Happy St. Patricks Day Green Smoothie – have a Shamrock Shake the healthy way!

So I have been dying to get myself a Shamrock Shake from McDonald’s. But then I realize that the last time I had one, I wasn’t thrilled.  I rarely indulge in a McDonald’s milkshake, but I don’t think they have been the same since they started putting whipped cream and a cherry on top.  I mean, this is McDonald’s, not an ice cream parlor, or even a diner.  Their food isn’t supposed to come with garnish.  Then I saw someone post the list of what is in a Shamrock Shake.  Not that I don’t ever consume those ingredients – I do loves me a McDonald’s Ice Cream Cone, and the ice cream is the main component of the shake – but it wasn’t worth the calories or chemicals for something I don’t really like.

Shamrock Shake Green Smoothie in sunlightBut it is St. Patrick’s Day, and for some reason, I still thought a Shamrock Shake for breakfast was the way to celebrate, since the rest of my plans for the day are decidedly NOT Irish.  I’ve seem a lot of versions posted on various blogs this week, but most involved ice cream.  So I decided to make one that was breakfast-worthy (but definitely still yummy enough for dessert).  And it does not involve any green food coloring.  Or added sugar. I think I will be making one for The Bug for snack.  Throw a banana in your freezer in chunks, and it’ll be ready to make this for an after dinner treat.

I am not a huge mint person.  I regularly think to myself that I wish they made peanut butter-flavored toothpaste.  So this is admittedly a little light on the mint.  If you like things really minty, go ahead and add more mint extract.  And no, you can’t taste the kale, and if you blend it up, you don’t even know it is there, other than the lovely green color it gives the smoothie.

What are you doing for St. Patrick’s Day?  Eating or drinking anything green?  Or Irish?

Shamrock Shake Green Smoothie from top

Shamrock Green Smoothie (serves 1)

Ingredients

Shamrock Shake Green Smoothie1 frozen, really ripe banana

1 c milk (I used Almond Breeze Almond Coconut Milk, but you can use any milk you choose)

1/2 c kale (or other dark, leafy green of your choice)

1/2 t vanilla extract

1/4 t mint extract

ice cubes – I used 4 regular-sized ones.  This was probably aboutn3/4 c.  Adjust accordingly based on the size of your ice cubes and how icy you want it.

Directions

1.  Put all ingredients into a blender (I used my trusty Magic Bullet), and blends until smooth.

2.  Pour into a glass to serve, and garnish with a strawberry, if you want to be all fancy.

Enjoy!

shamrock green smoothie from iphone

Shared with:

I Heart Nap Time
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Chocolate Almond Banana Oatmeal and “Gateway Foods”

So I had planned a completely different post to go up today – a nice, healthy snack/breakfast for you or your kids, no measuring involved.  Well, that will go up tomorrow.  I just had to share what I had for breakfast today.  If you have been following the March Foodie Photo a Day on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter, started by The Purple Carrot, then you may have already seen a preview.  But here it is in all of it’s chocolaty, nutty goodness.

Chocolate Banana Almond Oatmeal, garnished

My new bloggie friend, Nescett, at Bananaoats eats oatmeal with bananas cooked into it pretty much everyday (hence, the name of her blog).  Before even finding her blog, I tried this, just with bananas in plain oatmeal.  I was not a fan.  Typically I like my oatmeal plain, cooked with a little milk, a pinch of salt, and some sort of sweetener – used to be Splenda, but I am trying to get away from artificial sweeteners, so now it is usually agave nectar.  But I also do like occasionally treating myself to a nice chocolaty breakfast by stirring in some cocoa powder.  But then yesterday I saw this Nutella Banana Oatmeal.  Sumptuous Spoonfuls has been inspiring a few of my meals lately, and when I saw this, I knew I had to try it.

The problem.  No, it wasn’t that I don’t have Nutella.  It’s that Nutella is like a gateway drug for my.  I open the jar to take out a tablespoon, and somehow the jar would magically be empty, and I would be curled in the corner with chocolate all of my fingers, denying any involvement.  And then I would be moving on to the bag of Ghirardelli chocolate chips in the pantry. So I thought I would go with a version that utilizes jars that are already open, and won’t lead me down a  path of consumption followed by self-loathing.  Plus, she uses quick oats, and I typically only have regular Quaker Old-Fashioned Oats in the cabinet.  And I am obsessed lately with Blue Diamond Almond Breezes Unsweetened Almond Coconut Milk.  But, you could definitely use plain almond milk, or regular milk (maybe with a little almond extract added).  And I am sure it would be equally as good with any other nut butter of your choosing.

Chocolate Banana Almond Oatmeal on wood

You really should try this.  It’s like dessert…  at breakfast…  but with no guilt in the form of added sugars or artificial sweeteners.  Or an empty jar of Nutella.

Shared with:

Real Food Wednesday at Kelly the Kitchen Kop

Pennywise Platter Thursday 3/14 at The Nourishing Gourmet


Chocolate Almond Banana Oatmeal (serves 1)

Adapted from Sumptuous Spoonful’s Quick & Easy Banana Nutella Oatmeal

Ingredients

Chocolate Banana Almond Oatmeal on OrangeHalf of an over-ripe banana, mashed up a bit

1/3 c old-fashioned oats (I use good ol’ Quaker Old-Fashioned Oats)

2/3 c milk (I used Blue Diamond Almond Breezes Unsweetened Almond Coconut Milk, but you could use any almond milk, or even regular milk, but the you may want to add a little almond extract)

1/2 t vanilla

1 T almond butter (or other nut butter of your choice)

1 T cocoa powder (or cacao, if that’s how you roll)

Pinch of salt

Slices of bananas and/or almonds, if desired

Directions

1.  Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl.

2.  Microwave on High for 2 minutes.

3.  Stir.

4.  Microwave for another 2 minutes, or to desired doneness.  If you like it really soft, you may want to add a little water and cook longer.

5.  Top with banana and almond slices, if using.

Enjoy!

Chcocolate Banana Almond Oatmeal on pink cloth