Shamrock[ish] shake

It’s that time of year again where we all pretend we’re a little bit Irish! While the most common association with St. Patrick’s Day is drinking (and more specifically, drinking Guinness or Jameson!), there are some other things that come to mind. For me, it’s corned beef and cabbage. For others, it might just happen to be the famous McDonald’sShamrock Shake.

To be honest, I don’t know if I’ve ever had a Shamrock Shake. The ingredients behind this shake are quite simple: milk, vanilla ice cream, green food coloring and peppermint extract. That’s it! I heard the morning dee-jays talking about the shakes on Monday morning while I was driving into work. I started thinking about how I could make my own at home, and what kind of healthy (or unhealthy) variations I could put on it. The dee-jays brought up the idea of putting crushed up thin mints into the shake, which sounded pretty awesome.

Yesterday evening, I made a shake for my husband.

I started with (cow) milk, vanilla ice cream, ice, and a few drops of peppermint extract. Food coloring is not something that I buy, so I added spinach to make the shake green. πŸ™‚ I wasn’t impressed with the flavor, so I added in a scoop of vanilla whey protein, some more ice, water and guar gum (to thicken it). And since my husband happened to have a box of Girl Scout thin mint cookies, I threw two of those in as well (they form a chocolate-y foam-y layer on the top). I had a sip- and it was good. But, sinceΒ I’m being good, I gave it to Greg.

Husband approved!

(Greg’s a good sport- I made him pose like that.)

St. Patrick’s day was a big deal for me in college. I went to school in Baltimore, and my friends and I would usually go to an Irish pub downtown. We were often part of the “Great Guinness Toast,” which basically just tries to break the world record for how many pints of Guinness are consumed on a given day. This was back when I could easily handle 5 or 6 drinks in a night, and wake up without a hangover, and do it all again the next night. Those days areΒ long gone. I don’t think I’ve done much to celebrate over the last few years. Last year I did a healthy take on “fish and chips,” which actually turned out pretty well! Trader Joe’s has some awesome looking corn-beef briskets, so we might buy one of those to throw in the crock pot all day, along with some cabbage. Cooking a crock-pot meal would be convenient because we’ll be gone all day in DC! I’m going to Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum via a deal I bought on Groupon, and meeting up with the fabulous Jenny! I’m so excited!

One thing that’s for sure: I will be drinking a Guinness Draught at some point during the day. Not only do I love the taste of Guinness, I love the calories as well. People often think that it’s so much higher in calories because it’s so “filling,” but the truth is- it’s about as much as a light beer: 126 calories for 12 oz! I’ll take it!

What do you do for St. Patrick’s Day?


28 Comments on “Shamrock[ish] shake”

  1. We usually go to a friends for a St. Patricks Day feast. Her Father in law is from Ireland and at some point in the evening he usually does an Irish jig, it’s great. It’s been years since I’ve cooked corned beef (and I think I’ve only cooked it once), but we get our fix at this dinner, plus we get to see good friends.

  2. Corrie Anne says:

    I’ve been thinking for a few weeks trying to decide. I did find some shamrock sprinkles — going to have make use of those!! I don’t really like a lot of traditional foods — except POTATOES — but I’m super Irish so I gotta do something!! Avocado is green, right? Haha.

    • Lauren says:

      You don’t like corned beef and cabbage?!?!?!? Whhhhaaaaaa?
      I might carry an avocado all day with me. Or wear one. You’re right- it’s very green!

  3. One time we went to an Irish pub in Boulder. It was fun, the music and beer were great…but usually we do nothing. And I usually forget to wear green and everyone at work gives me grief about it for a long 9 hours πŸ™‚ Glad your hubby approved the spinach drink, and he was definitely a good sport with the posing. I don’t know if my hubby would let me do that πŸ™‚ Especially since he’s a web developer. He’d have that pic down in 2.3 seconds flat… ha!

    I’m currently in the make one thing for me, one thing for hubby mode… where a few items overlap (like last night’s steak), but it will be nice when eventually our tastes and food needs line up more closely.

    • Lauren says:

      Greg is definitely a good sport!
      I bet an Irish pub in Boulder would be fun. I’d love to hang out with all the hippies!
      Greg will eat pretty much anything I make. I used to always cook two different meals and buy all these things for him that I won’t eat, and then one day I just had enough of it (and I was so embarrassed to have that unhealthy food in my grocery cart!) Now he eats just as healthy as me- he just eats twice as much!

  4. Love the shake! I’ll be making something like that this year. I’ve been getting back into drinking GM just in time.

  5. I may just add spinach to everything on Saturday πŸ™‚ I have a really ugly race shirt from Summer ’11 that I may pull out on St. Pat’s…it is very green.

  6. I love this! If I do make one, there will be spinach involved. Nice glass… did you “borrow” yours from a bar too? I acquired mine last year. πŸ™‚

    • Lauren says:

      I have SO many “borrowed” glasses from college. It was like a game with us!
      This one is actually Greg’s but I’m sure it used to belong to a bar!

  7. Jenny says:

    I’ve never had a Shamrock Shake, either, but Sam enjoys them! I’m so excited for Saturday- and I had no idea that Guiness was low in calories!

  8. cottercrunch says:

    oh heavens that looks good. My kiwi husband actually has some irish in him too. So pattys day is BIG! GUINNESS is a must and so is CORNBEEF!

  9. Lee says:

    I’ve never had a Shamrock Shake before either. I do have that same Guinness glass though.

    I’m actually not doing much of anything on St. Patrick’s Day since I’m running a half marathon the day after. Kind of takes the fun out of the green beer thing when you have to be up at 5 am!

    • Lauren says:

      All the cool people have that Guinness glass. Good for YOU for running a 1/2 of Sunday! I’ll be doing my own 2 hours of craziness on Sunday, teaching back to back spin and bodypump.

  10. Lee says:

    Also, for some reason, your blog is not letting me log in with my blog email address.

  11. Your husband is one lucky man πŸ™‚

    Sounds like fun plans for St Patty’s day! I’m going to yoga!

  12. Sara R. says:

    Oh man, I used to get a Shamrock Shake every year when I was younger! They became difficult to find for a couple years (I once actually called about 6 McDonalds to try to find one that had them!) but now they seem to be everywhere. Have you seen Chocolate Covered Katie’s recipe for a shamrock shake? It’s delicious and incredibly low in calories.

    And I always make corned beef, cabbage, potatoes and soda bread for dinner on St. Patrick’s day. I recently realized how HORRIBLE the store-bought corned beef is for you, so I bought one un-brined from Hedgeapple last year and brined it myself, which was amazing. I didn’t make it out there last week in time (they have such terrible hours) so I am hoping Common Market has something cleaner that I can just pick up this year.

    • Lauren says:

      LOL! That is too funny. I have to look up Katie’s recipe!

      I bought the corned beef roast from TJs. Honestly… i didn’t look at the ingredients.. 😦 I looked at the calories, which were favorable.
      I saw the local ones at Common Market today- they had a bunch, and they looked GOOD.

  13. Julie says:

    Just made a version of your shake and LOVED it! Also husband-approved! I make my husband pose for pictures, too. Thanks for the spinach idea – awesome and delicious!

  14. zomggggggggg it looks gross (the green! I can’t!) but I want a milkshake!!!

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