Spring is near. It’s time for the refreshing taste of mint and creamy soft-serve ice cream. This classic seasonal milkshake is almost irresistible. Well, almost.
Before you give into fast-food treat temptations, consider the nutrition and ingredients. Even a small shake contains enough calories to satisfy as a meal for many people, plus half the daily recommendation for saturated fat, said Marshfield Clinic Registered Dietitian Kristene Schulte.
But I need that shake
Take a step back. You don’t need the shake. But, if you simply can’t resist, Schulte suggests:
- Don’t order the classic shake every day or make it part of your go-to order. The calories will pack on, and the saturated fat and trans fat will add up.
- Instead, pick one day in March, like St. Patrick’s Day, to celebrate the coming of spring and indulge. “One food item for one day isn’t going to have a dramatic effect on your body,” Schulte said. “Moderation is key.”
- Choose a small size versus large. A small shake saves you almost 300 calories and 5 grams of saturated fat, 25 percent of the recommended daily value.
- Even better, shake-share. Grab a small size shake and split it with a friend. It’s half the calories and still a treat.
Schulte suggests looking for fewer calories and less “bad” fat with an alternative recipe.
“Fast food shakes are packed with trans fat and saturated fat,” she said. “These are the worst fats for your heart.”
Skinny Shamrock Shake
Shake it up at home with this recipe.
Compared to fast food treats, this shake recipe saves you 200 calories, provides much more fiber, much less saturated fat and no trans fat.
You also could make this shake a breakfast treat if you add some protein powder (about 10 grams worth) or have one or two hard-boiled eggs on the side Schulte said.
“Both shakes are relatively high in carbohydrates,” she said. “But the Skinny Shamrock Shake provides healthy carbohydrates from bananas and fat-free milk whereas carbohydrates in the fast-food shake are from ice cream and syrup, which make the shake not so good for you.”
Prep time: 5 minutes
- 3-1/2 large frozen bananas, peeled
- 3/4 cup fat free milk*
- 3/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
- 3 to 5 small spinach leaves (for color)**
- 2 tablespoons fat-free whipped cream*
- 1 tablespoon mini chocolate chips
*For a vegan shake, replace fat free milk with almond milk, coconut milk or soy milk. Then replace fat-free whipped cream with dairy free whipped cream, like CocoWhip or SoyWhip.
**You can replace spinach leaves with a few drops of green food coloring, if desired.
In a large blender, combine frozen bananas with milk and extract. Blend for about 5 minutes, scraping down the sides, until smooth. Add spinach leaves and blend until desired color. Pour into two glasses. Top with whipped cream and chocolate chips.
Each serving contains approximately 326 calories; 8 g protein; 5 g fat; 72 g carbohydrates; 8 g fiber.