In case you missed it, the heat wave wasn’t the only thing hot in summer 2023 – McDonald’s reintroduced the Grimace Shake to celebrate his birthday. Not gonna lie, regardless of your feelings about the nutritional profile of the shake, by all accounts it’s delicious!
It’s a vibrant purple creamy and thick shake. The main ingredients – berries + ice cream + added sugar + milk. So what’s not to like?
Personally, provided my IBS does not act up, I would gladly treat myself to a grimace birthday shake! Remember, practice moderation and watch your portions because there’s no need to fear food.
But, the dilemma remains for the days after enjoying that treat. It’s not that I’m regretting my decision; rather, it doesn’t make sense for me to have to wait for another treat meal to enjoy this awesomeness.
Why can’t I just make it myself and ensure it’s more nutritionally dense so that it pushes me closer to my wellness goals?…
So yeah, I just made it myself and ensured it’s more nutritionally dense so that it pushes me closer to my wellness goals!
I’ve made a TON of smoothies over the years and I’d comfortably rate this powerhouse protein Grimace shake in the top 5, if not 3.
It comprises an enticing and simple blend of frozen wild berries, ground flaxseed, vanilla grass-fed whey protein, almond milk, and Greek yogurt.
If you’ve been looking for a solid protein shake recipe, your search might just end here with this nutritional powerhouse – the protein Grimace shake.
Before we get to that, let’s take a look at the macronutrient profile for the current Grimace shake.
CALORIES – 580 cal 🔥
CARBOHYDRATES – 97g
ADDED SUGAR – 75g
FIBER – <1 g
PROTEIN – 12g
FATS – 15g
SATURATED FATS – 9g
Note: According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, we should get no more than 25% to 30% of our daily calories from fats. You should limit saturated fat to less than 10% of your daily calories. Using more plant-based products and heart-healthy fats such as avocados, olive oil, and nuts & seeds can help reduce your consumption of saturated fats.
Let’s break down each ingredient to better understand why it works in this recipe.
Is the Grimace Shake unhealthy?
No, not necessarily. I wouldn’t say it is unhealthy since that’s a relative term but there are more nutritionally-delicious alternatives.
How to Make the Grimace Shake & Calculate Nutritional Value
- Frozen Wild Berries:
- Flavor and Nutrients: Frozen wild berries tend to be much sweeter than regular, fresh berries but also provide that delicate tartness that many love. The Grimace Shake is also bursting with vitamins, antioxidants, and fiber that They can aid in several areas to name a few – reducing inflammation, improving skin health, and boosting your body’s defense to protect against certain chronic diseases.
- Natural Sugars: The natural sugars found in berries offer an energy boost, making this shake ideal for kick-starting your mornings or replenishing your energy post-workout.
- Why it’s included: The original Grimace birthday shake recipe had a berry medley so I’ve included frozen wild berries because they tend to be sweeter so it reduces the need to add sugar.
- Ground Flaxseed:
- Omega-3s and Fiber: It’s an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids and dietary fiber, and even though on the lower end, some protein as well. While it may be unassuming due it’s small, powdery size, it supports heart health, aids digestion, and provides anti-inflammatory benefits – it’s a powerhouse ingredient.
- Why it’s included: when flaxseed is milled (ie, ground up) when any liquid is added it turns into a thick, pudding like texture. For instance, this is how plant-based eaters substitute eggs in baking recipes – a flax egg – which is essentially water mixed with ground flaxseed because it acts as a binder. For this recipe it helps thicken the smoothie to give it a texture similar to the Grimace Shake.
- Vanilla Grass-Fed Whey Protein:
- High-Quality Protein: Grass-fed whey protein generally has higher levels of beneficial fats and potent antioxidants compared to regular whey. This is why I trust and recommend Transparent Labs protein powder. Not only is it grass-fed but also it’s high-quality protein that even your whole family can enjoy and benefit from. A scoop of this French vanilla protein powder ensures that the protein Grimace Shake supports muscle growth and recovery.
- If you want to purchase Transparent Labs protein powder remember to use code FMC at checkout to receive 10% off your purchase (of any product).
- Flavor Profile: vanilla complements the natural sweetness of the berries, giving it warmth and enhancing the overall flavor experience.
- Why it’s included: The protein acts like the ice cream and the vanilla flavor. First, remember that powder absorbs liquid so when you add it to a shake that has minimal liquid, it becomes thicker and creamier just like regular ice cream! No seriously – it’s how I make my protein “nice cream” bowls. Secondly, since whey protein is flavored and sweetened, it eliminates the need to add sugar and/or vanilla extract.
- Almond Milk:
- Low Calorie & Dairy-Free: almond milk is low-calorie, dairy-free and rich in vitamin E so it’s a subtle boost to the nutritional profile.
- Why it’s included: while it may appear to be a minimal amount, the almond milk gives the shake a creamier consistency without the added calories of whole milk, something that really can’t be accomplished using water.
- Greek Yogurt:
- Probiotics and Protein: Greek yogurt is a GOAT ingredient to add to shakes and smoothies because it is rich in probiotics that are essential for gut health. Also, it boosts the protein even more, giving the protein Grimace shake a double hit of protein – from both the yogurt and the protein powder.
- Why it’s included: since Greek yogurt is pretty thick, it helps give the shake a creamy consistency without the added calories of regular whole milk.
My reimagined version speaks for itself nutritionally – over 60% reduced carbohydrates; 300% higher in protein; 50% reduced saturated fats; 900% less added sugar (75g –> 8g).
Why You’ll Love the Flavor
Ok, so we’ve checked off why the Grimace Shake is nutritionally robust, but we haven’t addressed the taste.
If you need any indication that it tastes amazing, you can rely on the fact that I rate this in my top smoothies of all time. Seriously, it’s that bangin!
The tangy, sweet burst of wild berries, softened by the creamy almond milk and Greek yogurt, creates a refreshing blend. The subtle undertones of vanilla from the grass-fed whey protein powder round off the flavor palette, making every sip a delightful (muscle-building) experience.
No this shake will not automatically make you gain or lose weight, nor will you magically develop muscles and become bulky drinking this.
It only “primes” the body to accelerate your goals – whether it’s muscle building, gaining or losing weight, aligning foods with your wellness goals is something you and you alone own.
So yeah, this ultimate protein Grimace Shake should be on your shortlist to make soon. Whether you’re recovering from a workout, needing a midday boost of vitamins. searching for a breakfast replacement, or just craving a treat that will actually support your wellness goals, this shake checks all the boxes!
Give it a go – it’ll be on repeat!