It’s that time of the year again. The time when my husband and I drive from one McDonalds location to another (usually in the middle of the night, as that’s when the craving seems to hit him) in search of the elusive Mickey D’s dessert only offered in March in honor of St. Patrick’s Day.
I see some of you nodding your head.
The Shamrock Shake.
The disturbingly fluorescent green milkshake flavored with artificial mint, artificial vanilla, high-fructose corn syrup, yellow 5, blue 1 and God-knows-what else (knowing McDonalds, I’m sure they put some beef lard in there as well).
And every year, the same thing happens. My husband gets the largest size there is of this green milkshake, gulps it down on our drive back home, and has a stomachache and heartburn all night long. Then the next year rolls around, amnesia hits him and he wants to go back for one again.
This year, I’m hoping to circumvent this search-drink-feel-ill cycle by making him a much healthier (and hopefully still tasty) version of this shake. So folks, tonight I bring you:
The Shamrawk Shake
This recipe is based on the vanilla ice cream recipe from Sweet Gratitude, with some modifications and additions to make it shamrock-y.
1 cup of almond milk, unsweetened (I used the Almond Breeze unsweetened vanilla flavor for convenience but it’s even better if you make your own! Future post to come, I promise)
1 cup of soaked (raw) cashews*
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons agave syrup
1/4 cup liquid vanilla (see here)
1 tablespoon soy lecithin*
1/4 + 1/8 teaspoon salt
3 and 1/2 tablespoons of fresh mint, chopped into small pieces
1/4 teaspoon spirulina*
* Cashews: Soak cashews overnight (or at least a few hours) in cold water. Once soaked, drain the water and rinse cashews thoroughly.
Soy lecithin: This is a supplement found in health food stores. In this recipe, it acts as a natural emulsifier and makes the shake creamier.
Spirulina: A ridiculously nutritious superfood. Spirulina, a type of blue-green algae, is rich in protein (has approximately 60% protein content), vitamins and minerals. It’s an acquired taste (and a scary green-blue color) but I only add a bit to this recipe to add a pretty green color to the milkshake (so much better than yellow 5 and blue 1).
Step 1: Blend!
Put the almond milk, cashews, agave, liquid vanilla, lecithin and salt into the blender and blend well. Stick your finger in the blender (once you’ve turned it off, of course) and taste. It should taste like melted vanilla ice cream.
Step 2: Put the mixture in the freezer
Put the mixture in a container and put in the freezer for about 30 minutes. You want it to get really cold. Originally I was going to make this mixture into an ice cream and then put the ice cream in the blender, but I’m impatient and didn’t want to wait for my ice cream bowl to freeze (24 hour wait! Who can wait that long for ice cream?!). If you have an ice cream maker and have more patience than me, try making ice cream with the mixture, use the ice cream for your milkshake and tell me how it goes! And send me some while you’re at it.
Step 3: Blend again
So I have a confession to make. I drank some of this vanilla mixture while it was chilling in the freezer because, well, I really wanted some. And, because I drank it straight from the container (I know, I know), I have no idea how much I drank.
I wanted to give you folks exact measurements for the mint and spirulina (wrong measurements could result in disaster, especially with the spirulina, and you would hate me forever, trust me), so the following instructions apply to only 1 cup of the liquid mixture. Adjust accordingly and feel free the drink the leftover mixture like I did.
Put 1 cup of the liquid mixture, mint and spirulina in the blender. Blend well but be careful not to blend too long or you will warm up the milkshake. Put the milkshake in the freezer a bit longer for it to thicken and get really cold and enjoy!*
* For my husband’s colleagues: I am sending him to work tomorrow with a bottle of this (about 2 cups). Feel free to bug him for a sample!