Nutrition Try These 3 Healthy St. Patrick’s Day Recipes By UPMC, March 4, 2017 Looking forward to St. Patrick’s Day, it can be tempting to load up on heavy foods and overly sweetened shakes. Often, traditional Irish celebrations are full of high calorie dishes that leave you feeling very full and bloated. The arrival of a holiday does not give you the excuse to take a break from eating healthy. Even food coloring, which many add to color their meals green, has artificial ingredients that are harmful to your health. So, this St. Patrick’s Day, put away your green food coloring and try these healthy, naturally “green” recipes instead! Spinach Pancakes Start your day off right with some tasty spinach pancakes. These fluffy flapjacks — made with Greek yogurt, baby spinach, and whole wheat flour — are a fun, festive choice for your St. Patrick’s breakfast. Ingredients for Spinach Pancakes: 2 cups non-fat plain Greek yogurt 1/2 cup milk 2 cups fresh baby spinach 2 tablespoons honey 2 eggs 1 cup whole wheat flour 1 cup white whole wheat flour 1 teaspoon baking powder 1 teaspoon baking soda How to Make Spinach Pancakes: Blend Greek yogurt, milk, and spinach together until a green liquid forms (you can do this in a blender or food processor). Next, add in honey and eggs. Blend flour until combined. Stir in baking powder and baking soda. Cook on a hot, greased griddle pan. Serve with your favorite toppings. Zucchini Noodles With Pesto If you haven’t heard of or sampled “zoodles,” now is the perfect time to try them. An especially “green” lunch or dinner for St. Patrick’s Day, this recipe has plenty of healthy vitamins A and C. Ingredients for Zucchini Noodles with Pesto: 4 small zucchinis 2 cups packed fresh basil leaves 2 cloves garlic 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste Cherry or grape tomatoes (optional) How to Make Zucchini Noodles with Pesto: Use a spiralizer, sharp knife, or peeler to slice the zucchini into noodles. Set aside. Combine the basil and garlic in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. While the food processor is on, slowly add the olive oil in a constant stream. Stop the machine and scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula. Add the lemon juice and Parmesan cheese. Pulse until blended. Season with salt and pepper. Combine the zucchini noodles and pesto. Toss to coat zucchini noodles. Serve at room temperature or chilled. Note: If you want to cook the zucchini pesto noodles, just sauté them in a skillet over medium heat. Avocado Banana Dessert Still hungry for a bit of dessert? Try this recipe for avocado and banana soft-serve ice cream. Frozen bananas serve as the base for this “ice cream” and provide a boost of potassium at the end of your day. Ingredients for Avocado Banana Soft-Serve Ice Cream: 2 frozen bananas 1/2 avocado 1/4 cup pistachios (divided) 1 tablespoon shredded coconut 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 1/4 teaspoon almond extract How to Make Avocado Banana Soft-Serve: Freeze two bananas the day before. Cut them in half before placing them in the freezer. Take pistachios out of their shells and measure them in a quarter cup. Take a small handful of pistachios and crush them with something flat. Set aside for later. Place all the ingredients (except for your crushed pistachios) in a blender or processor. Blend until you reach the consistency of soft-serve ice cream.