Celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day with JOI: 3 Common Myths Debunked + 3 Healthy Recipes

What comes to mind when you think of Saint Patrick’s Day? Is it green beer (or maybe green rivers)? A heavy meat-and-potatoes feast? Irish car bomb shots at divey party bars? A great excuse to revisit the sugary childhood joy that is Lucky Charms? Maybe a little of all these things?

Yeah, not quite the picture of healthy living–let alone a good fit for a vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, or dairy-free lifestyle. But, don’t write off the celebrations (or a major cheat day) quite yet. Turns out there are a lot of myths surrounding this quintessential Irish holiday, and they’re all good news for the health-conscious among us. Read on to debunk three big ones, plus get inspired for your own better-for-you Saint Patrick’s Day snacks and beverages...

vegan irish coffee

Saint Patrick’s Day is all about partying

Nope, not at all. Not even close. Pretty much the opposite actually–Saint Patrick’s Day originated in the 9th or 10th century as a pretty chill feast day observed by Ireland’s Roman Catholic faithful to honor their patron saint who is credited with bringing the religion to the island. Instead of filling the day with whiskey and stout, their focus was much more on church and prayer. As a bonus, they got a hall-pass for the afternoon from observing the strict Lenten season diet.

That’s a far cry from the parades and drink specials we’re used to today. Shocker: that part of the Saint Patrick’s Day tradition is 100% American (though it can be traced all the way back to 18th century colonists in Florida–further proof that our Miami neighbors have always known how to have a good time). 

The upshot is if you really want to pay homage to Saint Patrick, keep your day quiet and reflective. Or, if you want to join in the revelry but avoid the beer bloat, give our vegan Irish Coffee made with JOI a try. It’s a healthier, dairy-free take on the classic creamy dessert drink that can be made with your favorite Irish whiskey. No judgement if you want to add an extra splash–after all, if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em, right?

vegan avocado green pasta

The traditional Saint Patrick’s Day meal revolves around corned beef

Corned beef and cabbage is the classic Saint Patrick’s Day meal, right? Wrong. The OG Irish definitely had meat on the table, but it was a type of ham very similar to bacon. The whole corned beef thing actually originated in New York City, where Irish immigrants borrowed from the traditions of their Jewish neighbors who relied heavily on corned beef as a cheap protein. So, no reason to keep that dish on the menu. 

After that things get much more veggie-centric. Potatoes and cabbage are more traditional Irish dishes, but for the most part, those veggies are the stars, with onions and celery plus a few simple spices used for flavoring. Soda bread is similarly diet-friendly. The most traditional recipes use standard flour and an egg or two, but it’s easy to find variations that cater to gluten-free and vegan diets (with the help of a good plant milk of course!).

But, if we’re accepting that traditions are...not so traditional when it comes to Saint Patrick’s Day, why stress? Our recommendation? Stay on the green theme, but make it deliciously vegan with this Creamy Avocado Pasta. Made with blended fresh avocado and basil, olive oil, and spices, It’s so mind-blowingly simple to put together, you can even have an extra Irish Coffee or two ;)  

shamrock shake

 

Green is the color of Saint Patrick’s Day Celebrations

Think this holiday is all about leprechauns and shamrocks and all those other ubiquitous green symbols? Think again. Knights in the original Order of Saint Patrick actually wore blue, and that is the color Irish observing the traditional feast day associated with it. The green obsession can also be traced to American revelers, but with good cause–the color was associated with native Irelanders’ 18th century fight for independence.

In a nod to that worthy campaign, we say embrace the green. But, make it healthy. Swap out the beer for this Shamrock Shakemade with nutrient-packed spinach, avocado, mint and banana, with JOI for creaminess. Add in seeds of your choice (like hemp or chia) or sweetener to make this a real energy-boosting superfood treat.

Thank you for indulging us in a brief history lesson powered by JOI. Now, go out and make the most of Saint Patrick’s Day–however healthy or not that looks for you! Sláinte! 

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