Shaking up the Shamrock Shake

I’m a sucker for food trends. I stalk countless Instagram accounts for inspiration for tomorrow’s morning oatmeal toppings. I spend hours in Wegmans, searching the Nature’s Marketplace aisles for the latest “superfood,” or walked confusedly through the international asile, wondering whether I can make the ramen as delicious as cult-favorite Momofuku. My roommates are consistently asking, “what’s that?” when they see me unloading my grocery haul.

While I’m more apt to try health food trends, I can get behind a Cronut burger any day. But one thing I can’t get behind, is a food trend made up of things I don’t understand. For example, the unnaturally green Shamrock Shake that recently made its debut back in the McDonald’s across America. The company announced its return on February 17, with a tweet:

Since its official introduction in 1970, McDonald’s has sold more than 60 million shakes. People celebrate the Shamrock Shake’s return like the favorite Starbucks beverage, the Pumpkin Spice Latter (or #PSL) in fall.

I’ve never been a fan of this St. Patrick’s Day-inspired treat—it’s just too green. What could possibly be in this shake of a “mystery” flavor and Hulk-like color? The answer: 54 puzzling ingredients (and, for a 22-oz shake, 820 calories, 23 grams of fat and 115 grams of sugar).

Don’t get me wrong—I love a big burger and crispy fries as much as the next girl. But my rule of thumb is that if I have to hesitate trying to pronounce something in the ingredient list, I probably shouldn’t be eating it. Between the sodium benzoate, carrageenan, and mono- and di-glycerides, I spent a little too much time reading the Shamrock Shake anatomy.

If this is one of your indulgences—like half a cake on your birthday, or too many chicken wings on Superbowl Sunday—who am I to stop you from Shamrock Shak-ing it up? But if you feel like skipping that ingredient list to try a homemade version of minty McDonald’s goodness, give one of these recipes a try.

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