Eat your greens!

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In March I always think about St. Patrick’s Day… a day when we wear green and drink green beer to celebrate. These traditions are fun, but I want to add in a healthy habit in honor of St. Patrick’s day this year. Let’s dedicate March to eating leafy greens as well!

Now, I know what you’re thinking… this doesn’t sound like much fun… but check out our first recipe. You’ll feel as sprightly as a leprechaun after you try this festive breakfast shake!

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Healthy Shamrock Shake

Ingredients

  • Big handful of baby spinach (or kale or collard greens)
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 cup milk of choice (I used unsweetened almond milk)
  • 1/3 cup yogurt (I used Kite Hill’s almond milk yogurt)
  • 1/8 tsp pure peppermint extract
  • 1 TBSP honey
  • 1 TBSP mini dark chocolate chips

Instructions:

  1. Add all of your ingredients to a blender except chocolate chips. Blend until smooth.
  2. Stir in chocolate chips and sprinkle a few on top!
Benefits of the Shamrock Shake include:
  • Greens: Greens represent a convenient, essentially non-caloric, nutrient-dense source of otherwise hard to obtain minerals.
  • Banana: An excellent energy source, bananas high potassium content can regulate blood pressure and support heart health.
  • Peppermint extract: Peppermint extract is known to relieve nausea and may reduce mild pain.
  • Dark Chocolate Chips: Chocolate is a great source of antioxidants which help the body’s cells resist damage.

Why go green?

Adding more leafy greens into your diet is one of the best things you can do for your health. You’ll feel the benefits immediately, but in case you need more data to back it up, here’s what makes greens such a nutritional powerhouse. They contribute vitamins A, C, E, K as well as many B-vitamins to your diet. They also contain minerals such as calcium, iron, potassium and carotenoids–important antioxidant phytochemicals. As if that were enough, they’re a great source of fiber as well. All of these benefits come together to promote wellness throughout your body and mind. Plus, those who eat more greens are more likely to remain at a healthy weight–bonus point!

Here is another healthy St. Patrick’s Day recipe: Colcannon Cakes! This play on a traditional Irish dish features cabbage as its leafy green star. If you want to mix things up, substitute Brussels sprouts in place of the cabbage or add in extra veggies like carrots and peas! This versatile recipe is a tasty way to reinvent leftovers.

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Colcannon Cakes 

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound cabbage (cored and shredded)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 cups mashed potatoes
  • ½ cup whole wheat flour (or gluten-free flour of choice)
  • ¼ teaspoon + ½ teaspoon reduced salt seafood seasoning (added separately)

Method:

  1. Warm olive oil in a sauté pan. Sauté cabbage until tender.
  2. In a large bowl, combine cabbage, mashed potatoes and ¼ tsp of the seafood seasoning. Gently form the mixture into approximately six hockey-puck shaped patties.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix the flour with the remaining ½ tsp of seasoning. Gently dip each patty in the flour mixture, to coat evenly.
  4. Cook on medium-high heat in an oiled pan for 3-4 minutes per side or until warm and crispy. Serve immediately.

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