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5 Healthy green foods to celebrate St. Patrick's Day

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St. Patrick's Day is a day of festivities including some not-so-healthy favorites like green beer, corned beef, and anything with green icing. If you are more health conscious, there are lots of alternatives to the traditional St. Patrick's Day menu. Be creative, use a variety of healthy, green nutritious ingredients, and start your own traditions.

1. Green smoothies. Enjoy these all day long by incorporating spinach, kale, avocado, cucumbers, kiwi, or green apples. Go heavy on the green vegetables to keep calories low and use fruit to sweeten the smoothie enough to make it palatable. Be sure to blend long enough to finely puree the greens.

2. Green egg omelets or casseroles. Make breakfast fun but not loaded with sugar, carbs, or processed junk. Forget the Lucky Charms. Make an omelet or casserole with eggs, fresh or frozen spinach, and cheese. Throw in a little green food coloring to make it more festive.

3. Colcannon is a traditional Irish dish made with mashed potatoes and kale or cabbage. Use kale or leek instead of cabbage to make the color a deeper green and increase the nutrient value.

4. Minted pea mash. This is made with butter, frozen peas, fresh mint leaves, and salt and pepper. It is the consistency of mashed potatoes so kids will love it. It is easy to make, low in fat, high in fiber, and rich in vitamin C.

5. Avocado ice cream. Avocados contain a lot of potassium, are high in fiber, and contain healthy fats. Not something most people think of as a dessert food, avocados mixed with Greek yogurt, cream, and a little stevia make a creamy delicious treat.

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