Skip the drive-thru, corn syrup, and food coloring… and make a healthy, real food Shamrock Shake at home this year!
If you haven’t tried one before, a Shamrock Shake is a seasonal McDonald’s drink sold during March in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day. It features soft serve vanilla ice cream, mint flavor, and green food coloring (because St. Patrick’s Day!).
For full disclosure, I have never tried a “real” Shamrock Shake from the golden arches. I don’t need to try one in order to replicate a much healthier but still delicious version at home!
Made with healthy vanilla ice cream, spinach used as food coloring, and real mint extract, you can enjoy this real food Shamrock Shake year round!
Adapt These Shamrock Shake Ingredients To Your Dietary Needs
I love how nutritious this recipe can be. You have the freedom to use your favorite vanilla ice cream: store-bought or homemade.
If you’re keto or low carb… use ice cream made using appropriate sweeteners and real heavy cream (such as this recipe — simply omit the blackberry swirl, lemon juice, and use all cream instead of some milk). Also, in the recipe below, use coconut milk or nut milk.
If you’re a Trim Healthy Mama… Follow the directions above for a keto shamrock shake, and enjoy this THM:S treat!
If you’re Paleo… a coconut milk vanilla ice cream would make an ideal candidate for this shake. Be sure to use a dairy-free milk in the recipe below, too.
Or, do you prefer just a simple real food version of this Shamrock Shake? Use traditionally prepared vanilla ice cream (with pastured egg yolks and raw cream) and raw milk.
Whatever you choose, you’ll know that this doesn’t have any additives or food coloring, and definitely no corn syrup. Only real, wholesome ingredients… yet authentic Shamrock Shake flavor!
Free From Food Coloring
Unlike the McDonald’s Shamrock Shake, this real food version has no food coloring. Instead, spinach provides that lovely green hue. For maximum nutrition, I recommend you use lightly steamed spinach to reduce the oxalic acid. Head on over here to read more about how to use spinach in smoothies or shakes.
Based on the method linked above, you would only need 1 spinach “puck” for this shake. If you’re using raw spinach, about a cup should do it. And I promise — between the creaminess of the ice cream and refreshing mint flavor — you won’t even taste spinach.
How To Get The Best Shamrock Shake Flavor
If you’re wanting that authentic McD’s Shamrock Shake flavor — you have to use mint extract. Most kitchens, including my own, have peppermint extract but that’s not quite the same. If you can, find a small bottle of mint extract for the truest flavor of the shake.
Alternatively, use fresh mint leaves in place of mint extract. Generally, 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh mint equals 1/4 teaspoon of mint extract. I used 2 tablespoons of fresh mint in this recipe. Start low and adjust as desired.
5-Ingredient Real Food Shamrock Shake (Keto, Low Carb, & Paleo options!)
Skip the food coloring... & learn how to make a healthy Shamrock Shake at home this year! This seasonal McDonald's inspired drink pairs homemade vanilla ice cream with spinach and mint extract for a delicious, 100% REAL FOOD St Patrick's Day treat. Are you keto, low carb, Paleo, or dairy-free? No worries! We've got you covered with recipe options for coconut milk or almond milk. In 5 minutes with 5 ingredients, you can enjoy this DIY smoothie for kids and adults!
- 2 cups vanilla ice cream
- 3/4 cup raw whole milk or dairy-free milk of choice
- 1 cup spinach or 1 spinach puck (see above)
- 1/4 teaspoon mint extract or 1 to 2 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped
- 2 tablespoons sustainably sourced collagen (certified glyphosate free) optional
Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend well. Try not to over-blend so as not to warm the ice cream too much.
Pour into a glass.
Garnish with whipped cream and fresh mint, if desired. Enjoy!
This recipe was featured in 45 Real Food Copycat Recipes (Olive Garden, Chipotle & more!)
Have you tried a healthy Shamrock Shake before? Which version will you make: a Keto Shamrock Shake or Paleo? Did you know that Shamrock Shake ingredients can be 100% real food?
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THANK YOU! I absolutely LOVE shamrock shakes but I also know how bad they are for me. I just made this and it’s so good!
Hmm, I don’t have time to make ice cream, so I’m wondering about freezing some almond or coconut milk in an ice cube tray. I may do some of both! May even throw in half of a frozen, ripe banana for potassium. I always have spinach in my smoothies so that’s not a big deal for me; it’s the shake part that’s different. Thanks for giving me some new ideas on using my mint leaves!