We’re all for splurging on sweets every now and then, especially during special holidays, but it’s hard to get behind McDonald’s Shamrock Shake. It’s become an American tradition to gulp down these festive, green drinks around St. Patrick’s Day, but each one contains a staggering amount of calories, artificial ingredients and additives — plus enough high-fructose corn syrup to launch a leprechaun over a rainbow.
A 16-ounce serving of the Mickey D’s Shamrock Shake has 660 calories, 19 grams of fat, 12 grams of saturated fat, 1 gram of trans fat, 75 milligrams of cholesterol, zero fiber, 14 grams of protein and 93 grams of sugar. To put it in perspective, 93 grams of sugar is like eating four cupcakes all at once! The saturated fat is also high, at 60 percent of the daily recommended value.
Our slimmed-down solution? A low-fat Shamrock Shake that uses fat-free, no-sugar-added frozen yogurt and almond milk for a hearty dose of calcium, protein and vitamin D (without the hefty saturated fat). Creamy avocado adds heart-healthy monounsaturated fat, carotenoid antioxidants and fiber to the shake. It also imparts a lovely, natural green hue. And with 18 grams of protein, it’s practically a protein shake!
Healthy Shamrock Shake Recipe
Total time: 5 minutes
Per 16-ounce serving:
- 444 cal
- 11 g fat (1 g sat)
- 86 g carbs
- 145 mg sodium
- 28 g sugars
- 5 g fiber
- 18 g protein
2 cups nonfat, no-sugar-added vanilla frozen yogurt
1/4 cup almond milk
1/2 small avocado, peeled and seed removed
1/4 teaspoon mint extract
2 tablespoons fat-free whipped cream (optional)
1 natural maraschino cherry (optional, we use Tillen Farms)
- Let the frozen yogurt sit at room temperature for a few minutes to soften up a bit.
- Combine all ingredients in a blender and mix until smooth.
- Optional: Top with fat-free whipped cream and cherry.
Originally posted March 13, 2014. Updated March 2015.