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  • Nora Czupek

Best Green Health Foods For St. Patrick's Day

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! This is one of my favorite times of the year. Every promotional ad,

store and restaurant just seem to radiate green. Wherever we look we see green. It

surrounds us in the Shamrock shakes, the dying of the Chicago River, green donuts, and Green Soda - everything is green. Getting in the spirit of the holiday is so fun and exciting but all that green food contains artificial dye to brighten up the color. However, there are plenty of other natural healthy foods that can create the same beautiful green color while packing a full flavor punch. Let’s paint the plates and cups green in honor of St. Patrick’s Day with these three amazing green recipes that are sure to delight all the lucky leprechauns in your life.


Green Smoothie


The power of the greens creates an invigorating wake up drink to kick start your full day ahead. Kale is one of the most nutrient dense foods we can fuel our body with. It provides us with plenty of antioxidants and Vitamin C. This healthy green smoothie is the perfect way fuel up for those long St. Patrick’s Day celebrations ahead.

Recipe:

1 cup kale

1 cup frozen peach slices

½ cup frozen mango

1 cup unsweetened coconut milk vanilla

Combine in blender

*You can use any milk substitute I just prefer the flavor of the unsweetened vanilla coconut

milk with the mango and peach - it gives this smoothie some amazing flavor



Kale Gnocchi with Pesto


This bag of gnocchi comes from Trader Joes and it is one of my favorite dinner choices and it is quick to make. They also come in other flavors, such as the cauliflower gnocchi which is one of my regular dinner choices. Growing up, my favorite dish in Italian restaurants was always gnocchi, it was so good, but it only kept me full for a short period of time. This Kale Gnocchi is an amazing twist on a classic Italian dish that is healthy, will leave you feeling full and packs a flavorful punch. I typically use Beyond Meat Plant Based Meatball for my dish, I have also used Turkey Meatballs in the past and even Italian Sausage chunks as additional sources of protein for my dinner. For this recipe, however, I made just the Kale Gnocchi.

*One bag serves about two people so double recipe if needed

Recipe:

1 bag Kale Gnocchi

2 tbsp. avocado oil

¼ tsp onion powder

1/4tsp. garlic powder

1 tbsp. pesto

½ tbsp. shredded parmesan

Instructions:

Heat avocado oil + onion/garlic powder in pan. Add gnocchi and cook for 8-12 minutes (or until cooked through)

After cooked, transfer to bowl then add pesto + parmesan

Then enjoy!

*If you prefer crisper gnocchi you can always cook in air fryer at 325 F for 6-8 minutes checking to prevent burning



Gluten Free Brownies with Matcha Frosting


These brownies really are the ‘pot of gold’ at the end of the rainbow. The flavors are not

overpowering, and they complement each other so well. My favorite part of these brownies

however is the frosting. The frosting is made with cashews and maple syrup and no added

sugar. Normally I am not a huge fan of frosting, it tends to be too thick or sugary and just leaves me feeling ‘bleh’. This frosting is perfect. The lack of excessive sugar and the way it is whipped together creates such a light, yet flavorful topping, for these already amazing brownies.

Recipe:

IMPORTANT! Start soaking the cashews before you do anything else (listed in frosting)

Brownies:

- ½ cup coconut oil, melted and cooled (microwave for about 35-40 seconds)

- 1 cup almond flour

- ½ cup cocoa powder (I use Hershey’s because it packs a lot of flavor)

- ½ cup coconut sugar

- 1tsp. baking powder

- 2 tbsp maple syrup

- 1 tsp. vanilla

Frosting:

-1 ½ cup raw cashews (soak for four hours then rinse) *

- 3 tbsp maple syrup

- 1/4 cup coconut oil melted

- 1/3 cup almond milk

- ½ tsp. vanilla extract

- 2 tsp. matcha powder

*Certain websites will tell you to soak cashews for a frosting base overnight, I have found

through trial and error that it makes them to soggy. I would recommend for best results soaking

no less than 4 hours and no more than 6 hours.


Instructions:

- Preheat oven 350 F line 8x8 pan with parchment paper

- Whisk together eggs, maple syrup, coconut oil, and vanilla

- In a separate bowl combine almond flour, coconut sugar, cocoa powder, and baking

powder

- Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients combining thoroughly

- Pour batter into pan. Bake for 22-25 minutes

- For frosting, add all ingredients into a blender (NutriBullet type of machine works great)

- Add frosting to cool brownies and enjoy your treat

- Store in fridge to prevent frosting from oxidizing

I got my matcha from Meijer and it was perfect. It did not have any added sugar which is

something to look out for when purchasing matcha. Some companies will add additional sugar to sweeter because it tends to be a somewhat bitter powder. However, when mixed with the maple syrup in the frosting it creates a balanced flavor that pairs well with the chocolate.


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