Hmm, who doesn’t love a delicious Shamrock Shake from Mcy D’s? Especially around St. Patty’s day! They’re super delicious, butttttt, there’s one BIG problem. They are TERRIBLE for you. In fact, there’s proof this year stating several reasons why you should skip the “shake” (read it here).
My boyfriend bought a bottle of peppermint oil about 6 months ago, and since then, we’ve only used it about once. So I decided to mix-up a minty-shake one day while I was craving an entire sleeve of Thin Mints (because how can you eat just one?). Turns out, there are quite a few “healthy” alternatives to McDonald’s Shamrock shake, but mine’s a little bit different. Hope you enjoy! Bonus: no hidden ingredients here!
1 cup almond milk (I used 1/2 water, 1/2 almond milk)
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
A whole bunch o’ spinach (or kale). I used 1/3 of a bag.
1/2 tsp peppermint oil
Generous drizzle of agave nectar, or honey (use as little or as much as you’d like, depending on how sweet you like it)
1 tbs chia seeds!
Cup (or more) of ice
Optional: Protein powder (I recommend vanilla or plain), dark chocolate on top 🙂
When I first thought about making a smoothie for breakfast this morning I said to myself “SMOOTHIE, are you kidding!? It’s FREEZING outside!” It’s -30 (or something) today in Chicago. After it gets below 20 degrees, it doesn’t even matter what the exact temperature is, I start planning my move to someplace warm. Side note: I’ve been planning my move out of Chicago every winter since I moved here. 7 years ago. I’m clearly not moving. #wishfulthinking
Anyway, back to the smoothie. I considered making something warm, such as oatmeal or eggs and toast (because, ya know, that would actually make sense) but I kept going back to the smoothie. I decided I wanted one so bad because my body is craving a good detox, probably because I haven’t been able to get outside and workout. Sure, I’ve been running stairs in my building when I can, working out on my TRX bands, doing push-ups, etc., but I still feel like I haven’t really worked out. I’m a runner, so a good workout means running 4+ miles. And I REFUSE to run outside if it’s below 20 degrees, so I’m in a rut. With that said, bring on the smoothie.
I wanted to keep things clean, so I decided to juice some carrots and a handful of spinach (if you don’t have a juicer, just purchase unprocessed carrot juice from your local health grocer, and blend the spinach leafs with the rest of the ingredients in the smoothie). Then I stuck to my number 1 rule when juicing/making smoothies: stick to the color group. I’ve had trouble in the past with mixing lots of greens and oranges. The color turns out completely brown and doesn’t always taste great. I checked my freezer and found some frozen bananas (I always keep frozen bananas on hand!) and mango chunks. Off I went! Hope you all enjoy.
Yields: 1 smoothie
1/2 cup carrot juice (freshly squeezed if you have a juicer. If you do, I used 3 whole carrots. If not, buy unprocessed carrot juice from your local health grocer)
Handful of spinach, juiced or blended (I juiced mine along with the carrots)
1/2 cup water (or more depending desired consistency)
1 cup ice cubes (or more, again, depending on desired consistency)
1/3 cup mango chunks (I used frozen)
1 banana (I used frozen)
1 tbsp chia seeds blended (optional), I used mine as toppings)
1 scoop protein powder (of choice. I use Garden of Life Raw Protein, plain. It’s vegan, gluten free, dairy free AND USDA Organic!)
Juice carrots (again, store bought carrot juice is fine)
The other morning, I scavenged my fridge for something to whip up for breakfast. Jumping from buying a rental property to bringing a puppy home, hasn’t left me with much time to make a trip to the grocery store (or blog…more posts to come – I promise!). I found a few eggs, orange juice, almond milk, and some leftover canned pumpkin from this recipe. I was in the mood for a smoothie, so I decided to mix things up a bit (pun intended) and try making a smoothie that matched the season. I wasn’t too sure how it’d turn out, but I absolutely loved it! Kyle (my boyfriend) said “It tastes like the offspring of a banana and a pumpkin!”
Pumpkin Pie Smoothie
1/3 cup canned pumpkin (I use Trader Joe’s Organic pumpkin)
1 frozen banana (tip: bananas turning brown before you can eat them? Take the peels off and throw them in the freezer – it makes for a colder smoothie and you will always have some on hand without them going bad!)
4-6 ice cubes
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 cup almond milk
1 tsp pure maple syrup
1 squeeze of agave nectar (add until desire sweetness)
1 tbsp flaxseed
1 tsp chia seed
Dash of cinnamon
Optional: I like to throw in instant oats and/or almonds if I have them on hand. They add extra texture to the smoothie!
Tip: Want to add more protein to curb your hunger? Toss in some plain, vanilla or chai tea flavored protein powder for an even more satisfying meal!
Throw all of the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
Pour into a glass and top with pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, and/or granola!