shamrock shake

Real Food Shamrock Shake Recipe

The McDonald’s Shamrock Shake is available now, but let me be the one to break it to you.

You don’t want anything to do with it.

We all know McDonald’s food does not win any awards for being nutritious. However, most people don’t realize just how truly unhealthy the Shamrock Shake really is.

A quick visit to the McDonald’s website provides the ingredients in its shake.

The Vanilla Reduced Fat Ice Cream totals 15 ingredients.

Milk, Sugar, Cream, Nonfat Milk Solids, Corn Syrup Solids, Mono- and Diglycerides, Guar Gum, Dextrose, Sodium Citrate, Artificial Vanilla Flavor, Sodium Phosphate, Carrageenan, Disodium Phosphate, Cellulose Gum, Vitamin A Palmitate.

The Shamrock Shake Syrup added to the ice cream includes 10 ingredients.

High Fructose Corn Syrup, Corn Syrup, Water, Sugar, Natural Flavor (Plant Source), Xanthan Gum, Citric Acid, Sodium Benzoate (Preservative), Yellow 5, Blue 1.

Topping the ice cream, the Whipped Cream contains 12 ingredients.

Cream, Nonfat Milk, Corn Syrup, Sugar, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Contains Less Than 1%: Mono-And Diglycerides, Carrageenan, Polysorbate 80, Beta Carotene (Color), Natural (Dairy and Plant Sources) and Artificial Flavor, Mixed Tocopherols (Vitamin E) to Protect Flavor. Whipping Propellant (Nitrous Oxide).

Amazingly, even the Maraschino Cherry on top boasts 12 ingredients. In a cherry?!

Cherries, Water, Corn Syrup, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Sugar, Malic Acid, Citric Acid, Natural (Plant Source) and Artificial Flavors, Sodium Benzoate and Potassium Sorbate (Preservatives), Red 40, Sulfur Dioxide as Preservative (Contains Sulfites).

Can any of these ingredients be purchased in a supermarket for home kitchen use? Only four or five ingredients fit that description. That alone should compel you to avoid, avoid, avoid!

For me, the words that come to mind are leaky gut, acne, digestive distress, autoimmune conditions, diabetes, weight gain, headaches and migraines and behavioral disorders in children. I understand celebrating the season and enjoying a tasty treat, but at what cost to your health?

Let’s talk about the sugar content in this dessert. In a medium Shamrock Shake there are 93 grams of sugar, or the equivalent of 23 sugar packets. When is the last time you sat down and put away 23 sugar packets? Gross! Hopefully never! When you enjoy this shake, that is exactly what you’re doing. And adding insult to injury? Eating 23 sugar packets laced with chemicals, preservatives and known unhealthy ingredients.

This story does have a happy ending! Below I’ve provided you with a Real Food Shamrock Shake containing only five ingredients. The best news? It promotes good health instead of destroying it. Is it as sickly sweet as the McDonald’s version? No. Is it creamy, minty and refreshing? Absolutely. Give it a try. Don’t be afraid to tweak the amounts to personal taste. That’s the beauty of making your own real food – you get to decide and control what goes in your body.
Maraschino Cherry


Real Food Shamrock Shake Recipe
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1
  • ½ cup almond milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract (optional)
  • 1 cup baby spinach, loosely packed
  • ¼ cup packed mint leaves
  • 1 banana, frozen (green-tipped if eating RESTART-approved)
  • 4-6 ice cubes
  • Pure peppermint extract
  1. Add the ingredients to a blender in the order listed up to and including the ice cubes (all but the peppermint extract).
  2. Blend until smooth. If using a Vitamix or other variable speed blender, start out slowly and gradually increase speed.
  3. Pour into glass and add one drop of peppermint extract. Stir and taste.
  4. Add additional drops as needed depending on personal taste.
Share this:


Leave a Reply