When I told Dennis that I was working on a vegan Shamrock Shake recipe for my blog, he had no idea what I was talking about. I wasn’t really surprised that he didn’t know what it was though, as we went vegan sixteen years ago, and we both avoided fast food restaurants before that. I only knew what it was from hearing coworkers talk about it years ago.
If, like Dennis, you don’t know what a Shamrock Shake is, it’s simply a green, minty milkshake that’s available at a certain fast food chain during the month of March to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. It’s not even close to being an Irish dish, so it has nothing to do with the holiday, other than the fact that it’s green.
The Shamrock Shake that you’ll find available for purchase at that fast food chain is made with vanilla ice cream, cream, high fructose corn syrup and corn syrup, food coloring, and some weird additives that aren’t really food. Despite the fact it’s now made with “low-fat” ice cream, it’s a total calorie bomb and it’s full of unhealthy ingredients.
My vegan Shamrock Shake uses vanilla plant-milk, frozen bananas, and avocado to mimic the creamy texture and taste of vanilla cows milk ice cream. The green color comes from fresh baby spinach leaves rather than chemicals. The Shamrock Shake is usually topped with whipped cream and a maraschino cherry, but I topped mine with mint leaves and cacao nibs. Feel free to use fresh cherries and coconut whipped cream, if that strikes your fancy, though.
This Vegan Shamrock Shake is perfect for a light breakfast, it makes a great afternoon pick-me-up, and it’s a tasty dessert, as well!
- 2 cups vanilla almond or soy milk
- 2 frozen bananas
- ½ avocado
- 2 cups tightly-packed baby spinach
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon peppermint extract
- Mint leaves and cacao nibs for garnish, optional
- Mix the milk, bananas, avocado, spinach, and extracts together in a high-speed blender until smooth.
- Pour into two glasses and garnish with mint leaves and cacao nibs, if using. Serve cold.