4th of July is just around the corner! It’s that time of year where we celebrate our country but also take the time to appreciate our friends and family. Grilling, cookouts and get togethers are a big part of 4th of July for most people. We’ve got some great, healthy food ideas for your 4th of July get together!
1. Hot Dogs – First of all, make sure you are purchasing high quality, all beef or turkey hot dogs. Second, forego the bun to save calories or make sure to pick up a good quality whole wheat bun for your dog. (Applegate Farms has a great selection of all beef, turkey and organic beef and turkey dogs! Sold in your grocers cold cut section or Whole Foods.)
2. Burgers – Yum! Who doesn’t love a burger, right? I will suggest the same thing for burgers as I do for hot dogs. Make sure to get quality beef or try a veggie burger and leave out the bun. You’ll be able to taste your grilled burger better without all of the bread. Load your burger up with fresh or grilled veggies and a little bit of cheese for taste and crunch! If you MUST have a bun, get a true whole wheat bun.
3. Condiments, condiments, condiments! – Instead of loading up your grilled dog or burger with ketchup, just add a few slices of fresh tomato. Slice pickles instead of loading on store bought relish and forego the mayo completely. Try a little mustard, shredded cabbage, sliced or cut jalapeno, fresh cut onion, or grilled onions to spice up your meal.
4. Potato Salad, Pasta Salad and Cole Slaw – Don’t touch these dishes if they’re smothered in creamy sauces. Try sliced potatoes that have been grilled or broiled, whole wheat pasta with fresh veggies with a touch of olive oil and fresh shredded cabbage mixed with shredded carrot and a bit of vinegar and oil. You’ll save a ton of calories and if you season right, you will not be lacking in taste one bit (or bite!).
5. Dessert – Fresh fruit with a little bit of whipped cream is your best bet! Not only is fresh fruit much better for you than a sugar loaded dessert but with the colors of fruit, you can whip up a 4th of July inspired goodie. Try strawberries with a little whipped cream and a blue berry on top! (photo & recipe: Simply Cadence) Set up a fruit station with bowls of strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and whipped cream and let guests make their own 4th of July fruit parfaits. You can still have the sweet without all of the added junk and calories.
6. Chips and Dips – Ditch the chips for fresh cut veggies such as celery, cucumber, carrot and zucchini sticks. Whip up a greek yogurt or yogurt based dip with spices and garlic versus a store bought dip loaded with sugars and added ingredients you don’t want or need!
Healthy food doesn’t have to be boring! It can be fun and really tasty if you get a little creative with it. There are ways to “healthify” almost any dish. Enjoy your 4th of July! Be safe, be happy and be healthy! Looking forward to seeing all of you at our fitness spa in the coming months!