Green food for your St. Patrick's Day party


When it comes to making food green, the options vary from adding spinach to sprinkles. Here are 8 ways to put a little punch of green into your St. Patrick's Day menu.

Colouring Tools: Start with Spinach

Raw, wilted or pureed, spinach is one of the healthiest ways to colour otherwise regular recipes green. To make pureed spinach, put a handful of raw baby spinach (it's the most tender) or frozen spinach (it's already blanched) into a microwave-proof bowl and add a teaspoon of water. Heat for 30 seconds until wilted then puree in a blender.

And there's more. It's also easy to make food green by using pistachio pudding, food colouring, avocado, broccoli and even sprinkles. We've got ideas for all of these ahead.

Vanilla cupcakes with pureed spinach

One of the easiest ways to make sweets more festive--and a little healthier--is to add a good-for-you ingredient like spinach puree. Just add 120 grams (1/2 cup) spinach puree to your favourite cupcake recipe, boost the baking soda by 1/2 teaspoon and add 60 grams (1/4 cup) of flour. Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes and voilà! Green cupcakes.

Tropical smoothies with raw spinach

Spinach doesn't have to be cooked to add colour. Including a handful of raw baby spinach in a smoothie like this one--full of fresh pineapple, banana, yogurt, honey and kiwi--is a great way to get it green (and more nutritious, too).

Pistachio pudding cake

To your favourite yellow cake recipe, add a box of pistachio pudding mix and a teaspoon of almond extract. It's not only festive looking but the flavour is special too. While the pudding is slightly green, you may want to add 5-7 drops of green food colouring too, if your goal is a richer green colour.

Chocolate chip mint cookies

Sometimes an old stand-by is the simplest way to get food green, and that's what makes food colouring so handy. To your favourite chocolate chip cookie recipe, add 15 drops of food colouring plus 1 teaspoon of pure mint extract. Hint: Add the food colouring and mint when you're creaming the butter. The fats in the butter will help carry the flavour and colour throughout the batter as you add more ingredients.

Broccoli mac & cheese

Broccoli florets, frozen or fresh, can add a whole lot of colour to a savoury dish in a hurry. To get green mac & cheese, add 475 grams (2 cups) of finely chopped broccoli florets to your favourite homemade mac & cheese recipe. And instead of using plain milk, get out the blender and combine 235 grams (1 cup) of raw baby spinach to the milk called for in your recipe. A second pop of colour, not to mention double the nutrition.

Avocado white bean hummus

We added one ripe avocado to our favourite white bean hummus recipe (1 can of beans plus a little olive oil, a clove of garlic and juice of 2 lemons). The result was not only a pretty green colour, but an even smoother taste.

Shamrock toast with cream cheese & sprinkles

Sometimes the easiest way is the best. Spice up your St. Patty's Day breakfast with the help of a shamrock cookie cutter, cream cheese and a few sparkly green sprinkles.

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