Why You Want to Avoid the Shamrock Shake + Healthy Alternative

Spring is in full bloom and that means the turn of warmer weather with new foods. Instead of soup, hot chocolate, and warm clothes we find ourselves enjoying cooler treats like ice cream. And with St. Patty’s Day right around the corner that means the release of McDonald’s Shamrock Shake.


It’s easy to see how popular this shake is. Thousands of people across the country eagerly anticipate the arrival of this limited-time-only sweet treat. But here’s the catch: this shake is completely different than the shake you would make at home. Most at-home shakes are 4-8 ingredients. The smoothies you make at home are made from whole foods. Fruits, vegetables, superfoods, and maybe a hint of sweetener. This is not what you will find in the Shamrock shake.


Would you believe me if I told you that in the Shamrock shake there are FIFTY-FOUR ingredients?!? That’s right — almost 11 times the amount of ingredients that you would use at home are found in the Shamrock Shake.

photo credit: The Huffington Post


As you’re looking at these ingredients there’s many in here that I can’t pronounce. And haven’t you heard that if heard the common phrase that “if you can’t pronounce it, you shouldn’t eat it”? But even if you can pronounce ingredients like artificial vanilla flavor your body deserves better than this. Ingredients like carrageenan are additives and many report that they to digestive concerns, gut inflammation, intestinal issues, and even cancer.


When you look at the nutrition facts of the Shamrock Shake a large shake contains 820 calories, 23 grams of fat, 115 grams of sugar. That’s a lot of calories and sugar for just a snack or dessert. For the same amount of calories you could have multiple servings of hamburgers and fries. And that smoothie is not going to keep you full for very long either.


So this St. Patrick’s Day choose to celebrate the day with other alternatives. Save the $ and your health and choose to make your own shamrock shake at home. Both your wallet and your gut will thank you.


If you are wanting to fill your cravings for a green, sweet, minty shake, and you care about your health, here is a much healthier alternative!



Healthy Shamrock Shake Recipe


  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt (recommend greek, whole fat yogurt)

  • 1 cup spinach leaves

  • 1/2 cup banana

  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder

  • 1/4 cup coconut milk

  • 3 drops peppermint essential oil

  • 1 teaspoon honey, agave, or other natural sweetener

  • 1 tablespoon chocolate chips

  • 5-6 ice cubes


Add all ingredients except the chocolate chip and ice. Blend on high until smooth and creamy. If needed, add additional liquid for a smoother consistency. Once everything is completely blended it should look similar to mint ice cream. Additional peppermint essential oil can be added. Add in the ice and blend well. Lastly add in the chocolate chips and pulse for just a few seconds. Optional: top with some homemade whipped cream and a (real) cherry!