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Keepin’ it real (food)

A Shamrockin' protein shake for St. Patrick's Day

Gail shamrockin protein shake labeled
I didn't have any real shamrocks for garnish, so a baby spinach leaf will do.

Since Monday is St. Patrick’s Day, I thought it would be fun to come up with a healthy alternative to the Shamrock Shake, which isn’t exactly a nutritional powerhouse. My version is packed with protein, fiber, antioxidants and superfoods, so feel free to shamrock it for breakfast.

 If you’ve never put greens in a smoothie, baby spinach is a great one for newbies – it’s very mild in flavor and not very fibrous, but there’s enough plant fiber to actually thicken the smoothie. Also, it goes great with mint.

(But be careful with the peppermint extract. Too much will take it from minty to mouthwashy.)

And don’t fear the wheatgrass powder – it adds a little extra sweetness and a whole lot of nutrients. (Pines sent me a jar of its powdered wheatgrass, and it's a great addition to smoothies and juices.)

Shamrockin’ Protein Shake

Shamrockin shake ingredients(Makes 1 serving at around 260 calories, depending on the milk and the protein powder)

1 cup milk of your choice (I used Silk coconut milk)

1 serving vanilla protein powder (I used Biochem vanilla whey)

Dash of peppermint extract

1 teaspoon Pines wheatgrass powder

Handful of baby spinach

½ frozen banana

Crushed ice

Put everything into a single-serve smoothie cup (I use the Ninja Ultima to thoroughly blend smoothie ingredients), and process.