Shamrock Shake the HEALTHtabulous Way!
While it’s time for Saint Patrick's Day (and March Madness) once again, there hasn’t been much hope for spring to arrive soon in the northeast. Once Valentine’s Day has come and passed, I start to think green. Green for fresh grass, green for sprouting plants and green for St. Patty’s Day (which is one of my faves!). And the next green thought that comes to mind is the Shamrock Shake. Something about the limited time availability, and the tasty coolness of creamy mint. Just makes me happy.
But what doesn’t make me happy is the ingredient list in a Shamrock Shake. Much to my disappointment, items are included such as:
~corn syrup solids (which undoubtedly contains GMOs) ~mono- and diglycerides (which are breakdown products of fat and typically come from soy, which again is mostly genetically modified) ~imitation mint flavor (which is not from a mint leaf, but instead chemicals) ~Green No. 3 (which has been banned for human consumption in Europe as well as other countries, due to the inclusions of lead, mercury and arsenic) ~carrageenan (which is an emulsifier and causes pores in the intestinal tract to become larger, permitting larger molecules of undigested food to enter the bloodstream, which in turn causes our lymphatic system to attack these ‘foreign’ invaders and in simple terms wreaks havoc on our body)
So once I learned this information, I hoped for a healthier version to magically appear as a replacement, however my wait was in vain. And being that patience isn’t my strongest of virtues, I decided to take matters into my own hands and create a healthier tasty version of my own to enjoy that is actually digestible and nourishing to my body. Here you go, feel free to tweak the recipe to add or subtract any ingredients to your liking.
1 frozen large banana, as ripe as possible
cacao nibs (love these - try them) or chocolate chips
1/8 tsp to 1/4 tsp pure peppermint extract (I like 1/4 tsp) *If you can get your hands on some fresh mint, use 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves
2/3 cup to 1 cup milk of choice (For a super-rich shake, try full-fat canned coconut milk. Also, use more or less, depending on desired thickness.)
frozen spinach (I used about 1/4 cup) *If you can’t get on board with the greens-in-smoothies thing, you can opt for a few drops of chlorophyll or a dash or spirulina instead of chemically-created green food coloring… or just drink a white mint shake
Of course, you can always add cocoa powder too
Topping/Garnish Ideas: A sprig of fresh mint, cacao nibs, shaved dark chocolate, or dark chocolate chips.