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. Doing that eventually led to the creation of this Healthy Homemade Shamrock Shake.
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 Reduced Fat Ice Cream: Milk, sugar, cream, corn syrup, natural flavor, mono and diglycerides, cellulose gum, guar gum, vitamin A palmitate. CONTAINS: MILK
Shamrock Shake syrup: High fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, water, sugar, natural flavor, 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 Light Cream: Cream, nonfat milk, liquid sugar, contains 2% or less mono and diglycerides, carrageenan, whipping propellant (nitrous oxide). CONTAINS: MILK
Do you still want that McDonald’s Shamrock Shake? I know I 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, paleo, and vegan, 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.
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 Healthy Homemade Shamrock Shake! Enjoy!
Many of us have loved Shamrock Shakes from childhood but when examining the ingredients have been less than thrilled. This Healthy Homemade Shamrock Shake satisfies the craving without questionable ingredients and it's naturally gluten free, paleo, and vegan. A win-win for everyone! 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 that 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.
Healthy Homemade Shamrock Shake (Gluten Free, Paleo, Vegan)
Many of us have loved Shamrock Shakes from childhood but when examining the ingredients have been less than thrilled. This Healthy Homemade Shamrock Shake satisfies the craving without questionable ingredients and it's naturally gluten free, paleo, and vegan. A win-win for everyone!
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 that 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.
Originally published March 16, 2012; updated February 20, 2018.
Ina Gawne says
Wow Shirley – that is one good conversion you have made! I love the Peppermint Schnapps – a great Shamrock beverage!
Hi Ina–Thanks, dear! I’ve been off celebrating St. Paddy’s day (and life in general). 🙂 Best use of Peppermint Schnapps ever IMHO. 😉
InTolerant Chef says
The McDonalds ingredient list its scary indeed! Glad there’s a great alternative 🙂
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? 😉
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!
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. 😉
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.
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!
[email protected] says
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.
Hi Richa–Thanks so much! 🙂 Yeah, not all memories are good ones and some things are definitely better left behind. 😉
Kim (Cook IT Allergy Free) says
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!
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.
Your Shamrock Shake = YUMMY! McD’s Shamrock Shake = not so much. 😀
Debi–Perfect analysis! Thanks, dear! 🙂
Bryson Fico says
I tried this recipe for St. Patrick’s Day! It was very tasty and healthy. The maple syrup makes the recipe!
Shirley Braden says
I’m so glad you enjoyed your Shamrock Shake, Bryson. 🙂 It’s one of my favorites. So much so that I have other names for it (e.g., Summer Green Smoothie) so I can enjoy it the rest of the year when the craving hits. 😉