March is here, and I’ve noticed lots of folks heading to McDonald’s for their annual Shamrock Shake fix. I have to admit, I too, used to get excited to see the return of this yummy green treat, but since starting on my eliminating processed foods adventure, this treat is pretty much off limits. Why? Well…let me share the ingredients of this “treat”.
There are four things that make up the Shamrock Shake: Vanilla Reduced Fat Ice Cream, Shamrock Shake Syrup, Whipped Cream and a Maraschino Cherry.
VANILLA LOW FAT ICE CREAM: 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.
SHAMROCK SHAKE SYRUP: High Fructose Corn Syrup, Corn Syrup, Water, Sugar, Natural Flavor (Plant Source), Xanthan Gum, Citric Acid, Sodium Benzoate (Preservative), Yellow 5, Blue 1. May contain small amounts of other shake flavors served at the restaurant, including egg ingredients when Egg Nog Shakes are available.
WHIPPED CREAM: 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).
MARASCHINO 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).
And if that isn’t enough to scare you, this shake comes in weighing 530 calories and 15g of fat for a 12oz cup.
Yeah, so this is a no-go for me…..but who said I can’t make my own using better ingredients????
Forget high fructose corn syrup and all those chemicals… use homemade ice cream, or Breyers Vanilla. Substitute the nasty shamrock chemical syrup with some fresh mint leaves. And get that beautiful green color from some healthy, good for you spinach! I chose to leave the whipped cream and cherry off, but if you want it, go ahead and make your own whipped cream using full fat heavy cream…it’s better for you than that canned stuff.
Of course even if you choose to use mint extract (not peppermint) and green food coloring you will be leaps and bounds ahead of that nasty fast-food version!
- 2 cups vanilla ice cream (Breyers Natural)
- 1¼ cups 2% low-fat milk
- A few fresh mint leaves (or mint extract)
- A handful of fresh spinach (or a few drops of green food coloring)
- Put all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.
- If you have a high speed blender, the spinach and mint will pulverize completely, if not, you may have small specks of green leaves, but you won't taste the spinach, really!