St. Patrick’s Day isn’t my thing. (How’s that for the open of a St. Patrick’s Day post?) But now that I have kids—who love any excuse to celebrate anything—I hate to be a curmudgeon about it. So, after thinking about it long and hard (okay, not really that long or hard), I’ve come to realize something very important. Now that I’m beyond the head-to-a-bar-after-work years, my only real remaining issue with St. Patrick’s day is unnaturally green food.
Yes, I try to avoid artificial food coloring, but also everything in moderation—so that’s not the only issue. There’s just something plain unappetizing about turning foods that aren’t meant to be green an intense emerald color. And, yea, especially with a load of artificial color. But naturally green food? Well that I can get down with. So with these naturally green, dye free recipes for St. Patrick’s Day, I just may find a soft spot for the holiday after all.
Especially if I score some gold this year.
Top: Cheesy Green Hummus | Weelicious
Dye free recipes for St. Patrick’s Day: Anytime
Catherine at Weelicious is the queen of coming up with simple, all natural ways to make festive food for kids on holidays and these Spinach Pancakes are a perfect example. They are so simple and you can make them for breakfast (with syrup), lunch (with yogurt to dip or as the bread for a SunButter Sandwich), or dinner (breakfast for dinner, of course). In fact, the kids might want them for all three on St. Patrick’s Day. Yes, even though they’re made with spinach!
Dye free recipes for St. Patrick’s Day: Breakfast
Green Tea Sugared Toast | Oh, How Civilized
Natural food dyes are great, but matcha green tea powder is my favorite way to achieve a deep green color without using artificial food coloring. There is no easier way to use matcha powder than in this recipe for Green Tea Sugared Toast that we found at Oh, How Civilized. Plus, it’s not just about the color: The tea gives this breakfast a lovely flavor and also some immune boosting properties (bonus!). This is a perfect quick St. Patrick’s Day breakfast that’s easy enough to whip up on a school day.
Another quick and easy, dye-free green breakfast? You know what’s coming. . . a green smoothie! Trust me: Not all green smoothies taste like, well, plants. In fact, this Green Mojito Smoothie from The Blender Girl App (which we love) is full of pineapple and mint and other bright flavors that kids love. Yes, there is some kale in there, but I promise they won’t suspect a thing.
Dye free recipes for St. Patrick’s Day: Snack
How delicious do these Pesto Spinach Muffins at the Candid Appetite look?! And they’re sure to taste as good too, because pesto! (Which, by the way, will easily dominate over the spinach flavor, if you’re worried about picky eaters.) Homemade pesto is never a bad idea, especially if you follow our simple tutorial on how to make pesto perfect every time, but if you want to simplify the process of making these, use store-bought. Just do me a favor and look for fresh pesto in the refrigerator section; avoid shelf-stable pesto in a jar at all costs.
Healthy Shamrock Shake | An Edible Mosaic
Going dye free doesn’t mean that you have to give up your annual Shamrock Shake thanks to this healthy version that we found at an Edible Mosaic. This dairy-free smoothie has all the minty flavor, but none of the artificial color and lower sugar, too.
Dye free recipes for St. Patrick’s Day: Lunch
Okay, I get that you might not normally make homemade wraps, but they’re the easiest form of homemade bread and, honestly, totally worth it, at least every once and a while. The recipe for these Homemade Spinach Wraps at Katie At The Kitchen Door is not hard at all, but does require a little chill time. Good thing you can make these ahead of time. Set aside 45 minutes this weekend and then have them on hand for lunch (or dinner) on St. Patrick’s Day. I love the idea of using them to wrap up a chopped Greek salad with chickpeas. Yum!
Another great one from Catherine at Weelicious, this Cheesy Green Hummus is perfect for a St. Patrick’s Day lunch. Serve it (or pack it up) with pita chips and veggies for dipping, and you’ve got a tasty, protein-rich meal that’s festive, too.
Dye free recipes for St. Patrick’s Day: Dinner
If you can’t normally get the kids excited about broccoli, but would like to, St. Patrick’s Day may be your moment. Green goes from being suspect to festive, especially all pureed like in this Vegan Cream of Broccoli Soup at The Blender Girl that has us drooling. No talk of icky stems or yucky trees: just pure deliciousness. I’m confident you’ll love this soup even if you’re not vegan, but feel free to add cream instead of (or in addition to) cashews if that’s more your style.
Avocado Pasta | Damn Delicious
Not only is this Avocado Pasta recipe that we found at Damn Delicious a lovely (ahem, natural) shade of green, but it’s also a no-cook sauce. As in you don’t have to cook anything to make it. Just boil a pound of pasta using our foolproof method for how to cook perfect pasta (which includes instructions on how to cook pasta ahead of time, too) and toss. Skip the tomatoes if you want to keep this meal pure green for St. Patrick’s day.
Dye free recipes for St. Patrick’s Day: Dessert
If you’re willing to get slightly more involved with your green tea powder, whip up a batch of these lovely Matcha Tea Shamrock Shortbread Cookies at Dans le Townhouse. Matcha powder may be a little bit harder to get than your average ingredient, but then you only need three other ingredients to make these. It’s a fair trade, I’d say. There are, of course, instructions on how to make the cookies shamrock-shaped, but if you’re not feeling crafty (or don’t have the right cookie cutter), there are also bake times for regular, round cookies.
Mulberry Cupcakes with Matcha Cream Cheese Frosting | Une-Deux Senses
If your family is more into cake than cookies, you have to try these Mulberry Cupcakes with Matcha Cream Cheese Frosting that we found at Une-Deux Senses. YUM! If you can’t find mulberries (likely), you can easily substitute blackberries. Or go rogue with your favorite chocolate or vanilla cupcake recipe—or even store-bought. Anything will look festive with that beautiful green icing on top. See, I can get into the spirit!