A Healthy Shamrock Shake for St. Patrick's Day

shamrock shakeSince I was a kid, Shamrock Shakes have been all the rage at a certain fast food restaurant every March, but there are far healthier ways to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. If your kids are into sippable green things, there are plenty of ways to accommodate their cravings without copious amounts of ice cream and green food coloring. Kiwi and honeydew melon are naturally sweet and green, and make a fantastic smoothie – a Shamrock Smoothie – in your very own kitchen. Add a few sprigs of fresh mint, too, or if you really want to be hard-core, here’s your opportunity to sneak in a handful of fresh parsley or spinach – you may be surprised at how little it affects the flavor, and how easy it is to get away with. Sippable salad!

I’ve always considered smoothies to be things you don’t really need a recipe to make. Our day to day smoothies consist of a banana, heaping spoonfuls of plain yogurt, splash of orange juice or milk, frozen mixed berries and whatever fruit happens to be going squishy in the fruit bowl. If I have fresh parsley, I’ll add a big handful – parsley is very high in iron, and as a leafy green, is incredibly good for you with hardly any calories. I’m betting if your smoothie is green to begin with, adding greens may be even easier to get away with.

Shamrock Smoothie

1 banana, peeled and broken into chunks (optional)
1-2 cups honeydew melon chunks
1-2 peeled kiwi fruit
1 cup plain or vanilla yogurt
1/2 cup yellow lemonade, milk or soy milk
1 Tbsp. honey (or to taste)

Put all ingredients in a blender and pulse until smooth, adding more juice, yogurt or fruit as necessary to achieve a sippable consistency. Serve immediately. Serves 2.

Photo credit: istockphoto.com/og-vision

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