Healthy, Dairy-Free Shamrock Shake

March 1, 2022

If St. Patrick’s day isn’t the same for you without a minty green milkshake, then get ready to have your shamrock shook. My Healthy, Dairy-Free Shamrock Shake is a simple, healthy, and yes – dairy-free- twist on the classic McDonald’s Shamrock Shake that you know and love. It’s perfect as a festive St. Patrick’s day treat, or anytime that you crave a creamy, minty, delicious treat!

A tall glass of the healthy, dairy-free shamrock shake topped with whipped cream, crushed Oreos, mint leaves, and a glass straw. A mug is in the background with ingredients scattered on the ground

When was the last time that you found yourself in the McDonald’s drive-thru? If you can believe it, it was actually just the other day. But rest assured, I went for one thing and one thing only: the beloved Shamrock Shake.

Now, there’s no shame in a little McDonald’s every now and then, if that’s what makes you happy. But for me, I bought that shake purely for research purposes, so I could reverse-engineer it and see how I could make a healthier version. And lo and behold, I think I’ve found it.

Traditionally, a Shamrock Shake is full of not-so-healthy ingredients: sugar, cream corn syrup, and natural flavors. It doesn’t take a dietician to know that these aren’t exactly the best ingredients for us. And, not to mention, the average small size has over  64 grams of sugar, which is more than twice the daily recommended intake. All of this to say, having a traditional Shamrock Shake on the occasion is totally fine, and I will never demonize ANY food, no matter how unhealthy it is! But day-to-day, we can do better, and enjoy healthier, more nutrient-dense versions of the foods that we love.

A tall, clear glass filled with the healthy, dairy-free shamrock shake, with more being poured into it. Spinach leaves, a mug, and a measuring cup of rolled oats can be see in the background.

But Nicole, What is a Shamrock Shake?!

If you have never tried the Shamrock Shake, then let me introduce you to a childhood favorite. Traditionally only available around St. Patrick’s day, this sweet, sugary, green milkshake can be found at America’s favorite fast food restaurant… McDonald’s.

If you’re wondering what it tastes like, it’s a uniquely delicious combination of sweet vanilla cream and mint. You can imagine it similar to a mint chocolate chip… only without the chocolate. The McDonald’s version is very sweet (hence the 64 grams of sugar), but is certainly nostalgic. And this recipe is simply a healthy, yet just as nostalgic, twist on the classic recipe!

Two glasses of the heathy, dairy-free shamrock shake topped with whipped cream, crushed Oreo cookies, and fresh mint leaves.

What You Need to Make the Perfect St. Patrick’s Day Shake

This recipe uses only 7 different ingredients – most of them being pantry staples that you may already have! It could not be any easier to whip together this recipe, anytime that a craving strikes!

  • Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk: Did you know that the traditional Shamrock Shake was originally just a vanilla-flavored shake with green food coloring? It’s true! While the shake now takes on a sweet, minty flavor, it still has that hint of vanilla that comes through. So, using vanilla almond milk (or any vanilla milk!) really takes this recipe up a notch.
  • Frozen Banana: Bananas are not only full of fiber and potassium, but are also naturally sweet! I love using frozen bananas in particular, because they give this shake a thicker, richer consistency.
  • Dairy-Free Vanilla Ice Cream: I love, love, love the creaminess that ice cream/frozen yogurt provides, and that is what makes this more shake-like than smoothie-like. If you want to omit the ice cream, feel free!
  • Baby Spinach: Spinach helps give this shake its signature green color, and also adds a boost of Vitamins A, C, K, iron, and potassium.
  • Vanilla Protein Powder: Pick your favorite vanilla protein powder (plant-based or not!) and use it in this recipe. It not only adds more of that signature vanilla flavor, but also adds some “hidden” protein. And who doesn’t love that?!
  • Almond Extract: Almond extract may seem like a strange ingredient for this shake, but it truly makes it taste like dessert!
  • Peppermint Extract: It wouldn’t be a shamrock shake without the peppermint flavor! In this recipe, we’re ditching the obscure “natural flavors” in exchange for real peppermint extract. Yum!
  • Sea Salt: A little pinch of sea salt keeps this shake from becoming too sweet!
  • Garnishes: If you’re feeling fancy, I recommend garnishing this shake with some whipped cream, and/or some crushed Oreos cookies for a mint chocolate twist!

How to Make This Creamy, Delicious, Dairy-Free Shake

Making this shake is as easy as it gets! Simply add all of your ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth. If you like it thicker, you can add more ice or frozen fruit, and if you like it thinner, add more vanilla almond milk!

Then, serve immediately in a glass and add any garnishes that you desire. Personally, I love topping this shake with whipped cream (to keep it authentic to the traditional Shamrock Shake) and crushed Oreo cookie pieces (to really make this taste like mint chocolate!) If you do want to add Oreo pieces, simply add your Oreos to a ziplock bag and close all of the air out of it. Then, roll over the bag with a rolling pin or a can, until the cookies break into smaller pieces.

I hope you guys love this recipe! If you make it, be sure to leave a comment below and let me know what you think! And if you post to Instagram, I repost your remakes on my IG stories! xx

** Photography by Gayle McLeod

A tall glass of the healthy, dairy-free shamrock shake topped with whipped cream, crushed Oreos, mint leaves, and a glass straw. A mug is in the background with ingredients scattered on the ground
Dairy Free/gluten-free/Grain Free/Paleo/Refined Sugar Free/snacks/Vegan

Healthy, Dairy-Free Shamrock Shake

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Nicole Modic
Prep Time 5 mins
Total Time 5 mins
SERVES 1 Serving
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If St. Patrick's day isn't the same for you without a minty green milkshake, then get ready to have your shamrock shook. My Healthy, Dairy-Free Shamrock Shake is a simple, healthy, and yes – dairy-free- twist on the classic McDonald's Shamrock Shake that you know and love. It's perfect as a festive St. Patrick's day treat, or anytime that you crave a creamy, minty, delicious treat!

Equipment

  • 1 High-Speed Blender I personally love my Vitamix Blender – it's one of my favorite kitchen tools!

Ingredients

For the Shamrock Shake

  • 1/2 Cup Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
  • 1 Frozen Banana
  • 1/2 Cup Dairy-Free Vanilla Ice Cream or Frozen Yogurt
  • 1 Handful Baby Spinach
  • 1 Scoop Vanilla Protein Powder
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Almond Extract
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Peppermint Extract
  • 1 Pinch Sea Salt

For the Garnishes (Optional)

  • Whipped Cream you can use traditional whipped cream or dairy-free
  • Crushed Oreo Cookies

Instructions

  • Add all of your ingredients to a blender and blend on high until everything is well-combined.
  • You may want to pause the blender halfway through and scrape down the sides, to ensure that everything is fully incorporated.
  • Pour your shake into a glass and top with whipped cream and crushed Oreos, if desired.
  • Serve and enjoy!

Did you make this recipe?

I’d love to see what you made – tag @kalejunkie
in your posts and I’ll re-share!

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