When Kermit said “It’s not easy bein’ green” he must have been talking about how hard it is to find a green recipe for St. Patrick’s Day that’s not filled with artificial coloring. And while we know there are awesome all-natural food dyes out there, why waste an opportunity to sneak some nutritious greens into snack time? We’ve searched high and low to find clever ways to green up your grub with super “good for you” ingredients. Being sneaky never felt so good!
If your kiddos are already fans of guacamole, this one is a no-brainer. For the ones who are still hesitant about this green stranger, here is a subtle way to introduce a new friend. The high fat content (monounsaturated–the good kind) in this fruit makes it an ideal, healthy substitute for butter or mayonnaise. And with a holiday beckoning for some green, it’s a perfect time to make a debut. Try smashed avocado in chicken salad instead of mayo or be really adventurous and try this Avocado Frosting recipe from Ladies of the Grove.
This one is probably the most satisfying veggie to sneak into meal time and when pureed, it’s super easy too. You can start St. Patty’s Day off with some extra nutritious green scrambled eggs. This Scrambled Eggs with Vegetable Puree recipe from The Inconsistent Mom also has celery for even more greenery. Add the puree to meals throughout the day like mashed potatoes or mac ‘n’ cheese to keep the good luck flowing.
If you’re even vaguely interested in health food you’re probably aware of kale’s amazingness. And while you can always saute or boil this cousin of the collard green, here are some more enticing ways to introduce it to your youngins. For a yummy and healthy St. Patty’s Day snack, bake up some of these Italian Kale Chips from Bubbly Nature Creations. Crunchy and nutritious–take that, potato chips! Or if you want to eliminate kale’s leafy, veggie look all together blend up this Kale and Basil Pesto from The Adirondack Chick and mix with your kiddo’s favorite pasta.
We all know this green veggie is Popeye’s not-so-secret ingredient, but did you know that in Turkey they sneak it into dessert time? The mild flavor and bright green color of spinach puree makes a lovely cake with zero artificial coloring–pure genius. For an awesome end to St. Patty’s Day, the Spinach Cake from Joe and Sue really satisfies. And who knows, maybe the little ones will build some extra muscle.
Anyone who’s made zucchini bread or zucchini muffins knows that it’s an extremely versatile veggie–adding tons of moisture and vitamins without changing the flavor. We’ve found an simple way to incorporate it into your St. Patty’s Day spuds for a more nutritious and less carbolicious snack. Zucchini Pancakes can easily replace your average hash browns. Top them off with plain yogurt and applesauce and your kiddos will wonder where these babies have been all their lives.
This post was written by Katie Garcia and originally appeared on redtri.com, a Web site with a mission to “help parents have more fun with their kids.” Photos are courtesy of Katie Garcia, Ladies of the Grove, The Adirondack Chick, and Joe and Sue.