Author: Rosetta Danigole, UMC Lead Clinical Dietitian, Nutritional Services
Green is everyone’s favorite color on St. Patrick’s Day. If you’re looking to liven up your party or dinner table, you’re in luck. Nature has a bounty of options that don’t require food coloring.
Here are a few St. Paddy’s favorites from the UMC Nutrition team:
Brussels sprouts – These are packed with vitamins A and C as well as birth-defect fighting folate and blood pressure-balancing potassium. Not into Brussels sprouts or kale? Consider such other cruciferous veggies as broccoli, arugula, and bok choy.
Kale – A member of the powerhouse family of greens known as cruciferous veggies (a fancy word for the cabbage family), kale has bone-boosting vitamin K, vision- and immune-boosting vitamin A, and even anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids.
Asparagus – This springtime vegetable is rich in vitamins K, C, A, and folate. It also has a number of anti-inflammatory nutrients. Asparagus is also famous for a healthy dose of inulin — a “prebiotic” that promotes digestive health.
Edamame – These soybeans are a longtime Japanese diet staple. A complete plant-based protein, edamame is a good protein source for vegetarian and vegan diets. When eaten in place of fatty meat, soy may lower cholesterol by reducing saturated fat intake
Green Beans – Also called string beans, green beans are a common side dish in Southern cooking. They’re loaded with fiber, which can help lower cholesterol and stabilize blood sugar, making them an excellent choice for people with diabetes.
Try these healthful green recipes:
Luck of the Irish Green Smoothie
This smoothie is full of iron, potassium and vitamins and taste like a yummy treat.
1 cup fresh spinach
1 cup almond milk/coconut milk- low sugar
½ cup pineapple
½ cup mango- optional
- Tightly pack spinach in a measuring cup.
- Add spinach to blender with milk alternative. Blend together until all chunks are gone.
- Add pineapple, mango and banana.
- Blend all ingredients together until smooth and creamy.
- Serve cold with ice if desired.
Sodium: 30 milligrams (very low)
Carbohydrate: 51 grams—all from natural sources—fruits and vegetables
Fiber: 6 grams
Protein: 3 grams
Collard greens not only taste good, they supply a good dose of fiber, calcium, protein and iron. To keep this Southern staple healthy, keep the sodium low and skip the meat.
Number of Servings: 8
Serving Size: 1 cup
4 lb collard greens
3 cups low fat, low sodium chicken broth
2 chopped onions
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 tsp pepper
- Wash and cut the collard greens and place them in a large stockpot. Add the remaining ingredients and enough water to cover.
- Cook until tender, stirring occasionally, about 3 1/2 hours. The flavors will blend even more if you let the greens sit for a bit after cooking.