Mint Smoothie {Healthy Copycat Shamrock Shake}

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
5 from 3 votes
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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}

Did you try this recipe? I want to see! Follow Well Plated on Instagram, snap a photo, and tag it #wellplated. I love to know what you are making!

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About Erin Clarke

I’m fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food taste incredible. Wearer of plaid, travel enthusiast, and firmly convinced that sweets and veggies both deserve a place at the table. MORE ABOUT ERIN…

34 comments

  1. The.Boy threatens to buy a Shamrock SHake every year…and then I threaten to kick him out of our apartment. Probably the more reasonable compromise is making him one myself! Love this healthified version!

  2. So healthy! so green! I love it!

  3. Love how you turned one of the most unhealthy fads into such a nutritious treat! Yum :)

  4. I love avocados in shakes! This looks soooo good, Erin!

  5. Mmm a healthy version of the all-famous Shamrock Shake, that’s such a great idea!! And since it’s healthy, that means I can have more, right? Haha!! :)

  6. I am SO glad you posted this, because I thought the SAME THING when I got my annual Shamrock Shake last year. I couldn’t figure out of it was me or them — so happy I’m not going crazy :) Thanks for sharing this healthy alternative! Can’t wait to give it a shot.

  7. I LOVE this recipe! Can’t wait to try it out!! I wish I had some frozen bananas right now so I could make it. I haven’t had a shamrock shake in a while, but I do remember being a bit disappointed as well, the last time I had one.

  8. oh no! Thanks for letting us know that it’s not so yummy anymore. I prefer your healthy, natural version, anyway. :)

  9. Omg I live off a smoothie almost exactly like this every day in the summer! Except yours is way better with whipped cream and SHAVED dark chocolate. I need to fancy mine up asap. Well, as soon as we come out of this deep freeze.
    I also recently had a Burger King scare so I’m with you on leaving childhood food memories alone, haha.

  10. That sounds a thousand times better than a shamrock shake!  So bright and fresh, I can’t wait to try this smoothie!  Pinned!

  11. We don’t get Shamrock Shakes here in Australia, and the only thing on the McD’s menu that’s friendly to my annoyingly sensitive gut is water, or diet coke…
    So, I am happy that this will be my first ‘Shamrock Shake’ and one that’s way better for me :)
    Even though I can’t eat most takeaway anymore I still get nostalgic when I smell KFC chips. They put something special on them I swear!

  12. Avocado and mint sounds really delicious combination!

  13. Hey girl- Once again very creative!!  Different combos but I would give it a try!! 

  14. Wish I had one of these sitting in front of me right now!

  15. My college roommate used to fantasize about the day Shamrock Shakes came back in season. She would get them all the time! If only we had this healthier version back then!

  16. This is so hilarious.  I feel the exact same way about Easy Mac.  I used to think it was so good.  Creamy! Cheesy! Easy! (My mom didn’t let us have it much – and now I know why.)  My husband recently decided that we needed some Easy Mac in our pantry, and I wasn’t too opposed.  One lazy night I decided to break out the Easy Mac, and … yuck.  Not everything I remembered.  Dry.  Flavorless.  Not even worth the calories. 
    I feel your pain!!
    THIS, however, looks amazing and pretty too! Happy Friday!

  17. I seriously need five of these pronto!

  18. Glorious greens! Never had Shamrocks Shake, but this healthy version sounds way more appealing!

  19. What a healthy shake.. spinach, banana.. yum! very delicious:)

  20. I’m loving this mint smoothie and it is WAY BETTER than any McDonalds one.

  21. Love the idea of a healthy shamrock shake!

  22. Have mercy on my waistline – healthy and chocolatey!! YES!!!

  23. Just made this Shamrock Shake for a March treat. It’s creamy, minty, and much tastier and satisfying than it’s commercial counterpart ;) Thanks again, Erin, for these healthy, yummy recipes!

  24. I think this is even better considering that all the ingredients are all natural, and at the same time you enjoy doing it. I can’t wait to have this ! 

  25. oh yum!  This really looks good and without all those nasty chemicals.  I’m trying it!

  26. This was absolutely amazing!!!!

  27. Erin, this was absolutely delicious!! Thank you for the recipe. Nick, my husband, and I were able to enjoy this shake in celebration of St. Patty’s Day yesterday with close friends, and then again this morning! It has a wonderful minty fresh flavor and we love that it is full of beneficial nutrients.  ❤️❤️❤️☘☘☘

    • YAY Tracy! I’m so excited to hear that you enjoyed the smoothie. Thank you so much for taking the time to report back!

  28. I made modifications based on the need for low-oxyates for kidney stones. Replaced spinach with kale; replaced avocado with 1/2 cup coconut or Greek yogurt. Absolutely delicious!!!

    • Kathy, I’m so glad to hear you enjoyed the smoothie! Thank you for sharing your tweaks and for taking the time to leave this nice review!

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