Will you be celebrating Saint Patrick’s Day this Sunday? It’s a fun holiday, but if you’re trying to stay healthy it’s yet another celebration filled with indulgent, fat-laden snacks and desserts. In recent years, the health factor has reached a new low with the trend of artificially dyed green food—everything from green bagels to beer to pancakes.
So, with Saint Patty’s day a few days away, I found myself wondering: What’s with all the green food? And how can we integrate some healthy options into the day? It turns out Saint Patrick’s Day is also known as the “Feast of Saint Patrick” and has been an official feast day since the early seventeenth century. The green theme entered the picture when Saint Patrick started wearing a green shamrock to explain the Holy Trinity. And so began the trend of the ubiquitous Saint Patty’s Day green, which eventually made its way into foods, drinks and desserts.
While we can’t always avoid the green, this Saint Patty’s Day we can turn to the healthiest green around: fruits and veggies. Here’s a list of recipes for a healthy and naturally green Saint Patrick’s Day:
Saint Patrick’s Day Green Smoothie (cupcakesandkalechips.com)
Baked Kale Chips (Ellie Krieger)
Green Fruit Skewers (realfoodsmarket.com)
Tyler Florence’s Corned Beef and Cabbage (Food Network)
French Green Bean Salad (jamieoliver.com)
Dairy-Free Avocado Frozen Yogurt (fitsugar.com)
And if you’re avoiding wheat, you can still enjoy classic Irish soda bread with this recipe from Jennifer Katzinger’s book Gluten-Free and Vegan Bread. It may not be green, but it’s all Irish—and delicious.
Holiday Irish Soda Bread
Makes 1 medium loaf
3 cups teff flour
2 teaspoons date sugar
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 teaspoon baking soda
1⁄2 teaspoon caraway seeds
1⁄2 teaspoon sea salt
1⁄2 cup dark raisins
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 cup room temperature filtered water
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a sheet pan and dust with teff flour.
2. Combine the teff flour, date sugar, xanthan gum, baking soda, caraway seeds, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Stir in the raisins. Add the oil and water and mix well until a smooth dough is formed. Gently knead the dough with just a few turns on a work surface dusted with rice flour.
3. Shape into a round loaf and score with a crisscross pattern. Put on the prepared sheet pan and bake for 50 minutes, until golden and firm to the touch.