Tag Archives: mint

Spring Cleaning Shamrock Shake

Red alert to early adopters: for some reason the first version of this listed milk twice in the ingredients. It’s fixed now, but I apologize for any sad thin shakes the mistake may have caused. May all your clovers be four-leafed.

If you’ve been on my train for any length of time, you know I have a thing about Shamrock Shakes. They are part of our family lore, from when I was a kid through when my now-grown kids were kids, to right now when we all are just looking for excuses to be kids. The truly devoted can read an excellent brief history of the Shamrock Shake right here. For obvious reasons—like seasonality and general health—Shamrock Shakes are more therapeutic tool than dietary staple.

That is, until now!

Yes folks, I have discovered how to drink Shamrock Shakes whenever the heck I want and feel good about it. It’s the perfect thing for spring when a lot of us are trying to clean up our acts after a winter of aprés ski. This DIY version is cool, creamy, refreshing and just sweet enough to feel fun, yet responsible. It’s also substantial enough to fill the cracks without being a calorie bomb that makes you feel sad in 20 minutes.

This version passed the husband test, the kid test, the friend test, the easy test and the healthy test. You can take it in whatever direction you choose: make it healthier by adding hempy, flaxy, seedy things; make it treatier by subbing frozen yogurt for the yogurt.   

Huge shout out and thanks to Andy’s East Coast Kitchen for this one. The only things I tweaked were trying with almond milk (yes!), and backing off on the mint extract because the pure stuff is high test (batch 1, of many, was a little harsh). But as ever, you do you.

I am now semi addicted to this version of Shamrock Shakes, and looking forward to the mint that takes over my garden every year.

Cheers to you, and to a happy, tasty spring!

Spring Cleaning Shamrock Shake

Lightly adapted from Andy’s East Coast Kitchen

Makes 1 very generous serving, or two for skeptics


  • 3/4 cup milk of choice
  • 1/2 cup plain greek lowfat yogurt (or thick yogurt of choice)
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 1/2 cup frozen banana (½ large banana)
  • ~15 mint leaves
  • ¼ tsp mint extract
  • 1/2 cup ice
  • shaved/grated chocolate for garnish (optional—never gone there but why not?)


Whir it all up in a blender until creamy and uniformly green. Pour into a glass/glasses and grate a little chocolate on top for the pro version.


For max creaminess make sure the banana pieces are fully frozen. I keep a stash of cut up bananas in the freezer so they break up easily in the blender (and to remove the baking pressure of over-ripe bananas on the counter)

Don’t leave it blending forever or it’ll heat up and be more like shamrock milk. Not so lucky.

If you are light on bananas, or want an extra boost of creamy nutrition sub in or add some avocado. You may want to add more sweetener if you are replacing the banana.

Thanks to sister B, who pointed me to a super cool and easy-to-use recipe analyzer, this shake comes with nutritional stats. Sadly, I have not cracked the code (literally) to getting it to display on the site, but I’m working on it. In the meantime, some deets:

Spring Cleaning Shamrock Shake: 233 calories (211 with almond milk); 2.7 grams fat; 27 grams sugar.
Mickey D’s small Shamrock Shake: 460 calories; 13 grams fat; 63 g sugar

Mint Chocolate Milk

Mint chocolate milk

The first of many satisfied and non-paying customers for mint chocolate milk.

Oh to hell with it. I know Sue just posted the ridiculously decadent Peanut Butter Krispy Fudge Bars, and that we all need something super green and good for us right now. But it’s still snowing outside, and when I made this batch of chocolate milk syrup my son took one sip and said, “MOM! You should sell this!” to which I responded, “Ok, that’ll be one dollar please.” He slurped it down without a flinch.

The next day his friend came over and had at it with much approval. So, I made another batch and the rest of the family got wind of it so that, too, disappeared. By the time I was making my third batch I had the bright idea of doubling it. (Yeah, yeah…I’m not the quickest bunny). But the point is, this stuff is good! And it’s probably way better than a green smoothie for washing down a Peanut Butter Krispy Fudge Bar.

Strangely enough, this too (like the crazy-good bars) comes from Joy the Baker. I guess I am fixated on joy right now. All joys—the person, the state of being, the act of mixing chocolate in milk, which is always pure joy.

I promise—the smoothies will come in due time, as will spring. But for now and until then, let there be plenty of chocolate. Incidentally, I have not received one dime from my children, but I think they love me more than they did before this all started. 

Mint chocolate milk

A nice, cold, swirling glass of mint chocolate milk–the antidote for a late spring.

Mint Chocolate Milk

Makes about 1 1/2 cups chocolate sauce


3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I have used natural, Dutch process and a combo of both)Pinch of salt
1 cup water
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract (real,real,real!)
1/2 tsp pure peppermint extract (did I mention real?)
Whole or reduced fat cow’s milk, soy milk, or almond milk


In a medium saucepan, whisk together sugars, cocoa powder, and salt.  Place saucepan over low heat and add water.  Whisk until thoroughly combined and no lumps remain.

Bring the chocolate mixture to a low boil, whisking frequently. Whisk for 8 to 10 minutes, until mixture is thickened.

Remove from heat and whisk in vanilla and peppermint extracts.  Allow to cool to room temperature.

Transfer to an airtight jar and refrigerate until ready to use.

To make chocolate milk, stir together 2 tablespoons of chocolate syrup per one cup of cold milk.  Stir and enjoy!

chocolate milk vs green smoothie

Chocolate milk vs green smoothie. Two yummy earth tones, two forms of therapy. Which would you choose?