The GFE Version of the Shamrock Shake (Gluten Free, Grain Free, Dairy Free, Refined Sugar Free, Corn Free, Vegan … Healthy!)

Healthy Shamrock Shake from Gluten Free Easily

At this time of year, I used to indulge in a McDonald’s Shamrock Shake. It was sweet, creamy, and minty and that made it very desirable to me. Until I went gluten free and started looking at the ingredients in every product I consumed or used. The following listing shows the current ingredients in a McDonald’s Shamrock Shake. (Note: This information comes directly from McDonald’s website under the nutrition info on the Shamrock Shake.)

McDonald’s Shamrock Shake

Vanilla 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.

Whipped Cream: Cream, nonfat milk, water, corn syrup, sugar, high fructose corn syrup, mono-and diglycerides, carrageenan, polysorbate 80, beta carotene (color), natural (dairy and vegetable source) and artificial flavor, mixed tocopherols (vitamin E) to protect flavor. Whipping Propellant (nitrous oxide).

Cherries: 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).

Still want that McDonald’s Shamrock Shake? I know I sure don’t.

I shared this info on my gfe Facebook page  and one reader summed it up as “’corn and preservatives.” Yeah, pretty much. And while a McDonald’s Shamrock Shake is gluten free, as you can see it does contain dairy, sugar (the worst kind in my opinion—that same high fructose corn syrup that’s discussed in the television ads that try to convince us that “sugar is sugar”, which apparently even the FDA had some issues with, but probably not for the reason you’d expect), artificial flavors and colors, and lots of other, well, chemicals.  Not what I want to consume. So I created my own version of the  Shamrock Shake, which is gluten-free, dairy-free, refined sugar free, corn-free, vegan, and more, but oh so good! Only four ingredients and they’re all real ingredients!  Incidentally, this shake is a slight variation of my Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream … which would also be wonderful to make for St. Patrick’s Day. Enjoy!

Shamrock Shake (Gluten Free, Grain Free, Dairy Free, Refined Sugar Free, Corn Free, Vegan ... Healthy!)
  • 2¾ cups full-fat coconut milk, chilled
  • ⅔ cup maple syrup (more or less, to taste)
  • ¼ cup fresh baby spinach (be sure to discard the stems)
  • 2 tsp peppermint extract (or 1 tbsp peppermint schnapps for a still "mild," but adult version)
  1. Mix ingredients in blender until there are no visible particles from the spinach leaves. Pour mixture into the pre-frozen tub of your ice cream maker. Set blender pitcher aside.
  2. Churn for about 10 to 15 minutes. Check consistency at 10 minutes; churn additional minutes if needed.
  3. If you accidentally freeze too much and don’t get enough of a shake consistency, spoon mixture back into blender and blend on high for about 30 seconds. Pour into desired size glasses and serve, with spoon or straw.
  4. Makes one massive shake (worthy of two straws!), about two 2-cup servings, or about 4 smaller servings.
I’ve learned from my fellow bloggers and my own experimentation that adding alcohol to ice cream ensures creaminess and less crystallization. The beauty of making ice cream without eggs is that you can keep sampling your mix until you get a taste you like, before you add the mixture to the ice cream maker. If you don’t have an ice cream maker, you might try this method for making ice cream from David Lebovitz. This recipe makes a shake that’s a perfect green color—a natural green color, I might add. Unfortunately, the lovely shade of green doesn’t really come through in the photos.

UPDATE: You can obviously now see the recipe for my Shamrock Shake above. I have a guest post up over at Beth’s Tasty Yummies today. If you haven’t visited Beth’s blog before, you’re in for a treat overall. Beth has been gluten free for 7 years, has become dairy free more recently, and eats mostly vegetarian/vegan.  She also gave up processed foods a few years back. I also love that Beth describers herself as “yoga obessed” in her sidebar. But it was her Sweet Potato and Black Bean Patties that first lured me to her site after seeing them on Pinterest. Now I can’t stay away! Beth is a lovely person who creates some equally lovely recipes—all truly tasty yummies. So what’s my guest post at Beth’s? Well, of course, it’s my version of the  Shamrock Shake, which is gluten-free, dairy-free, refined sugar free, corn-free, vegan, and more, but oh so good! Only four ingredients and they’re all real ingredients!  A guest tasty yummy if you will. Incidentally, this shake is a slight variation of my Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream … which would also be wonderful to make for St. Patrick’s Day tomorrow. Head right over to Beth’s to get your healthy, but still totally delightful Shamrock Shake recipe! Hope you have lots of fun on St. Patrick’s Day, find your pot of gold, tip back a great gluten-free beer, etc. Hmm, what is one really supposed to say on St. Patrick’s Day? Maybe “YUM!” and “Drink up!” when it comes to my Shamrock Shake!

gluten free, dairy free, refined sugar free, corn free, healthy, shamrock shake

This post is linked to Wellness Weekend.

Not just gf, but gfe!

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15 Responses to “The GFE Version of the Shamrock Shake (Gluten Free, Grain Free, Dairy Free, Refined Sugar Free, Corn Free, Vegan … Healthy!)”

  1. Ina Gawne on March 16th, 2012 11:23 am

    Wow Shirley – that is one good conversion you have made! I love the Peppermint Schnapps – a great Shamrock beverage!

    • Shirley on March 19th, 2012 11:18 am

      Hi Ina–Thanks, dear! I’ve been off celebrating St. Paddy’s day (and life in general). :-) Best use of Peppermint Schnapps ever IMHO. ;-)


  2. InTolerant Chef on March 16th, 2012 6:45 pm

    The McDonalds ingredient list its scary indeed! Glad there’s a great alternative :)

    • Shirley on March 19th, 2012 11:20 am

      Hi InTolerant Chef–Thanks on the “great alternative”! I admit I was even shocked when I saw the McDonald’s ingredient list. They put all those “things” together and call it a food item? Bizarre, huh? ;-)


  3. Jane on March 16th, 2012 7:06 pm

    Definitely yum! I can’t say I’m surprised McDonald’s version has all those ingredients in it. However, I’m going to try your version without an ice cream maker :) I’ll get one someday!

    • Shirley on March 19th, 2012 11:22 am

      Hi Jane–Thanks! :-) I’ll be interested in what you think and how you make it without the ice cream maker. But I highly recommend getting one. They’re terrific. I got mine with a Bed Bath & Beyond 20% off coupon. If friends can’t figure out what to buy you for a birthday gift, etc., just offer up “ice cream maker!”. They’ll be happy to get you something you really want (and not have to think too hard about it) and you’ll be happy to receive it. ;-)


  4. Aimee on March 16th, 2012 11:12 pm

    I’m so glad that I stumbled upon this blog when deciding if I was allowed to slurp down a Shamrock Shake today! You offer so much info, and I’ve really been struggling with my new gf diet.


    • Shirley on March 19th, 2012 11:26 am

      Hi Aimee–I’m so sorry that you are struggling. I’d be happy to chat with you on some ideas by email if you’d like. Have you checked out the tab under the header of my blog called “Getting Started with GFE”? There you’ll find several printable “tip sheets” that will give you ideas on better making the transition. IMO, it’s all about focusing on the foods and recipes you love that are already gluten free, and then going on from there … making some easily adapted recipes, etc.

      Big hugs to you, dear!

  5. Richa@HobbyandMore on March 17th, 2012 12:09 am

    I love everything about this shake!.. i dont even remember any mcd’s stuff.. its been a decade since i tasted any.. such awful stuff in all their things.

    • Shirley on March 19th, 2012 11:27 am

      Hi Richa–Thanks so much! :-) Yeah, not all memories are good ones and some things are definitely better left behind. ;-)


  6. Kim (Cook IT Allergy Free) on March 17th, 2012 12:33 am

    So the funny thing is that my Mother-in-law ordered one of those a couple of weeks ago and came by the house with it. My boys were totally intrigued by the completely unnatural color of it. She offered them a sip and my boys took one look at my mortified face and both told her, “no thanks, Nana!” Good little kiddos!! :)

    I just checked out your recipe and it looks amazing! What a fun dessert treat for tomorrow night! I left a comment over there, but I am, once again, in the naughty box (surprise, surprise), so it did not show up!

    Huge hugs!

    • Shirley on March 19th, 2012 11:29 am

      Hi Kim–Your boys constantly amaze me!! You have taught them to be so, so smart about what they will put in their bodies! I hope you all tried and enjoyed my Shamrock Shake. When sharing, they go really quickly. ;-) So sorry you ended up in Spam again … that stinks. Beth could retrieve your comment, but I know she’s away right now. Still, I’ll email her to let her know.


  7. Debi on March 17th, 2012 9:52 am

    Your Shamrock Shake = YUMMY! McD’s Shamrock Shake = not so much. :D

    • Shirley on March 19th, 2012 11:29 am

      Debi–Perfect analysis! Thanks, dear! :-)


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