For many people, summer is the most anticipated time of the year. Kids are off from school and families are planning for summer holidays and family getaways. One of the most awaited celebrations each summer is the 4th of July! With picnics, barbecues and beach trips,July 4th can be the host for many memories. No matter what event you have planned for this year’s Independence Day, most likely there will be celebratory food that goes along with it. And unfortunately, many of the traditional recipes are not so healthy.
Red, White & Blue Recipes
From potato salads, burgers and decadent pies and cakes, these traditional holiday recipes can be high in fat and calories. The key to avoid an unhealthy recipe is to know what ingredient to substitute out without losing flavor. Greek yogurt is one ingredient that has grown in popularity over the past few years. Greek yogurt can be a substitute for many of the ingredients in fatty dressings and creams in popular dishes. For example, rather than putting out high-fat potato chips at your event, try putting out raw vegetables with a yogurt-based dressing on the side. Yogurt is also a great substitute for mayonnaise in a healthy potato salad.
For many people, barbecuing is the center of the celebration. Rather than choosing red, fatty meats for a typical burger, opt for skinless chicken, salmon or turkey as an alternative to beef. And if you are vegetarian, there are plenty of options to choose from, such as soy dogs, veggie burgers and soy cheese. The Food and Drug Administration claims that 25 grams of soy protein can reduce cholesterol and even help fight against heart disease.
End your holiday dinner with a bang with this healthy red, white and blue flag cake! In order to cut down on the saturated fat, this recipe replaces some of the butter with oil, uses reduced fat cream cheese with Greek yogurt for the frosting, and adds fresh berries, strawberries and raspberries with confectioners’ sugar.
Be creative when opting for healthier recipes. For example, this recipe substitutes some of the cheese with squash for a healthy macaroni and cheese recipe! Rather than focusing on a food event such as a picnic or barbeque, how about signing up for a walk or run with the family? Spend time with the family this holiday by being active.
This summer, try to focus your 4th of July on health and happiness. Have everyone in the family involved in whatever event you choose and enjoy the opportunity to create lasting memories.