St. Patrick’s Day Recipes

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Looking to for ways to get green this St. Patrick’s Day? These recipes from our blogger friends are straight from the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow!

Avocado Hummus

You’ll be over the rainbow for this Avocado Hummus with homemade tortilla chips in the shape of shamrocks! Recipe provided by our blogger friend, Karman at The Nutrition Adventure.

Avocado Hummus by TheNutritionAdventureIngredients:

  • 4 12-inch Whole wheat tortillas
  • 1/4 cup Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 15.5 oz. can Great Northern Beans
  • 1 Avocado
  • 1/4 cup Fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 Large garlic clove
  • 1/2 Jalapeno, seeds and ribs removed
  • 1/8 tsp. Salt
  • Cooking spray
  • Cayenne pepper, to taste

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line a 18×13 baking sheet with aluminum foil. Spray the foil with cooking spray.
  2. Serve hummus with tortilla chips and fresh vegetables, if desired. Keep hummus in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
  3. While the tortilla chips are baking, prepare hummus by combining the olive oil, beans, avocado, cilantro, lime juice, garlic, jalapeno, cumin, salt, and cayenne pepper in a food processor or blender, processing until smooth. If more liquid is needed to make the hummus smooth, add 1 tablespoon of water at a time until desired consistency is achieved.
  4. Place baking sheet in the oven and bake for 10 minutes, turning the tortillas over half way through baking. Allow tortilla chips to cool thoroughly.
  5. Use a shamrock-shaped cookie cutter, or a circle cookie cutter, to cut out tortilla chips. Place the cut tortillas on the baking sheet, being sure to not overlap. Spray the tortillas with cooking spray and sprinkle with kosher salt.

Broccoli Soup

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with a creamy and decadent bowl of warm broccoli cheddar soup, topped with shamrock-shaped croutons. Recipe provided by our blogger friend, Ericka, at Nibbles and Feasts.

Ingredients: Broccoli Soup by NibblesAndFeasts

  • 2 Tbsp. Olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups White onion, chopped
  • 2 Celery stalks, chopped
  • 5 cups Broccoli florets, save a few for garnish
  • 1 Medium Yukon gold potato, chopped
  • 4 cups Sprouts Vegetable Broth
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Salt
  • 1/2 tsp. Black pepper
  • 1 cup Milk (2% or whole)
  • 2 cups Cheddar cheese, grated
  • 4 Large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp. Dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. Dried thyme, crumbled
  • 1/2 tsp.Black pepper
  • 1/2 cup Olive oil
  • 6 slices Sour Dough bread

Instructions:

  1. For the soup: Heat oil in a large saucepan. Add onion and cook for 5-7 minutes, until tender. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute.
  2. Add celery, broccoli and potato. Cook for 2 minutes and stir in vegetable broth, 1 teaspoon salt and pepper. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until potato is soft.
  3. Transfer to a blender and blend until smooth or blend with an immersion blender in the saucepan. If blended in a blender, return soup to saucepan, add milk and stir in cheese until it melts. Serve. Garnish with small broccoli florets and croutons.
  4. For croutons: Preheat oven to 350° F. Combine garlic, oregano, thyme, 1/2 teaspoon salt, pepper and oil in a small saucepan over low medium heat. Bring to simmer for 5 minutes.
  5. Cut out bread with a 2-inch shamrock cookie cutter. Cut any remaining bread in cubes.
  6. Arrange shamrock cutout bread and cubes in one layer on a baking sheet. Brush with oil mixture on all sides. Bake for 12-14 minutes until gold and crispy. Serve as soup topping.

Cookies and Cream Shamrock Cookies

These cookies can be cut into any shape, but they’re perfectly cute for St. Patrick’s Day in a simple shamrock shape. Topped with buttercream frosting, these cookies are flavorful and delicious. Recipe provided by our blogger friend, Glory at Glorious Treats

Cookies and Cream shamrock cookies by abakershouseIngredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups All-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup Crushed chocolate sandwich cookie crumbs (about eight)
  • 1 tsp. Baking powder
  • 1/2 + 1/4 tsp. Salt
  • 1 1/2 cups Unsalted butter
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Vanilla extract
  • 2 oz. Cream cheese
  • 2 cups Powdered sugar
  • Natural green food coloring

Instructions:

  1. For the cookies: Add chocolate sandwich cookies to a large zipper lock bag and crush (with a rolling pin) until crumbs. Measure out crumbs, making sure to scrape the inside of the bag as needed to get all the bits. You do not need to remove the filling from the cookies.
  2. Add 3/4 cup crumbs into a large bowl with flour, then add baking powder and salt and set aside.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, add 1 cup butter (cold, but cut into pieces) and blend until butter is smooth.
  4. Add sugar and blend until well combined and fluffy.
  5. Add egg and 1 teaspoon vanilla and blend until fully incorporated.
  6. With the mixer on low, slowly add the flour/crumb mixture. Blend until all ingredients are combined and the dough begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl.
  7. Remove dough and roll out on a lightly floured work surface, or roll out between two sheets of plastic wrap (and then no flour is needed). Roll to dough to about 3/8″ thick. Cutout desired shapes and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a Silpat type liner.
  8. Chill entire baking sheet of cookies (in the fridge) while you heat the oven to 350F. Bake cookies for about 10 minutes, or until the top surface of the cookies not longer looks moist. Allow to cool a few minutes on the baking sheet, then move to a cooling rack. Cool completely before frosting.
  9. For the frosting: In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat 1/2 cup butter until smooth. Add cream cheese and continue to blend until fully smooth.
  10.  Add 1 cup of powdered sugar and blend. Add 1/4 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. vanilla and continue to blend.
  11. Add second cup of powdered sugar and mix until smooth and fluffy. Add food coloring, as desired.
  12. Spread frosting onto fully cooled cookies, or add frosting to a piping bag and fill in the cookies with a tight zig-zag pattern (as shown).

Shamrock Spinach Pancakes

You’ll be surprised to find out these family-friendly pancakes don’t have an overwhelming taste of spinach and will make eating a healthier breeze. Recipe provided by our blogger friend, Holly Baker at A Bakers House.

Note: If you’d like to make shamrock shaped pancakes, place a metal cookie cutter sprayed with baking spray on your heated pan. Fill with a thin layer of spinach pancake batter. Wait until bubbles form then remove the cookie cutter with tongs (the cookie cutter will be HOT!), flip the pancake and cook for an additional 30 seconds. Spray the cookie cutter again before using for the next pancake.

Ingredients: Spinach Pancakes by abakershouse

  • 1 2/3 cups Gluten-free pancake mix
  • 1 1/2 cups Water
  • 1/2 cup Tightly packed fresh spinach leaves
  • 1/2 cup Sprouts Organic Maple Syrup
  • 2 Tbsp. Sprouts unsalted butter
  • Baking Spray

Instructions:

  1. Heat a large pan or griddle over medium-high heat. Spray with baking spray.
  2. Pour batter onto the heated pan. Wait until bubbles start to form in the middle of the pancake, then flip and cook for another 30 seconds.
  3. Serve with butter and syrup.

Spring Break Travel Snack Tips

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by Mary Ellen Phipps, MPH, RDN, LD founder of milkandhoneynutrition.com

It’s hard to believe, but winter is quickly coming to an end and before we know it spring will be here bringing warmer temps, yummy produce and the start of a big travel season.

Bento-box-style snack boxes with fruit, vegetables and sandwiches.

Why Be Prepared

Whether you’re just making a day trip with the kids to your local zoo, setting out across the country for a fun-filled road trip, or hopping on a two-hour flight to your closest beach, there are a few reasons to make sure you come prepared with snacks from home.

Cost: Buying snack foods in airports, or convenience stores is far more expensive than purchasing them at your local grocery store or making them at home.

Gut health: The stress of travel alone can often throw gut bacteria out of whack. New-to-you snack foods purchased while traveling may create some GI distress as well. It’s a good idea to pack some tried-and-true favorites.

Immune health: Our immune systems can be another victim of travel stress. If we’re not fueling our bodies properly, our immune system could take an even bigger hit – making us more prone to getting sick.

A Few Things to Keep in Mind

Day Trip

Taking a day trip allows you the flexibility to pack both shelf-stable and refrigerated snacks in a cooler.  If you plan to be gone all day, remember to pack substantial foods as well. Freezing some beverages and ice packs will keep things nice and cool. Any food that is supposed to be refrigerated should be kept on ice as long as possible. Once it is taken out of the cooler (or the cooler is no longer below 40°F), it should be consumed within two to four hours. If you’re ever in doubt, just throw it out.

Day-Trip Snacks

  • Popcorn
  • Dark chocolate rice cakes
  • Bananas
  • Oranges
  • Energy bites

Cooler Snacks

  • Berries
  • Yogurt
  • Flavored water
  • Sandwiches
  • Chicken salad
  • Snacking cheese

Longer Road Trip

For longer road trips, you’ll want to keep the same food safety precautions in mind as you would on day trips. Keep in mind that cooler snacks will only last one day or less depending on the length of your trip. If your road trip will be longer than one day, try to scout out your favorite grocery stores along the route—stocking up on refrigerated goods as you make your way to your destination. Some of my preferred shelf-stable, travel-friendly snacks include:

  • 100% uncured beef sticks
  • Oat bites
  • Apple sauce
  • Nut butter
  • Whole-grain bread
  • Breakfast cereal
  • Snack-size bars
  • Nut butter pouches
  • Other shelf-stable produce options like apples and grapes

Plane Trip 

Plane trips are a bit different when it comes to picking out your snacks. You’ll need to consider what will fit in your carry-on bag as well as what security will allow you to bring. If you bring a cooler, make sure all the ice packs are frozen solid. Anything that is not frozen, including foods, beverages, and ice packs is subject to the TSA’s 3-1-1 rule.

Plane trips are the perfect opportunity to shop delicious bulk snacks in the Bulk Department, where you can choose the amount that best fits in your luggage. Easy-to-pack items include:

  • Walnuts
  • Chocolate-covered almonds
  • Pistachios
  • Dried mangos
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Plantain chips
  • Granola

Whatever your plans are this spring break, whether you’re traveling cross country or to the nearby park, make sure to stop by your local Sprouts to find your favorite travel-friendly snacks!


 

Influencer - Mary Ellen - Milk & Honey Nutrition

About Mary Ellen

Mary Ellen Phipps, MPH, RDN, LD, is the Registered Dietitian, mom, food blogger and recipe developer behind milkandhoneynutrition.com. She’s also a type 1 diabetic and firmly believes food should bring us joy, not stress. Mary Ellen makes healthy eating easy, realistic and most importantly … fun! Visit her website and you’ll find yummy low-sugar, diabetes-friendly recipes the whole family will love … as well as helpful tips and a little mom humor.

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Eat the Rainbow: Green Foods for St. Patrick’s Day

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by Kristina LaRue, RD, CSSD, founder of love & zest

There are so many fun and colorful ways to jazz up meal time with food! Eating the rainbow is easy with an endless amount of produce options—there’s a fruit and veggie for every color of the rainbow.

With St. Patrick’s Day right around the corner, it’s time to pull out all things green—including fruits and veggies! Sprouts has all the green foods you need to make this St. Patrick’s Day the best one yet.

Fresh green fruits and vegetables, with green drinkLet’s Chat Green Fruits

Avocados contain twice the potassium of a banana (gram for gram). Potassium is important for blood pressure and nerve function. Avocados also boast gamma-tocopherol, a defender against disease-provoking compounds in the body. If you’re craving avocado, check out this recipe for Avocado Chicken Caesar Salad, featuring creamy avocado dressing.

Granny Smith apples are an excellent source of vitamin C and dietary fiber. The polyphenolic compounds found in apples are phytonutrients that help protect against free radicals in the body. Apples can be enjoyed many different ways like in this recipe for Caramel Apple Oatmeal.

Kiwi may look foreign on the outside with its fuzzy skin, but there’s nothing weird about its health benefits! Did you know you can even eat the skin? Packed with vitamin C, dietary fiber, vitamin K and vitamin E, kiwi makes a great addition to smoothies and a tangy salad topping. Try it in this Summer Superfood Smoothie Bowl.

Limes are a good source of vitamin C and a tart, flavorful addition to many dishes. Squeeze limes on baked chicken, use in a marinade or enjoy in a refreshing glass of Tart Cherry Limeade bursting with lime flavor!

Remember the Green Veggies

Arugula is a nutrient-dense veggie with great sources of dietary fiber, vitamins A, C and K, as well as folate, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium! You can’t go wrong with this leafy green. Use it as a salad base, avocado toast topper or tossed with pasta like this Lemon Arugula Pasta Salad.

Broccoli contains very good sources of dietary fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C and potassium. You can immerse broccoli in cold water after roasting to preserve the many nutrients it offers.

Green bell peppers are just one of the many bell pepper options. Green bell peppers in particular are slightly sweet and high in dietary fiber, vitamin A and vitamin C. They’re great diced in an omelette, chopped in a salad or stuffed like these Vegetarian Quinoa Stuffed Peppers.

Kale is incredibly nutritious. A one-cup serving provides 133% of the daily value of vitamin A and 134% of the daily value of vitamin C. Plus, there are endless ways to enjoy kale—toss with avocado oil and lemon juice for a nutritious side dish, add to a smoothie, or cook and stuff in a sweet potato for a hearty dish!

Remember to eat the rainbow every day. Check out the red Eat the Rainbow article for more inspiration!


 

Kristina portrait from Love and Zest

About Kristina

Kristina LaRue, RD, CSSD, is the owner of popular food and nutrition website, Love & Zest, where she shares (mostly) healthy recipes to fuel the whole family and real-life stories of modern motherhood. Kristina is a former NBA team dietitian, collegiate sports RD and cookbook author. She’s the mama to two active and hungry boys and lives in Orlando with her middle-school sweetheart. Follow Love & Zest on Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook, and get her new family-friendly weeknight dinner guide for stress-free meal planning.

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How to Prepare, Cook & Eat an Artichoke

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Native to the Mediterranean region, the artichoke is the not-yet-bloomed flower of a thistle plant that is part of the sunflower family. Despite their slightly prickly exterior, artichokes are quite easy to prepare, cook and eat. Plus, they’re packed with antioxidants, vitamin C and dietary fiber.

Preparing an artichoke: Fresh artichokes in a paper bag

Easy Artichoke Prep

  • Because they have sharp barbs, the first thing you’ll want to do in preparation is to cut the top cluster of barbs off with a sharp knife. This will remove about a quarter of the artichoke. Then, utilizing kitchen shears, cut the barbs off the tops of the remaining leaves.

TIP: Don’t worry that you’re taking too much off the top of the artichoke or the tops of the leaves—the edible part is at the base of the leaf. More on that later …

  • Now that the artichoke is easier to handle, remove the small leaves at the base, closest to the stem and cut the stem, leaving about a ½”.
  • The final step is to rinse the artichoke under cool running water to remove any debris that might be trapped in between petals.

Cooking an Artichoke: It’s Easy!

  1. Add just enough water to a pot so that the water is just below the steamer basket. Cover and bring the water to a boil.
  2. Add the prepared artichoke, replace the lid and lower the heat to simmer the water. It will take 20-40 minutes to cook. After 20 minutes, you’ll want to check the artichoke(s) every 5 minutes. The color will change from fresh green to a more muted green and you’ll know it’s read when you can easily remove a petal. TIP: Use tongs for this part—those petals will be really hot!
  3. Set aside and allow to cool a bit before eating it.

Now What? How to Eat an Artichoke

  • Serve the artichoke right-side up on a plate.
  • Remove a petal from the artichoke and eat only the bottom, whitish fleshy part of the petal that was closest to the base of the artichoke.
  • You can certainly eat artichokes plain, or with a little salt & pepper. Try dipping them in melted butter or ghee, a tangy vinaigrette or a savory aioli.

TIP: Have a bowl at-the-ready for discarded petals.

Easy Aioli Recipe

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 Garlic cloves, pressed
  • ¼ tsp. Kosher salt
  • ½ cup Sprouts Organic Mayonnaise
  • 2 Tbsp. Sprouts Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Tbsp. Fresh lemon juice
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Mash garlic and salt in a small bowl until a paste forms.
  2. Whisk in mayonnaise, oil and lemon juice.
  3. Season with salt and pepper—enjoy!

Did you know?

One artichoke plant can produce up to 20 artichokes per year.