St. Patrick’s day is a celebration of everything Irish. From leprechauns, shamrocks, the color green, parades, music and ,of course, corned beef and cabbage and the Pot of Gold. There is much history behind all of these traditions but for us, keeping the leprechauns at bay and everything green is the most important.
Leprechauns are known as small fairy like creatures that are full of trickery. They have been known to show up at our house and create havoc. Turning pictures upside down, moving small items from one room to another, and always looking for someone to pinch if they aren’t wearing green. Apparently, wearing green makes you invisible to the leprechauns. I make sure my grandchildren are prepared with green socks, of course, and I try and come up with some fun and healthy green food selections for us to prepare to keep it fun and festive. These are all easy to prepare, using natural ingredients for color instead of artificial food dye which
I try to avoid whenever possible. Mother Nature offers many delightful alternatives and spinach is a perfect natural and healthy substitute for green food coloring.
Start your St Patrick’s day off with a quick and delicious breakfast with a Pineapple Smoothie Filled with pineapple, spinach greens and a lot of flavor. Add a nutritious all-natural green muffin and a fruit skewer or a fresh rainbow fruit tray on the side. You, your kids, and grandkids will all love it!
Pineapple Smoothie - www.MadetobeaMomma.com
1 frozen banana
1 cup frozen pineapple
2 cups green spinach
1 cup milk or almond milk
1 cup vanilla Greek yogurt place all ingredients in a blender starting with the milk. Blend on high speed until smooth and serve immediately.
Naturally Green Hulk Muffins-named after the Incredible Hulk are packed with spinach and whole grains. These muffins are lightly sweet and ultra-fluffy. www.MelsKitchenCafe.com
2 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 canola, vegetable, avocado, grape seed or melted coconut oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 oz baby spinach
2 mashed very ripe bananas
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. line two 12-cup muffin tins with paper liners or grease with nonstick cooking spray.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
In a blender, add the egg, sugar, buttermilk, oil, vanilla and bananas and blend until puréed and smooth.
Pour the spinach mixture into the dry ingredients and mix just until combined. A few small dry streaks and lumps here and there are ok. Don’t over mix or the muffins can be dry.
Scoop the batter into the prepared tins, filling to about 2/3 full. Bake for 15-18 minutes as needed according to your oven until the muffins spring back lightly to the touch and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with just a few moist crumbs.
Let the muffins cool for a few minutes in the pan Then turn out carefully onto a cooling rack to cool completely.
Fruit Kabob or Pot of Gold Rainbow Fruit.
A perfect way to end the day of Saint Patrick. The nutrition of a spinach loaded green smoothie with the creamy goodness of a milkshake. Leprechauns will be green with envy!
2-3 Scoops Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
1/3 Cup 1% Milk
1/4 Cup Fresh Spinach
1 Sprig Fresh Mint, Stem discarded
1-3 Drops Spearmint or Peppermint Extract
Blend Together and Serve Immediately. Option to garnish with Whipped Cream.
I also like to include a fun craft the kids will enjoy doing to continue the celebration.
This year I had them find a rock and we painted a shamrock on them and placed them by the front door.
A Sham- Rock to help ward off those crafty leprechauns.
This holiday is just a time to find fun ways to make the day memorable and festive and create something for your grandchildren to look forward to. Now if you are Irish, that is another story.
Irish Blessing: May your troubles be less and your blessings be more and nothing but happiness come through your door.