Happy St. Patrick's Day, friends! At the Gilmore house, a new holiday means a new challenge to find healthy ways to celebrate and have fun. With the help of my little shamrocks, I just created a Minty Shamrock Shake (Move over, McD's) and tried out Irish Soda Bread with healthy twists. Yummy! You could always go digging in your refrigerator or browsing at your farmer's market for green fruits and veggies. Try sliced kiwi, limes, green peppers, asparagus, cucumbers - even apples!
We know it may sound weird but spring is the time for sweet peas so why not utilize their natural color? They have a light flavor but do not dominate a smoothie so your kids probably won't even notice. And the good news is, you don't have to use those yucky dyes to make your food green. If you're gun shy, try a tablespoon first just to get a little color. Just be a sneaky chef and leave a comment so we can hear if your little leprachauns liked it.
Minty Shamrock Shake
-3 cups raw whole milk (or your fave type of milk)
-1 tray of ice cubes
-1/2 teaspoon organic peppermint extract (depends on how minty you like it!)
-3 tablespoons honey (or organic sugar, if you prefer)
-1/4 cup frozen organic sweet peas
1. Whirl these ingredients in your blender until smooth.
2. Serve with a straw.
I found several recipes for Irish Soda Bread and decided to create my own. A special thanks to Maura Marmo and Peggy O'Brien-Bremer from my elementary school on the South Side of Chicago, who inspired me with their bread recipes. I've never used caraway seeds before but they are a fun addition that give this bread a distinct flavor. I would serve this up for breakfast, lunch or a dinner appetizer.
Whole Wheat Irish Soda Bread
-3 cups whole wheat flour
-2/3 cup organic evaporated cane juice (sugar)
-1 tablespoon baking powder
-1 teaspoon baking soda
-2 beaten eggs
-1 1/2 cups buttermilk
-2 tablespoons organic butter, melted
-1 cup raisins
-1 teaspoon caraway seeds
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x5 loaf pan or mini loaves.
2. Sift flour into bowl. Add sugar, baking powder and baking soda.
2. Beat eggs. Add milk and butter. Blend into dry ingredients until batter is incorporated and moist.
3. Add raisins.
5. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 1 hour or until golden brown on top.
6. Cool, slice and serve with butter.
Here are more St. Patty's Day healthy recipes from one of my fave online sources, Eating Well Magazine.