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Dye-Free Green Kale & Apple Cupcakes for St. Patrick’s Day

St Patrick’s Day brings a wide assortment of green and rainbow treats. We know the colors are enticing for children but many of these holiday treats are laden with artificial dyes. Even if your kids consume dyes in moderation, it is still important to consider their possible side effects because children and babies developing systems are much more sensitive than adults.

Synthetic dyes are used more now than they were 25 years ago (even though some brands are removing food coloring from their products because of customer concerns). You might be unaware of items in your home that contain food dyes (toothpaste, pasta, sauces, cereal, salsa, candies, mac n cheese, soups, shampoo, yogurt, cheese, crackers, drinks, even salmon and salad dressing can contain red 40, yellow 5 and yellow 6 to enhance the color. 

Research is still being developed about the effects of foods dye and several dyes still allowed in the U.S have been banned in Europe. Some dyes contain carcinogens that may be linked to several types of cancer, hyperactivity, eczema and intolerances.

Many children are regularly eating 2-3x the recommended limit of food dye a day, even on non-holiday days.

Colorful foods are fun for kids and a big part of holidays like St. Patrick’s Day. Try our dye-free Green Kale & Apple Cupcakes (recipe video below). The green color comes from small amount of spirulina powder. Our Green Kale & Apples™ blend combines organic: apples, banana, kale and hemp seeds. The cupcakes have a delicious warm vanilla, banana flavor.

Green Kale & Apple Cupcakes

  • 1 package of Food Stirs Simply Sweet Vanilla Cake mix
  • ¼ cup Greek yogurt
  • ½ Cup of almond milk
  • 2 pouches of Once Upon A Farm Green Kale & Apples™

Mix all of the ingredients well. Pour into cupcake cups and bake at 350 for17-20 minutes. Makes 18 cupcakes 

Dye-Free Green Frosting

  • 1 cup organic palm shortening
  • ½ cup raw honey or maple syrup
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 4 tbsp. arrowroot powder
  • 4 tbsp. coconut flour
  • 4 tbsp. room temp coconut oil
  • ¼ tsp. sea salt
  • 1 tsp. of spirulina powder

Mix all ingredients for 2 minutes. Put the frosting into a pastry bag and put it in the fridge to thicken for about 15 minutes before frosting your cooled cupcakes.

We have also made a list of 30 naturally green foods that will work like a charm to add some festive green color to your meals.

30 Naturally Green Foods:

  1. Green Grapes
  2. Kiwi
  3. Celery
  4. Green peppers
  5. Cucumbers
  6. Spinach
  7. Cabbage
  8. Honeydew
  9. Artichokes
  10. Green pears
  11. Asparagus
  12. Broccoli
  13. Brussel sprouts
  14. Green beans
  15. Peas
  16. Snow peas,
  17. Edamame
  18. Pistachios
  19. Pickles
  20. Seaweed
  21. Green olives
  22. Parsley
  23. Dill
  24. Basil
  25. Mint
  26. Limes
  27. Star fruit
  28. Zucchini
  29. Kale
  30. Tomatillos

If you want more ideas for delicious green foods check out this article, “17 Green Foods you will actually want to eat on St. Patrick’s Day”!


- Written by Megan Young Social Media Manager, Once Upon A Farm & Mother of 2