This year’s St. Patrick’s Day celebrations have almost all been called off, and we don’t recommend celebrating in the usual ways of going to a bar or restaurant or getting together with your friends.  But if you are confined to your house, just remember there ARE some perks besides saving on that bar tab – like the fact that you are able to eat much healthier meals by cooking at home.

One super easy yet powerful way to add some immune boosting benefits to your and your family’s diet is by making more green smoothies! Virtually all nutrition experts agree that eating more greens is one of the biggest secrets to good health, and adding them to a smoothie makes the process fast, easy, and delicious! Kids especially love to drink them when they themselves can pick and choose the ingredients – and if they’re old enough, help with the peeling, chopping, or operating the blender.

Here’s one version of a green smoothie that’s perfect for Stay-at-Home Celebrations, is hearty enough for a meal replacement, and has lots of options depending on what you have on hand – what a great time to use up leftovers or whatever you’ve been stashing away in your freezer!

The superstar of this smoothie (besides the greens) is the avocado which makes it extra creamy and healthful – but if you don’t have any around, just omit or substitute cooked or canned beans or pretty much any other vegetable or fruit (or nothing at all). Besides vitamins and minerals, avocados contain lutein, beta-carotene, and omega-3 fatty acids, which may all help to protect your immune system.

St. Patrick’s Day Minty Green Smoothie – Serves 2 – 3

Ingredients (all can be either fresh or frozen):

2 handfuls or about 1 1/2 cups spinach or any other greens

1 cup of ice if fruit/veggies are not frozen (consistency won’t be as creamy)

1 -2 cups water, vanilla or plain almond milk, or any other plant-based milk, depending on how thick you like it

1 medium avocado or beans or other veggie

½ – 1 cucumber, cut into chunks, or 1 cup of chopped carrots or almost any other vegetable that you can think of – adjust liquid accordingly

½ to 1 banana or 1 apple (preferably with skin on if it’s organic and you have a powerful blender), or 1 cup of any other chopped fruit

1 – 2 Tablespoons almonds or any other nut or seed such as flax seed or hemp seed

Optional: ¼ cup fresh mint leaves – gives a festive minty flavor but you could even substitute just a tad of mint flavoring!)

Blend the greens with the liquid and ice, if using, for a minute or so until juice-like. Add remaining ingredients and of course the party hat on your head – and here’s a toast to your great health!!

Notes: Smoothies are best made in a Vita-mix or other powerful blender, but if you don’t have one of those, just use a regular blender and enjoy the rougher consistency – you may need to chop things more before adding. If this smoothie is not sweet enough for your taste, you can add some dates, soaking for a few minutes first in warm water if they are on the hard side.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day – we wish you and your family the best of health – by eating more plants, you are definitely on the right track!

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