Food Babe’s “Healthier” Treat Tops 1,500 Calories

The Food Babe uncovered a startling discovery recently that fast food is sometimes unhealthy.


*and the crowd goes mild*

This time she went after the McDonald’s Shamrock Shake, because instead of telling people that the gallons of beer they’re drinking for St. Patrick’s Day is carcinogenic (because it is), reminding them to Uber it home or have a designated driver tonight (you should), she’s warning them about…

Milkshakes. Because big words scare her.

And of course, telling them to make her much healthier ice cream laced with unicorn tears and kale or some shit.

But I did the math. Her ice cream concoction (you don’t have to click that link if you don’t want to give her the traffic, I’m copying and pasting the recipe below) is not healthier.

Everything in italics is from food

Then you’re supposed to mash all this stuff together and it morphs into an ice cream-esque concoction. But we’re not here to talk about delicious things (because if we were, we would not be discussing the Food Babe’s “recipes”). We’re here to talk about why this is not healthier than McDonalds.

First, she starts with a whole can of coconut cream. I like coconut cream a lot, I use it often when I make Indian food. It’s delicious. But know what it’s not? Low in calories. One can of it packs 700 calories. We’re already ahead of a medium shamrock shake at 660 calories, but we’re not finished yet.

The next ingredient is three  frozen bananas OR 1/2 cup of palm sugar. Vani labors under the delusion that natural means something is better or healthier. Ask a diabetic if “natural” means jack shit to them when they’re trying get their next insulin injection down after this natural overload on sugar; it does not.  One medium banana has about a 105 calories. Three bananas means it’s 315 calories.

Vani alternatively suggested adding 1/2 cup coconut palm sugar for sweetness, thinking that this means it’s better for you than plain white sugar. Perhaps with the coconutty goodness it means it will be a lower calorie count, you think? Calorie per calorie, the American Diabetic Association says to treat it exactly the same as plain white sugar. Well, a half a cup is a hundred grams of coconut palm sugar, and the math says that she’s adding 326 calories to the mixture.

At this point, no matter what, we’re over 1,000 calories. Things are looking grim for her “healthy” alternative.

All the extracts are essentially void of calories (and they’re of course organic so that means they’ve been blessed by a butterfly and dusted with moon glow or something) but then she says to add a half cup of almonds or pistachios. A half cup of almonds packs 412 calories, and a half cup of pistachios adds another 320 calories. Nuts are good for you, but let’s not kid ourselves; this is all adding up.

For her chocolate chip flavor, she suggests chocolate chips or cacao nibs. At the least, she’s adding 226 calories with cacao nibs. At most, she’s adding about 330 calories with chocolate chips.

And then for the motherland, the cookies and cream flavor. She instructs you to add ten of these organic (so they’re healthy, of course) einkorn cookies into the mixture. One serving of three cookies is 140 calories. By the time you add in ten of them, you’ve added in 467 calories.

At the very least, you are looking at 1,015 calories, something outstrips the large Shamrock Shake by about 300 calories. At the most, the Food Babe’s concoction tops out at about 1,500 calories. She does list her recipe as ten servings, but ounce per ounce, it’s more calorically dense than a shamrock shake. She’s getting playful with the math to try to make it sound like it’s just a 150 calorie treat by saying it’s ten servings, and that’s some bullshit because this is maybe- at best- the size of two shamrock shakes. As Vani even admits that calories count when you’re watching your weight, that one’s gotta sting.

All of the ingredients, of course, can be purchased through her Amazon Affiliate links.

Go buy a damned Shamrock Shake.


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About SciBabe 79 Articles
Yvette d'Entremont, aka SciBabe, is a chemist and writer living in Los Angeles with her husband and their four pets. She bakes a mean gluten free chocolate chip cookie and likes glitter more than is considered healthy for a woman past the age of seven.


  1. Hi SciBabe, you must not have seen on the original site that the recipe serves TEN, which would make each serving only 150 calories, significantly less than a shamrock shake.

  2. Hi! I’m a huge supporter of your work but I’m surprised that, in the interest of full disclosure, you didn’t point out that the Food Babe’s recipe is meant to make 10 servings. I’m no scientist, but is it accurate to compare the calories of one medium shamrock shake to 10 servings of ice cream? I’m disappointed in your reporting here. I know you have to get your point across but this omittance of information seems more like the sensationalizing types of things you accuse her of doing…

    • I edited to mention that. But her whole recipe is smaller than two shamrock shakes. Ten servings? What, are they the size of a shot glass? The pictures on her website of the stuff in a bowl is not 1/10th of the recipe.

  3. To be fair, I don’t think the recipe is for a single serving, and she is advertising it as non-dairy, not low calorie or diabetic-friendly. (But coconut palm sugar qualifies as health food fraud.)

  4. I bet that butterfly never had to count calories in its life. Because nature so there!

    I thought the organic crusaders had given up on the calorie count for this exact reason.

  5. Sci Babe, you’ve got this one way wrong. Yes, one can of coconut milk is about the same size as two shamrock shakes, but ice cream is aerated. The amount of ice cream base you make will generate a lot more ice cream after it’s churned and frozen.

    Not that anything will be low-cal with this recipe, because it looks like a really decent vegan ice cream recipe, but it isn’t as heavy as you’re claiming.

  6. I wonder what the cost of making this would be…. I’m gonna bet it’s a lot more than the McD’s shake…..but she needs to make it look like she’s actually useful in some way I guess.

  7. I’ll have to get two chocolate shakes tomorrow. Eating 4500 calories a day to stay at 150 pounds is a pain in the butt.
    At least, I am down from 6000 calories a day!

    But, one upside of hyperthyroidism is low cholesterol, for the first time in 30 years.

  8. If people are going to make Food Babes recipe and only drink 1.6 ounces, which is less than a 1/4 of a cup. Then they can buy the Shamrock shake and drink 1.6 ounces and consume less calories, way less calories.

  9. No arguments, I just wanted to say excellent job pointing out yet another BS publicity stunt by the food b**ch. You are doing a great work Miss Sci Babe, look forward to reading more articles from you.

  10. So McDonalds should just write serves ten, on the Shamrock Shake and it will become a healthy treat. The chocolate I am about to eat says it’s 6.5 serves so I guess I will just eat 25.833333333333 grams and put it away.

    • If you think that 100 grams of sugar in this is OK (4x the daily recommended amount) then YOU need some updating – not to mention the fat in the coconut milk.

  11. When I add up everything in the recipe, I get about 22-24 ounces by volume. Maybe a little more, depending on the size of your bananas. According to McDonald’s website, the large Shamrock Shake is 22 ounces. So it is a fair 1-to-1 comparison.

  12. This tactic has always bugged me. You can make a Big Mac seem like a good choice if decide one bite is a serving and only post the nutritional content of that.

  13. “…blessed by a butterfly…” Scibabe, you crack me up. And for all those people pointing out the 10 servings, who in the world makes something like this and only eats 1/10th of it? Personally, I think Foodbabe couldn’t manage the math to make a normal sized portion.

  14. It’s the healthy-eating crowd’s distinction between “natural/organic” and “conventionasl/GMO” that puzzles me. What do the anti-GMO people think will happen to you if you eat GMOs? You gonna grow purple spots and chartreuse horns?

    For the rest, Foodbabe’s recipe, for fats and sugar, it’s as evil as the Shamrock Shake. Yummy, IOW 🙂

    One of my colleagues once said, “Something’s gonna kill you, so you may as well enjoy your suicide.”

    Have a good day,

  15. Honestly, the size of someone’s bananas is an extremely personal thing.

    More seriously, anything coming from Food Blab is something I couldn’t even take with a mine full of salt.
    She pulls “facts” fresh from the rectum.

  16. my comment above was in reply to Brian Hughes says:
    March 18, 2016 at 2:43 am
    So McDonalds should just write serves ten, on the Shamrock Shake and it will become a healthy treat. The chocolate I am about to eat says it’s 6.5 serves so I guess I will just eat 25.833333333333 grams and put it away.

  17. It’s hilarious that she seriously pulled a ~big corporation~ move by making up a teeny weeny portion size to get those calories down.

    10 servings of a 22 ounce drink is like a shot glass full of liquid per serving. Real satisfying.

  18. I’d love a post about disinfectant cleaners. I’m looking for any effective alternatives to cleaning the kitchen and toilet, and all I can find online are mommy bloggers and naturopathic sites.

  19. I thoroughly enjoy reading your posts. Applying scientific rigour and logic to food is so badly needed, congratulations.
    I do take exception to the title of the post. A review of quantities seems to indicate that “apples to apples” (pardon the pun), the Foodbabe recipe yields two shakes.

    So her calorie-dense concoction is 750 calories.

    Or you could adjust the title and focus on the fact that this lady came up with a shake that is higher in calorie than the Shamrock shake on an ounce-by-ounce basis.

    I think that if we are going to support accuracy we should keep the headline fair.


  20. Well, a can of Sprite or Sierra Mist has two servings in it for me, with ample ethanol mixture to properly decontaminate it. 😉
    So, that’s four servings per night and six for a weekend night. :P:p:P:p

  21. I am counting calories to control myself, so I may eat 1/10 of the concoction, however. the size will leave me disappointed and I will eat something after the party (making such thing for myself will end in me eating it all) or on the next day. In addition I will sleep bad, bee irritable and have concentration difficulties. No, milkshake is certainly better. Though I won’t spent money on it either and better experiment with cottage cheese, nuts and berries. For the sake of health.

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