaded with calories, and not the good-for-you, filling kind. 

For example, sugar is the second-listed ingredient in vanilla ice cream, which means that it is the second-most used ingredient. By contrast, our homemade version calls for two tablespoons of a naturally derived sweetener. 

The McDonald’s shamrock shake contains “shamrock shake syrup,” which is made up of High Fructose Corn Syrup, Corn Syrup, Water, Glycerin, Natural Flavor, Xantham Gum, Citric Acid, Sodium Benzoate (preservative), Yellow 5, and Blue 1.

It also uses vanilla ice cream and whipped cream, which are loaded with sugar. 

Our copycat shamrock shake recipe consists mainly of a blended protein shake, avocado, and banana, which still add plenty of creamy goodness. The rest of the ingredients (like maple syrup and peppermint extract) are used moderately for flavor and sweetness. 

By prioritizing both flavor and protein/nutrients, you can create a really satisfying dessert that won’t leave you with a major sugar crash. And, bonus, you don’t have to wait in line at the drive-thru for this shamrock shake!

What’s in the Oreo Shamrock McFlurry?

If you want to increase the calorie count even more, you could order the Oreo Shamrock McFlurry at McDonald’s, which contains 550 calories, 89g of carbs, and 55g of added sugar. Although it’s a tasty mint chocolate chip treat, we much prefer our homemade version. 

If you want to make our copycat shamrock shake taste like mint chip ice cream, try adding in a handful of healthy chocolate chips to the blender!

What can you top a shamrock shake with?

If you want to make your shamrock shake even more special this St. Patrick’s Day, try adding chocolate chips to the blender, a couple of maraschino cherries after it’s blended, or drizzle chocolate syrup on top. 

If you can find healthy green sprinkles (no artificial food coloring) or natural liquid food coloring, even better!



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