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Lightened Up – Healthy Shamrock Shake

Starting in high school and then in college, people would declare themselves obsessed with Shamrock shakes – they had to be the first to get their hands on one when they were released in February, and whined when they disappeared around Easter time.

I had some really troubled friends who decided mix them with vodka on St. Patrick’s day.  Eww.  By the way – you can now report your first sighting of the shakes.

I thought I’d beat them to the punch this year – and save them about 400 calories, 16 grams of sugar, and 9 grams of fat. You’re welcome.

I made two versions: one with ingredients that almost anyone could find at their supermarket, and one with more “blogger friendly” ingredients.  I hate when you have to go order something online to try a recipe – but they both taste pretty accurate.  No green food coloring needed (but you knew that already, right?).


I bought the mint extract around Christmas time and then accidentally poured it in a batch of muffins.  That was a bad morning.


Lightened Up Shamrock Shake (version 1)

  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • 2 handfuls of spinach (about 1 cup, packed)
  • 5-6 almonds or cashews (I think salted cashews are best)
  • 1/4 of a single avocado (or 2 heaping Tbsp) * key to a creamy shake
  • 1 cup milk of choice (will change nutrition info)
  • artificial sweetener as desired (I used 5 drops stevia – you can sub 1 Tbsp powdered sugar)
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp mint extract (I don’t like them super-minty)
  • 3-4 ice cubes


Approximate nutrition info: 175 calories, 9 grams fat, 11 grams sugar, 5 grams protein

Food Blogger Shamrock Shake (version 2)

  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • 2 handfuls of spinach (about 1 cup, packed)
  • 1.5 tsp nutritional yeast (I think salted cashews are best)
  • 1/4 of a single avocado (or 2 heaping Tbsp) * key to a creamy shake
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • artificial sweetener as desired (I used 5 drops stevia)
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp mint extract (I don’t like them super-minty)
  • 3-4 ice cubes
  • optional: pinch of xanthan gum to maintain creaminess


Approximate nutrition: 160 calories, 6g fat, 11 g sugar, 6 g protein

You could definitely make this a meal with a scoop of vanilla protein powder.


Are you obsessed with these green milkshakes?  Maybe we can use them to help introduce green monsters into the diets of the average American! 😉


25 responses to “Lightened Up – Healthy Shamrock Shake

  1. sprint2thetable February 6, 2012 at 8:56 am

    I LOVE that you made a “normal” and a “blogger” version. LOL!

    Every shake I make is green thanks to spinach. It’s such an easy way to get more greens in!

  2. Newly Wife Healthy Life February 6, 2012 at 9:46 am

    That sounds so good! What a great healthy way to satisfy a milkshake craving! 🙂 I am thinking it would definitely be a winner to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day too!

  3. Pamela February 6, 2012 at 11:08 am

    I’m so surprised I’ve never had a Shamrock Shake! Everyone always talks about how good they are, so I should try this healthy, lightened up version first! 🙂

  4. Chelcie's Food Files February 6, 2012 at 11:16 am

    I LOVE green smoothies!! I have never heard of a shamrock shake but this combination sounds delicious!

  5. Shanna, like Banana February 6, 2012 at 12:24 pm

    I’m one of the crazies that loves Shamrock shakes and may just get one today. I love that this is a healthy alternative and I would absolutely make it at home!

  6. Sara @ Nourish and Flourish February 6, 2012 at 12:37 pm

    I’ve heard so many great things about Shamrock Shakes, but I’ve never tried one! Now I don’t have an excuse. Both versions sound delicious!

  7. Cait's Plate February 6, 2012 at 1:20 pm

    Oooh I love this idea! So cute!

  8. honeywhatscooking February 6, 2012 at 2:52 pm

    Ooooh.. looks so yummy. Never tired a shamrock shake.
    On another note, I’m not a doctor or anything, but there is an ingredient called “Carrageenan” that shows up in the Almond Breeze brand that you are using. Please check the internet, it has been linked to causing tumor growth. Just FYI, I could be totally wrong, but I’m just letting you know.

  9. Soo [Little Miss Fitness] February 6, 2012 at 3:40 pm

    Oh boy! These are super festive. 🙂 Is that the magic bullet you’re using? I love that. Use it for everything!

  10. Melissa February 6, 2012 at 3:45 pm

    I used to love Shamrock Shakes, but haven’t had one in years. Will definitely be trying this in some fashion!

  11. Katie @ Peace Love & Oats February 6, 2012 at 5:28 pm

    I had actually never heard of a Shamrock Shake until I moved to Chicago! And I’ve lived in Kansas City and Charleston, SC!

  12. Allie February 6, 2012 at 5:37 pm

    Gotta love Shamrock Shakes! My favorite 🙂

  13. Megan C. February 6, 2012 at 5:52 pm

    Ok so I will admit as a Shamrock Shake lover I’m a bit hesitant to try this but in the name of being healthy I will give it a go. I think it is the avocado that worries me the most. Do you taste it?

  14. Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic February 6, 2012 at 7:22 pm

    I love green monsters! I usually use a frozen banana and some avocado for the creamiest, thickest smoothies. Both versions that you made sound delicious!

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