A traumatic McDonald’s episode has convinced me that some cherished childhood experiences are best left as pristine memories. Shamrock Shake, never speak to me again.

Skinny Shamrock Shake made with frozen bananas, avocado and mint. This healthy mint smoothie tastes just like the McDonald's shamrock shake, without the guilt. Vegan and gluten free!

I spent the first 18 Februaries of my life anticipating the Shamrock Shake’s annual arrival. Its glorious return meant more to me than simply the chance to slurp my favorite frosty mint beverage—it heralded the coming of spring, placing me one season closer to summer vacation. I could mentally organize my February timeline as “Pre-Shamrock Shake” and “Post-Shamrock Shake.”

Once I hit college, I stopped making my annual Shamrock Shake pilgrimage, first because I didn’t have a car, then later because I moved to Wisconsin, where I developed a penchant for frozen custard. Then on Sunday, after spending most of our weekend working, Ben and I decided that a pair of milkshakes was in order. He went for chocolate; I giddily ordered that great companion of my youth, the heralder of spring, The Shamrock Shake. I took a long, much anticipated sip and…

Skinny Shamrock Shake. A healthy avocado mint smoothie that tastes just like a McDonald's Shamrock Shake. All natural, gluten free, and vegan

Mint smoothies that taste just like a copycat Shamrock Shake! Made with frozen bananas, avocado and mint. Vegan and gluten free

What did McDonald’s do to my Shamrock Shake? It had a decidedly funky off-flavor that I could only haphazardly identify as lime, and I really think that they’ve added radioactive material. Has it always been so alarmingly bright? Worse, is this what it tasted like when I was younger? I sat reflectively in the plastic booth, eating the whipped cream off the top with my straw and wondering which had really changed—the Shamrock Shake or I.

I miss the Shamrock Shake terribly—not the current faux-mint monstrosity, but the perfect, refreshing Shamrock Shake of my youth. I can only imagine how disillusioned I’d feel if I walked into a Chuck E. Cheese.

Skinny Shamrock Shake made with frozen bananas, avocado and mint. This healthy mint smoothie tastes just like the McDonald's shamrock shake, without the guilt. Vegan, paleo, and gluten free

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.

A healthy mint smoothie made with avocado and spinach that tastes just like the McDonald's Shamrock Shake

This mint smoothie’s gorgeous green hue comes completely from its ingredients—avocado, spinach, and a heap of fresh mint leaves—and the sweetness and thickness I owe to frozen slices of overripe banana. (Did you know that if you whip up only frozen bananas, they taste astonishingly like vanilla ice cream? It’s marvelous!)

Avocado adds a creaminess boost too, and 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!).

Skinny Shamrock Shakes made with frozen bananas, avocado, and fresh mint. Enjoy this healthy mint smoothie for dessert or after a work out! Vegan and gluten free

Although this mint smoothie does not taste identical to the 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 winter’s impending defeat.

Skinny Shamrock Shake made with frozen bananas, avocado and mint. This healthy mint smoothie tastes just like the McDonald's shamrock shake, without the guilt. Vegan, paleo, and gluten free
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Healthy Shamrock Shake {Avocado Mint Smoothie}

Yield: 1 large shake
Total Time:
5 mins
A healthy mint smoothie inspired by the McDonald's Shamrock Shake. Thick, creamy, and made with only natural ingredients.

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  1. 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.
Course: Breakfast, Drinks
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Healthy Breakfast Smoothie Recipe, Healthy Shamrock Shake {Avocado Mint Smoothie}

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