Healthier Dye-Free Copycat Shamrock Shake (vegan, paleo)

VeganGluten-FreeDairy FreeRefined Sugar-FreeEgg-FreeVegetarianSoy-Free

This healthy Shamrock Shake is a nutritious spin on the vanilla-minty McDonald’s Shamrock Shake. This one is vegan, paleo, dye-free, and loaded with veggies and plant-based protein. It is naturally sweetened, colored, and flavored. I love to enjoy it as a special treat on St. Patrick’s Day with my kids!

Vegan Shamrock Shake

It is March and McDonald’s is already offering their St. Patty’s Day signature drink, the Shamrock Shake.  The tagline for this drink is “cool, minty and full of luck.”  Sounds great…that is, until you read the fine print. It is not only full of empty calories but it also contains chemicals, additives and food dyes. The ingredients include sugar, liquid sugar, cream, high fructose corn syrup, mono and diglycerides, cellulose gum, carrageenan, and palmitate (would need to Google this one) in addition to more preservatives and dyes. It got me thinking…I want a healthy Shamrock Shake that will make me feel good after it’s gone!

Healthy Copycat Shamrock Shake

If you search on Pinterest there are tons of copycat recipes for this festive drink (some healthy and some not).  I set out to make a truly nutritious plant-based version that still has the signature minty and vanilla flavor that makes this creamy green drink so popular. As you know, I absolutely love smoothies and one of my favorite hobbies is blending creations that taste just like your favorite desserts!

McDonald's Copycat Shamrock Shake Recipe

Dye-Free Shamrock Shake Recipe

For the minty green color and flavor I simply used fresh mint leaves.  You could also add fresh baby spinach, baby kale, matcha (powdered green tea), moringa leaf powder and/or spirulinaAll of these would add nutrition and the fun shamrock-green color! Spirulina provides dietary protein, B-vitamins, and also iron. If you aren’t interested in these smoothie boosters, mint is great!  You can read about spirulina health benefits here and here.  If you add the matcha, moringa leaf powder, and/or spirulina their flavor is masked well by the fresh mint and vanilla flavor.  Note: the spirulina will turn the shamrock shake a deeper green color.

McDonald's CopyCat Shamrock Shake

Moringa Leaf Powder in Green Smoothies

Moringa leaf powder (Moringa oleifera) is known to be a natural energy booster without containing caffeine.  It is also believed to be good for digestion as well as having a calming, soothing, immune-boosting and detoxifying effect.  It has been popular in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries.  According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine it also contains important minerals and is a good source of protein, vitamins, beta-carotene, amino acids and various phenolics. Read more about the health benefits of moringa leaf powder from evidence-based sources here, here and here.  I love to add 1/2 teaspoon of the powder to my green smoothies, and it’s great in this Healthy Shamrock Shake!

Copycat Shamrock Shake Recipe

Healthy Shamrock Shake Secret Ingredients

I love that this shake has the potential to sneak in tons of nutrients including two vegetables: frozen riced cauliflower and fresh baby kale or spinach.  It also offers plant-based protein from slivered almonds which helps to make the drink ultra-creamy.  I kept it naturally sweetened and refined sugar-free by using Medjool dates as the sweetener.  Personally, I like a frosty shake, so I add two cups of ice at the end after the initial ingredients have blended together well.

McDonald's Vegan Shamrock Shake

I hope you enjoy my vegan and paleo take on the classic McDonald’s Shamrock Shake.  I love to enjoy it on St. Patrick’s Day (or really any day where I’m craving a refreshing, minty, creamy nutritious treat!).  This is a dairy-free, soy-free, gluten-free, grain-free, refined sugar-free and peanut-free recipe.  If you leave out the almonds and use oat milk it can be made nut-free.  If you give this recipe a try, please snap a pic and tag #eatingbyelaine and @eatingbyelaine on Instagram, TikTok, Twitter or Facebook so I can see your creations.

Homemade Shamrock Shake

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Looking for more St. Patrick’s Day fun?

See all my favorite green-colored, mint-flavored and Irish-inspired recipes HERE!

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Copycat Shamrock Shake

Healthier Copycat Shamrock Shake (vegan, paleo, dye-free)


  • Author: Elaine Gordon
  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Total Time: 5 mins
  • Yield: 12 1x
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

This healthy Shamrock Shake is a nutritious spin on the vanilla-minty McDonald’s Shamrock Shake. This one is vegan, paleo, dye-free, and loaded with veggies and plant-based protein. It is naturally sweetened, colored, and flavored. I love to enjoy it as a special treat on St. Patrick’s Day with my kids!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 6 large Medjool dates, pitted (or 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup)
  • 1 large handful fresh mint leaves (stems removed) (this adds a fresh mint flavor as well as a minty green color)
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon mint extract (or peppermint extract)
  • 1 cup frozen riced cauliflower (adds thickness and neutral-tasting creaminess)
  • 1 cup unsweetened plain plant-milk (I like oat milk or almond milk best here for a neutral sweet flavor)
  • 1/4 cup raw unsalted cashews or raw unsalted blanched and slivered almonds (adds neutral tasting creaminess)
  • 2 cups ice cubes

Optional Nutritional Boosters:

Garnishes


Instructions

  1. In a high speed blender, add the dates (or maple syrup), fresh mint, vanilla, mint extract, frozen riced cauliflower and milk. Blend until smooth. Add any of the optional add-ins if desired (i.e. slivered almonds, matcha, moringa leaf powder, spirulina, baby spinach or kale). Blend again until smooth.
  2. Add the 2 cups of ice and blend again until smooth and frosty. 
  3. Taste and add more sweetener or mint or vanilla flavor if desired.
  4. Serve immediately. Top with coconut whipped cream and a cherry if desired. Garnish with additional fresh mint leaves and a sprinkle of matcha if desired. Enjoy immediately.

Notes

If you add spirulina to the drink it will turn dark green  Please note, spirulina adds a seaweed-like taste so only use a very little bit.  You may want to balance it out with more dates, mint and vanilla if you decide to add it.

*If you do not have fresh mint add a handful of spinach for the minty green color.

  • Category: Smoothie
  • Method: Blender

Keywords: vegan healthy copycat shamrock shake

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