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.

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. 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.

  2. 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!

  3. 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!

  4. 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!

  5. 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.

    • 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.

  6. 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!

  7. 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!

  8. 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!

  9. 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.

  10. 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 :)

  11. 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.

  12. 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?

  13. 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!

  14. 41

    Ashley says

    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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