If you're planning to serve green foods this St. Patrick's Day, why not think outside the box of green dye? With a little creativity, you can build your holiday spread around nutritious whole foods that are naturally green, like avocados, broccoli, kiwis, lettuce, or even green grapes. Need inspiration? Here are some great ideas for making the most of green foods for St. Patrick's Day.

1. Build a Green Fruit Plate

Whether you're putting together a family breakfast or an appetizer tray, it's hard to beat the appeal of a bountiful plate of fruits in different shades of green for St. Patrick's Day. Assemble sliced kiwi, bunches of green grapes, chopped honeydew melon, Granny Smith apples, and even star fruit to create a delicious green tray that everyone will love.

2. Serve a Green Veggie Tray with Green Dip

Give a standard veggie tray a St. Patrick's Day twist by going all green with foods like broccoli florets, sliced green peppers, celery sticks, sliced cucumbers, and snap peas. Serve this alongside a flavorful green dip like homemade spinach artichoke dip or your favorite pesto.

3. Make a Green Smoothie or Shake

When choosing a themed beverage, what's better than a tall, icy green smoothie or milkshake that blends your favorite milk with avocado, vanilla ice cream, mint leaves, peppermint extract, and ice? If you don't have a blender, other green beverage options include limeade, green tea, or a green juice.

4. Plan a Pesto Pizza

If a homemade pizza is on your menu, skip the tomato sauce and opt for a hefty helping of pesto instead. Going green with your pizza not only makes for a delicious dinner, but it also gives you a great, green-themed entree for March 17.

5. Serve a Big Salad

Start with a big bowl of leafy greens and add whatever green toppings you like best. Consider chopped avocado, fresh herbs, pistachios, green olives, green peppers, or sliced cucumbers. You may even want to build a salad around a roasted or cooked green vegetable like Brussels sprouts, green beans, asparagus, or broccoli.

6. Go Green with a Favorite Entree

Take a favorite dinner option—eggs, chicken, pasta, tacos, pancakes, beef—and try your luck by adding a little green. Consider a meat dish topped by basil gremolata, lasagna stuffed with greens, or a comforting, green-packed quiche. Working extra greens into your menu will boost your nutrients while keeping things festive.

7. Finish with a Green Dessert

Cater to your sweet tooth with a big bowl of green apple ice cream that's made of spinach, banana, apple juice concentrate, and ice. If you want something a little more portable, make homemade popsicles that incorporate herbs or leafy greens. You could even surprise your loved one with avocado fudge balls, which have a sweet green center.

This year, choose naturally green foods for St. Patrick's Day. When you think outside the box of green-dyed dinners and desserts, you'll find that there are a lot of healthy, fun ways to bring the luck of the Irish to your meal plans.