St Patricks Day Smoothie
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 St Patricks Day SmoothieI love a good holiday, especially one that mostly promotes the values I believe in. St Patrick’s day is all about GREEN and, of course, Green is life and Green is health. The Irish people use this day to have fun, celebrate  their heritage and show pride in their country and origin. They also display to the world what being Irish is all about. Since I have never been to such a celebration before, I did some reading up on it and I must say the Irish know how to have fun and party. The St Patrick’s day parades are held all over the world, with music and dancing, and the infamous Irish beer known as  Guinness. There is always lots and lots of laughter. What started out as a one day celebration has grown into a four, sometimes, five day celebration in some places.  Since I am not Irish but love fun, dancing ,music and all things green, I can be classified as Irish at heart. Based on this I guess I can also throw in my idea of a fun and healthy way to celebrate St Patricks day, and what is better than a green life-giving smoothie? The commonly known smoothie for St Patricks day is the Shamrock smoothie, { It is called a shamrock smoothie because the shamrock is the national flower of Ireland,  so Irish people can identify with the name worldwide}. The shamrock smoothie was, I am led to believe, invented by Mcdonald’s, however this version is made of ice cream; food colouring; shamrock shake syrup and artificial mint and vanilla flavourings. According to an article from The Mail online  “The artificial vanilla flavour includes lignin, a by-product of wood pulp extraction, which is known to trigger migraine headaches. Hidden in the whipped cream is carrageenan, a thickening ingredient. Degraded forms of that chemical, non food grade, are listed as possible carcinogens in humans by the International Agency for Research on Cancer. Food-grade versions have been linked to colon inflammation, a risk for colon cancer. Then there is the combination of Yellow 5 or Red 40 and Sodium Benzoate, which is linked to hyperactivity in children.”   As you can see, a combination of these not only has questionable nutrition but is downright poisonous for the human system and there is nothing Irish about that. So I would love you to try this  healthier Shamrock alternative, a smoothie you can make in the comfort of your own home with a good super blender such as the Salute that will give a velvety and creamy texture.

St Patricks Day Smoothie

St Patricks day Green Smoothie

Add the following ingredients

1/4 avocado

2 cups baby spinach or 3 large leaves shredded into smaller bits

10 pitted dates

3 loose Peppermint leaves or half a teaspoon pure peppermint extract

1/2 a cup ice

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)

Honey ( optional for garnishing)

Cacao nibs (optional for garnishing)

1 cup milk alternative ( preferably almond milk )

Writing about milk alternatives reminds me that most people have no idea how to make fresh milk alternatives.  They are really very simple and taste better than the store-bought versions. All you need to do is soak the nuts of your choice ( in this case almonds) overnight and drain and rinse them in the morning. Throw the soaked nuts  into a blender with 3 times the amount of water , (so if you soaked  1 cup of almonds, use 3 cups of water), and simply blend for  a minute or 2. Then use  a nutmilk bag to strain the pulp from the liquid. The liquid is your milk.

But I’m getting sidetracked…so back to the smoothie….

Blend all your ingredients in a blender until everything is liquid, smooth and creamy, it should take about a minute, maybe 2 until smooth, using a Superblender. Pour in a large wine glass and swirl some honey over and sprinkle some cacao nibs to finish it off. This entire process takes about 5 minutes and makes one generous portion! (excluding the soaking time) Drink  immediately to get the luck of the Irish (ok so that last part isn’t guaranteed but a nutritional boost from your real Shamrock Smoothie is 🙂 )…. oh and we wish you and yours a very happy Paddy’s day!

St Patricks Day SmoothieKeep in mind….

Vanilla and peppermint flavours can be very strong so adjust these according to your taste buds, in this case it is ok to use ‘the less is more principle’.

If you do not have avocado, you can substitute with a banana or 2,  for that creamy consistency.

Remember to wear green so you do not get pinched and absolutely enjoy the day! For more tips and information on how to be healthy, you can follow us on twitter, @healthmakers or like our Facebook page!

St Patricks Day Smoothie