Hi, I'm Kim

Hi, I’m Kim Christensen, M.Om., Dipl.OM, L.Ac. I’m a licensed acupuncturist, herbalist, and owner of Constellation Acupuncture & Healing Arts in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Back before going to school and becoming a healthcare practitioner, Affairs of Living was my creative outlet while healing from chronic health issues. There's big changes coming to the site - it will soon be the home of my new health coaching practice! Stay tuned. 

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Unless otherwise noted, all recipes on this blog are free of gluten, peanuts, soy, corn, tomatoes, potatoes, shellfish, cane sugar, oranges, and yeast. Most recipes are also free of egg, dairy, and tree nuts (if used, reliable substitutions will be provided for these when possible). Check out my recipe index for a full list of recipes by category. 

« I think I figured it out. | Main | Cinnamon Raisin Rice-Free Muffins (gluten-free, rice-free, vegan, ACD option) »

Take that, McDonald's: Dairy-Free Avocado Shamrock Shake (gluten free, vegan, ACD)


I went to McDonald's.

It's not what you think.

Every day on the bus, I pass a McDonald's.  Sometimes I end up waiting at the bus stop in front of the McDonalds.  The smell makes me queasy.  I really dislike McDonalds.  I think it is disgusting, and have thought so for a long long long time.  I turned on McDonalds after going veg at 14, and I think I've probably eaten at McDonald's less than 5 times since then.  My last meal there was an egg McMuffin my junior year of college, a very reluctant event that occurred out of absolute necessity in the desolate dietary wasteland of Moorehead, MN on a college trip with a music group.  I am not an advocate of McDonald's.

Anyway, earlier this week, I noticed that McDonald's had changed the sign under the golden arches to read "Shamrock Shakes $2.99".  Despite my disgust for the general establishment, I could taste the minty goodness in my mouth.  I used to be quite the sucker for seasonal ice creams - pumpkin shakes in the fall, shamrock shakes for St. Patrick's day. I have always loved mint ice cream, and Shamrock Shakes, as a child, were a nice treat. Never mind the inevitable stomachache - I loved those things.  In that very moment, I desperately wanted a Shamrock Shake. The golden arches were tempting me. I started obsessing over how I could make a dairy-free, sugar-free replica.  It took over my brain.  I had an idea, something that involved avocado, mint leaves, and ice.  Yes. This would work.  

When the bus stopped across from McDonald's yesterday, and I saw the sign again, I was overcome.  I got up, I got off the bus, I crossed the street, and I walked in to the McDonalds.  Yes, you heard me - I went in. My nostrils were filled the heavy smell of french fries.  I went to the counter.  I ordered.

"May I have a cup of ice please?" I asked the cheery McDonald's counterperson.

"Ice? No food?" she asked me, bewildered.  She looked at me like I was crazy.  Who orders a cup of ice in the middle of a Minnesota winter at a fast food restaurant?

"Yes, just ice please.  Am I even able to do that?" I asked, curiously.

"Uh, sure, ma'am, you can order ice."  

"Is there a charge?" I ask.

"No, no charge."  Then the nice lady got me a big cup of ice.  

I wanted ice now, in classic American fast food style, and McDonald's was the answer.  Ask, and you shall receive.  Fast food (er, fast ice?) is so weird.

Why ice?  I was hellbent on making my own shamrock shake, and I realized I didn't have ice in my freezer. I didn't want to wait all night for ice to freeze, and I didn't want to make a special trip to the gas station or grocery store to buy an entire bag of it.  

So, I got my paper cup of ice and walked home.  I felt kind of dirty about the exchange that had just occurred, especially as I carried the disposable McDonald's cup in my hand through my neighborhood.  When I got home, I set to work.  An avocado, some spinach, fresh mint, mint extract, stevia, SoDelicious coconut beverage, and the blessed ice from the McDonalds all went into my Vita-Mix.  BAM!  In mere seconds, I had a shamrock shake! It rocked!  Green minty thick frozen goodness.  Wow.  This thing was rich and sweet and amazing.  The beauty of eating sugar-free and dairy-free is that I basically ate dessert for dinner, and really, it was just avocado and spinach.  High in fat and calories, but I don't feel bad about that. I thought about drinking it out of the McDonald's cup for a quirky twist, but resisted. 

This shake is really good.  Really.  It totally satisfied my Shamrock Shake craving, no stomachache included.   Yes, this shake has it all.  Dairy-free.  Sugar-free.  Gluten-free.  Minty shamrock-y goodness.  I feel more Irish as I write this. Hooray for avocados and my beloved Vita-mix!  

Hey, that just reminded me! Speaking of the wonders of my Vita-Mix...

I just became a Vita-Mix associate!  What does that mean for you? I can get you FREE shipping on an online order of a Vita-Mix!  To get free shipping place an order through this link, or use my associate code (06-004943) at the time of checkout, and shipping costs will be deducted from your order.  That's a savings of $25 ($35 Canada).  Awesome!  It's like a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow.  

Creamy, rich, minty...who needs McDonald's when you have THIS?!?!?

Sugar-Free Dairy-Free Avocado Shamrock Shake 

The mint and the stevia totally cover the spinach - you don't even notice it!  A great way to get those extra vitamins and vegetables in, especially if you have picky eaters at home.   Try putting it in popsicle molds for kid friendly minty, creamy popsicles!  This is a great source of vitamins A, B-6, C, and E, folate, manganese, iron, and copper.  I polished off this entire batch myself in one sitting, but it could very easily serve two! 

yield: approx 2 1/2 cups, serves 1-2

active time: 5 minutes

total time: 5 minutes

1 avocado

1 cup packed spinach

1 cup non-dairy milk

2 Tbsp fresh mint leaves

1 1/2 cups ice

1/2-3/4 tsp peppermint extract/flavoring, to taste (I like Simply Organic brand - alcohol free!)

20-25 drops stevia liquid, to taste (if not on ACD, try sweetening to taste with dates, agave, honey, or brown rice syrup instead)

Place all ingredients in blender, pulse a few times, and blend on high until smooth, scraping sides as necessary.  Adjust mint and sweetness as desired.  Serve, garnished with a fresh mint leaf.


Calories: 521.7, Fat: 50.9 g (Saturated Fat: 25.1 g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 3.5 g, Monounsaturated Fat: 18.0 g), Cholesterol: 0 g, Sodium: 53.2 mg, Potassium: 1,311.3 mg, Carbohydrates: 19.7 g, Fiber: 13.2 g, Sugars: .6 g, Protein: 6.7 g

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Reader Comments (25)

I'm totally making this because I have avocados sitting on my counter just waiting to be blended! I also need to convince my husband that $450 for a blender is worth it. Any words of encouragment? Thanks for the discount!

February 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterApril

April, tell Brian you can purchase factory reconditioned refurbished ones for $379 - look under the Special Deals section along the left hand side of the Vita-Mix website! I bought a refurbished one. Great deal, still get the warrantee. Words of encouragement are endless! Silky smooth sauces, homemade nut butter, heating homemade soup IN THE BLENDER, the best smoothies ever, grinding your own flour...you can even knead bread dough. There is NOTHING this thing can't do. They have payment plans available. BUY ONE! :) xoxo Kim

February 25, 2010 | Registered CommenterKim

When I saw this I totally said "Whoa!" out loud to my gf and inside my head said "No she didn't!" But you did. This looks SO AMAZING. I don't even like mint all that much as a beverage/dessert flavor, and this totally sounds like something I have to make with the avocado in my fridge! You are amazing, Kim!

February 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterA-K

Oh this is amazing , what a coincidence ! I was just thinking about these the other day but thought it was not worth me getting sick over . So I can not even begin to tell you how much I appreciate all the hard work that you do to make all these great food items that we could have that will not make us sick. You're an angel . God bless you and it rocks that you are a rep for vitamix as soon as I can afford it I am going to get a refurbished one . Have a great weekend and thanks again for sharin' a wee bit O' the green with us. BYE :)

February 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKathy

The Vita Mix is wonderful!! We've had ours for eleven years already. Infact, I was told that the vita mix people were on Martha yesterday and gave EVERYONE in the audience a VITA MIX!!!!! You will never need another blender in your whole life!! So good luck with the convincing April. #;o)

February 27, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterShar

Hi Kim, you make this avocado shake sound really delicious! For some reason I've been doubtful about using avocado in a shake, but I think I might just give it a try soon.
And the Vita Mix ... it would be so perfect for us. I just need to throw some other stuff out of our small kitchen first.

February 27, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDavid

AHHHHH I want one now!!! I don't have anything except the stevia in the house!!!

February 27, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

Ha! Hahaha! This whole post made me giggle. This looks freakin' amazing! I've been dying to try Ricki's avocado-based key lime pie (raw!) over at Diet, Dessert, Dogs, and this looks similar, but yet totally different.

You're so creative!

February 28, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLeah

I'm drinking this right now, and it is absolutely wonderful. I'll have to make this whenever I'm craving ice cream...I think it makes an awesome substitute. Tasty, and with no weak-long bout of fatigue and brain fog! Thank you for helping us all out!

March 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKris

I'm drinking this right now and it is delish. This is the first green smoothie I have been able to get down since going on the ACD. You are a genius.

March 4, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterPatricia Biesen

I'm drinking this right now and it's amazing! I'm on the Whole Life Nutrition elimination diet and i'm bookmarking the blackbean fudge for when i can add chocolate back in! YUM! Thanks for this great site!!

March 6, 2010 | Unregistered Commentersarah

Wow, thanks everyone for all your awesome comments! I'm so glad you all enjoy it! :)

Sarah - you can make the black bean fudge with all carob powder instead of cacoa, and then it should be elimination diet friendly! it is just as tasty with carob, i often eliminate the cocoa all together :)

March 6, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterkchristensen

I am so inspired by this recipe alone and your "About" personal story. Thank you for sharing!!

One change I made to this recipe was to use Young Living Therapeutic-Grade peppermint oil in place of the mint extract/ leaves-- packs a little extra nutritional boost from the organic essential oil. . .yum! Thanks again!

March 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAngie

Hi Angie- Thanks for sharing your change to the recipe using therapeutic grade oil - I just was reading about using essential oils in foods and would like to try this myself, so your suggestion is so timely! Thanks for your kind words as well. Hope ot see you around the blog often! Best - Kim

March 7, 2010 | Registered CommenterKim

I’m trying out green smoothies because, unlike green juices, they retain the fiber and are easier to clean up. There is a free 3-day course on green smoothies available at http://www.greensmoothiequeen.com/gogreen/0310ripplemaker

March 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJKVMI

Avocado sounds weird in a smoothie - but it's awesome. I've actually made a chocolate pudding using avocado and you'd never know it's not dairy! From Ani Phylo;s Raw Food Kitchen: 2 avocados, 2 bananas, 1/4 C cacao powder. Blend and serve or refigerate if you want it cold. Yum!

And VitaMix, well worth it! Sometimes you will find the VitaMix people at Sam's Club selling them for $299 or slightly less. I bought mine for $325 at our local fair here last summer. I use it every single day - smoothies, sauces, pureed soups, homemade hummus (with home cooked garbanzos or other beans), the recipes are endless. I'm gluten free and vegan, so I don't use the recipes that come with the blender much, but find them on wonderful websites like this!

Oh, you can take a whole pineapple (ripened) blend it in the VitaMix then freeze it slightly and you have a lovely healthy sorbet in 1/2 hr! Or just serve it as is pureed over soy or whatever alternative ice cream you use. My husband loves that.

April 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSuryaSmiles

Yep, I think I love you!! ;-) I loathe McDonald's and I'd probably maim someone for a raw shamrock shake. LOL! (just kidding...but it does sound AMAZING!)

July 28, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJulie Lynn

This was another good one. It had the consistancy of ice cream. My mom liked it but my daughter and I weren't big fans but I think that is just because neither one of us really love mint that much. But it was good and worth sharing.

September 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterChrista


oh wait, it's just a cup of fucking ice. never mind.

October 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterIsa

Surya, Julie, and Christa: Thanks for the great comments! I love those smoothie suggestions, Surya, great idea with the pineapple. Julie, you made me laugh out loud. Christa, I'm glad your mom enjoyed it; if you aren't a fan of mint, you could omit the mint and add cocoa or carob to make it chocolaty instead. :)

Isa: Well, I don't believe I ever proclaimed I was a badass. As you said, it is just a cup of ice, after all. They practically give those things away...oh wait, they did.

October 5, 2010 | Registered CommenterKim

Hi Kim,

Thanks again for another lovely smoothie idea, I love the lemongrass and coconut one, its making a lovely grain free breaskfast. As there is avacado in this do you need to drink it immediately or does it last till the next day?

January 23, 2011 | Unregistered Commentershiny whiny

@SHINY WHINY - You can easily keep this in the fridge for a day. Make ahead, hooray!

January 29, 2011 | Registered CommenterKim

Looks great! We'd like to invite you to submit this!

March 1, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterFree Coconut Recipes

Thank you for this recipe. I hope you don't mind me sharing it with a few people... of course I will give you FULL credit! Thanks!

March 29, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDacia

Great recipe! The benefits of avocado are often overshadowed by its high calories content but I believe it's a mistake: http://www.theironyou.com/2011/07/one-avocado-day-keeps-doctor-away.html

Keep up the great work!

Mike @TheIronYou

August 31, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMike
Sorry, no comments/questions allowed right now.
Hi reader! My schedule as full-time grad student with two part-time jobs doesn't allow me the time to manage comments. I hope you enjoy what you find and can figure out answers to any questions you may have. xo