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It's that time of year again and that famous fast food restaurant
has emerged with their seasonal green-colored mint shake. I'll be
honest, I remember these fondly from when I was a teenager enjoying
the frosty treat with my friends after school. Once I became a
parent, my girls always clammered for one as we would pass by on our
travels and inevitably end up getting one as St. Patrick's day
approached. Once I became more health conscious, I opted to start
making them at home and of course, making them a much healthier
version from the original. The green part was easy and a bonus for me
- a tricky way to sneak more veggies into their diet without anyone
knowing. Spinach is such a great vehicle for adding a nutritional
punch without a detectable (to any kids) flavor. Spinach is a
powerhouse as it packs iron, magnesium, vitamin C, potassium... I
could go on and on but I won't.
When I set out to create this recipe, I tested out 4 different versions. I had everyone taste test them and vote. I added avocado, spinach, protein powder, frozen bananas, room temperature bananas, etc. This was the winning recipe for both texture and flavor overall. I hope you love it as much as we do.
1 cup of nut-based milk (I opted for a cashew milk)
1 handful of baby spinach (washed)
2 frozen banana (cut into chunks)
12 peppermint leaves
1 tablespoon of your favorite protein powder (I used vanilla Vega Clean Protein)
1 teaspoon of cacao powder
1 teaspoon of maple syrup
1/3 cup of crushed ice
1/2 teaspoon of peppermint extract
Optional: vegan chocolate chips, raw cacao nibs, coconut whipped cream, sprinkles
Into your high power blender add the following ingredients in this order: milk, spinach, peppermint leaves, banana, protein powder, cacao powder, maple syrup, extract and then finally the ice. Having the milk on the bottom allows the mixture to blend quickly and the ice on the top will help to push the ingredients down into the blade. Blend until creamy smooth or on your smoothie setting if your blender has one. Pour into your glasses and top with whatever optional toppings you desire. For my girls I'll add coconut whip cream and fun green sprinkles. For the adults, I top with a pinch of raw cacao nibs.
Fresh peppermint leaves can be found at most grocery stores in the herb section for about $2.00. If you can't locate them, the extract does add a sufficient punch of mint on its own.
Serve the smoothie in fun glasses and/or with green & white striped straws for younger kids.