Green is a fun color. It’s the color of grass, my favorite nail polish, and Leprechauns. As St. Patrick’s Day gets closer and closer, I start thinking about the different foods I can make for St. Patrick’s Day. We love corned beef and cabbage and my favorite Irish Dublin Coddle recipe is always a big hit as St. Patrick’s Day gets closer.

Green smoothies are a fun way to enjoy St. Patrick’s Day, but a lot of the recipes I find are green because they have artificial green food coloring added to them. Food dyes have been linked to a number of different health problems from ADHD to cancer, and I prefer not to use them when I cook. Giving up food dyes doesn’t mean that you have to stop enjoying your favorite green smoothies. There are healthy ways to enjoy a green smoothie without adding anything artificial.

6 Healthy Ways to Enjoy a Green Smoothie

  • Baby Spinach Leaves. Just make your favorite smoothie recipe and at the very end, add a handful of fresh baby spinach leaves. Blend briefly in your blender and your smoothie will be a festive green!
  • A Handful of Fresh Kale. I’m not a big fan of kale, to be honest, but I know a lot of people swear by the health benefits. If you like kale, definitely consider adding it to your favorite smoothie. Just toss some leaves into the blender with the rest of your ingredients. Kale goes great with frozen banana.
  • Matcha Tea. This one is for the adults since Matcha Tea does contain caffeine. It’s naturally a beautiful bright green color and works wonderfully in a morning smoothie.
  • Spirulina. Spirulina is a super food that comes from algae. I know it sounds a bit odd, but it’s very nutritious, and your smoothie will turn a bright green with only a teaspoon of spirulina.
  • Mashed Avocado. Did you know that avocado is considered a fantastic heart-healthy food? Just add 1/4 cup of mashed avocado to your smoothie recipe to load up on antioxidants like Lutein and Zeaxanthin, which are good for your eye health.
  • Leafy Greens. Just like you can add baby spinach leaves to your smoothie, you can add a variety of other leafy greens like arugula (rocket), bok choy, dandelion greens and Swiss chard. To avoid bitterness, look for baby greens and not full grown leaves.

No matter how you enjoy your smoothies, adding a few of these foods will give you an added boost of health to start the day!