It’s that time of year where all the world becomes Irish for a day to help celebrate the life of St. Patrick—Ireland’s most celebrated patron saint. In modern times, the day has become a wild celebration, one that has nearly everyone wearing and thinking (and often drinking) all things green. But it doesn’t take much digging to find that the original St. Patrick’s Day party was a feast day, usually involving more of a commemoration than a large meal. However, in the spirit of ThinkHealth tips, food and the color green, we’ve put together six snack ideas to bring to your St. Patrick’s Celebration next week.
Green mint smoothie—a shamrockin’ alternative
Real talk: There’s no shame in enjoying a Shamrock Shake. After all, everything in moderation. However, you might find yourself enjoying your 13th shake of the season and that’s not exactly healthy. If your Shamrock Shake intake is creeping into dangerous territory, try this cold, minty green alternative. A Mango-mint green smoothie is sure to please your taste buds and, here’s the best part, it’s far better for you than the golden-arched franchise favorite. The greener ingredients you use, the better—your smoothie will stay festively green all St. Patrick’s Day long. Mix and match veggies and fruits to your liking and enjoy!
Green eggs and ham—a fictional food turned St. Patty’s favorite
Dr. Seuss was no chef, but his culinary concoction can be prepared as the kickoff to your St. Patrick’s Day. Fried or scrambled, just one large egg contains six grams of protein and just 78 calories. Pair one of those with a serving of ham (29 grams of protein and approximately 200 calories) and you’ve got a protein packed plate of deliciousness. Historically, people used food coloring to make their eggs green and, while there’s no evidence of dyes being harmful, a popular, healthier alternative to using dyes is blending spinach with your eggs prior to frying them. Prepare it this way and you’ll add more than great green coloring; you’ll offer additional nutrients and vitamins as well.
Green beans—anything but basic
Pinching someone who’s not wearing green has long been a tradition of St. Patrick’s Day. But here’s a green food you might want to pinch because, when you do, you get the fruit of this nutrient-packed pod—the lean, mean green bean. Though technically not a bean, this green legume is good for multiple reasons. First, it’s an excellent source of vitamin C. In fact, one serving of green beans grants you roughly a quarter of your suggested daily value. The Irish Times offers this yummy green bean dish for your St. Patrick’s Day consideration.
Green tea or matcha tea or both—so much green
Given green tea’s many health benefits, you might think of it as nature’s number one nectar. Packed with antioxidants, heart smart nutrients and anti-aging attributes, you can’t really go wrong when you steep those luscious leaves in a cup of hot water. And, if you’re not the tea bag type, you can try green tea’s powder form cousin, matcha, for cooking. That’s right, you can add this green wonder to many of your favorite dishes for additional health benefits. Maybe its origins aren’t Irish, but green tea is certainly worthy of a St. Patrick’s Day celebration.
Green gelatin—a lesson in the snack that jiggles
Yes, gelatin is kind of weird. And, oddly enough, it comes with some pretty bizarre health benefits. While veggies and fruits offer an abundance of vitamins and nutrients, gelatin has been known to help ease joint pain, strengthen bones, promote healthy digestion and weight loss. It’s even said to improve sleep and keep your skin healthy. If you consider what gelatin is made of, its health mystique isn’t that mysterious at all. That’s because gelatin is a protein made from various animal products, mainly collagen. In other words, the stuff might help your cartilage and bone because that’s what it’s made of. And if you’re okay with that, the news gets better: You can use it to make homemade gelatin snacks including these green ones that would be perfect for St. Patrick’s Day.
Green Guac—not from Ireland, but perfect for St. Patty’s
Everyone’s favorite “super food,” the avocado, may reign supreme over all the other green foods. They’re full of vitamins, mainly B-6, C, E and K. They’re fatty in all the right ways—avocados contain a rich amount of friendly fats to keep your body feeling full and prevent overeating. They’re also flavorful. After all, who doesn’t like fresh guacamole with chips? Now, you’re probably thinking, “what’s guacamole have to do with St. Patrick’s Day?” The answer depends on who you ask. Some may say avocados and Irish cuisine don’t mix, but we think this green guac recipe will help you celebrate St. Patty’s is perfect fashion.