Not every holiday can be found on a calendar—Shamrock Shake release day at McDonald’s has been one of mine since I was a little girl. Today’s Mint Smoothie is a healthy copycat version that’s creamy, fresh, and made with feel-good ingredients.
First and most importantly when we’re talking healthy things that are meant to taste like dessert: this mint smoothie recipe is legitimately DELISH.
- It is an actually satisfying after-dinner treat that just happens to be nutritious breakfast material too.
- I feel great drinking this mint smoothie—its gorgeous green hue comes completely from its natural ingredients: avocado, spinach, and a heap of fresh mint leaves—and the sweetness and thickness I owe to frozen slices of overripe banana.
- It tastes better than the Shamrock Shake (or at least the current version that McDonald’s now sells).
Growing up, the Shamrock Shake signaled the coming of spring, St. Patrick’s Day (one of my favorite holidays), and my mom loved it too, so I could always convince her to take me.
I’m not sure if McDonald’s changed their Shamrock Shake formula in recent years, or if it was just better left to my childhood memory, but the last time I ordered it was fairly traumatic.
I took a sip and what had McDonald’s done to my Shamrock Shake?
- It had a decidedly funky off-flavor that I could only haphazardly identify as lime.
- I really think that they’ve added radioactive material.
- Has it always been so alarmingly bright?
I sat reflectively, eating the whipped cream off the top with my straw and wondering which had really changed—the Shamrock Shake or me.
I miss the Shamrock Shake terribly—not the current faux-mint monstrosity, but the perfect, refreshing Shamrock Shake of my youth.
Now I can only imagine how disillusioned I’d feel if I walked into a Chuck E. Cheese.
This McDonald’s episode has convinced me that some cherished childhood experiences are best left as pristine memories.
Now, I’ve got this banana mint smoothie to be my celebratory spring treat.
5 Star Review
“This was absolutely delicious!! My husband and I were able to enjoy this shake in celebration of St. Patty’s Day yesterday. It has a wonderful minty fresh flavor and we love that it is full of beneficial nutrients.”
— Tracy —
How to Make the Best Mint Smoothie
Rather than accept defeat, I set out to make my own version of a healthy Shamrock Shake I could feel good enjoying at home.
The result is a rich, thick, and refreshing mint smoothie that is completely natural, something I feel even better about after reading over the McDonald’s ingredient list.
While berry flavors (like this simple Strawberry Smoothie and this Blueberry Smoothie) and tropical fruits (Strawberry Mango Smoothie; Kale Smoothie with pineapple) are among the most popular flavors for smoothies, mint is also one of the best.
- Mint makes any smoothie ultra-refreshing (try adding it to this Watermelon Smoothie or this Mango Green Smoothie).
- In the case of this faux Shamrock Shake, it makes it a tasty St. Patrick’s Day treat too.
- Bananas. Frozen bananas are a fantastic natural sweetener for smoothies. They also help make it thick and creamy.
- Spinach. Not only do spinach leaves boost the nutrition content of this smoothie (hello, vitamins and iron), but they also play a role in its green color.
- Avocado. Helps give the smoothie its green hue and makes it suuuuuper creamy. It’s one of my favorite ingredients to include in green smoothies (like in this Blueberry Banana Avocado Smoothie and this Cleansing Apple Avocado Smoothie).
- Mint. The all-important cool, minty flavor comes from fresh mint leaves. The leaves also add to the green color.
- Vanilla Almond Milk. I love using vanilla almond milk as the liquid for this recipe. The touch of vanilla is delicious with the sweet, minty flavors.
- Peppermint Extract. Adds an extra punch of minty flavor. Be careful: a little goes a long way.
- Sweetener. For an added touch of sweetness. Stevia, Truvia, honey, or maple syrup will all work well here.
- Add all the ingredients to a blender.
- Blend until smooth. ENJOY!
Chocolate Mint Smoothie Variation
Love mint chocolate? Turn this into a chocolate mint smoothie recipe by adding 1 to 2 teaspoons of cocoa powder or a scoop of chocolate protein powder, along with a small handful of chocolate chips or cacao nibs. Depending upon the potency of your chocolate, add a little more sweetener to taste.
- To Store. Cover and refrigerate the shake for up to 1 day.
Meal Prep Tip
To make smoothie prep easier, peel and cut a handful of bananas in advance. Add the slices from two large bananas into a freezer-safe ziptop bag. Repeat with the remaining slices, creating portion-sized amounts of banana slices.
Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe
- Blender. Perfect for making this copycat Shamrock Shake.
- Measuring Cups. These are dishwasher-safe for easy cleanup.
- Stainless Steel Straw. These reusable straws help make smoothies taste especially cool and creamy.
This high-powered blender is an investment, but it works like a dream! Everything from smoothies to dips to soups turns out completely smooth and creamy with this blender.
Although this mint smoothie does not taste identical to the perfect Shamrock Shake of my childhood, it is undeniably scrumptious and will be good to your body too.
Plus, after sampling our current Shamrock Shake alternative, I’m delighted to have this mint smoothie recipe in my repertoire to signal the arrival of spring!
Frequently Asked Questions
While this drink is best enjoyed the day it is made, you can freeze it. My preferred method is to pour the smoothie into the wells of an ice cube tray and place it in the freezer. Whenever you’d like to enjoy the smoothie, dump the ice cubes into a cup and let them thaw.
Fresh banana will work in this recipe, but it is not as ideal, because the smoothie will not turn out as cool, thick, or creamy. If time allows, I highly recommend freezing the bananas slices before making the smoothie. If you do use fresh banana, add some ice cube slices to help make the smoothie frosty.
No, you shouldn’t be able to taste the spinach in this mint smoothie. With ingredients like avocado, bananas, mint, sweetener, and almond milk, the taste of the spinach leaves essentially fades into the background.
- 2 large bananas cut up and frozen
- 1 cup firmly packed fresh spinach leaves
- 3/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
- 1/2 medium avocado
- 1/4 cup firmly packed fresh mint leaves, about 25 leaves
- 1/4 teaspoon pure peppermint extract
- Sweetener of choice: 1 packet stevia or Truvia or 1 to 2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
- Whipped cream optional for serving
- Shaved dark chocolate optional for serving
Place all of the ingredients (except the optional whipped cream and chocolate) into your blender and puree until combined.
Taste to adjust sweetener as desired. Enjoy immediately, topped with whipped cream and chocolate as desired.
- TO STORE: Cover and refrigerate the shake for up to 1 day.
Serving: 1shakeCalories: 447kcalCarbohydrates: 74gProtein: 7gFat: 18gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 11gPotassium: 1694mgFiber: 16gSugar: 34gVitamin A: 3612IUVitamin C: 46mgCalcium: 308mgIron: 3mg
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