Shamrock smoothie

Sunday afternoon Ulysses, Ginger and I went for a run on the bike trail near our house. As we were walking onto the trail from the parking lot, a family of 4 was coming off the trail headed to their car when all of a sudden the little kid on his scooter screams “AND I CAN GET AN EGG MCMUFFIN TOO?!”

Ulysses and I just turned to each other and burst out laughing.

There’s a McDonald’s not even a quarter mile from the bike trail parking lot (irony at it’s best) so I guess that family’s Sunday afternoon plans involved some exercise and then erasing any and all strides they had made with that effort at the good ole golden arches.

I tried really hard not to judge, I swear. But it didn’t work.

People rave about these so called shamrock shakes this time of year at McDonald’s. Honestly, I’ve never had one. I can’t even remember the last time I’ve eaten in a McDonald’s (although I did force my brother to order a Big Mac so I could use their internet in Ireland last year). If I’m going to do the fast food thing, it’s going to be Chick-fil-A, hands down.

Whatever’s in those shamrock shakes, I’m going to assume it’s not good for you. It’s probably some ungodly color of green and I’d bet my life they’ve got some hfcs going on too. Oh look, they do.

So instead of green food dye, I used mint.

Instead of hfcs, I used honey.

And you won’t need any sodium benzoate (a food preservative) because you’ll finish it too quickly to need any preserving.

I’m not Irish. Far, far from it. I tan easily and hate Guinness. But, I think I nailed this shamrock thing. At least in smoothie form.

5.0 from 3 reviews

Shamrock Smoothie
Prep time
Total time
A healthy, all real food version of the shamrock shake.
Recipe type: smoothie, drink
Serves: 1
  • ¼ cup water
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla, divided
  • approx. 15 mint leaves, divided
  • 1 cup plain greek yogurt
  • ½ cup coconut milk
  • large handful of ice
  • ¼ cup baby spinach leaves (optional, mainly for color)
  1. In a small saucepan over medium heat combine water, honey, ¼ teaspoon vanilla and 4-5 mint leaves. Bring to a boil, stirring until honey dissolves and let simmer for 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat, set aside.
  2. In a blender combine the remaining ingredients.
  3. Add mint syrup once cooled.
  4. Puree in blender until smooth.
  5. Garnish with mint leaves and cacao nibs if desired.
If you want it more of a “shake” consistency, once blended freeze for 30-45 minutes before enjoying.


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  1. 1

    I’ve been waiting for someone to post a healthy Shamrock Shake, and your recipe sounds perfect!!! I’m making this later today!!!

  2. 2

    I had a McDonald’s shake once and it was just plain weird. Oddly fluffy and emollient. Like hand cream. I don’t get the whole obsession. Your shake, on the other hand, looks great. I LURVE fresh mint.

  3. 3

    I am weak around Big Macs. As much as I understand the wrongs that is fast food,when there is a Big Mac at stake, there is very little I can do to say no. Hence I avoid McD’s in general. Unless it’s Monopoly time. Then all bets are off.

  4. 4

    I had never even heard of a shamrock shake until this year, perhaps because I stay far, far away from McDonald’s. I haven’t clicked over to the list of ingredients you mention, but I’m sure they’re scary. Your version sounds really good, and I love that you used fresh mint leaves!

  5. 5

    I haven’t ever tried a Shamrock Shake either. Probably for the best. But this one – I can get behind. Like, toats. Gorgeous!!

  6. 6

    That sounds amazing! I can’t even tell you the last time I even stepped inside a McDonald’s but I totally agree about Chick-Fil-A… that is one fast food I will eat from time to time!

  7. 7

    Your Shamrock smoothie sounds delish! Can’t wait to try!
    And I agree…if you must do fast food, it HAS to be Chick-fil-A

  8. 8

    I make a killah shamrock “slam” that is mint ice cream, creme de menthe, vodka, and cream. Oh yes. it’s boozy. (do you expect anything less from me?) love the new header btw.

  9. 10

    I love making my healthy shamrock shake recipe – but I like your addition of real mint as opposed to extract. I’ll have to try it! :)

  10. 11

    I added parsley to a smoothie and someone (you?) suggested mint- brilliant idea, I bet it was so refreshing to drink! Honestly can’t remember the last time I ate at a fast food place either, and hope I never have to resort to it again!

  11. 12

    This looks AMAZING!!! I’ve never had a green shake at McD’s either, but I think I would rather opt for your :) What a fun idea and super creammmmmmy!!!


  12. 13

    I can’t remember the last time I had fast food either. It makes me cringe when people get it for lunch at work. I can’t say the shamrock shake holds much appeal for me at all. I’m not a fan of cold foods when it’s cold out.

  13. 14

    Have I been asleep at the wheel?! Your new header and gentle site tweaks are gorgeous! Love them. Did you do it yourself or have any help?

    • 15
      Running to the Kitchen says:

      haha no, just made the changes yesterday. My friend/coworker did the header for me, I made all the other tweaks myself just playing around in thesis.

  14. 16

    haha. you were reading my mind. I think making a mint simple syrup is brilliant! Cannot wait to try this out. I love me some Shamrock shakes!

  15. 17

    I’m gonna show this to the Mr and see if he’s up for them since he likes an annual Shamrock Shake. I love how the calories in a McD’s SMALL is 540 calories but the footnote is they use low fat ice cream. Oh well, thank goodness! ;-)

  16. 18

    Haha…those Shamrock Shake commercials have been tempting me to go through the drive-through– and I’ve never even had one! I don’t know why they sound so good to me all of a sudden…I guess I’ll blame the pregnancy :-) I should make your smoothie instead– much healthier!

  17. 19

    I haven’t had one of those shakes either, but I’d by lying if I said I wasn’t a sucker for the Egg McMuffin. That 300 calories worth of fast-food goodness is so worth the splurge sometimes. :)

  18. 20

    I don’t think I’ve had a shamrock shake since high school, but I do remember it being freaking delicious. I neeed to try this recipe out!

  19. 21

    How funny! I was just thinking about shamrock shakes today. Looking to see if I still have that mint in the fridge…

  20. 22

    Oh no you di’in’t! UNREAL. I need to make this asap. I have been craving Shamrock shakes (I do every year despite knowing how awful they are for me) but I gave up sweets! So this sounds like the perfect, healthier alternative!

  21. 23

    I understand how you tried hard not to judge… Right before entering the parking lot to my gym is a McDonald’s and it amazes me how many cars are in the drive through and the parking lot ALL the time. It’s really sad how society has relied so much on junk food. I sure hope none of my gym friends rush to get there after some serious workout! I love this drink and everything that’s in it!

  22. 24

    Yummy! this is going to be a nice treat for us on St. Patricks day!

  23. 25

    I tan easily and have a dog named Guinness. Does that qualify me to be Irish? Kinda sorta? HA! My husband loves these dumb shakes so now we can save money and he wont have to do a billion sit ups to work them off anymore which means he will have time to do the dishes! WINNING.

  24. 26

    I LOVE this post! I just read an article in our university’s student newspaper about how the shamrock shakes at our campus mcdonald’s are selling like ten times faster than any nearby mcdonalds!

    No thanks to me…I haven’t had McDonalds since I was like 10!

    What a wonderful “real food” smoothie! Perfect :)

  25. 27

    I can’t say I’ve ever had a shamrock shake. Even when I was little I hated McDonald’s. If I’m going to eat fast food its Chic fil A (for breakfast) or In N Out.

  26. 28

    I have NEVER had a shamrock shake! But this looks really, really good and I won’t have to sit in the McD’s drive thru talking myself out of ordering fries too. LOL!

  27. 29

    Seriously? Write a cookbook already! Now I want a milkshake. I have Chick-Fil-A! I’ll trade you :)

  28. 30

    Oh I love this post! I am going to bookmark it so I can make it on St. Patty’s day! Great idea! :-)

  29. 31

    Hah, I love this post! Of course your smoothie looks awesome and I cannot wait to try that when the mint plant in my garden goes crazy this summer. But I totally agree about McD’s. People are always saying how they crave it and I can’t help but cringe. Like, seriously?

  30. 32

    This looks amazing! I have always wondered what the flavor of a shamrock shake is. I mean, was it shamrock flavored? Whatever it is, yours looks like something I would actually drink and not have self-loathing immediately afterwards!

  31. 33

    LOVE that you made a super unhealthy drink to something super healthy. you’re so talented!! love this :) and your pictures are so stunning! i love the green and brown pop!

  32. 34

    Lovely styling!! I hate food coloring as well, and always make do with foods that imparts great colors and flavors :)

  33. 35

    I don’t comment much here, but as a blog lurker I just have to say:

    1) your blog is hilarious
    2) i love your new header


  34. 37

    I’ve never had a McD’s shamrock shake, nor do I want to. I mean, why would I when I could make this at home? :-)

  35. 38

    I’ve never had one either, and it always seemed strange to me. *This*, however, sounds pretty good!

  36. 39

    you did nailed it! it looks delicious

  37. 40

    Ah I can almost taste the mint deliciousness

  38. 41

    I didn’t make the simple syrup – I was too impatient! I looked at all the ingredients, threw them in a blender (although I did combine the honey in some hot water first so it wouldn’t be clumpy) and drank it. Delicious! Will be repeating.

    BTW – it tastes nothing like a shamrock shake, this is way better! REAL, not fake. :)

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