Recipe: Minty Green Shake! (vegan)
I had fully intended to get this post up in time for St. Patrick's day, but winter storm Stella had other plans, and I was stuck in California for a few extra days. Today is parade day here in Buffalo, so I figure this is still timely!
If you love the green minty shakes you can find at certain fast food chains this time of year, you'll love this smoothie. In fact, I came up with the first iteration of this recipe a few years ago when my coworkers were enjoying their own minty shakes. I experimented with dairy-free ice cream, avocado, and green food coloring to make my own seasonal milkshake, without all the dairy. In the years since, I've tweaked the recipe, swapping the ice cream for frozen bananas, and adding protein powder and chia seeds. Now, this tasty treat totally passes as a healthy smoothie instead of just dessert.
Instead of food coloring, I use spirulina powder to get that lovely green color. Last week, I picked up some of this beautiful chlorella powder while I was on vacation in California. Both spirulina and chlorella are great ways to add some really powerful nutrients to any shake, along with a vibrant green hue. Here's a great article about the difference between the two. I'll continue to rotate between both in my daily smoothies. Either will work fine for this recipe.
Avocado may sound like an odd ingredient to add in a sweet smoothie, but it's the only way I've found to get an extra creamy consistency for a shake-style smoothie.
I always loved a mint-chocolate-chip milkshake, so I add cacao nibs instead of chocolate chips. If you're going to be drinking this through a narrow straw, the nibs can be problematic!
Vegan Mint Chocolate Chip Shake Recipe
- 1 ½ cups almond milk (or your favorite milk. I make my own using this recipe from tasty-yummies.)
- 1 ½ organic bananas, cut into chunks, frozen overnight
(I use frozen bananas in smoothies pretty much daily, so I cut and freeze them in large quantities to always have some on hand.)
- ½ teaspoon spirulina or chlorella powder
- ½ teaspoon chia seeds
- 2-4 drops organic peppermint extract
- ¼ of a ripe avocado, peeled, cut into chunks
- 1 scoop of your favorite vanilla protein powder. (My favorite is the Garden of Life Raw Organic Protein powder. It's vegan, soy-free, sugar-free, and raw; and I like the taste and texture.)
- 1 tablespoon of raw cacao nibs (optional)
- Add all ingredients except cacao nibs into a blender, and blend until smooth.
- (I use the Breville Hemisphere Control blender and absolutely LOVE it. I believe it does as good a job as the more expensive high-power blenders on the market.)
- Add the cacao nibs, pulse a few seconds until incorporated.