The 4th of July is one of the biggest party – and eating – holidays of the summer! Unfortunately, it’s all too easy for this holiday to turn into a gut-busting, swimsuit-stretching foodfest. Don’t fret – you can still enjoy this great day of indulgence by turning a few of your favorite dishes into something a little bit lighter – and still look good in a swimsuit this weekend!
Healthier Appetizers and Sides for Your 4th of July BBQ
Potato salad is one of the most iconic barbecue side dishes, but it’s also extremely unhealthy thanks to the mayonnaise and other fatty components. Lighten up your potato salad with Eating Well’s Red, White & Blue Potato Salad Recipe – it involves changing your dressing from mayo-heavy cream to a tangy lemon vinagrette and fresh mint, and this potato salad is loaded with tasty peppers and herbs packing tons of flavor.
Deviled Eggs are another great 4th of July side that just doesn’t cut it on the healthy factor – but Eating Well has a Deviled Eggs Recipe that replaces some of the egg yolks with nonfat cottage cheese – a cheat that cuts the fat dramatically without cutting the delicious flavor you expect from deviled eggs.
If you’re dying for a great and healthy finger food snack, try the Caprese Salad Kabobs Recipe from Taste of Home. Skewered tomatoes, mozzarella and basil, dressed in olive oil and balsamic vinegar, is a great creative alternative to the traditional veggie tray – and it’s a great healthy alternative to chips and dip (or even the veggie dip that accompanies most veggie trays!)
For a health side dish with flavor that packs a punch, add the Cajun Summer Vegetables Recipe from Taste of Home to your menu. This tasty veggie side utilizes the grill to pack the veggies with some great flavor, and then adds a Cajun seasoning to bring some heat and spice that pairs well with traditional barbecue.
Independence Day Desserts – Healthy Style
It wouldn’t be a party without some delicious desserts, but delicious doesn’t have to equal fattening and unhealthy!
Red, White and Blue Fruit Cups bring the traditional 4th of July theme to your dessert – but healthy style! Combine strawberries, blackberries and blueberries, and top it off with a dollop of whipped cream – and you’ve got a healthier red, white and blue dessert!
For something to beat the heat, try Red, White & Blue Popsicles. Grab some blueberries, raspberries and limeade and freeze in popsicle molds for a refreshing, tasty treat.
If you’re a pie fanatic, try the Eating Well Double Corn-Blueberry Cobbler. This delicious blueberry (or blackberry!) cobbler is quick and easy to make, and the re-imagined topping cuts calories while still providing a great flavor and texture to your pie.
For the best of all worlds, try the utterly delightful Frozen Peanut Butter Pretzel Pie recipe from Eating Well. This is a frozen pie that combines peanut butter and pretzel filling on a chocolate cookie crust, topped off with pretzel sticks! The secret is in the sweet vanilla frozen yogurt that forms the bulk of the filling, and easily takes a back seat to the peanut butter pretzel flavor.
Who said your 4th of July celebration can’t be delicious and healthy? Swap a few of your favorites for these lighter alternatives and revel in the freedom to don your favorite swimsuit when it’s time to hit the pool or beach!