Well, it’s that time of year again! Saint Patrick’s Day is fast approaching and with it comes the roll-out of McDonald’s infamous Shamrock Shake. First introduced in 1970, there have been over 60 million Shamrock Shakes sold throughout the United States… but with it comes a slew of harmful ingredients. Now’s the time to make a DIY Shamrock Shake!
You can make a great healthy, dairy-free Shamrock Shake right at home… without the gross food coloring, artificial flavoring, or ridiculous amounts of corn syrup!
Keep reading below for a yummy alternative Shamrock Shake recipe.
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What’s in McDonald’s Shamrock Shake?
(… or should I say SHAMErock Shake)?
Information from the McDonald’s website:
- Vanilla Reduced Fat Ice Cream: Milk, Sugar, Cream, Corn Syrup, Natural Flavor, Mono and Diglycerides, Cellulose Gum, Guar Gum, Carrageenan, Vitamin A Palmitate.
- Shamrock Shake Syrup: High Fructose Corn Syrup, Corn Syrup, Water, Glycerin, Contains 2% Or Less: Natural Flavor, Xantham Gum, Citric Acid, Sodium Benzoate, Yellow 5, Blue 1.
- Whipped Cream: Cream, Nonfat Milk, Liquid Sugar, Mono and Diglycerides, Natural Flavors, Carrageenan. Whipping Propellant (Nitrous Oxide).
The large Shamrock shake contains over 103 GRAMS OF SUGAR (about 25.5 teaspoons) and 800 calories (“dead” calories at that). Disgusting.
According to the American Heart Association, women should aim to consume less than 6 teaspoons of sugar/day and men less than 9 teaspoons/day (I speak more about how this impacts your heart health here).  Clearly, the Shamrock shake is significantly over the recommended daily sugar limit.
How Do These Poor-Quality Ingredients Impact Our Health?
- Yellow 5 & Blue 1: Linked to hyperactivity in children & cancer. Also may negatively affect immune system response. 
- Carrageenan: Linked to digestive issues & inflammation in the intestines. It also is carcinogenic in animal models. 
- Mono & Diglycerides (emulsifiers): Can contain trans fats, which should be avoided at all costs (trans fats can increase the risk of heart disease). Many companies use this as a low-cost alternative to other trans fat options.
- Gums (cellulose, guar, xantham etc…): Linked to digestive upset in many people (especially those with IBS). Be especially cautious if you have a particularly sensitive stomach.
- Natural Flavors: Companies are not required by the FDA to disclose what chemicals are listed under “natural flavors.” In fact, most of these “flavors’ contain chemical solvents and preservatives (… which provide zero health benefits).
DIY Shamrock Shake Alternative Recipe
- 2 frozen, overripe, organic bananas
- 1 cup of organic almond milk (homemade or store-bought… Malk is my favorite)
- 1 cup of organic coconut milk
- 1/2 teaspoon of peppermint extract
- 1/4 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon of spirulina (great option: California Gold)
- Topping: oat whipped cream (optional – can also substitute with almond milk whipped cream)
Just one: combine all of the ingredients into a blender & blend until smooth (I use a NutriBullet)! See how easy?!
Although McDonald’s shake is only available once a year, this recipe is great to have all year long. Cheers to a healthier, dairy-free Shamrock shake to celebrate the holiday – Sláinte!
Frequently Asked Questions
Click on the below FAQs to learn more about how to make an at-home Shamrock Shake alternative!
Whats is a shamrock shake?
A Shamrock Shake is a green milkshake released for the Saint Patrick’s Day holiday. Large Shamrock shakes contain over 103 grams of sugar – they’re certainly not healthy.
Who makes the shamrock shake?
McDonald’s releases the Shamrock Shake every year, approaching the Saint Patrick’s Day holiday. This shake is not usually sold during the remainder of the year.
What is in a shamrock shake?
A Shamrock shake is made with ice cream, shake syrup, whipped cream, artificial food coloring, gums, natural flavors, and other unhealthy ingredients.
How to make a shamrock shake at home?
You can make a great healthy, dairy-free Shamrock Shake right at home… without the gross food coloring, artificial flavoring, or ridiculous amounts of corn syrup! You can make a healthier Shamrock Shake at home using organic bananas, plant-based milk, pure peppermint, and spirulina.
If you make this recipe, let me know what you think. Take pictures & share with @InOnAround on Instagram!
Want to read more? Check out my other articles here!
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