Healthy Shamrock Shake {Paleo, Vegan}

My favorite St. Patrick’s Day memories were spent down in Savannah, Georgia during and after college over spring break.

Their annual parade is one of the biggest St. Patty’s Day shindigs in the South. It was a lot of fun, and Savannah is a beautiful city – definitely worth the trip if you’ve never been!

My friend Lindsay and I in Savannah for St. Patty's Day circa 2006

My friend Lindsay and I in Savannah for St. Patty’s Day circa 2006

It’s that time of year again – time for all things green and Irish. Time for some signature, seasonal food and drinks. One of my absolute favorite comedians, Jim Gaffigan, even gives the holiday a shout out in one of his hilarious skits:

“How are we supposed to know St. Patrick’s Day is coming up without the Shamrock Shake? Thank you, McDonald’s.”

McDonald’s isn’t my favorite, but I love minty foods as much as the next person (and celebrated just about every birthday of my childhood with a Carvel mint chocolate chip ice cream cake).

To help me make the most nourishing choices, so I can feel my best and most energized, I strive to follow a few food principles from Michael Pollan that simplify what and how to eat for optimal health. Here are 3 of my favorites:

  1. Avoid food products that have more than 5 ingredients.
  2. Avoid food products containing ingredients that a third-grader cannot pronounce.
  3. Eat all the junk food you want as long as you cook it yourself.

McDonald’s Shamrock Shake has a whopping 54 ingredients and as much sugar as almost three 20-ounce Cokes. And I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty sure most third graders would have trouble pronouncing the word, “carrageenan,” one of the controversial ingredients in the shake.

The good news? You can make a healthier, nourishing version yourself. This is a Shamrock Shake you could enjoy every day…guilt-free!

shakebanner mintbottle


1/4 avocado
3 tablespoons hemp seeds
1 heaping cup fresh baby spinach
1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract OR 1 drop certified pure peppermint essential oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 soft Medjool dates, pitted
1 cup ice
1 cup almond milk


Blend all ingredients until you reach a smooth and creamy consistency

I’ll have to tinker with it a little bit to get it to be more like a thick “shake” vs. a smoothie consistency, but if you’re looking for something green and minty to celebrate the holiday, try the recipe!

The next time you’re craving a Shamrock Shake, make one yourself! 🙂

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

shamrock shake1


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  1. Nancy Bryant

    Your blogs are just so timely, sweetie. Love them!

  2. Kayla

    This looks so yummy! I make something similar without the peppermint extract but I never thought of adding that before. This shake has some substance, shamrock shakes seem like they’re just foam. Thanks!

    • Thanks 🙂 Haha, yeah you’re right about this shake having substance – some greens, protein, healthy fat and creaminess 🙂 The mint is a nice final touch!

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