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I used the Ninja Creami to make my own Shamrock Shake at home — here's how it compares

 Ninja Creami shake next to Shamrock Shake.
Ninja Creami shake next to Shamrock Shake.

I'm pretty good with my diet most of the year. Even on the days I'm not and get a craving for McDonald's soft serve ice cream, the machines are usually out of commission. But every spring I drive to the nearest Golden Arches to buy a Shamrock Shake at least twice a week. This limited-time vanilla and mint fast food concoction is undeniably delicious and a real bane to my health.

I've spent the past month using the Ninja Creami to create homemade frozen desserts like protein ice cream and fruit sorbets. The Creami also happens to have an impressive shake function. This got me thinking — what if I could have a Shamrock Shake all year round? Hell, what if I could even make it healthier? With a trusty homemade vanilla ice cream base recipe and some mint, here's how I made it with my Ninja Creami and how well it compares to the real thing.

Gather your ingredients

A shamrock shake is essentially a vanilla shake with mint flavoring and green food dye at its core. You're going to need vanilla ice cream, mint extract, milk, and green food dye to get started. If you like extra toppings like whipped cream and a cherry you'll need to factor those in as well. To take your presentation to a level above what you get from Mickey D's add green sprinkles to the top of your whipped cream.

Ninja Creami shamrock shake ingredients
Ninja Creami shamrock shake ingredients

I used the homemade vanilla ice cream recipe from the Creami's included recipe book.

  • One tablespoon of cream cheese

  • 6 ounces (180 ml) of heavy cream

  • 70 grams of granulated sugar

  • 8 ounces (240 ml) of whole milk

  • One teaspoon of vanilla extract

Once everything is dissolved, pour this base into your Creami pint container and stow it away in your freezer for 24 hours.

After taking this ice cream out the next day you'll need to scoop a bit of the base off the top and flatten it out to make room for half a cup of milk. Then pour 3 drops of mint extract and 5 drops of green food coloring into the pint.

Ninja Creami Shamrock Shake blending
Ninja Creami Shamrock Shake blending

Since this is a Ninja Creami, you can endlessly customize your shake. For sugar-free ice cream, you can use a mix of Stevia and agave syrup to replace granulated sugar. Or for adults you can make this treat boozy with a shot of liqueur like some minty Crème de menthe or creamy Baileys. You can even mix in solids like Oreo, chocolate chips, or cookie dough.

Mix it up

Ninja Creami stirs Shamrock Shake
Ninja Creami stirs Shamrock Shake

Once you've added all of your ingredients to the pint just place this mixture into the Ninja Creami's outer bowl and lock it up with the Creami paddle topper. Place this larger bowl onto the Creami's base and use its attached handle to twist the platform upward and insert the motor into the top of the paddle. Press the "Shake" button to kick off the process which works the paddle up and down spinning and blending. I found just one run of this program consistently creates a perfectly runny yet thick consistency you can suck up with a straw. Running the shake function twice will give it a thicker texture.

Ninja Creami homemade shamrock shake
Ninja Creami homemade shamrock shake

McDonald's Shamrock Shake vs. Ninja Creami Homemade comparison

Ninja Creami shake next to Shamrock Shake
Ninja Creami shake next to Shamrock Shake

As you can see in the picture above, the homemade shake looks extremely similar in color and texture. McDonald's dyes run closer to a neon green but you can add more drops of food dye to make your shake darker. Take away the branded cup and place both shakes in a clear glass side by side with whipped cream and you won't be able to tell them apart by visuals alone.

Off the bat, McDonald's Shamrock shake tastes a bit sweeter — it has a kick going down but it's the extra sugar that makes it so delicious. The homemade shake recipe has the exact same consistency and leans slightly more into its vanilla flavor. It's still minty and sweet, but it's not as punchy and it tastes slightly more milky. When the whipped cream melts into both, the two shakes taste identical.

I find three drops of mint extract is the sweet spot, but you can experiment with an extra drop or two to make it even mintier. If you want your drink to lean even sweeter you can add a drop of vanilla extract into the mix. I'm impressed with how similar the taste is and while it's not a 100 percent match it's easily at least 90 percent there. It's good enough for me to avoid driving to McDonald's this holiday weekend plus it's easy to make all year round. That's a win in my book.

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