If you’ve ever enjoyed a McCafe Shamrock Shake at McDonald’s, you’re likely well aware that it’s back in season.
Only available for a few weeks leading up to St. Patrick’s Day, the shake has developed a cult-like following since it was introduced in the 1970s.
But something seemingly so straightforward as a milkshake, which should just contain a few ingredients, isn’t as simple as it first seems. Three main ingredients are highlighted on the company’s website: vanilla reduced-fat ice cream, shamrock shake syrup, and whipped cream.
So stop reading right there, and you might believe that this indulgence isn’t bad for you. But delve a little deeper, and note that the three ingredients may as well be considered the shake’s three food groups. Each main ingredient contains a host of chemical compounds, artificial colors, and complex ingredients that add up to trouble and can adversely affect our health.
I know, I know. No one goes to McDonald’s for their health.
But if you’ve made or want to make some changes in your diet to ultimately regain your health, you don’t have to miss out this year on a mint-flavored shake.
Let’s clean it up at home.
It’s not complicated, nor expensive, to make a similar and cleaner treat yourself.
My pantry and freezer already contained protein powder, yogurt made from grass-fed cows’ milk, and pure peppermint essential oil – products I purchase from Youngevity, a healthy lifestyle company for which I am a distributor. (See my full disclosure statement by clicking HERE.) The rest of the ingredients below came from my local grocery store.
My recipe below makes a 16-ounce shake, which contains 245 calories, 13 g. fat, 14 g. net carbs, 5 g. sugar, 17 g. protein.
Compare that to a medium (also 16 ounces) McCafe Shamrock Shake, which contains 560 calories, 16 g. fat, 91 g. carbs, 78 g. sugar, and 12 g. protein. (Source: McDonald’s website; accessed March 3, 2018)
And, full stop. So LOOK at and compare the carbs and sugar again. Those are NOT typos. What do all of those carbs and sugars do to our body? They create an inflammatory response, beginning in our gut. If not controlled, this inflammation can affect other aspects of our health and ultimately lead to illness and disease.
To McDonald’s credit, they have removed the maraschino cherry and some green sugar sprinkles from previous iterations of this drink. That helped lower the sugar and carb content to what I posted above, but they still are high compared to our cleaned up version.
Acne, allergies, blood sugar imbalances, headaches, immune system suppression, and leaky gut are just SOME of the conditions that can develop with a runaway inflammatory response.
But why take that chance? Cleaning up our diet and taking our health back into our own hands doesn’t require us to forsake all of the pleasures of life. In fact, if we take care of our health, we likely can enjoy more of life’s pleasures for longer.
The recipe below can be tweaked to personal preference. For example, you could use almond milk instead of coconut (just read labels and avoid carrageenan), and you can substitute mint extract instead of essential oil, since not all oils are safe for ingesting.
You also could add a bit of organic stevia if you’d like your shake sweeter, or substitute avocado for the spinach. I haven’t tried avocado yet in this recipe, but it would add more healthy fat to the shake. I am happy to report that I did not detect a spinach taste in this drink. The spinach also boosts the nutritional content.
Also, in the ingredients list below, if it’s a Youngevity product, I’ve included a link to that item, where you’ll find its nutrition facts and purchase your own.
I hope you’ll try this healthier version of the Shamrock Shake, and if you do, please share your thoughts in the comments below. If you add or substitute items, please share what and how they worked.
Here’s to your health!
A Healthier Shamrock Shake, Youngevity-style
½ c. Amasai plain yogurt
1 c. coconut milk vanilla unsweetened (check label for NO carrageenan)
½ c. frozen spinach
1-2 drops mint extract or peppermint oil
5-10 ice cubes
mint leaves, to taste
Add all ingredients together, blend well. Garnish with mint leaves, and serve. Enjoy!
(Serving size: 16-ounces; 245 calories, 13 g. fat, 14 g. net carbs, 5 g. sugar, 17 g. protein)
Welcome! I’m Amy, an integrative health coach, offering grace and space for a healthier you. If you liked this article, please subscribe at this link so that you’re among the first to get any future recipes, information and ideas that I share. And you can unsubscribe anytime; we both know that spam is not good for us, so we avoid it! Thanks for visiting.