vanilla bean coconut shamrock shake

vanilla bean coconut shamrock shake // edible perspective

Sometimes I question what the heck it is that I’m doing.  You know, with this whole photography, recipe-creating, writing thing.  When you work from home by yourself, it’s easy to start overthinking things. You have a lot of alone time.  A lot of time for the mind to wander, question, second-guess, etc.  I never really planned for this to happen.  I planned to be an architect.  I planned to work in a firm, hoping to specialize in small-scale sustainable design, and possibly one day open a firm of my own. 

But when you’re 25 [4yrs ago – just finishing up my thesis work in grad school] how can you really know what’s ahead?  Hiiii recession, I’m talking [partially] to you!  How can you really have a set plan?  Okay, I’m sure it’s possible.  I’m sure it happens all the time.  Maybe your plan is going according to, uhh, plan.  But now looking back I kind of laugh at myself.  And I’m sure in 5 more years I’ll be laughing even harder. 

The great thing is that I don’t wander/question/second-guess if what I should be doing is architecture.  When I stopped looking for architecture work about a year ago it felt absolutely right.  I currently love what I’m doing.  I feel fulfilled.  The work week goes too quickly and never really ends, more often than not.  I put in more time, energy, and dedication with what I currently do than ever before.  But I’m still very much trying to make it all work.  And by that I mean turn this into something I can truly call a career.  Something that is not only mentally and creatively fulfilling but also works financially.  I’m not only referring to the blog, but also my lifestyle photography business, food photography, cookbook writing, etc.  All of which I would like to do more of.

It’s been a slow + steady process with successes and opportunities trickled along the way, but in the near future I want to without a doubt be able to say, “Yes! This is working!”  I feel like I’m headed there and just need to find my way through a dense layer of fog.  I’m following a loose plan, and luckily, have full support from my husband.  We’re both nose to the grindstone right now and have been for the past few years.  While our paths/plans have gone a windier way, we are happy.  Sometimes it’s easy to forget with the day-to-day happenings and stresses, but we are trying to recognize it more + more.  Things are good.  We are happy.  We will make this work.

vanilla bean coconut shamrock shake // edible perspective

A few weeks ago I mentioned I was going to start talking about more than just food.  So there it is, slowly coming out, fumbling along the way I’m sure.

Perfect light reading for a Friday morning, right?

vanilla bean coconut shamrock shake // edible perspective

Now!

Introducing the new + improved Shamrock Shake! 

Even though I’m a fan of mint ice cream I thought I would change things up a bit with this version.  It’s better than a beer or a glass of wine after a long week, it’s way more delicious than the original from Mc-whatever-it’s-called.  This is filled with creamy coconut milk, a million vanilla beans, and the color GREEN.

I am a vanilla freak, if you were unaware.

vanilla bean coconut shamrock shake // edible perspective

Before you go questioning my actions for putting spinach in your milkshake, I of course have to tell you there is not even the slightest hint of vegetable-taste in this.  I 100% promise.  It is not there for the health, it is there for the color!  If you tell me you can taste the spinach, I am going to come over and examine the taste buds on your tongue. Gross, no I’m not.

And while you could make this a night time snack, it can also be a suitable breakfast.  The coconut milk makes this extremely satiating and it’s light on the sweetness, which you can always tweak for your taste buds.  No ice cream needed!  Just an ice cube tray.

vanilla bean coconut shamrock shake // edible perspective

However, this part makes it a little more dessert-esque.

vanilla bean coconut shamrock shake // edible perspective

Introducing, chocolate coconut butter magic shell! 

vanilla bean coconut shamrock shake // edible perspective

Print this!

Vanilla Bean Coconut Shamrock Shake gluten-free, vegan // serves 2

  • 1, 14oz can full fat coconut milk
  • 3/4-1 1/2 cups light canned coconut milk
  • 2-3 large handfuls baby spinach
  • 3-4 tablespoons honey/agave/maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 vanilla bean, scraped + seeded pod discarded [a little over 1/8 teaspoon beans]
  1. Vigorously shake the canned coconut milk until the cream and liquid are fully combined.  Or whisk in a bowl.
  2. Pour the can of full fat coconut milk into an ice cube tray and freeze until fully solidified.
  3. Place the ice cubes in a high speed blender [one that can handle ice] with 3/4 cup light coconut milk, spinach, sweetener, vanilla extract, and vanilla beans. 
  4. Turn on and blend until creamy, adding more milk and sweetener if desired.  Use the least amount of light coconut milk as possible to keep the mixture thick.
  5. Serve and top with cooled chocolate coconut butter sauce.

notes/subs: If using dairy, sub half + half creamer or whipping cream for the full fat coconut milk and whole milk for the light coconut milk.  Coconut milk has a very mild coconut flavor.

Chocolate Coconut Butter Sauce

  1. Melt the coconut butter and dark chocolate in a small bowl for 30 second increments in the microwave.  Stir and heat again until smooth.  Or melt on the stovetop using a double boiler method.  Let stand on the counter until it’s no longer hot.

vanilla bean coconut shamrock shake // edible perspective

Another idea?  Turn this mixture into creamy shamrock popsicles!

  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender [using 1/2 cup light coconut milk, instead of 3/4- 1 1/2 cups] and blend until fully smooth.
  2. Pour into popsicle molds or even small paper cups and freeze until fully hardened.  Leave in the mold until ready to eat. 
  3. Once frozen solid and ready to eat, remove from mold and coat with melted [but lightly cooled] chocolate coconut butter.  You can coat from the top down or vice versa.  The coconut butter will solidify in about 30 seconds.

vanilla bean coconut shamrock shake // edible perspective

vanilla bean coconut shamrock shake // edible perspective

Hope your weekend is filled with delicious food + lots of green!  Whether it’s green beer, spinach, or this milkshake.  Enjoy!

Ashley

And if you’re still reading, a new engagement post is up on the photography blog!

laural + chris {engagement} // ashley mclaughlin photography

laural + chris {engagement} // ashley mclaughlin photography