Because I was curious: a brave and healthier version of a shamrock shake

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I admit I do crave a shamrock shake every March.  It’s festive.  It’s green.  And it tastes absolutely dreamy.  But it’s a whole lot of calories and it’s not really exquisite enough to waste running 10 miles for.  And I hadn’t really thought about one at all this year until the other morning, a shamrock shake picture in my facebook feed started that nagging feeling somewhere in my tummy that keeps pulling my thoughts toward that dangerous golden sign with a convenient drive-thru.

Thankfully my brother-in-law got me started on a smoothie fix at Christmas-time.  Apparently we’re not getting enough fruits and vegetables in our diet.  (We’re not.  Even though we’re practically vegetarian.)  So, I’ve been trying to add fruit and veggie smoothies in the morning to add another few servings of the good stuff to a meal that is usually cereal, or eggs and toast.

So when I looked up what’s in a shamrock shake to make one at home for dessert, I found a lot of them that use mint flavoring, green food coloring and vanilla ice cream.  I’m not a fan of unnecessary food coloring.  Why eat it if it just adds color to something that would be perfectly happy being the color it is?

BUT, a shamrock shake should be green.  And that is where my giant bag of kale comes in.

ingredients for a mint shake at home

Forgive me if this sounds disgusting but this is what we did:

1 cup of kale

4-6 mint leaves

1 cup of vanilla ice cream

1/4 cup skim milk

mint and kale shake

I blended this all using my immersion blender.  (I’m still trying to figure out if my smoothie phase is worth splurging on a magic bullet or a vitamix and my immersion blender has been holding up just fine.  I recently got rid of the yogurt maker I thought I’d use over and over again but only used 5 times.)  You can totally adjust the mint and the ice cream according to how creamy and minty you like your drink.


When ours was done, it was green and lovely and a more-earthy-version of the taste I was craving.  My guys didn’t like it, but they aren’t always shamrock shake fans.  For me, it scratched the itch and I didn’t add five pounds in this quest.  And with a serving of veggies, I figured it was even okay for breakfast, just this once. ( Besides I don’t mess with vegetables in my dessert.  This way it felt like a decadent breakfast smoothie instead of a healthy dessert and it might have helped me like it better.)

Let me know if you try it and what you really think!  And if you’re a smoothie maker, please let me know of any favorite combos you have.

(PS. does anyone else wash their bagged lettuce and kale?  I buy mine at Trader Joe’s but I always wash it just in case.  Is that necessary or do you do it too?)





2 thoughts on “Because I was curious: a brave and healthier version of a shamrock shake

    1. Haha, no, but you were definitely our gateway into Shamrock shakes a few years back:) Any big St. Patrick’s day ideas this year?

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