Healthy 4th Of July Recipes
Have a Healthy Independence Day!
Holidays can be hard for people who are watching what they eat. It can be especially difficult on the July 4th--after all, what's more American than fried chicken, potato salad, and fresh homemade apple pie? But don't despair. If you do the cooking yourself, you can enjoy all your favorite 4th of July recipes made the healthy way.
4th of July Appetizers
Instead of potato chips and pork rinds, start off your snacking with some baked tortilla chips and low fat queso, or pita chips and sweet carrot hummus. Baby carrots, celery, jicama sticks, and fresh broccoli are all great for scooping up your favorite low fat dip recipes. You can also whip up a green salad or bean salad. If you want something more substantial, make low fat cocktail meatballs or even healthy spring rolls if you're feeling ambitious. By munching on these lower-fat alternatives to traditional party appetizers, you're starting your 4th of July off right!
Fourth of July Recipes for Main Dishes
When it comes to the main event, you don't want anyone to be disappointed. Fortunately, there are plenty of recipes to keep your tastebuds and your conscience equally happy. If you're set on the look and mouth-feel of traditional fried chicken, but shudder at the thought of actually frying, try an oven-fried chicken recipe. Prepared well, baked "unfried" chicken gives you the same satisfaction with less fat and calories than the real thing. Of course, if you're not someone who craves the crunch, you can easily make a delicious marinade recipe for grilled chicken and then throw it on the barbecue. BBQing, after all, is a wonderful American pastime... and if you're in charge of preparing the rest of the meal, it's nice to put someone else in charge of manning the grill.
Another way to save yourself stress, as far as main dishes go, is to make a healthy casserole ahead of time, and pop it in the oven to warm up just before your guests arrive. Low fat lasagna is a great example of this, but even more quintessentially American would be to make a low fat mac and cheese recipe.
If you don't want to use the oven on a hot day, make cold sides like chicken salad or tuna salad, or whip up a homemade fresh pesto for a pasta salad. Another option is to make something in your crock pot, such as a slow cooker beef chili recipe. You can throw everything into the slow cooker in the morning, and by dinner time, you've got something hearty, healthy, and tasty to boot!
4th of July Dessert Recipes
Even with the quickest and simplest healthy July 4th recipes, you're going to be tired of cooking by the time it comes around to dessert. Never fear; you've got plenty of easy options. Some people look for red, white, and blue dessert recipes to express their patriotism, but many folks prefer more traditional fare.
If you don't mind using the oven, there are a lot of quick easy dessert recipes for fat-free cobblers and crisps, or make a low fat pie. If you didn't turn to your crock pot for a main dish, you can always make a slow cooker dessert recipe like cherry cobbler. Of course, depending on where you live, in July it can be awfully hot, so you might want to go for a low fat no-bake dessert like a healthy cheesecake or frozen pie. Or, impress your family and friends with homemade frozen yogurt or sorbet, or make a fresh mousse recipe with seasonal fruit.
In the end, it's really not as hard as you might think to create a delicious, satisfying meal to celebrate Independence Day, once you get your hands on some good 4th of July healthy recipes. Enjoy the holiday with a clean conscience and a full stomach! Bon appetit!
More by this Author
Weight Watching is easy with crockpot recipes for Lasagna, Chicken Stroganoff, Beef Stew, and Tortilla Soup!
Avoid tossing and turning (and prevent cricks in the neck!) by using proper pillow placement to align the spine and muscles for optimal relaxation.
Recipes for no-guilt sweets and treats for those counting Weight Watchers points: Brownies, Shakes, Slushies, and Cookies galore!