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Spring into St. Patrick’s Day with Greens

Get into the spirit of spring and St. Patrick’s Day with lots of green. Try greening up your plate with some “A” list green foods that scream good health and good fortune for the season.

Cabbage:
A versatile vegetable that works great cooked or raw. It’s rich in vitamins A, C, E and B and contains cancer-fighting antioxidants. Chop it up and toss it in a salad, mix up a low fat coleslaw side dish or top off your lean roast beef sub with some lower sodium sauerkraut. Colcannon is a classic Irish side dish that combines green cabbage with mashed potatoes. Enjoy this traditional food for St. Patrick’s Day and prepare it with low-fat milk for a lighter alternative.

Avocados:
A personal favorite! They are a healthy fat, rich in vitamin K, potassium and they are a super source of fiber. Half of a medium avocado contains an impressive 6 grams of fiber. As a fat, one medium avocado is calorie dense with about 320 calories, so watch your portion! Dice some up and add to a salad, smear mashed avocado on a whole grain sandwich in place of mayo, whip up a guacamole dip for a scrumptious crudite snack. You can even buy poaches of guacamole that make this green food easily accessible without any prep.

Edamame:
Everyone loves edamame as it grows in popularity by the day! It’s a great green food that packs lots of fiber and protein. It can be enjoyed steamed as an appetizer that’s fun to eat right out of the pod. You can also throw it on a salad or make it into a delicious side dish. It’s the perfect snack food too, especially the dry roasted type. Dive into a handful of wasabi edamame for an extra flavor kick. A ¼-cup serving has 130 filling calories, 7 grams of fiber and a notable 14 grams of protein (that’s the same amount of protein as 2 ounces of lean turkey or chicken breast!). You can find individual packs of pre-cooked edamame in the produce section of the grocery store and throw it in your lunch for some great crunch.

Asparagus:
Tis the season for asparagus. Among its other veggie counterparts, it leads the pack in folic acid necessary for healthy blood cells. It’s super low in calories, with one serving (or 4 medium spears) containing only 13 calories. Add chilled steamed asparagus to your favorite salad toss it in freshly cooked pasta with balsamic vinegar and a spritz of olive oil, or sauté it with garlic and mushrooms and add to chicken for a delicious main dish. Note, the larger the diameter, the better the quality.

What are some of your favorite green foods?

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