Have some wholesome, nutritious fun this St. Patrick's Day with these healthy celebration snacks designed just for this cheery March holiday.
St. Patrick's Day—or St. Patty's Day, as many people lovingly call it, is a beloved, fun Irish celebration that happens each year on March 17th. Originally, St. Patrick's Day was a day created to honor St. Patrick, the Patron Saint of Ireland. In Ireland, people considered the day to be a religious day, where they attended church services and had customary religious feasts. It was immigrants, mainly in the United States, that turned St. Patrick's Day into a secular celebration meant to celebrate all things Irish.
Now, St. Patrick's Day is known as an opportunity for people to be joyful and spirited, and it's also a chance for people to imbibe traditional Irish drinks (beer and whiskey) and eat traditional Irish food (corned beef and potatoes). If you are having a St. Patty's Day celebration this year, you can still celebrate everything Irish, even if you are focused on diet and nutrition. In fact, there are many healthy celebration snacks you can enjoy that are delicious and fun—and that go right along with the theme of the day: a tribute to Irish culture and history.
If you are hoping to host a party for St. Patty's Day, and you want to make sure you have healthy offerings on-hand (in addition to soda bread and Irish car bombs), check out the ideas for healthy celebration snacks below. Each of the following snack ideas will keep people nourished and thinking about Ireland, without derailing anyone's diet.
Healthy Celebration Snacks for a St. Patty's Day Party
No St. Patty's Day Party is complete without delicious food to eat. Many people go for the more indulgent Irish option on St. Patrick's day, especially ones that are typical Irish comfort food and focus around potatoes (which are often fried or loaded with tons of cream or butter). However, there are so many healthy Irish food options that can help you honor the history of Irish cuisine, or fit in with your green-colored theme. Here are some of the best ideas.
Green Fruit Kebobs
Wearing green is an essential part of the St. Patty's Day experience. If you don't—people have free reign to pinch you! Make sure you give everyone at your party something green to have in their hand by making green fruit kebabs as one of the healthy celebration snacks. There are lots of green fruits that can easily be cut and skewered to make up an Irish-themed kebab. Consider green apples, green grapes, and kiwi as options. Cut these into small pieces, then load them onto skewers, and leave the skewers on a tray accessible to guests. They'll have a chance to enjoy green bites—and even get a chance to have something sweet without eating dessert or candy.
Baked Potato Chips
Potatoes are a huge part of the Irish diet. But so many versions of potato dishes are unhealthy. You can provide a delicious potato snack that is a nod to Irish culture but not a distraction for your diet by making baked potato chips.
Thinly slice a potato into chip-shaped pieces. Toss the pieces in olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste. Then, line a baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 400. When the oven is preheated, put the potatoes on the baking sheet in and bake them at 400 for 10 minutes. Then, using a spatula or tongs, make sure you flip each chip so that each piece has an opportunity to cook equally on both sides. Cook them for an additional 8-10 minutes on the second side, watching towards the end to make sure that the chips don't burn. When they are perfectly golden and crispy, take the chips out of the oven and allow them to cool completely. They will get harder as they cool.
For an added touch of deliciousness and a further nod to St. Patty's Day traditions, slice up some scallions and toss the sliced scallions in with the potatoes when they are done cooking. Then, pour your homemade baked potato chips into a bowl and put them on a table in the middle of the party. We guarantee your guests will be snacking on these healthy celebration snacks until the entire bowl is gone.
Edamame and Sea Salt
Edamame are soybeans that are steamed. While not Irish in culture, they are a perfect handheld snack that party guests can enjoy, that help you add more green into your tabletop décor. Get some Edamame from the grocery store, and steam them in boiling water until they are bright green and tender to the touch. (The package should tell you how long to cook them for). Once they are cooked, put them in a large bowl, and add sea salt. Toss the entire bowl, then put them out at your party for guests to eat. Make sure you provide a bowl for guests to discard their empty edamame pods in so they have something to do with the empty shells when they've eaten the beans out of them.
Healthy Celebration Drinks for St. Patrick's Day
There's no doubt about it—St. Patrick's Day is as much about drinking as it is about eating. However, many of the alcoholic drinks that go along with the celebration are simply packed with calories and not great for your body. But, you don't need to stick to water on St. Patrick's Day to ensure that your drinks don't derail your efforts to focus on nutrition. Here are a couple of St. Patrick's Day beverage ideas that will ultimately align with your wellness goals.
Do you have a juicer? If so, get some dark greens like spinach, kale, or collards and juice them into a green liquid. Along with those juiced greens, you should also try juicing some sweet fruits, like apple. Then, add a squeeze of lemon juice. This juice should be made right before the party and kept cold on ice or in the refrigerator. But, it is a delicious and healthy way to provide guests a beverage that is packed with vitamins and nutrients; that is not alcoholic; that tastes sweet and decadent; and that also is green to go along with tradition.
The Sparkling Shamrock
So, you don't want to give up adult beverages entirely for St. Patrick's Day, but you don't want to have to drink beer or whiskey. Try a more low-calorie option by making the Sparkling Shamrock—a green champagne cocktail. Get a bottle of your favorite bubbly, then pour some into glasses. Then, top each glass of champagne with just a splash of Midori Melon Liqueur. This liqueur is green and will make the champagne shine bright green, without adding too many unnecessary calories to the drink.