St. Paddy’s Day is only a few days away—and that means it’s time to go green! If you’re looking for a festive and delicious way to avoid getting pinched, there’s one minty-mixture that could either have you dancing a jig for joy or doing double duty at the gym.
You guessed it: The much-loved McDonald’s Shamrock Shake is back. And with it comes loads of emerald-coloured calories, fat and sugar. It’s true, St. Patrick’s Day is only one day. But at 470 calories and 65 grams of sugar, a month of multiple Shamrock Shakes could be less than lucky for your waistline.
Option one: Savour every sip of this seasonal shake and cut down on some other treats to make up the difference. Option 2: Ditch the drive-thru and make your own healthier version! I present: The Shamrock Smoothie.
A Pot of Gold
So what’s the difference between your indulgent treat and this extremely tasty beverage? The not-so-secret ingredient is the greens! For only a handful of calories per serving, leafy green vegetables pack in tons of vitamins A, C and K, folate, potassium and fibre. Plus, each cup of smoothie is loaded with calcium, heart healthy monounsaturated oils, filling fibre and energizing mint.
If a green smoothie isn’t your thing, here are some other ways to green-ify your St. Patrick’s Day menu:
- Steam some greens and serve with a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
- Fold cooked greens into an omelette or frittata.
- Make a fresh salad with baby spinach, snap peas and edamame beans.
- Spread mashed avocado on whole-wheat toast instead of butter
- Mash potatoes with avocado and top with chives.
- 1 frozen banana
- 1 cup firmly packed fresh spinach leaves
- ¾ cup milk (or soy or almond beverage)
- ½ medium avocado
- ¼ cup firmly packed fresh mint leaves (about 25 leaves)
- ¼ teaspoon pure peppermint extract (optional)
- Honey or maple syrup to taste
- Optional: dark chocolate chips or shavings as garnish
- Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
- Pour into 2 glasses, garnish with mint sprig and chocolate shavings (if desired) and enjoy!
Time-Saver Tip: Prep your ingredients the night before by putting chopped banana, spinach, mint and avocado into a container and freeze overnight. In the morning all you need to do is measure the liquid ingredients, throw in the frozen ingredients and blend!