In honor of St. Patrick's Day, I present you with a completely subjective ranking of green foods — from worst to best.
10. The Shamrock Shake
Every few years, I giddily treat myself to a Shamrock Shake. While I wait to place my order, I always ask myself why I missed the limited-time window last year. Then, the cashier hands me my shake, I take a sip, and I instantly remember: Because I don't actually like Shamrock Shakes! It's never as good I think it will be or want it to be. Instead of minty fresh, it's chemical-y and not refreshing.
Try this instead: Do Yourself a Favor and Make Your Own Boozy Shamrock Shake
9. Green Beans
If your family is anything like mine, you experience green beans based on the season (usually during the holidays when they make an appearance in delicious casseroles), and as a "should-eat" vegetable during most other times of the year. Green beans are a great example of a veggie that can be prepared to taste delicious (yes, even outside of a crispy casserole), but usually miss the mark.
8. Green Apples
Like green grapes, I would argue that green apples are less delicious than their red counterparts. Sorry, guys, you're just not as sweet or enticing and I do not want to eat you.
For most of us, any negative associations with green foods can be traced back to childhood dinners, many of which were spent pushing broccoli around the plate with our fork. No amount of pretending they were "baby trees" could make them any more appetizing. Although I've since learned to love steamed broccoli in certain dishes, this veggie was the root of my personal struggle with eating healthfully as a kid, and I fear we'll have a strained relationship forever. Sorry, broccoli rabe, you're guilty by association.
The Best Ways to Eat Broccoli If You Must
6. Green Jell-O
Green Jell-O has the unfortunate distinction of being a staple of hospital menus and pre-medical procedure regimens. If we were all willing to give this Jell-O variety a second chance, we would find that it's really delicious.
Perhaps the trendiest member of the green food family, kale can be found just about anywhere these days: salads, juices, sandwiches, pastas, soups. While it can be a challenge to introduce kale as a regular part of your diet if you're a newbie, the consensus among my circles is that these leafy greens really do grow on you as you adjust to cooking and digesting them. In the end, I think we're all happy to have become such a kale-crazed society.
4. Brussels Sprouts
For many years, Brussels sprouts had a bad reputation, but I'm happy to see them getting so much love recently, because they really deserve it. Brussels sprouts are delicious and a great example of a versatile ingredient that can really add depth to your cooking — if you can keep an open mind and ignore your inner child who wants to instinctively run away.
Sprouts for the Win
Avocados are delicious on their own. Additionally, they form the basis of one of the most beloved substances known to man- and womankind: guacamole. If I had a nickel for every time my friends and I have ordered a large guacamole "just in case, because we definitely won't finish it!" at a restaurant (and then proceeded to quickly polish it off) I would have earned enough money to always get the guac at Chipotle. There's also plenty to be said for using avocados in sandwiches, burgers, and omelets. Basically, yes, everything's better with an avocado on top.
All Avocado Things
2. Green Tea
While green tea (and its amazing health benefits) has been around for centuries, it seems to be having a renaissance lately. It's now marketed not only as a great beverage on its own, but also as a delicious flavoring for other dishes — especially desserts. I think almost everyone can agree, whether it's in the form of a piping hot beverage or a scoop of refreshing sorbet, green tea is good.
Make some tonight: How To Brew Green Tea
1. Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
I think I've met just one person in my entire life who doesn't like mint chocolate chip ice cream (and I'm married to him, which is weird). Even if you aren't naturally drawn to other foods with a minty tang, it's nearly impossible to take a lick from a mint chocolate chip ice cream cone and not be immediately transported back to the summer days of your childhood. Mint chocolate chip ice cream, you are the best of all the green foods.