Healthy Shamrock Shake (AKA Mint Chocolate Chip Smoothie!)

 

This very creamy sweet treat is full of healthy fats, dark chocolate, and coconut goodness. Most of all, the mint flavor shines through in this refreshing drink! It’s a lovely light mint-green color, which is fun for Saint Patrick’s day, but I wouldn’t limit yourself to just one day a year to enjoy it! This recipe is also dairy-free, honey-sweetened and paleo friendly.

This very creamy sweet treat is full of healthy fats, dark chocolate, and coconut goodness. Most of all, the mint flavor shines through in this refreshing drink! It’s a lovely light mint-green color, which is fun for Saint Patrick’s day, but I wouldn’t limit yourself to just one day a year to enjoy it! This recipe is also dairy-free, honey-sweetened and paleo friendly.

I have a confession to make. I’ve never had a Shamrock Shake before. I’m not sure how I missed out on this creamy treat growing up, but there you have it. So I can’t say how it compares to, say, McDonald’s version of it. But I can say that this creamy treat is delicious! This version is obviously going with the mint theme, but originally the Shamrock Shake was a lemon-lime flavored drink, which would also be interesting.

The secret to this smoothie/shake is the avocado that adds both the light green color, plus makes is ultra-creamy. There are so many sweet recipes that use avocado (like this chocolate pudding recipe), but I wasn’t sure whether I’d like a recipe without a really strong flavor such as chocolate to help mask it – despite everyone claiming that you couldn’t really taste it.

The verdict?

I’d say you taste the mint first, then the coconut, and then just a tiny hint of something else (the avocado) but not so strong that you really recognize it as such (at least I didn’t). Of course, the dark chocolate is optional but really, I think it makes the drink! We love the combo of mint and chocolate.

Out of us three girls, after a few sips, I loved mine. Aria, my 4-year-old, and our most picky eater, loved it. Elena, my eight-year-old, who used to be not picky at all (oh how the times change) didn’t like it as she said it was too thick and creamy. So Aria finished hers for her. That’s what sisters are for! The funny thing is that Aria hates avocadoes! This recipe won her over apparently. My husband also really liked his, and mentioned that it was almost like a custard as it was so creamy!

Notes on recipe:

  • You can make it even greener by one of these two options: Either substitute a handful of fresh mint for the peppermint extract (it would be delicious anyways!) or add a handful of spinach. I haven’t tried either, but a lot of other recipes are telling me that it works just fine.
  • We used a medium size avocado for this recipe.
  • This is the organic peppermint extract we used.
  • I am also thinking that this recipe would make a really delicious popsicle! I’m buying these cool silicone popsicle molds for this summer while they are such a great price.
  • It would also be delicious topped with coconut whipped cream. Plus, it would be so pretty.
  • Serves 1

Healthy Shamrock Shake (AKA Chocolate Peppermint Smoothie)

  • ½ cup full fat coconut milk or cream
  • ½ cup ounces of water
  • half of one avocado (Make sure that you use a really ripe avocado! )
  • 2 tablespoons of  honey (I used raw)
  • ½ teaspoon peppermint extract
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Handful of ice
  • Dark Chocolate Bar for shavings

In a blender, blend everything together, except the dark chocolate. For a thicker, and very cold smoothie, add a handful of ice as long as your blender can handle it well. If not, make sure you use cold ingredients. Taste test, and add more peppermint extract if needed (or more sweetener).

Once everything is very smooth. Take a bar of dark chocolate, and grate using a fine grater into the shake. How much you put in is your decision, but we put in quite a bit! Give it a quick stir, and then pour into a large cup, and then decorate with a little more chocolate shavings and  enjoy!

Healthy Shamrock Shake (AKA Mint Chocolate Chip Smoothie!)
 
Serves: 1
 
Ingredients
  • ½ cup full fat coconut milk or cream
  • ½ cup ounces of water
  • half of one avocado (Make sure that you use a really ripe avocado! )
  • 2 tablespoons of honey (I used raw)
  • ½ teaspoon peppermint extract
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Handful of ice
  • Dark Chocolate Bar for shavings
Instructions
  1. In a blender, blend everything together, except the dark chocolate. For a thicker, and very cold smoothie, add a handful of ice as long as your blender can handle it well. If not, make sure you use cold ingredients. Taste test, and add more peppermint extract if needed (or more sweetener).
  2. Once everything is very smooth. Take a bar of dark chocolate, and grate using a fine grater into the shake. How much you put in is your decision, but we put in quite a bit! Give it a quick stir, and then pour into a large cup, and then decorate with a little more chocolate shavings and enjoy!

 

Dark Chocolate Cookie Dough (Grain Free, Egg Free, Dairy Free)

Dark Chocolate Cookie Dough - This grain free, dairy free, egg free cookie dough is so delicious! It only uses five ingredients, and takes 5 minutes to make!  --- The Nourishing Gourmet
This grain free “cookie dough” is chocolatey goodness made with five ingredients and takes five minutes to make! My girls swooned over it. As a nursing mother, I had to try very hard to share. I love that it is protein-rich, only lightly sweetened, and has healthy coconut oil in it as well! If you like eating cookie dough, this recipe is for you.

Larkin, my newborn, is three weeks tomorrow. I am starting to do just small five minute jobs in the kitchen, such as making a pot of rice to go with a freezer meal, throwing sweet potatoes into a crock-pot, making Japanese Cucumber Salad to go with another freezer meal, or making this lovely snack.

I’ve always found that my appetite is huge after having a baby and nursing, and I have been going through snacks like crazy. My husband has been scouting out pre-made things to get for me at the store, but I didn’t want to depend on them too long (they are expensive). So this fit the bill nicely. Let’s just say we have made it more than once already. ;-)

Dark Chocolate Cookie Dough

I used cashew flour from Trader Jo’s that was rather coarsely ground. If you used a finely ground nut flour, such as many of the almond flours out there, I suspect you would need to add more coconut oil to the recipe to adequately moisten it. This recipe is easily adaptable however, so no fear. Simply add melted coconut oil until you get a moist cookie dough like texture. If for some reason the dough was too wet, add a small amount of nut flour.  This is one of the (affiliate link)  Fair Trade cocoa powders I enjoy. 2 servings

  • ½ cup nut or seed flour (I used cashew flour from Trader Jo’s )
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup (or honey)
  • Dash of unrefined salt
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil (see note above), gently melted on low in a saucepan if solid

Add all of ingredients into a bowl and stir until combined. If not moistened adequately, add more coconut oil. Eat with a spoon, or form into balls. Keep extra in the refrigerator, well covered. The girls informed me they love this best when refrigerated in the form of balls as the coconut oil hardens up and they are like no bake cookies!

Dark Chocolate Cookie Dough (Grain Free, Egg Free, Dairy Free)
 
Author:
 
I used cashew flour from Trader Jo’s that was rather coarsely ground. If you used a finely ground nut flour, such as many of the almond flours out there, I suspect you would need to add more coconut oil to the recipe to adequately moisten it. This recipe is easily adaptable however, so no fear. Simply add melted coconut oil until you get a moist cookie dough like texture. 2 servings
Ingredients
  • ½ cup nut or seed flour (I used cashew flour from Trader Jo’s )
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup (or honey)
  • Dash of unrefined salt
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil (see note above), gently melted on low in a saucepan if solid
Instructions
  1. Add all of ingredients into a bowl and stir until combined. If not moistened adequately, add more coconut oil. Eat with a spoon, or form into balls. Keep extra in the refrigerator, well covered. The girls informed me they love this best when refrigerated in the form of balls as the coconut oil hardens up and they are like no bake cookies!

 

Salted Dark Chocolate Caramel Cups (Refined Sugar-free)

Salted Dark Chocolate Caramel Cups- www.thenourishinggourmet.com

By Katie Mae Stanley, Contributing Writer

Bittersweet chocolate surrounds delicious gooey caramel with a touch of salt in this homemade candy recipe. This is a healthier treat without the use of refined sugars, and the use of dark, antioxidant rich chocolate! It is a perfect treat this time of year. Plus, if you don’t eat it all yourself, it can be easily boxed up for a lovely sweet gift this Christmas. Why not pair it with this Easy Mint Chocolate Fudge recipe for gift giving!

It’s no secret that I love chocolate and that I have a fondness for chocolate when paired with salted caramel. Last year I shared a Salted Caramel Mocha Fauxccino here at The Nourishing Gourmet. Recently I have enjoyed a few cups of steaming Salted Caramel Mocha.

These salted dark chocolate caramel cups are not nearly as hard to make as it would seem. All you need is some high quality dark chocolate, a batch of caramel sauce (or try this one from Kimi) that can be pre-made and a 1/2 teaspoon of course unrefined salt such a Real Salt or Celtic Salt. I prefer using baker’s chocolate because it pairs beautifully with the caramel, balancing out the intense sweetness. It can be made with the chocolate of your choice if you prefer a sweeter chocolate.

I have made candy cups with coconut oil, cocoa powder, and honey before, but when giving gifts I prefer to use pre-made chocolate to make this treat shelf-stable. This makes it more suitable for serving at a holiday party or to give as a gift. You can wrap them in parchment paper and place them in a cute box. Or you might even want to pair them with other homemade candies!

Other homemade chocolates to give as gifts:

Ingredient and tool list:

(Affiliate links.) 

Salted Dark Chocolate Caramel Cups
 
Author:
 
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Break the chocolate into small pieces. Place in a double boiler.You can also use a sauce pot with a larger heat safe bowl placed on top of the pot. (The bottom of the bowl should not be touching the bottom of the sauce pot, or the simmering water.)
  2. Bring the water to a simmer. Allow ½ of the chocolate to melt.
  3. Remove from the heat and continue to stir until the all the chocolate melts.
  4. Place the mini cupcake liners inside a mini cupcake pan.
  5. Fill each liner with ½ of a teaspoon of melted chocolate.
  6. Place the pan in the refrigerator for 10 minutes to allow the chocolate to firm up. Once firm, place back on your working space.
  7. Add ½ teaspoon of caramel sauce in the middle of each cake liner. Flatten so that the caramel almost goes to the sides of the cup.
  8. Gently pour 1 teaspoon of melted chocolate over the candies, completely covering the caramel.
  9. Place in the refrigerator for 5 minutes, allowing it to firm slightly.
  10. Sprinkle each cup with a bit of coarse unrefined sea salt.
  11. Return the pan to the refrigerator for 20 minutes or until the candies are completely firm.
  12. The can be stored on the counter for up to 2 weeks or in the refrigerator for two months.

 

Easy Mint Chocolate Fudge (Dairy and Gluten free)

Mint Chocolate Fudge (dairy and gluten free)

By April Swiger, Contributing Writer

Velvety smooth fudge, rich in chocolate, mingled with refreshing peppermint is a must-try this season. This mint chocolate fudge is the perfect way to satisfy a craving, or finish off a hearty meal this holiday season. Even better it’s surprisingly quick to make, and can be boxed up easily to give as a lovely gift.

I am a huge fan of fudge. It’s always my go-to treat during summer vacations at the beach, and my top pick off the Christmas dessert table. The first time I made fudge at home I used Kimi’s recipe for the easiest, healthiest, most scrumptious fudge ever (also see this version using maple syrup). It definitely lived up to its name, and I have made it many times since then to satisfy those pesky little chocolate cravings. I love that her recipe, and the one I created as well, is free from refined sugar, dairy, gluten, and all other kinds of yucky ingredients the more typical fudge recipes have. This version starts with chocolate chips instead of cocoa powder for a more stable fudge for gift giving.

My 3 year old son is a major chocolate lover. He saw me pull out my bag of chips and immediately wanted to help with whatever I was doing. I purposefully made this recipe as simple as possible because, well, life can be a bit crazy with a toddler in tow…especially during the holiday season! He had so much fun helping me dump all the ingredients into a big bowl (not as much as he enjoyed trying to finished product though). I received a hearty “yum yum yummy in my tum tum tummy!” after his first bite :)

Mint Chocolate Fudge (dairy and gluten free)

There are some fantastic chocolate chips on the market that are completely allergy free, and would be a great option for this recipe. I have used the Enjoy Life Brand of chocolate chips, which are very allergy friendly, a number of times and find the flavor and texture top notch!

You can use either the (Affiliate links)  Semi-Sweet chocolate chips, or the dark chocolate chips in this recipe. Truly though, any chocolate of your choice should work, and the amount of honey you add to sweeten the recipe can be adjusted to your liking as well. I used Frontier’s Natural Mint Extract for flavoring my fudge, and it was delicious!

Homemade gifts are some of my favorite to give. Even the most frugal and simple recipe can be made extra special with its presentation. This fudge wrapped in parchment paper, tied up in colorful bakers twine, and a special box makes for a very thoughtful gift.

Other healthy, and homemade, gifts you may enjoy:

Mint Chocolate Fudge (dairy and gluten free)
 
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
 
This velvety mint chocolate fudge is simple to make, includes nourishing ingredients, and is a lovely gift to give this season!
Ingredients
  • 2½ cups chocolate (I used semi-sweet)
  • ½ cup full-fat coconut milk
  • 2 teapoons peppermint extract
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • 1 Tablespoon coconut oil
  • pinch of salt
Instructions
  1. Put all the ingredients into a large bowl, and create a double boiler by placing it over a pot of lightly simmering water.
  2. Allow the chocolate to melt slowly. Stir continuously until all of the ingredients are smooth and incorporated.
  3. Pour the chocolate mixture into a parchment paper lined dish. If desired, top with crushed candy cane pieces. Refrigerate until hardened, and cut into small square pieces to serve.