- Karen Haralson
Go “Healthy Green” for St. Patrick’s Day
St. Patrick’s Day is around the corner. With this holiday comes the corned beef and cabbage, Irish soda bread and green beer. While delicious, these aren’t always the healthiest choices.
Looking for some healthy green foods to eat or cook with for St. Patrick’s Day 2023 and beyond? We’ve got you covered. It’s easy being green with these ideas for party appetizers, dinner entrees or snacks.
This bright green fruit is buttery in texture and decadent in taste. Avocados are full of monounsaturated fat, known as the “good fat” which can help lower cholesterol. Avocados are packed with potassium, magnesium and many “B” vitamins: B2, B3, B6 and B12. The “B” vitamins help with transporting oxygen and nutrients throughout the body. Avocados are full of omega-3 fatty acids, which are good for your heart and may reduce inflammation. Eaten in reasonable portions, avocados help fill you up and offer high nutritional value.
Avocados are also incredibly versatile. Use as a mayonnaise substitute in your sandwich, make an avocado-chocolate mousse in your food processor or make this Creamy Avocado-Potato Salad for St. Patrick’s Day.
Asparagus is a green vegetable in the shape of long, pointy spears. Asparagus is high in fiber, vitamin C and folate. Fiber helps keep you full for longer, while vitamin C boosts antioxidant levels and folate promotes healthy cell function. The relatively mild flavor of asparagus makes it easy to cook with–saute with salt, pepper and your favorite seasonings. You can even roast it with garlic. Asparagus can easily be paired with salmon or poultry, or eaten by itself.
Asparagus is also one of the main ingredients in our featured Creamy Avocado-Potato Salad recipe.
Brussels sprouts are a type of cabbage from Brussels, Belgium, hence the name. They take the shape of mini green heads of cabbage. Brussels sprouts are high in vitamin C and vitamin K. As stated before, vitamin C helps boost antioxidant levels. Vitamin K helps alleviate blood clotting. Brussels sprouts are a cabbage, so they may not be as palatable when eaten alone. They need some seasonings and cooking to make them taste better. Fortunately, this can be done easily and healthily. Brussels sprouts can be sauteed or roasted with salt, pepper and balsamic vinegar, garlic and/or cranberries. Red pepper flakes and a ginger-honey combination can add zest to your brussels sprouts as well.
These green nuts are not only fun to crack open out of their white shells, but they are also high in fiber and other essential nutrients. Pistachios have high amounts of B6, which supports oxygenation of blood cells and blood sugar regulation. They have antioxidants, which support eye health. The low-calorie, high-protein combination in pistachio nuts will go a long way in appetite satisfaction, making it the perfect healthy and green snack for those St. Patrick’s Day gatherings. They can be enjoyed raw by themselves or with dark chocolate pieces, for an antioxidant boost. You can also oven-roast pistachios (outer shells removed) with olive oil, salt and other ingredients of your choice. Some suggestions: dried rosemary, curry powder, honey and butter or cayenne pepper and garlic powder.
We recently published a blog on Cool Peppermint Benefits. Peppermint helps address indigestion, soothes the stomach and can help boost the immune system. All varieties of mint leaves are high in many vitamins and minerals, including vitamin A, crucial for eye and organ health. Mint leaves are usually not consumed in large quantities, but even a few leaves will add some nutrients to your diet–and green color for St. Patrick’s Day. Add a few mint leaves to your smoothie (especially with kale and pineapple) for an extra green hue. Or make mint chocolate ice cream in your food processor. Eating healthy for St. Patrick’s Day doesn’t have to mean missing out on dessert. Mint provides an easy, healthy way to satisfy that sweet tooth.
So "go green" for St Patrick's Day (and every day!) and enjoy these healthy green foods.