This healthy shamrock shake recipe is simply made with coconut milk, avocado, and fresh mint—no food coloring, complicated instructions, or scary ingredients! And it's dairy-free, vegan, paleo and keto-friendly.
‘Tis the season for the shamrock shake! The traditional drive-thru concoction has a distinctive minty-vanilla flavor and a bright green color for St. Patrick’s Day (but lots of people wish they could enjoy the special shake recipe all year long)! Alas, it goes without saying that drive-thru shamrock shakes are only available for a limited time AND they’re filled with all kinds of questionable ingredients.
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A Much Healthier Version
The original shamrock shake recipe famously has 54 ingredients (including high fructose corn syrup, artificial colors, and preservatives)! The original shamrock shake is also a very vibrant, somewhat fake-looking green from the shamrock shake syrup that they blend with vanilla soft serve to make the shake. It's topped with whipped cream and a maraschino cherry (all of which are loaded with processed food ingredients). The flavor is distinctively minty, but it’s also extremely sweet.
If you’re looking for a way to create a healthy shamrock shake, the recipes and recreations you’ll find are all over the spectrum. Traditional copycat recipes are made with vanilla ice cream, milk, mint extract, and green food coloring. Some recipes include banana, almond milk, and other ingredients to make the shake creamy without dairy ingredients.
I wanted a shake that was creamy and thick. I was looking for a more substantial texture than other copycat recipes, so I took a few cues from other successful smoothie and shake recipes I’d created.
After working to perfect this healthy version, I have to admit I think it’s better than the original. It’s thick, creamy, and delicious. The flavor is great. It’s cool and refreshing. Best of all, my healthy shamrock shake recipe is dairy-free, refined sugar-free, and additive-free.
This shake is simple to make—and you can pronounce and identify all the ingredients. My recipe is made with coconut milk and avocado and uses fresh mint leaves to add the green color and minty flavor.
How to make it without ice cream
I love to use avocado in recipes, especially as a dairy substitute for this dairy-free milkshake. The avocado adds a rich creaminess when it's blended with the coconut milk. The green color obviously lends itself to this healthy St. Patrick’s Day treat too! Honestly, though? Even if you’re not looking for a green ingredient, avocado is the perfect creamy base for any type of shake you’re craving.
Using ice in the shake keeps the avocado very cold and it blends creamy. There’s no need to freeze the ingredients beforehand. All you do is simply add everything to the blender and mix.
I’ve found that adding a touch of real vanilla gives it more of an ice cream flavor without actual ice cream. It’s perfect for a treat craving!
The amount of mint you use is really up to your taste. If you like your shamrock shake extra minty (or extra green), add more mint leaves. Luckily, mint is in season in the spring — perfect timing for St. Patrick's Day. You can find fresh mint in most grocery stores and even grow it in your kitchen garden! I recommend using fresh mint in this recipe. Here's how to choose and store fresh mint.
The Perfect Toppings
I like to skip the whipped cream and cherry and top the shake with a little shaved dark chocolate, which is so flavorful. It’s easy to create fancy chocolate mini curls and shavings to make this shamrock shake seem extra special. Just shave the side of a dark chocolate bar with a vegetable peeler. It's almost like having a shamrock shake and a thin mint all in one. You could also garnish your shake with an extra mint leaf or two but I definitely recommend the chocolate shavings!
This healthy shamrock shake recipe is dairy-free, gluten-free, and paleo (and can be easily adapted to be keto-friendly/low carb/vegan). It’s the perfect treat for St. Patrick’s Day, but with this recipe, you can enjoy the shamrock shake all year long! Here’s to shamrock shakes in the spring, summer, fall, and winter. It’s the perfect festive drink!
More healthy smoothies
Try these healthy dairy-free smoothie recipes after you get your shamrock shake fix.
- Peach Coconut Smoothie
- Espresso Protein Shake
- Pumpkin Coconut Smoothie
- Strawberry Coconut Smoothie
- 3-Ingredient Green Smoothie