Skip the drive-thru and make your very own homemade shamrock shake for St Patrick’s Day that’s minty, delicious, and naturally colored green, plus it’s easy.
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Ice cream is by far my favorite dessert. There are so many flavors, so many options, and it’s just my favorite comfort food. Since I love ice cream so much, I also love milkshakes. I mean, blended ice cream that’s creamy, packed with flavor, and drinkable? yes please!
I remember the first time I’d heard of McDonald’s shamrock shake. Actually I don’t, it was probably from an episode of Family Guy and from a friend talking about getting theirs. I was excited, what better way to celebrate St Patrick’s Day than with a green milkshake? A shamrock shake. Long story short, I went to McDonalds to get my very own, and instantly found myself disappointed. For a food lover, there’s not much more disappointing than being so excited for a certain food, then finding it super disappointing. Ugh. I don’t remember much about that shake other than the disappointment factor. Something about the lack of mintiness, chocolateyness, and overall zero deliciousness.
Since then, I’ve vowed to not go back, because one disappointing milkshake doesn’t deserve another try. I’ve made my own since and am glad to report that I’ve found a way to enjoy a shamrock shake, and it’s pretty easy!
How this homemade shamrock shake fits into my lifestyle
A couple years ago, I made a healthy shamrock shake for my last blog. I was proud of it, the photos turned out beautiful and the shake was green! that’s about as far as my pride went. Sure it tasted fine, it was packed with nutrient dense ingredients like Greek yogurt, spinach, and oats. But was it a shamrock shake? Not in my mind, when I want a shake, I want a milkshake not a smoothie pretending to be a shake. Maybe you’re not like me, and that’s fine, but if you are, this is your milkshake in all it’s green, minty glory.
Remember, there’s something about feeling satisfied and happy about food-there’s something about getting what you’re expecting to actually be satisfied. ie: when I crave pizza, I won’t be satisfied with cauliflower crust pizza; when I want french fries, oven baked sweet potato fries won’t do it. When I want a minty chocolatey milkshake, a smoothie with yogurt and vegetables won’t do it. I need ice cream, milk and chocolate. If you ever make one of these substitutions and find yourself searching for more, or just disappointed, you could be feeling that way because you’re not getting what you expect. There’s nothing wrong with eating a cauliflower crust pizza (I’ve made them before & they’re delicious) or a smoothie, but when you’re craving the traditional thing, you’re not doing yourself any favors by ‘healthifying’ it. And you’re also setting foods on different moral stools, and that’s not good either. but that’s a story for another day.
How it’ll make your life easier
When it comes to desserts, I like to make them simple, and I especially like to use ingredients I have at home. While this homemade shamrock shake isn’t 100% made with ingredients I always have on hand, it’s pretty close. And if you always have Andes (or similar) mints on hand, you’re brilliant! Besides, when you’re craving a milkshake, you can throw one together instead of wonder where to go. Unless you don’t live by me and actually have great milkshake places nearby. I have yet to find a great milkshake in Salt Lake City.
Quick Notes on This Recipe
What ice cream to use
Ok, one of the greatest food lessons I’ve learned since college is to stop buying and eating the giant cheap tubs of ice cream. Here’s the thing, I like good tasting foods, and I am willing to spend a few extra dollars on quality ingredients. Cheap ice cream taste like milky water and I always feel mad after eating it because it tastes terrible. Of course there are times when cheap ice cream is the only option, but personally, I’d rather not eat ice cream if it’s not creamy, tastes like real ingredients, and delicious. That’s just me, but I want to give you full permission to be picky when it comes to food. Besides, you don’t get as satisfied with foods if you don’t like them. Ever experienced that? Try eating mindfully and you may get a glimpse into it.
I almost exclusively buy Tillamook and Ben & Jerry’s ice creams at the store. Fave high quality ingredients and the flavors. Oh the flavors.
How I color this homemade shamrock shake
I hate wasting food, and have found myself buying more spinach than I can eat. Instead of buying food coloring that you’ll only use 2x/year, use what you’ve got on hand to color your food. I’ll be honest, I’m not a fan of adding vegetables to deserts to get more veggies in, but if that veggie serves a purpose & adds to or doesn’t affect the flavor, I’m all in. That’s as traditional dietitian as I get. This spinach fits the bill. It adds a great punch of green without any spinachy flavor. Plus it’s a great way to use up wilting leaves.
How much milk to add
This is where your best discretion is needed. I like THICK milkshakes, so I don’t add much liquid, but you’re welcome to add what you want. The more milk you add, the easier it is to blend, but the thinner it will be. Air on the side of caution, then add more as you’re blending. That way you don’t end up with a blender full of milk and ice cream and no way to eat that much. Not that I’m speaking from experience here or anything.
Homemade Shamrock Shake
- Measuring Spoons
- Measuring Cups
- High powered blender
- 1 1/2 cup vanilla ice cream
- 1 handful spinach leaves
- 1/4 cup milk
- 4 Andes mints
- whipped cream
- Add all ingredients to blender (ice cream first) and blend until smooth. Top with whipped cream and another Andes mint.
- Add more milk if you'd like it thinner in consistency
- You can also use your favorite mint chocolate chip ice cream to make it even easier
I created this recipe to be one serving, it’s easily scalable, so it can be a quick treat for yourself or a quick treat for you and anyone else! this homemade shamrock shake doesn’t save well, so take that into account when making one!
here’s what else you’ve got to make for St Patrick’s Day
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Let’s get chatty:
- Have you ever tried a shamrock shake? What did you think of it?
- What do you think about adding spinach to this homemade shamrock shake?