Arguably one of the best holidays of the year, Fourth of July happens to fall smack in the middle of summer where barbeques, sunscreen, and American pride abound. Although sugary and colorful treats take center stage in local grocery store displays, it is more than possible to take the healthy route while still honoring the red, white, and blue theme.
Think: fruits and veggies, full of natural vibrant color that don't require food dye or artificial sugars. With warm weather drawing crowds outdoors, a menu full of light and fresh foods will make for the perfect Fourth of July meal on the patio!
1. Summer Grilled Salmon
In order to fill your guests' bellies without inducing a heavy food coma, grilled fish is the way to go. Salmon is a popular choice for its mild flavor and versatile preparation options. For this recipe, zest your salmon with a lemon dressing that includes garlic salt and cayenne pepper, and cook the salmon amidst an array of fresh bell peppers and onion that sit atop a bed of grilled asparagus. This particular dish is rich in antioxidants, simple to prepare, and full of delicious flavor and natural color.
Quick, easy, and refreshing - three adjectives that perfectly describe this easy-to-prepare, delicious side dish that will have your guests raving. Requiring only five ingredients, this cole slaw and mango salad will be ready to serve in under ten minutes. Most importantly, the immune-boosting mango and vision-healthy carrotsadd a burst of sweet flavor - a perfect addition to grilled summer salmon.
Save the best for last with a traditional apple pie! By choosing a whole-wheat pie crust, you can ensure this dessert is a healthier option yet no less delicious. Apple choice is interchangeable as some prefer a tart pie while others favor sweet. With a splash of lemon juice, a teaspoon of cinnamon, and the natural flavor of the apples, no added sugar is necessary!
For a celiac-friendly version, just use rice flour or another gluten-free alternative. Homemade apple pie is the perfect Fourth of July dessert because it is delicious served both hot or cold, and its natural ingredients have a lower Glycemic Index than most ready options from the pastry shop. Decorate your pie by sprinkling blueberries and sliced strawberries on top - or even a dollop of whipped cream.
Just because you are opting for healthy dishes this Fourth of July doesn't mean you're depriving anyone of delicious food. If anything, everyone will leave your party feeling light and full of summer happiness - no post-barbeque naps necessary! Enjoy your holiday by considering any of the amazing dishes mentioned above.
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