When I think of March, several different things come to mind: daylight savings (I love springing forward!), turning from winter to spring, the color green and one very special holiday that everyone seems to love to celebrate. St. Patrick's Day used to be a pretty big deal for me- mostly back in college where it was just an excuse to go out to bars, wear silly green accessories and drink a lot of Guinness. I do have a little bit of Irish in my blood, but honestly, St. Patrick's Day is just another day to me. That being said, I like any excuse to drink stouts (not so much Guinness anymore!), make corned beef and cabbage and eat and drink all things green.
One green thing that I enjoy year-round is this very delicious smoothie. It's one of the most popular recipes (maybe even the most popular) on my blog, so I figured that it was worth sharing again. I initially created it near St. Patrick's Day a few years ago and enjoy it during spring, summer winter and fall. Who says you can't enjoy a minty-vanilla, super-thick, delicious (and surprisingly healthy) shake all year long?
This smoothie was modeled after the famed McDonald's Shamrock Shake. I've never actually tried the McDonald's version- and I'm sure it's delicious- but I don't know if that's exactly what I want to spend almost 700 calories on. (And if Shamrock Shakes are your thing- more power to you!) For what it's worth, my husband has had a real Shamrock Shake before and actually said that my version tastes even better... and I don't think he was just being nice.
A 16 oz. McDonald's Shamrock Shake clocks in at 680 calories and has 20g of fat (12 g saturated!). My version comes in just a little bit lower at 130 calories and 1g of fat*. :)
*This will vary depending on the protein powder you use. I used Wegman's Natural Vanilla Whey Protein.
Using frozen spinach over fresh adds thickness to the smoothie, along with the frozen banana xanthan gum. I've been alternating between using vanilla and chocolate protein powder- both are equally delicious! However, if you really want to achieve a bright shade of green, I'd go with vanilla.
Super Thick Shamrock Smoothie
1 scoop vanilla protein powder
2 cups of ice
1/2 of a small frozen banana
1/2 c frozen spinach
1/4 c unsweetened almond milk
1/2 c water
1/8 tsp xanthan gum
6 (ish) drops NuNaturals peppermint liquid stevia - can sub with peppermint extract
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Add all ingredients into a high speed blender. Blend for about 1 minute, or until mixture reaches desired consistency.
To me, that looks like this:
When your smoothie is this thick, it's best to eat it with a spoon. :)
I'm pretty sure I'll be continuing to enjoy these long after St. Patrick's day!
Shamrock (ish) Shake: A Healthy Smoothie
By Lauren Martin
March 16, 2015
10/18/2016 at 12:18 PM
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