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ShamSub: Making a healthy version of the Shamrock Shake

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Maya Henderson

Your source for all things yoga and wellness in Chicago.

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*Update! You can watch us make the ShamWow Shake and see Kyra's reaction on her blog!*
I'm the first to admit that I'm a little out of touch with what most people eat. I'm vegan and I eat a high-raw diet and while many of my friends aren't as much of a food nerd as I am, almost all of them are health-conscious and wouldn't be caught dead in a fast food restaurant, so I was shocked to see the RedEye's Kyra Kyle's post on the McDonald's Shamrock Shake- and I was even more surprised by how many people actually enthusiastically commented on her blog about it. Kyra admitted to me that this is a once-a-year treat, and I get it; we all deserve to indulge a little bit. But I know Kyra's a hardworking, busy young woman and I feel that when you demand the best from your job and life, you should fuel your body accordingly. It is a temple, right?
So, I was very happy when she was up for my challenge- that I could make a raw and/or vegan Shamrock Shake that was just as good, if not better than McDonald's processed fake crap. First, I consulted a few of my favorite raw food blogs and found a few recipes that sounded good, but I knew if I wanted something that would knock her socks off and totally get her to think twice come next Shamrock season, I had to consult my girl Heather Crosby.
Heather is an amazing photographer (she shot all the photos for the shake) and a food genius. She truly inspires me in the kitchen and is a constant reminder that healthy, clean (gluten-free, vegan and raw) food can be as decadent and delicious as any heavy meat dish you'd find at a fancy restaurant. She's working hard on her new website, YumUniverse, which is all about making raw and vegan food fun and easy for all, but took the time to help me make the raw Shamrock Shake a reality. Be sure to sign up for her newsletter because YumUniverse is going to be amazing! In the meantime, here's the recipe for the ShamWOW Shake followed by some of the health benefits of the ingredients we used. If you don't have a high-powered blender or are looking for a little low-maintenance vegan ShamWow Shake, I've also included a recipe that uses dairy-free coconut milk ice cream you can find at Whole Foods or select Jewel locations.
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ShamWOW Organic Mint Ice Cream Recipe: Ingredients (almost all ingredients available at Whole Foods, Karyn's Raw or The Raw Food World): 4 cups of fresh raw Almond Milk, or organic store-bought almond milk 1 cup of raw agave nectar 2 Tbsp raw honey 1 tsp organic vanilla extract 4 tbsp cold-pressed coconut oil 1/2 tsp Himalayan salt or Celtic sea salt (do NOT use regular salt) 4 cups young coconut meat (how to open a coconut) 2/3 cup tightly packed fresh, organic mint leaves 2T of liquid Chlorophyll (optional, for color and extra nutrition) 1 tsp spirulina crystal flakes 2T of organic peppermint extract Tools: High-powered blender Ice Cream Maker (optional) Steps: Place all ingredients in the blender and mix until smooth. If you have an ice cream maker, transfer mix to a pitcher or bowl and chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour. Then, once chilled process in ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions. If you don't have an ice cream maker, go ahead and pour your mix into a glass container with a lid. Freeze at least 3 hours before making shake.
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ShamWOW Shake Recipe: Ingredients: I handful coconut water ice cubes 1 cup of fresh, homemade or store bought organic coconut milk 1 cup of ShamWOW homemade Organic Mint Ice Cream Tools: High-powered blender Steps: Blend and enjoy! Simple ShamWow (not raw, but vegan, soy-free and gluten-free): Replace Raw Ice Cream Ingredients from Almond Milk to Coconut Meat with Coconut Milk Ice Cream (try Purely Decadent Vanilla Bean or Larry & Luna's Vanilla Island) Add mint, spirulina, chlorophyll and peppermint extract ingredients from above and follow ShamWow Shake recipe. Enjoy! Health benefits of ingredients used:
Almonds- Yum! Almonds, my absolute favorite nut, are full of good-for-you monounsaturated fat, protein, vitamin E, calcium, magnesium and fiber. 

Agave Nectar (raw)- Agave has gotten a lot of heat lately and is currently under fire for not being as healthy as some claim it is. The key here is to try and find truly raw agave and use it minimally. Agave is a low-glycemic sweetener that's often used as an alternative to honey. 
Chlorophyll- Chlorophyll is the vital life source of all plants. It's found in the world's healthiest veggies and dark leafy greens and is considered a highly effective blood cleanser and detoxifier. 
Raw Honey- Processing honey kills many of the nutrients, but raw honey is anti-fungal, anti-viral and anti-bacterial and has many other health benefits.
Coconut Oil- Coconut oil is amazing! I slather it all over my body and also eat a little every day. It's anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-microbial and is the healthiest oil to cook with (at low temps). This link takes you to my favorite coconut oil ever, which I discovered via Lisa Persico
Coconut meat- Young coconuts (pictured above) play a huge part in a healthy raw food diet. Coconut water, currently all the rage in healthy eating thanks to it's hydrating electrolytes and potassium content (it puts Gatorade to shame), comes from the young coconut. The meat, is also great for making creamy raw dishes like smoothies and ice cream. Himalayan Sea Salt- The body needs salt, but just like fat, we need good, healthy salts, not salt from processed foods or salt that has been over processed (like most table salts). Sodium is found between the walls of cells and high quality salt (in moderation) hydrates you at a deep, cellular level. It took me awhile to understand this because I'm not a salt person and always thought it was bad, but it truly makes a difference. 
Peppermint- A nice, natural way to freshen breath, peppermint also helps sooth upset stomachs, help with breathing problems and is high in vitamin A and vitamin C.
Spirulina- Okay, not gonna lie, spirulina isn't the tastiest thing in the world, but it's truly a superfood! This blue-green algae that grows in fresh water lakes, is a complete protein (65% protein, where most raw meat is only 27%), meaning it's a great bio-available source of protein that's perfect for the human body. It's also a good source of potassium, iron, magnesium, a ton of B vitamins, vitamin D, Vitamin E and much more.

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5 Comments

ConnieMac said:

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This sounds delicious! I am going to make it with Purely Decadent vanilla bean coconut milk ice cream—my favorite ice cream!

Maya Henderson said:

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Thanks, Connie! Let me know how it turns out.

Patricia Biesen said:

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Ohh that looks good! I like how you broke down the ingredients. We are totally on the same wavelength I just did a "Shamrock Shake" post too. Although yours is more raw than mine. http://www.chicagonow.com/blogs/chicago-eats-allergy-free/2010/03/st-pats-done-healthy.html

cyanyde said:

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I tried this, i didnt have Chlorophyll or spirulina crystal flakes OR YOUNG coconut meat - just "old" but it still came out pretty good. If i were to make it again i would use more mint and less coconut. Im bigger on the 'mintyness' then the coconut, thanks for the awesome vegan recipe! :D

Maya Henderson said:

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Awesome! Glad you enjoyed it! I know it does have a few ingredients most people don't just have lying around, so the fact that you didn't use a few and it STILL came out good is pretty bad ass! If you do happen to come across a young coconut, I would HIGHLY recommend giving the original recipe a try. It takes on a completely different flavor profile and I don't think you'll be disappointed! Thanks again!

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