Celebrating Saint Patrick’s Day

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I get a little frustrated with festivals and holidays. I want my children to know the real meaning behind the festivals and not just think that they are for getting candy and toys, as most holidays are marketed nowadays to consumers. It is frustrating to walk by (or in) stores and see so much commercial merchandise. It is hard when you want to instil real values and meaning into your children, but these constant distractions are always around to lure them into a stupor.

Every festival or holiday, I read the girls stories of the true meaning behind the festival, such as Valentines day, when we read the real story of Saint Valentine, or Christmas, being about the birth of Jesus Christ and of the birth of love during the cold, dark winter when all hope seems lost and everything seems dark. The true meaning behind the festivals has to do with stories relating to Christ and to the love and lessons that the Saints shared in Christ’s name. These are the stories that I want my children to remember when the festivals approach.

This Saint Patrick’s day we read the story of Saint Patrick, of how he gave hope to Ireland after receiving a vision from angels and taught the people about the trinity using the shamrock as symbolic representation of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. I also decided to do something fun together to celebrate. We had a picnic dinner outside together and then baked some cookies and muffins in the evening.

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I thought that chocolate mint would be great for Saint Patrick’s day and it was! We made both Oatmeal Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies and Mint Chocolate Chip Muffins. We added a bit of natural green food coloring to the recipes to tint them green and add to the Saint Patrick’s Day theme.

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Serafina was very into everything once again, which made it a bit more challenging, but a lot of fun!

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I said to the girls, “I have the best children in the world.”

Kesa then replied in her clever fashion, “And your children have the best parents in the world!”

She always makes me smile. 🙂

Today I wanted to share our two Saint Patrick’s day recipes (a little late, I know)! The combination of mint and chocolate is so delicious! I have made the cookies again without the green coloring and know that this is a great recipe to share. You can also make the Mint Chocolate Chip Muffins without coloring as well as an everyday recipe.

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Oatmeal Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies

These cookies are a perfectly healthy Saint Patirck’s day treat, made with spelt flour, oats and ground flax seed, and sweetened with pure maple syrup and sugar-free Krisda chocolate chips! Omit the green coloring if making as an everyday recipe.

Makes 20 cookies

Ingredients

  • 2 cups quick or large flake oats*
  • 2 cups organic spelt flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 cup Krisda chocolate chips, organic dairy-free chocolate chips, or carob chips (We have been enjoying the stevia-sweetened Krisda chocolate chips a lot these days)
  • 1/4 cup ground flax seed + 1/3 cup warm water
  • 2/3 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2/3 cup sunflower or coconut oil
  • 2 teaspoons pure peppermint extract
  • a few drops of natural green food coloring

*I have made these cookies with quick oats and large flake oats. The quick oats make for a thicker cookie, whereas the large flake oats make the cookie spread out more. Use whichever type of oats that you prefer for the texture that you prefer. Both ways are as delicious. I prefer the large flake oats for this recipe, as shown in the picture of the cookies without green coloring added.

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the oats, flour, baking soda, sea salt and chocolate chips.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the ground flax seed and warm water and let sit a few minutes to thicken.
  4. Add the maple syrup, oil, mint extract, green color (if using), and flax mixture to the dry ingredients and stir to combine.
  5. Shape the cookie dough into tablespoon-size balls between your hands, place onto the baking sheet and press down slightly.
  6. Repeat to make 20 cookies.
  7. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until lightly browned.
  8. Allow to cool completely before removing from the pan.

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Mint Chocolate Chip Muffins

A moist and delicious whole wheat muffin made with the flavors of chocolate and peppermint.

Makes 17 muffins

Ingredients

  • 2 1/3 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 3/4 cup Krisda chocolate chips, dairy-free chocolate chips, or carob chips
  • 2/3 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2/3 cup sunflower or coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk or other non-dairy milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure peppermint extract
  • a few drops of natural green food coloring (if making St. Patrick’s day cupcakes)

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a muffin pan with 17 large-size muffin liners.
  2. In a large mixing bowl combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and sea salt.
  3. Add the chocolate chips.
  4. In a separate smaller mixing bowl combine the maple syrup, oil, applesauce, milk, vanilla and peppermint extract and green coloring if using.
  5. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients in the medium mixing bowl and stir to combine.
  6. Spoon the muffin batter into the muffin liners, filling them 3/4 of the way full.
  7. Bake for 16 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

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Autumn decided to make a Saint Patrick on her Rainbow Loom as well. She made up the pattern for him herself while Kesa, Serafina and I were baking.

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I was amazed at how she came up with that! He has a bishop hat, a cross on his hat, a beard, and a clover too. I asked her how she does it and she said that once you know the basic pattern, you can make anything. I told her that’s how I do my recipes too.

It is so neat to see that she is so creative. She started her own youtube channel where she shares her creations. At first I was really hesitant about it, but she has a talent that she wants to share and so we decided that she can have her channel. She was eager to share this tutorial which I filmed for her after we enjoyed our baking.

Kesa also made a silver cross for me when the cookies were baking.

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It blesses my heart to see that they are absorbing the true meaning behind the festivals and that we are also enjoying celebrating with some healthy home made treats. I always think that life is about balance. It is hard to find that balance as a parent between protecting, sheltering and educating your children and letting them take part in life and the things of this world. It is always hard to find that balance between human being and spiritual being.

I believe that we are here to enjoy life and the things that the world has to offer, including the things that man has created for pleasure, but I also believe that we shouldn’t allow the temptations of materialism and consumerism to distract us from the real meaning of the festivals, our true purpose, and the spiritual reality existing beyond the physical. There really is such a fine line!

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I pray for wisdom to be able to live my life and raise these children in that balance.

Do you have any special ways that you celebrate the festivals? Do you have any resources to share on where to find real stories of the saints and meanings behind the festivals that we celebrate?

Much Love!

tiffany6

6 thoughts on “Celebrating Saint Patrick’s Day

  1. So, cool, that you are teaching your girls the REAL meaning of holidays. Just last week with some students we learned about St. Patrick. One child said to me, “You mean it isn’t just about wearing green?” Whenever I teach children I always always bring in the historical aspect. They actually like it.

    I taught the children how to make an Irish knot (Celtic Knot) and we even had a geography lesson about Ireland and listened to some traditional Irish music. They loved it. I use a website called “Superteacher” sometimes but you need to be a member. I like corn beef and cabbage and always make it on St. Patrick’s. Yummy cookies and muffins you made. Thanks for sharing.

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  2. Pingback: From Spring to Winter and Back Again | Live. Learn. Love. Eat.

  3. Baked the cookies today! They came out very well. They were soft too! I will try with less peppermint extract next time. I think the one I bought is quite strong. Aarohi loved it though! She couldn’t stop licking the mixing bowl 😋.

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