March is the month for green beer, four-leaf clovers, Irish pride, and for many, seasonal guilty pleasures like fast-food Shamrock Shakes. Luckily, a healthy homemade swap for this minty milkshake is only six ingredients and a blender-whirl away. Did you know a 16-oz. Shamrock Shake at McDonalds – without the added whipped cream – contains 590 calories, including 88 grams of added sugar? My Mint Chocolate Chip Shake recipe, on the other hand, makes over 16 ounces, and you can drink the whole batch for less than 300 calories and fewer than 20 grams of (fruit-derived!) sugar. Now that’s what I call sweet! By the way, here are the ingredients in a Shamrock Shake: Milk, sugar, cream, nonfat milk solids, corn syrup solids, mono- and diglycerides, guar gum, dextrose, sodium citrate, artificial vanilla flavor, sodium phosphate, carrageenan, disodium phosphate, cellulose gum, vitamin A palmitate, Shamrock Shake Syrup (high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, water, sugar, natural flavor, xanthan gum, citric acid, sodium benzoate, yellow 5, blue 1) Um, YIKES. In contrast, my Mint Chocolate Chip Shake contains only SIX all-natural ingredients. This emerald elixir tastes like melted ice cream, yet it’s packed with fiber, chlorophyll, enzymes, minerals, and more. If you’ve ever been a fan of mint chocolate chip ice cream (or, ahem, the ubiquitous Shamrock Shake), this smoothie is for you!
Mint Chocolate Chip Shake [Vegan]
- 1½ cups nondairy milk of choice (for nut-free, use hemp or coconut milk)
- 1 medium, very ripe banana, peeled and frozen overnight
- 1 scoop greens powder or 2 big handfuls fresh spinach leaves
- ¼ teaspoon peppermint extract
- 1 to 2 pitted dates (or 1 tablespoon sweetener of choice)
- 1 heaping tablespoon cacao nibs
- Combine the milk, banana, greens powder or spinach, dates, and peppermint extract in a high-speed blender and blend until smooth.
- Add the cacao nibs and blend at medium-high speed for 5 to 10 seconds, until the nibs are broken down but still visible in the shake.
- Serve immediately.