About this time of year, most people at least pretend to be a little bit Irish. From drinking green beer to eating soda bread, there are plenty of local food traditions tied to St. Patrick’s Day. Here’s a recipe that mimics the minty-vanilla flavor of a McDonald’s Shamrock Shake, with almost half the fat and calories. And its mint green color comes from an ingredient you can’t even taste in the final product – spinach!
It makes a great post-workout snack or a healthy breakfast, with healthy carbohydrates and plenty of protein.
- 1 frozen banana
- 1 cup fresh, cleaned spinach, packed
- 1 tablespoon cashews (or almonds)
- ¼ cup light vanilla yogurt
- ½ cup skim milk
- ½ cup water
- 6-8 mint leaves (or ⅛ tsp. mint extract)
- ⅛ tsp. vanilla extract
- 3-4 ice cubes, if desired
- Put all ingredients in a blender (I use a Magic Bullet) or food processor and blend until smooth!
Approximate nutrition information per serving: 265 calories, 4.5 grams fat, 46 grams carbohydrate, 12 grams protein
McDonald’s smallest (12-oz) version, without whipped cream: 460 calories, 11 grams fat, 80 grams carbohydrate, 10 grams protein
Substitutions (will change nutrition information):
- If you have a nut allergy or want to limit fat content, the nuts can be omitted – they just add to the creamy texture.
- For a dairy-free version, use vanilla almond milk instead of skim milk and substitute ¼ cup avocado for the yogurt. It adds healthy fat, creaminess, and more green color!
- For higher protein content, use plain Greek yogurt and add sweetener if desired.
Similarly, you can add spinach to any smoothie recipe for a great boost of nutrition without changing the flavor. Stay tuned for more smoothie recipes as the weather gets warmer!