Five Green Foods to Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day
In the spirit of the green themed holiday, we’re sharing five of the most nutritious and tasty green foods for St. Patrick’s Day, along with our favorite recipes that use each one.
Let us know which are your favorite green foods, and comment below if you plan to try any of the recipes!
Baby Spinach: While no one is doubting kale’s awesomeness, spinach is actually even MORE nutritious and, at times, more versatile. A cup of cooked spinach contains 20% or more of the daily value of 12 different nutrients, including vitamins A, K, C, B2, B6, iron, manganese, folate, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and tryptophan. This makes spinach nature’s multivitamin. Plus, we love that spinach is as easily eaten cooked as it is raw, and probably one of the most versatile greens of the bunch.
Recipe: Try spinach in an unexpected way in these Super Green Power Pancakes, perfect for kicking off St. Patrick’s Day at breakfast.
Avocado: It may surprise you, but avocados are technically a fruit. Though, most of us think of this fruit as a veggie, and nutritionally it’s more of a fat. Nonetheless, it’s a healthy food! Avocados have a smooth, velvety texture and are loaded with healthy fats and fiber. They can be used in so many ways: diced into salads, spread onto bread or wraps for sandwiches, mashed into guacamole, and even blended into smoothies.
Recipe: Try this No Mayo Tuna Avocado Salad
Matcha: Matcha is a pretty green powder made from finely ground green tea leaves. It’s rich in antioxidants called polyphenols, which have been shown to protect against cancer and heart disease, as well as premature aging. Another compound in matcha, ECGC has some research showing it can provide a small boost to your metabolism. We love matcha in matcha lattes, as well as adding into smoothies and overnight oats!
Recipe: Watch how to make the most delicious Matcha Latte here!
Pistachios: These tiny green nuts pack serious nutritional power . . . and a whole lot of flavor. An ounce of pistachios (49 nuts!) weighs in at around 160 calories and delivers 3 grams of fiber, 6 grams of protein, and as much potassium as half a banana. Now that’s a great snack. We also love them chopped up and stirred into oatmeal or tossed with popcorn and dark chocolate for a treat.
Recipe: For a treat try this amazing Lemon Pistachio Cake by Heather Christo.
Kiwi: This furry little fruit packs in major amounts of vitamin C. A single kiwi fruit delivers nearly two times the amount of vitamin C in an orange. Vitamin C is important for protecting our body’s cells from damage and also in making collagen (which is a VIP when it comes to strong and healthy hair, skin, and nails). Try blending kiwi into a smoothie, using it as a yogurt topping, or just eating it straight-up as a snack. Try our Kiwi-Pineapple Green Smoothie below (it packs in SO many green foods!) or layer kiwi over toast spread with ricotta cheese and drizzled with honey, or on a kiwi breakfast tostada like this one.
Kiwi-Pineapple Green Power Smoothie
1 kiwi (peeled or with the skin on, depending on your preference)
1/2 cup frozen pineapple chunks
1 cup skim milk or unsweetened dairy alternative
1/4 cup chopped avocado
1 cup fresh baby spinach
2 tablespoons uncooked rolled oats
2 tablespoons unflavored protein powder (we like Amazing Grass unsweetened powder)
1/2 cup ice
Place the milk, kiwi, banana, and avocado in the blender and blend until smooth, about 1 minute. Add the spinach, oats, protein powder, and ice and blend for another 2 minutes. Pour into a glass and power up!
Nutrition info: 360 calories, 8g fat (1g saturated fat), 23g protein, 55g carbohydrate, 9g fiber, 28g sugars, 5mg cholesterol, 255mg sodium