Update, 8/20/2010: Hey! You! Vegan Shamrock Shake drinker! Don't use this recipe--use this one!
Back in my high school/college days, I had a minor obsession with McDonald's Shamrock shakes. Then I went vegan, and I admit it, I missed those damn shakes. They were only available a short time each year, and then (a pox on my evolving ethics) I couldn't have them at all. It was a small sacrifice, in retrospect, and I soon learned to get my milkshake fixes in other, tastier, vegan ways--namely KB's Frozen Custard, the enlightened little ice cream shop that thought outside the cow. I've never had better non-dairy frozen treats. God, I miss living in Virginia.
Now that we live in the Dunkin' Donuts-studded wasteland that is Massachusetts, I have to take matters into my own hands. I searched the crannies of the Web for "vegan Shamrock shake," but found nothing. Seriously, vegans, has no one else thought of this before? Well, not to worry, minty salvation is here. I consulted this recipe for proportions, and let my culinary craftiness do the rest. So here's my vegan spin on my old staple o' March, as close as the nearest blender:
Vegan Shamrock Shakes
5 large scoops vanilla non-dairy frozen dessert (I recommend So Delicious brand Creamy Vanilla)
1 3/4 cups plain or vanilla soy milk
1/2 tsp. mint or peppermint extract (I prefer peppermint)
Combine all ingredients in the blender and blend to desired consistency. For thicker shakes, go heavy on the ice cream. For something you can drink through a normal-sized straw, ease up on the ice cream and use 2 cups of soy milk. If the ice cream clogs up your blender, add milk until it blends freely. If you want it to be the pale green color of McDonald's shakes, add a few drops of green food coloring (I just put mine in green glasses and my husband is none the wiser). Makes 20 ounces (2.5 cups).
Since I haven't had a Mickey D's Shamrock shake in several years, I wasn't sure how close my recipe came to the real thing. So, when my mom had one last weekend, I took one for the team and had a slurp (sorry, cows). To be honest, it was not nearly as good as I had remembered, and actually rather disgusting. It had this ambiguous flavor; minty, yes, but with something else mixed in, as if they'd swirled some chocolate and strawberry shake in there, too. Plus, there was more air in it than shake. Bleh. There are some dairy cheats that I can't resist very well (e.g., Cheesecake Factory cheesecake), but McDonald's shakes are now officially off that list.