There’s a post floating around Facebook about how bad Shamrock Shakes are for you (no, really?) and that they have 33 ingredients. Whoa, right? Well, all of the shakes have that many ingredients or more, so no need to single out the minty green shake that only comes around for 1 month of the year – except to get in on the hype that the Shamrock Shake brings in the month of March.
The post goes on to recommend a healthy version of a Shamrock Shake – though the writer admits that she hasn’t tried that option. So I did. I’m quite food adventurous. I love all of the ingredients. But it just didn’t work. It looked good….it tasted just okay, and nothing like a shamrock shake. I’m sure the ripeness of the banana and avocado make a little difference, and my were slightly firm still, but there’s no way to make banana taste like mint, even with mint extract. Was it awful? Absolutely not. But it isn’t a copycat version of a Shamrock Shake.
I did make it more palatable and fairly tasty by adding cocoa powder and a tiny bit of honey. I just needed the flavor of cocoa to cover the odd banana mint flavor. If I would have used a more ripe banana, I wouldn’t have needed the honey, but riper bananas do have more sugar, so it’s a toss up of which is best. (note: it probably isn’t a toss up…one is probably “better” than the other, but they are both natural, so I really don’t care).
So this is what I did for my Fake Shamrock Shake that didn’t actually taste like a Shamrock Shake. I skipped the whipped cream and toppings from the copycat version linked above, because those don’t belong on true old-school Sham Shakes (see below).
I think I’ll call it…
(sounds amazing, right?)
- 1/2 can full fat coconut milk, chilled
- 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk or preferred milk, chilled
- 1 banana, frozen recommended
- 1/2 small avocado
- 1/2 t. vanilla
- 1/3 t. peppermint extract
- 1 T. cocoa powder
- small drizzle of honey, if it needs it at the end
Put all ingredients in the blender except for the honey and blend until smooth. Taste and add a touch of honey if it needs more sweetness. Serve.
Don’t try to lie to whomever you are sharing with that it’s a Shamrock Shake copycat. It isn’t – especially with the cocoa powder, but it was never trying to be. I believe I gave Lo a serving and said – “here, enjoy this fake shamrock shake that isn’t bad”. He agreed…it wasn’t bad. I won’t claim something is amazing or awesome just because it’s healthy – some people are willing to claim anything is amazing if it’s “okay” and fits within a particular nutritional guideline. Amazing is amazing. Sometimes healthy things are amazing (tuna poke, anyone?), and other times they are good, okay, bad, or awful. So make this shake if you are trying to be healthy and want a treat and aren’t expecting it to take like a delicious sugar-bomb shake.
But if you really want a shamrock shake, get a shamrock shake – but maybe opt for the small, and only get one during the season. One shake isn’t going to kill you, and like I said, the other flavors are just as bad, so unless you are swearing off fast food shakes for life, enjoy the damn Sham Shake if that’s your thing.
The main problem with Shamrock Shakes, in my opinion, is how McDonald’s changed them when they started with that McCafe line of shit. I remember getting my first Sham Shake after they made that change, and I believe I said to Lo “what the ‘f’ is this?” (I do not recall if the ‘F’ part of that was spoken as the full word, or if I literally said ‘f’ as a more positive abbreviation). I don’t want my Sham Shake in a plastic cup with whipped cream, chocolate drizzle, and a dome top. I want it in a paper cup with a flat plastic lid, like shakes used to be. Does it really need whipped cream? They used to be pale green, not neon. I don’t know if they changed the recipe much, or if it just looked different, but the Sham Shake lost its luster to me after that. I won’t say I’ll never have one again – hell, maybe I’ll get one this weekend – but I don’t get that excited about them anymore.