Tips for a Healthy St. Patrick’s Day!

by Michelle on March 15, 2018

St Patrick’s Day is a day of fun and usually not the healthiest of food. Here are some helpful tips for a Healthy St. Patrick’s Day this year!

Corned beef, cabbage, carrots, potatoes, Irish soda bread, and Guinness…these all make for a very festive St. Patrick’s Day but they aren’t exactly part of a healthy diet.  Unfortunately, what often tastes the best isn’t the best for us, but one day isn’t that bad right? Well, it can be…especially if you’re trying to stick to a diet or even just trying to eat healthy in general, and this holiday can be a difficult one to navigate if you are.  So here are some suggestions for having a healthier celebration this weekend that might make you feel a bit better about the traditional fare:

Corned Beef: this salt-cured cut of meat isn’t exactly the healthiest choice, but since it’s the traditional selection for St. Patrick’s Day you can mitigate the unhealthy aspect (fatty and a lot of sodium) by boiling the brisket either on the stove or better yet in a slow cooker.

  • In a 5-to-6-quart slow cooker put in the carrots, onion, and potatoes. Place corned beef, fat side up, on top of the vegetables and sprinkle with pickling spice; add enough water to cover the meat (4 to 6 cups, or more). Put on the lid and cook on high until corned beef is fork-tender (4 1/4 hours on High or 8 1/2 hours on Low).  Remove when done and take off the fat “slab” to serve.
  • Here is a site for Vegan options…while not traditional, still in the spirit of the holiday:  https://www.veganricha.com/2016/03/30-vegan-st-patricks-day-recipes.htm

 

Cabbage, Carrots, Potatoes, & Onions:  you can cook these with the corned beef and they take on the flavor of the meat…plus it’s a way to cook them without added oil or butter.  You can roast them as well, just use minimal olive oil to cut down on the fat content. Sautéing is also an option, but more oil is needed to cook them this way.  Cabbage is the best stovetop steamed or boiled since it cooks quickly.

  • You can also mash the potatoes and make Colcannon…mashed potatoes with cabbage (or kale, chard, or another leafy green).  Just use caution with how much butter and salt you use in the mashed potatoes.

Irish Soda Bread:  There are sweet varieties (with raisins and a sugar topping) as well as savory versions of this traditional bread, but the savory variety (no fruit and no topping) is better for reduced calories and less sugar.  Here is the link to a traditional Irish Soda Bread (brown bread) recipe that’s not only easy but delicious: https://www.biggerbolderbaking.com/irish-soda-bread/

 

  • If you don’t want to make (or buy) Irish Soda Bread you can always choose Rye, Pumpernickel, or a healthy wheat bread instead.  Try to avoid rolls as they usually have more calories and don’t contribute much to the overall “flavor” of the meal.

 

Guinness:  There is no substitute for this one…but it’s not exactly bad for you…just keep in mind the calories it contains (125 calories for a 12-ounce serving).  Also, some people like to cook their corned beef in Guinness, but drinking it might be more to your liking…so whatever you choose,  keep track of the numbers!

You can always choose to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with healthier options…but if you don’t choose to do that just try to cut out as many unnecessary calories and any additional sugar, carbs, and fats as possible and enjoy.  Have a very Happy St. Patrick’s Day and “Erin go Bragh”!

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