Updated: March 12, 2019
St. Patrick’s Day celebrations don’t have to be all about green beer and food coloring. If you’re looking for some healthier options to mark the holiday, nature offers up some pretty tasty foods that are all green all on their own.
And they come with a bonus: Green fruits and vegetables are rich in nutritional value, including vitamins and minerals that support your vision and cellular health.
Whether you’re celebrating over a meal with your family, bringing a treat to school or the office, or toasting the holiday at a party, we found several options for serving up the green without skipping the nutrients.
It’s no surprise that avocados and kiwi make an appearance. They are responsible for the green hue of these leprechaun muffins. And remember, avocados are a great source of monounsaturated fats— that’s one of the good ones.
Looking for a little protein to start the day? Try these green eggs. A healthy dose of fresh kale and spinach will overpower the yellow yolks in these scrambled eggs. (You won’t even miss the ham!)
Appetizer or party food
Absolutely not a sushi substitute, but this zucchini sushi is fun, green and tasty. Zucchini is dominating the healthy cooking spotlight lately in the form of “zoodles” and ribbons; the ribbons replace the seaweed in this recipe.
Need something less time-consuming and easier to transport? Try this party spinach spread. The recipe includes parsley and is mixed in a food processor for a more uniform green color.
Drawing from a few more natural sources, we have green soup and pesto pizza. The soup includes broccoli and arugula and owes its creaminess to the versatile avocado. And for added convenience, it can be served hot or cold.
In addition to the pesto sauce, the pizza is topped with spinach, broccoli, green peppers and green onions. While this recipe calls for a homemade, whole wheat crust, the toppings could go on just about anything—including a green spinach tortilla.
We don’t know what it would take to get chicken green all the way through, and frankly we don’t want to know. We did, however, find a few inviting recipes for green sauces to go with chicken or your favorite lean protein of choice.
The cilantro, basil, parsley and jalapeño in this spicy salsa verde chicken is so green, it will easily meet the color requirement at any St. Patrick’s Day gathering— despite its decidedly non-Irish origins.
The same can be said for this arugula pesto chicken. Side note: This recipe also uses zucchini noodles, adding to the green.
Green tomatoes make it easy to transform some of your favorite tomato-based drinks from red to green. Here’s a recipe for a green bloody Mary that you can easily turn into a healthy “mocktail” by skipping the alcohol.
And you don’t have to deprive yourself of the minty goodness of the popular Shamrock Shake. Make your own healthier version with this recipe. The green comes from spinach, but the minty goodness and creamy coconut milk make it sweet.
Like the healthier version of the Shamrock Shake, this recipe for mint chocolate chip frozen yogurt also gets its green from spinach, and like the shake the other ingredients come together to deliver a delicious dessert.
Basil and grated lime peel in this lime basil pie recipe result in a paler green than some of the vibrant shades created in the above recipes, but the flavor—and maybe a lime wedge garnish—will make up for it.
Whatever your green food of choice, make it healthy. March is, after all, National Nutrition Month and a time to look forward to the spring weather coming soon. Enjoy the holiday!