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This copycat Healthy Shamrock Shake recipe is a naturally green mint smoothie with the sweet and refreshing flavor and creamy texture you love in that classic milkshake. But without the extra sugar, crazy ingredients, or artificial colors of the McDonald’s version. You can feel good about enjoying one for breakfast, as a protein-packed snack, or even a healthy dessert!
How bad is a Shamrock Shake for you?
Every year I find myself craving a Shamrock Shake from McDonald’s and looking for this year’s release date. But then I remember that the last time I had one, I wasn’t thrilled.
I rarely indulge in a McDonald’s milkshake, but I don’t think they have been the same since they started putting whipped cream and a cherry on top. The flavor just isn’t the same, and this is McDonald’s. Their food isn’t supposed to come with garnish.
Then I saw someone post the list of what is in a Shamrock Shake. I’m not going to pretend I have a perfect diet. But their claim of only a handful of ingredients – vanilla reduced fat ice cream, shamrock shake syrup, whipped topping, and a maraschino cherry – really covers up a laundry list of sweeteners, artificial colors and flavors, and preservatives.
Personally, for me it isn’t worth the calories or chemicals for something I don’t really love. One shake has more added sugar than you should have in a day and nearly 500 calories in a SMALL!
Yet on St. Patrick’s Day, the idea of a Shamrock Shake for breakfast seems like the way to celebrate. So let’s have a healthy Shamrock Shake in the form of a mint smoothie!
Healthy Shamrock Shake Recipe
With natural, real ingredients, this mint smoothie is definitely healthy enough to be breakfast-worthy. But it’s definitely still sweet and yummy enough for dessert, just like your favorite mint milkshake. And that’s without any added sugar, or even any green food coloring. It’s made with all real and gluten free ingredients, so you can enjoy a naturally green smoothie any time of the day and year!
This healthy Shamrock Shake smoothie will totally satisfy your craving for that minty milkshake. It’s sweet and creamy, and, in my opinion, perfectly minty. And definitely better and better-for-you than McDonald’s!
Are Shamrock Shakes gluten free?
Gluten Free Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional. This information is solely based on my research and personal experience, and I provide it as a courtesy to my readers. Please consult your doctor or medical professional for any questions as it relates to your needs, particularly if you have celiac disease or a severe gluten allergy or intolerance. Products, manufacturing facilities, and ingredients change frequently, so you should always contact the manufacturer for the latest information.
McDonald’s does not promote any of their food products as gluten free. However, Shamrock Shakes do not have any gluten-containing ingredients. And the risk of cross-contamination is fairly low.
But if you want to be 100% sure, your best bet is to make it a home. Then you can be totally confident your mint smoothie is safe since all of these ingredients are gluten free.
Additionally, if you make a healthy Shamrock Shake, you can get the flavors you love without all the extra sugar and artificial ingredients.
What is in a Healthy Copycat Shamrock Shake?
- Spinach or kale – I prefer to use baby spinach. You get the nutrition of dark leafy greens but without an undertone of flavor. And it completely disintegrates when you blend it. But you can use kale or your choice of greens.
- Milk – you can use your favorite dairy or non-dairy milk of choice. For smoothies, I prefer Silk unsweetened vanilla almond milk.
- Plain Greek yogurt or cottage cheese – most people like to use yogurt in their smoothies. I actually prefer cottage cheese. It blends totally smooth without the tartness of yogurt. It has just as much protein. And the bit of salt enhances the sweet flavors of the smoothie recipe.
- Banana – prepare in advance by making sure you have a nice ripe and sweet banana in your freezer. Break it into chunks and throw it in the freezer at night for a breakfast smoothie. Or if you forgot at night, freeze it in the morning so you can have one as a healthy dessert.
- Mint extract and vanilla extract – these are typically gluten free, but do be sure they are not made with grain alcohols if you are sensitive. McCormick and Nielsen & Massey are safe options. You can also feel free to add more mint extract if you want a more minty flavor.
- Ice cubes
- Optional sweetener – if your banana isn’t ripe and sweet enough, you might choose to add a bit of honey, Swerve, stevia, or another sweetener.
I always recommend a high-powered blender like the Blendtec for the smoothest, most creamy smoothies. The Mini Wildside+ Jar is the perfect size for one or two smoothies. You can even use the “Smoothie” setting to have it gradually increase the speed to perfectly incorporate the liquids and frozen ingredients. Note, I do usually stop it a little before the cycle is over because I prefer an extra thick smoothie.
I am a Blendtec ambassador, and should you make any purchases through my Blendtec Store link, I will receive a small commission, but that also means you can use the code CUPCAKESANDKALECHIPS to receive 20% off.
How to make a healthy Shamrock Shake smoothie:
- Add spinach or kale, milk, Greek yogurt or cottage cheese, frozen banana, mint extract, vanilla extract, and ice to your blender.
- Then all you have to do is blend until smooth. You can also adjust the sweetness if needed with your desired sweetener.
More mint recipes
- Mint Chocolate Chip Glazed Popcorn
- Chocolate Mint Smoothie
- No-Churn Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Cake
- Gluten Free Double Chocolate Mint Cookies
- And if that’s not enough, check out 17 Chocolate Mint Recipes and 35 Mint Chocolate Chip Dessert Recipes!
More popular smoothie recipes
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie
- Cherry Cheesecake Smoothie
- Almond Butter Blueberry Smoothie
- Creamsicle Orange Smoothie
Healthy Shamrock Shake Mint Smoothie
- 1 cup baby spinach or kale or other dark, leafy green of your choice
- 1 cup milk of choice
- 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt or cottage cheese
- 1 frozen really ripe banana
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon mint extract (or more, if desired)
- 4 ice cubes I used 4 regular-sized ones. This was probably about 3/4 cup. Adjust accordingly based on the size of your ice cubes and how icy you want it.
- Optional, honey, stevia, etc., if needed, depending on how ripe and sweet your banana is
- Put all ingredients into a blender in the order listed, and blend until smooth.
- Pour into a glass to serve.
Enjoy! Originally published on March 17, 2012. Photos updated on March 3, 2016.