Every year around late February and early March, McDonald’s releases the classic Shamrock Shake that people go crazy over. And if you’ve ever loved the beverage dessert option, you’re not alone. It’s one of the chain’s most popular seasonal offerings, regardless of the fact that its unhealthy ingredients have been exposed for years. Like the chain’s French fries, the Shamrock Shake provides a large dose of fat, sugar, and salt all in one serving that sends taste buds in a frenzy.

Well, we’re not here to shame you if you’re one of the many that love the chain’s drink, but we are here to share with you a healthier option that tastes pretty incredible too.

First though … what’s actually in the McDonald’s Shamrock Shake?

The anticipated chemical concoction is bright green, rich, and minty flavored in light of the Saint Patrick’s Day holiday, yet it contains no naturally green ingredient, no healthy sources of fats for richness, and no real mint flavoring.

Here’s what it does have (all for over 800 calories in one 22 ounce serving): artificial flavors, high fructose corn syrup, multiple food dyes, soy (genetically modified) high amounts of salt, whole fat dairy (which you can bet is from factory farms), trans-fat filled veggie oils, multiple hard-to-digest gums, carrageenan, sulfites, and other preservatives, MSG, dried nonfat milk solids (what the??), whipping propellant (nitrous oxide), and oh here we go: it’s topped with a real cherry. Well, there ya go. 

Alright Green Monsters, let’s get real. Here’s how to make a Shamrock Shake that will rival the golden arches’ version:

The Healthy Vegan Shamrock Shake( A Green Monster’s Version)

Serves: 1


  • 1 cup of organic, non-GMO plain coconut or almond milk (unsweetened)
  • 1/4 – 1/2 a ripe avocado
  • 1/4 a banana, frozen
  • a tiny drop of peppermint extract or food-grade peppermint oil
  • a tsp. raw cacao powder
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 2 tbsp. raw cashews (for more richness)
  • additional (optional) sweetener: 2 drops liquid stevia, a date or dried fig, 1 tbsp. raw yacon syrup, maple syrup, or coconut nectar
  • 4-5 large ice cubes

Healthy Chocolate Syrup:

  • 1 tsp. coconut oil or coconut butter (melted)
  • 1 tsp. raw cacao or cocoa powder


  1. Add all this to your blender, blend until thick and frosty, scoop into a cup, and top with coconut whipped cream. If you want a cherry, feel free, or leave it out. You can also add hemp or pumpkin seeds for another “green” feature. The option’s yours.
  2. To make the healthy chocolate sauce, mix the warmed coconut oil or butter with the cacao or cocoa powder. Stir swiftly, drizzle it on top, and pop the whole dessert in your freezer for 5 minutes to set. Come back and enjoy with a spoon; a straw won’t cut it with this frosty, delicious shake!

Why These Ingredients are Better Choices:

Avocados, coconut, and cashews all provide your body with healthy plant-based fats that lower inflammation and also reduce cravings. They’re also good for your heart, skin,  and a much better option for your weight and blood sugar. Raw cacao is a true superfood that reduces sugar cravings and spinach and bananas are packed with B vitamins and magnesium. If you’d like to add vanilla or chocolate vegan protein powder, you can also do this as well.

Remember, you can recreate any dairy-based dessert with many plant-based foods, and makeover some of your other fast-food favorites too. The key is a little curiosity, creativity, and plant-based inspiration! Try this other Shamrock Shake made vegan as another option.

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