By Lana Buseman
In college, I worked as a barista. During slow times it was fun to get creative and use the ingredients on hand to come up with original recipes. One of my co-workers always made himself what he called a grasshopper shake. It was a combination of matcha powder, chocolate chips, peppermint syrup and cream and it was delicious. This recipe aims to mimic my co-worker's grasshopper shake using fresher and healthier ingredients but without losing the great minty flavor. It's a fun treat for St. Patrick's Day!
I choose to make this with unsweetened vanilla almond milk from Trader Joe's, but soy, rice or regular milk can be substituted. One ingredient I kept in my version of this drink is the matcha powder. Matcha is a refined form of green tea and is very high in antioxidants. Plus: matcha is what gives the grasshopper its green color! You only need a small amount of the matcha powder to reap its benefits -- a little bit goes a long way.
I swap out the chocolate chips for carob chips. Carob chips are similar to chocolate chips in look and taste but are naturally sweeter and therefore do not need to be processed with added sugar. They are also a natural source of fiber and calcium.
Finally, for the minty flavor I swap out the sugary peppermint syrup and go straight to the natural source: fresh mint. Mint is not only a natural breath freshener, but it is known to help ease stomachaches and headaches and can help clear up congestion. It is also bursting with fresh flavor and natural sweetness that helps make this treat really delicious.
1 tsp Matcha powder
2 tablespoons carob chips
Handful of fresh mint leaves
¾ cup almond milk
½ cup ice
Mix all of the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
Garnish with a fresh mint leaf and enjoy as a fun green treat for St. Patrick’s Day!
Photo credit: Lana Buseman