I'm not gonna lie. I have battled a serious lifetime addiction to McDonalds' milkshakes, and ice cream in general. I don't know how far back this reaches or what to blame. Maybe it was my first job at 15, scooping treats at Missy Muffets ice cream parlor? I don't know, and I guess it doesn't matter, as I have finally just accepted and embraced my love of all things ice cream! Which logically, in my mind at least, explains my devotion to McDonalds seasonal milkshake flavors. I have it from a good source (a regional franchise owner) that Shamrock Shake is Americas' seasonal favorite, even over egg nog. I tried to debate that fact and defend the Christmas icon, but to no avail. And I wept when our regional McDonalds were only "allowed " to vote for and serve one seasonal flavor---- the Shamrock shake! Oh, but I digress due to my love of eggnog.
Back to the Shamrock shake--- At this mid-century stage of life, I am trying to weave some healthier food habits into my lifestyle. I'm not saying I like it, or that it's easy. But I want this second phase of life to be healthy and active---after all, I have a grandchild to keep up with and a busy teenager at home. So I am going to learn health, do health, share health. One of the first steps in regaining or maintaining health in all areas, is restoring gut bacteria, and the easiest and quickest way to do that is to begin integrating cultured or fermented foods into our lives. As the tide turns, and science releases studies on how adding billions of good bacterial strains into our daily diet can help treat and/or prevent many health ailments, fermented foods are popping up on grocery store shelves everywhere. Numbers to read on the label are how many billions of bacterial strains are in the product; the more the better. When you make the fermented foods/beverages yourself you are able to double or triple those billions of colonies. So that is the motivating factor for me, as I am becoming a kitchen stocked with kefir-filled mason jars, ready to make ice cream at a moments notice!
Here is this month's offering: The Leprechaun Love Potion aka, the "Shamrock Shake!"
- Kefir: 2 cups. Recipe here, or store-bought.
- Mint extract: 1-3 teaspoons. You can also add fresh peppermint
- Vanilla extract: 1 teaspoon
- 2 eggs: or the equivalent of Egg substitute. I've used both, with the same results. (* Note:exercise caution when consuming raw eggs or products made with raw eggs.)
- 1 cup Half and Half You can also use whipping cream, or try almond milk or coconut milk,etc. I buy our dairy products at a local dairy store (that specializes in ice cream) because their products are all organic and GMO free!
- Sugar: 3/4 cup . Preferably organic if it's available to you. Some people use Stevia, sucanat, coconut sugar or honey as their sweetener. Experiment with what you and your family like best!
- Green Food Coloring: enough drops to turn Shamrock green!
I toss all the ingredients in a blender, then pour into the pre-chilled ice cream freezer bowl. Mix according to manufacturer's directions of your particular ice cream freezer. When the mixture looks soft-serve consistency, I dish into bowls or cups, then garnish.
Garnish: You can use whipped cream, green sprinkles, straws, use your imagination! We love mini-chocolate chips added in towards the end, or sprinkled on top.
Voila! We can now enjoy our fermented seasonal treat, knowing we are doing our bodies a HUGE favor in restoring the gut environment that we were born with. Which helps restore our immune system to keep us healthy!
Did your family love them? How else do you sneak fermented foods into your families' diet? Show and tell us how your Shamrocks Shakes turned out on Facebook.