Sure, we probably should have thought to share this smoothie in March for St. Patrick’s Day, but it slipped through the cracks and it’s here today! We met for Smoothie Club last week at Fairmont Hospital, and once again enjoyed a smoothie that had club members jumping for joy.
Shamrock Shakes, in case you’re not familiar, are usually made with mint ice cream and sold at fast food restaurants seasonally — your typical milkshake-style treat with all the dairy and sugar that goes with it. Not exactly a healthy meal. Our version of the shake does have a decent amount of fat in it, but the fat comes from avocado and coconut milk, rather than conventional dairy. These fat sources offer beneficial fatty acids that we need to stay healthy and keep our bodies in good working order — monounsaturated fat and medium-chain triglycerides, respectively. Monounsaturated fats from avocado (in addition to the fiber that’s found in the avocado meat) are heart-healthy. Medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) found in coconut oil are also heart healthy, can support a healthy weight, are easier to digest than most other fats, and can even increase energy levels. Here’s a Dr. Axe article that goes into more depth about MCTs and coconut oil.
The sugar content in this shake (as is true with most of our smoothies) is completely up to you. We chose to use stevia in this version of the shake to make it entirely sugar-free and low-glycemic. If you’re not into the flavor of stevia (some find it bitter) you can opt for another healthy alternative like raw honey or maple syrup.
Bear in mind that these options are STILL sugar (they’ll still affect your blood sugar), but they’re less processed a have other nutritional benefits that plain table sugar simply doesn’t have. In other words, they have more nutritional bang for their buck. Both raw honey and maple syrup contain a long list of minerals and the full B vitamin complex, while raw honey also has healthy enzymes, phytonutrients, and anti-inflammatory components.
As a side note, while we don’t endorse particular products here at Passport to a Healthy Me, the brand of stevia we used is by far the least bitter I’ve ever tried. It’s called NuStevia. If you’ve tried stevia but find it bitter but haven’t given up hope, give that one a try and see what you think.
HEALTHY SHAMROCK SHAKE (paleo)
- ½ cup coconut milk
- ½ cup water
- 1 cup ice
- ¼ avocado
- 2 tbs collagen hydrolysate
- 2 tsp organic vanilla
- 10 fresh mint leaves (to taste)
- OPTIONAL 1-2 drops food-grade peppermint oil
- Stevia or your choice of sweetener (to taste)