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Here is a compilation of the best 20 Festive Fourth of July Recipes that your entire family will love and devour.

The 4th of July is one of my favorite holidays. I know that it is because I had the best memories of the 4th of July. And while I have shared all of those memories and some great party ideas over at The Ultimate 4th of July Party post. There were still a few recipes that I just think are adorable and would add some sweet touches to this fun day.

Some of the recipes are super easy too – which is nice on an already busy day. This day for us has always been about simplicity because it is a day that is packed full of fun. This year will be a little different for us as we will be celebrating the 4th of July at Universal Studios in FL. My kids are more than okay giving up our family traditions for a fun-filled day at their favorite place on earth.

So this year while I won’t be making any of these delicious eats or be using any of the tips or recipes from The Ultimate 4th of July Party I am okay to save these all for the coming years, because the memories we will make at Universal will be a dream come true {especially for my Harry Potter fans}.

So heat up this holiday with some festive drinks and eats. Overall enjoy your time, your freedom and those you love. XOXO San

Don’t forget to pin these 20 Festive Fourth of July Recipes to your favorite Pinterest board for later.

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Celebrate and eat clean with our Healthy 4th of July Menu!

Let The Real Food Dietitians do the planning for you.

That’s right, we’ve done the menu planning for you! Your 4th of July menu just got a whole lot tastier, healthier and easier! But fear not our friends, we even included two refreshing and low sugar cocktail recipes and a delicious dessert because it is a holiday after all.

And because we want to help you make healthy eating a breeze we’ve included a done-for-you grocery list below that you can download to your iPhone 7 or iPad for easy access while grocery shopping.

Before we get to the delicious recipes and menu, we’d like to take a moment to thank Verizon Wireless for being the incredible sponsors for our Healthy 4th of July Menu and for supporting our mission.

Our mission is to help you become healthier and happier while spending less time in the kitchen so that you can spend more time doing the things you love. Not only are we sharing a Healthy 4th of July Menu, recipes and grocery list with you but we also made sure that all of the recipes can be made or prepped a day ahead of time. You’ll see our prep instructions and tips with each recipe below.

Entertain like a pro with our FREE Healthy July 4th Menu + Grocery List #realfood @verizon

Featured in photo: iPad Mini from Verizon Wireless Can you believe this photo was taken with an iPhone 7? We love the high quality photos we can get with our iPhones when we’re on-the-go or don’t want to drag out the big cameras.

Healthy 4th of July Menu

We hope you enjoy our Healthy 4th of July Menu & Recipes. The menu and grocery list are written to serve about 6 adults so you may need to double it if you’re expecting a big crowd! Don’t forget to download the grocery list below on your mobile device, (like the iPhone 7 or iPad shown) which will help make your trip to the grocery store and/or farmers market fast-and-easy.

Featured in photo: iPhone 7 from Verizon Wireless.

While this menu is perfect for 4th of July, if you’re not from United States celebrating Independence Day or you’re not in charge of the menu planning this holiday, you can also use it for any upcoming summer grill outs, backyard barbecues or potlucks!

Appetizer: Grapefruit Avocado Salsa

Fruits and fire collide in this uniquely refreshing Grapefruit Avocado Salsa – perfect for chip dipping or just eating by the spoonful. Serves 4.

Prep ahead tip – The day before, wash, dice and combine all of the ingredients except for the avocado. Just before serving, dice and stir in the avocado.

Entree: Teriyaki Chicken & Pineapple Kebabs

Embrace the summer grilling vibes with these Teriyaki Chicken and Pineapple Kebabs! Serves 4.

Prep ahead tip – The day before, chop the veggies and marinate the chicken cubes. In the morning, assemble the kebabs and store them in an airtight container in the fridge until ready to be grilled.

Entree: Grilled Bacon Burgers

Banish boring burgers with these mouthwatering and insanely tender Grilled Bacon Burgers! Serves 4.

Prep ahead tip – The day before, make patties and store in an airtight container in the fridge until grilling time. Prep all of the burger toppings.

Salad: Creamy Broccoli Slaw with Cranberries

The humble coleslaw you grew up with gets a phytonutrient boost in this Creamy Broccoli Slaw with Kale. A perfect salad for a Summer grill outs or potlucks. Ingredients doubled in grocery list to serve 6-8.

Prep ahead tip – This salad is hearty enough that it can be made the night before. We recommend tossing in the the pumpkin seeds just before serving so they stay crunchy.

Salad: Greek Kale Salad with Avocado

A hearty and colorful salad that’s packed to the max with flavor, healthy fats and nutrient-dense veggies. A mayo-free Greek salad that has the perfect combination of ingredients with an array of fibrous veggies, fresh herbs, feta, kalamata olives, artichoke hearts and the beloved avocado. Serves 6-8.

Prep ahead tip – This is also a hearty salad that can be made the night before. We recommend adding the diced avocado and tossing the salad with the dressing 30 minutes before serving.

Side: Slow Cooker Baked Beans

Sweet and saucy baked beans made in the slow cooker are the perfect side dish for barbecues, potlucks and picnics. Serves 6.

Prep ahead tip – The day before, combine all of the ingredients and store in an airtight container in the fridge. In the morning, transfer to a slow cooker and let em’ cook!

Dessert: Red, White & Blue Fruit Pizza

4th of July parties, grill outs, picnics or potlucks – you can’t go wrong with this gluten-free berry fruit pizza. The perfect summertime dessert! Serves 8.

Prep ahead tip – This delicious fruit pizza can be made the day before so that it’s ready to be enjoyed!

Cocktail: Cucumber Basil Kombucha Mule

Cool off and kick-back with this garden-fresh, low-sugar Cucumber Basil Kombucha Mule! Ingredients doubled in grocery list to serve 4.

Prep ahead tip – The day before, slice limes and cucumbers and store in airtight container in the fridge until it’s cocktail time.

Cocktail: Strawberry Mojito Kombucha Cocktail

This Strawberry Mojito Kombucha Cocktail is the perfect summertime drink – it’s refreshing, fruity and has no-added sugars! Ingredients doubled in grocery list to serve 4.

Prep ahead tip – The day before, muddle strawberries, mint and lime juice and store in an airtight container in the fridge until it’s cocktail time.

Healthy 4th of July Printable Grocery List

Download the grocery list to your portable device by clicking here.

We love the iPad Mini not only for pulling up grocery lists at the store but also for surfing the web for recipe inspiration, accessing our favorite online meal planning tool and using it on the counter in place of a cookbook so we can easily follow along with the recipe we’re preparing.

Happy 4th of July to all of our loyal readers from the United States and Happy Summer to our incredible non-US readers!

This post was made possible by our friends at Verizon Wireless. Though we received compensation for this post, the opinions expressed here are – as always -100% our own. Thank you for supporting the great companies we work with thereby allowing us to continue creating great recipes and content for you.

This post may contain affiliate links which won’t change your price but will share some commission.

10 Healthy 4th of July Recipes from Around the Web

From flag cake to burgers and hot dots to firecracker ice pops, Independence Day has its own food traditions. While there’s nothing wrong with indulging every once in a while, it’s easy to make healthier versions of these classic summer foods. If you’ve already seen our list of healthier 4th of July recipes, check out the ten recipes below for inventive, interesting, and healthy takes on this holiday’s traditional eats.

Fresh Tarragon New Potato Salad via In Pursuit of More
Mayo no more! This potato salad swaps the creamy dressing for plenty of fresh herbs, chopped veggies, and a refreshingly tangy dressing featuring apple cider vinegar and lemon juice.

Photo: Shira / In Pursuit of More

Healthy 4th of July Flag Cake via Branch Basics Blog
In many families, it’s not Independence Day without a flag cake. This patriotic classic dessert is made with spelt flour, almond milk, and maple syrup. For lighter frosting, combine reduced-fat cream cheese, maple syrup, and vanilla extract. Then get your Betsey Ross on with fresh, ripe berries.

Photo: Allison / Branch Basics Blog

Burgers with Roasted Tomatoes, Pesto, and Mozzarella via Confections of a Foodie Bride
Finally, a sandwich that combines two of the best summer dishes out there — burgers and caprese salad. Grill the meat (use lean beef or turkey to cut down on fat), add a slice of mozz, garnish with roasted tomatoes, and then slip the whole concoction into a whole-wheat bun slathered in pesto.

Photo: Jason and Shawnda / Confections of a Foodie Bride

Raspberry Blackberry Lemonade via Call Me Fudge
This beautiful, patriotic-hued drink uses raspberries and blackberries to make a simple syrup. Combine the sweet syrup with lemon juice and water for a refreshing summery drink.

Photo: Sarah / Call Me Fudge

Asian Slaw via Dinner: A Love Story
Keep dinner guests guessing with this Asian-inspired cabbage salad instead of regular old cole slaw. Bright cabbage, peanuts, carrots, spinach, snap peas, and a ginger-lime dressing make this side dish far from boring.

Photo: Jenny Rosenstrach / Dinner: A Love Story

Banh Mi Hot Dogs via Big Girls Small Kitchen
What happens when you cross a traditional Vietnamese lunch food with a 4th of July classic meal? This banh mi hot dog recipe dresses up regular hot dogs with cilantro, carrots, scallions, and plenty of spicy sriracha hot sauce.

Photo: Cara Eisenpress / Big Girls Small Kitchen

Amagansett Corn Salad via Food52
Named after an area on Long Island’s famed South Shore, this veggie-laden side salad just screams “summer.” Balsamic vinegar and onion balance out sweet corn, cherry tomatoes, and sugar snap peas.

Photo: Sarah Shatz / Food52

Chipotle Lime Chicken Fajita Skewers via Little Leopard Book
This bun-free grill recipe is ideal for Paleo or gluten-free friends. Plain old chicken breast gets a fancy-pants makeover with a lime, chipotle pepper, cilantro, cumin, and garlic marinade.

Photo: Whitney Bond / Little Leopard Book

Grilled Mushroom Sliders via La Kocinera
These are the cutest wee burgers we’ve ever seen! Grill baby bella mushrooms, top with smoked Gouda, add a few (teeny-tiny) garnishes, and serve on a slider bun. Seriously, these are so darn adorable.

Photo: Koci / La Kocinera

Double Berry and Coconut Pops via An Edible Mosaic
The best way to end a 4th of July celebration is with firecrackers — either real or edible. These no-sugar-added, tri-color pops are made with strawberries (red), coconut (white), and blueberries (blue).

Photo: Faith Gorsky / An Edible Mosaic

What are your favorite things to cook and eat on the 4th of July? Did we miss any of the classics? Share your traditions in the comments below or tweet the author @SophBreene.

Want to have a summer party that is both festive and healthy? These tips, foods, and healthy July 4th recipes will help you enjoy get-togethers that nourish your body and support your health deliciously.

Sitting in the sunshine all day, burgers and hot dogs sizzling on the grill, plates piled high with mayo-drenched potato salad, fireworks shooting across the sky, and red, white, and blue everywhere you look.

For many Americans, this is an annual tradition. And like most holidays, the 4th of July — U.S. Independence Day — is known for some unhealthy practices. You probably don’t expect to find healthful foods at most parties. But what if you want to host a summer get-together, or attend one, without sacrificing your health?

The following tips and recipes will help you create (or participate in) a 4th of July celebration or another summer party that won’t disrupt your healthy lifestyle.

How to Experience Healthy BBQ and Grilling

Getting outside and grilling and barbecuing is common for summer parties, including the 4th of July. But there are downsides to grilling many people don’t know.

When meat — with its high fat and protein content — is cooked using high temperatures for long periods of time, it develops chemicals (also found in cigarette smoke) that may lead to cancer.

Consuming (and even just smelling) barbecued meat has been found to be hazardous to fetal development, leading to smaller birth weights and heads for newborns.

Another concern with meat and high-heat cooking is AGEs (advanced glycation end products).

Excess dietary AGEs:

  • Are linked to increased inflammation and accelerated aging
  • Are linked to many chronic diseases, such as kidney disease, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease
  • May predict cognitive decline over time and may cause brains to shrink

Animal foods are abundant in AGEs, as are sugary and processed foods. And new AGEs form when these foods are cooked using high-heat methods including grilling.

Most vegetables and fruits contain relatively few AGEs, even after cooking.

But here’s the good news: Most vegetables and fruits contain relatively few AGEs, even after cooking.

However, plant foods that are high in protein and fat do produce AGEs when cooked using high-heat methods. So grilling tofu, tempeh, and other soy products may not be the healthiest idea.

And what about using oil when grilling? Refined oils are also high in AGEs.

Getting rid of all your exposures to carcinogens and harmful toxins isn’t possible. But you can eliminate or minimize a risk when you know about it. And now you know!

Grilling fresh vegetables and fruits without oil is the healthiest way to enjoy a healthy BBQ. It’s also an easy way to add natural, mouthwatering flavor to foods without risking your health.

Tips for Successful Grilling That Won’t Harm Your Health

  • Vegetables don’t need oil to prevent them from sticking to the grill. You can use lemon or lime juice or other marinades instead.
  • You can also use a grill basket or kabob skewers to prevent veggies from falling through grill grates. Grill pans or plates are another way of grilling foods on the grill or in your kitchen.
  • If it rains or you don’t have an outdoor grill, you can use an oven broiler. Like a grill, the broiler uses intense heat that comes from one side. The main difference is a grill’s flame is below, and a broiler’s heat comes from above.
  • Preheating the grill is important because it’s the only way to get perfect grilling marks. Tip: Don’t move the food until you can see it’s getting grill marks.

  • Marinating creates delicious flavors, but be wary of store-bought dressings and sauces. They can be loaded with sugar, bad oils, and other unhealthy ingredients. Instead, make your own simple blends with ingredients such as vinegar, citrus, and herbs. You may enjoy this 2-Minute Oil-Free Balsamic Dressing.

(Thanks to Tami of Vegan Appetite and Katie Simmons of Plants-Rule for help with these tips.)

Plant-Powered Versions of Your Summer Favorites (You’ll Love These Healthy July 4th Recipes)

With the following recipes, you can enjoy traditional 4th of July food without the guilt.

4th of July Appetizers to Get the Party Started

Giving people something to snack on before the main food is served is always a good idea.

Here are some foods worth munching on:

  • Veggies and dip. Cut up fresh, seasonal vegetables from your garden, farmers market, or grocery store and serve them with hummus or other dips. You can even get creative and arrange your veggies in the shape of a flag. For dipping, here’s a flavorful 1-Minute White Bean and Artichoke Dip from Jessica Meyers of Garden Fresh Foodie. Or as an alternative to guacamole, try this easy, plant-powered Creamy Avocado Dip from Cookie and Kate.
  • Spice up your salsa. While standard salsas with tomatoes are delicious, why not serve something a little more unexpected? This festive and fresh Blueberry, Strawberry, and Jicama Salsa from Two Peas & Their Pod lets the beauty of bright, colorful food shine. Or your eyes and your mouth will enjoy this Fresh Mango Salsa from Cookie and Kate.
  • Healthier chips. Potato chips are a typical party food, but most store-bought ones aren’t healthy choices. If you do want to serve chips, you can look for organic kinds with simple ingredients or try making your own (here’s an easy oil-free chip recipe with a BBQ option from Diane at Plant-Based Cooking). Or make your own kale chips (like these crunchy, “cheesy” Sunrise Kale Chips from Blender Babes,) beet chips, zucchini chips (like these Raw Nacho “Cheese” Zucchini Chips from Janie Gianotsos of One Green Planet) or other veggie varieties.
  • Popcorn with dried blueberries and cranberries. Make your own air-popped popcorn and then add dried or fresh fruit for a festive creation. Skip the butter and loads of oil and salt. Instead, you can add lime juice and a dash of chile powder, with a sprinkle of salt if you like. Or keep it simple and add only the fruit.
  • Grilled avocados. A fun and easy idea. Try these “walking-guacamole” Grilled Avocados from Alyssa at Good + Simple. They are made in their skins and without oil. And each person can add their own toppings to their scoopable avocado bowls.
  • Colorful trail mixes with fresh fruits. Combine nuts (like cashews), seeds (like mood-boosting pumpkin seeds,) blueberries (for something blue) and cranberries or raspberries (for something red) with dried coconut.

Healthy Summer Salads and Sides for Parties and Potlucks

Grilled Corn and Radish Salad image from Plants-Rule.

Give your guests options — with a variety of fresh fruits and veggies.

  • Coleslaw. Cold cabbage salad is great for potlucks and parties. This Creamy Coleslaw from Kathy Fisher at Straight Up Food is packed with nutrients, rather than traditional mayo.
  • Classic corn. Corn on the cob is a 4th of July food favorite. It’s a rich source of many vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, and is good for your eyes. Keep your corn fresh, whole and (to avoid pesticides and genetic engineering) organic. To grill your corn, peel back the husks and remove the silk. Cover them back up in the husks and soak in water for 10 minutes (to prevent burning). Shake off excess water and grill for 15 minutes on medium-high heat. Sprinkle with fresh lemon juice and pepper. You can also try this fresh and tasty Grilled Corn and Radish Salad from Plants-Rule.
  • Tomato salad. Fresh tomatoes make a great addition to any summer menu. This Mediterranean Cucumber Tomato Salad from Ceara’s Kitchen is light and easy to create.
  • Potato salad. This fancy Purple Potato Salad from Katie Simmons at Plants-Rule uses purple potatoes — which have four times as many antioxidants as Russet potatoes. Or this classic-looking Potato Salad from Chef Del Sroufe at Forks Over Knives uses silken tofu (make sure it’s organic to avoid GMO soy) for a creamy protein boost.
  • Cold bean salad. Quick and healthy, cold bean salads are a summer party favorite because they taste good at any temperature. Try this colorful Italian Three Bean Salad from Plants-Rule (you can leave out the honey without sacrificing flavor).
  • Baked beans. This classic summer BBQ dish can be made without meat and loads of sugar. Try these Chipotle Baked Beans from Plants-Rule (the molasses can be omitted. Or if you want a little sweetness, you can instead add two to four dates into the sauce while it simmers. And then, puree it all together before combining with the beans).
  • Vegetable skewers. Grilling veggies on skewers is fun and tasty. Try these Vegetables Skewers or these Marinated Mushroom Skewers from The Almost Vegan Aussie — both are made without oil and are easy to create.
  • Grilled asparagus. You can throw raw asparagus on the grill for about 5 minutes (if using a grill, spike spears with a skewer) and then toss with lemon juice, salt, and pepper — an easy and nutritious side made in 10 minutes!
  • Grilled pineapple. Simply slice pineapples into thick rings, grill them, and serve as is or slather them with BBQ sauce. Make your own barbecue sauce, which you can sweeten with applesauce, dates (or date paste), or a small amount of molasses or maple syrup. Try this low-sugar Barbecue Sauce from Lindsay Nixon at Happy Herbivore.

Plant-Powered Burgers and Hot Dogs for Easy Summer Eating

Portobello Mushroom Burger image from Plants-Rule.

Burgers are a staple 4th of July food or summer party food. While grass-fed beef has its advantages over traditional beef, the healthiest and most sustainable burger choice just might be a plant-based burger.

Some people worry that veggie burgers will be flavorless and boring. But they can also be delightful!

Products, such as The Beyond Burger, are becoming available in more places. They smell, taste, and cook similar to meat. These products are a quick and easy option for avoiding animals and pleasing your guests. However, while they are cruelty-free, these burger products are processed and contain high amounts of sodium and saturated fat — so they aren’t the healthiest choice.

Taking the time to make your own veggie burgers is a healthy and delicious decision. Try these recipes:

  • These Healthy World Burgers from Caryn Hartglass at Responsible Eating and Living are fabulous and hearty and might even impress carnivores.
  • Or try this Real-Deal Veggie Burger from the Garden Fresh Foodie, which is less traditional in flavor and look, but packed with a variety of vegetables and no added oil or fillers.

Most veggie burgers won’t hold up on a grill, so they’re best baked and then heated on the grill just before serving if you want.

Time-saving tip: You can easily make veggie burgers ahead of time and cook or reheat them on the day of the party.

Or make impressive veggie burgers with grilled portobello mushrooms — because mushrooms are one of the most health-promoting foods on the planet, and you may want to eat them regularly, if not daily.

Try these Ultimate Vegan Portobello Mushroom Burgers from Plants-Rule for a healthy and satisfying non-traditional burger.

Carrot Dog image from Healthy Slow Cooking.

And when it comes to homemade veggie dogs, carrot dogs are fun and unexpected.

You cut and marinate carrots and then cook them in the oven or on the grill, which creates a unique flavor and texture. Try these All Natural Carrot Dogs from Kathy Hester at Healthy Slow Cooking.

(And in case you’re wondering, this anatomy of a conventional hot dog will show why they aren’t a healthy choice.)

Healthy topping ideas for veggie burgers and dogs:

  • Ketchup (try this Apple-Sweet Chipotle Ketchup from Plants-Rule)
  • Plant-based mayo (try this No-Oil Nutritarian Mayo from Kristen Hong at Hello Nutritarian)
  • Guacamole, hummus, and pesto (try this Oil-Free Lemon Basil Pesto from Garden Fresh Foodie or this Basil Avocado Pesto from Katie Mae at Plantz St.)
  • Avocado and tomato slices, romaine lettuce, and sprouts
  • Slaw and pickled red onions or other veggies

And remember: You can serve burgers on top of leafy greens or in a veggie “bun” — wrapped in lettuce or blanched collard greens.

Another Exciting Main Dish Option: Grilled Cauliflower “Steaks”

Though it might not be at every summer party, cauliflower is one food worth considering adding to your healthy BBQ menu.

Cauliflower is a cruciferous vegetable — and cruciferous vegetables have extraordinary anti-cancer and antidepressant benefits, as well as being cardioprotective and packed with antioxidants.

Grilled cauliflower “steaks” are an impressive and appetizing main or side dish.

To make cauliflower “steaks”:

  • Cut the cauliflower by slicing the entire head, from top to bottom (one head of cauliflower will yield three thin or two thicker pieces).
  • Marinate with ingredients, such as za’atar spices, garlic, and lemon juice, for at least one to two hours.
  • And then, cook over medium heat on each side for five to seven minutes and sprinkle with fresh herbs to serve.

The result is tender and slightly sweet, with a hint of smokiness.

You can also try these Grilled Cauliflower “Steaks” with Spicy Lentil Sauce from Rebecca Mastoris from Live Earth Farm.

One important note: Cauliflower is nutritious and can be yummy, but it doesn’t have a lot of protein and won’t be filling on its own. So if you do serve this as a main dish, make sure to serve protein-packed sides with ingredients, such as lentils, beans, nuts and seeds, and quinoa.

Fresh, Festive Beverages That Are Beautiful and Enjoyable

Keeping you and your guests hydrated is important, especially if you have an outdoor gathering. Iced cold water is great — but even better, you can infuse water with fresh fruits for an easy, beautiful, and flavorful party drink.

All you need to do is add the fruit or herbs to a water pitcher and let it infuse for at least an hour (3-4 hours is best) or overnight. You can slice the fruit and chop (or muddle) the herbs to release their flavors. And then add ice to serve or store in the fridge.

Here are some tasty, summery flavored water ideas:

  • Cherry and lime (made with fresh cherries)
  • Watermelon, basil, and lemon
  • Strawberry and raspberry
  • Pineapple and mint
  • Cucumber and mint
  • Lemon and lime

Watermelon, with its bright red color, is almost a must for a healthy 4th of July or other summer parties. And watermelon juice is easy to make, nutritious, and perfect for keeping you cool and quenching your thirst on a hot day. (Bonus: Watermelons are a skin-healthy food, which can help protect your skin from sun damage.)

To make watermelon juice cut up watermelon into chunks and then blend with filtered water or coconut water. If you want, add mint leaves for extra freshness and a squeeze of lime juice for a little zing. You can strain or drink the juice as is. Serve with a lime wedge and mint leaf.

You can also make other fresh, beautiful juices. Try these colorful Gold Juice and Green Juice recipes from Reboot with Joe. Or this zesty Spicy Sweetie Juice from Kris Carr.

And here’s another light and refreshing summer drink: an easy yet impressive Rosewater Galia Melon Healthy Mint Fresca from Plants-Rule.

Desserts That Delight Without Weighing You Down

Light, refreshing desserts are perfect for outdoor summer parties. Make fresh, seasonal fruits the highlight because they are naturally sweet without needing to add sugar.

You can simply slice a watermelon and serve. Or grill slices brushed with lemon juice, cayenne pepper, and salt for two minutes on each side.

For a healthy fruit salad, mix cut up fruit with lemon or lime juice. Or make a red-white-and-blue 4th of July Fruit Salad like this one from Sina at Vegan Heaven.

Another idea is to create a Berry Patriotic Chia Seed Pudding (from Kelly Page at Tasting Page) with layers of red berries, white chia seed pudding, and blueberries.

Or for a seemingly indulgent yet healthy treat, try these Broiled Peaches and Plums with Cinnamon Cashew Cream from Plants-Rule.

Tips for Hosting (or Attending) A Successful Summer Party

  • If you know you’re going to a traditional, unhealthy get-together, go for the company and camaraderie, not the food. Bring snacks and eat before or after.
  • When taking a dish, the simplest way is to store, transport, and serve in the same container.
  • If you’re attending a party that may not have the healthiest options, make and bring at least two dishes including filling options, like a quinoa salad (try this International Quinoa Salad from Susan Voisin at Fat Free Vegan Kitchen).
  • Swap hummus for creamy dressings and egg-based mayo. In your potato and pasta salad recipes, you can easily swap hummus instead of heavy dressings. Or use hummus on veggie burgers. Or as a salad dressing by adding 1-2 tablespoons of water for a thinner consistency. Try this oil-free Hummus from Engine 2 Plant-Strong. (thanks to Katie from Plants-Rule for this tip)
  • If you’re sharing a grill with meat-eaters and you don’t want to eat any meat-fat drippings, you may want to agree on a no-meat area.
  • If you’re at a party with unhealthy options and you didn’t bring anything to eat, try filling up on salads and healthier sides so you’re less likely to be tempted by unhealthy food options.
  • As Ocean Robbins says, “If you do choose to eat something that doesn’t align with your values, there’s no health benefit in carrying guilt.” So enjoy it, forgive yourself, and make your next choice a healthy one.

The Key to Healthy Summer Parties

Summer parties are a wonderful time to enjoy time in the sun with friends and family.

Food is often the focus — but instead of fueling your festivities with dishes that lead to chronic disease, why not make fresh, whole, seasonal vegetables and fruits the stars (and stripes) of your gathering?

After eating, you and your guests will feel lighter and more energized. And you might want to go on a hike or dance, instead of sitting around feeling tired.

Whatever you eat, make sure to remember that sharing fun and loving connection with people you cherish is the real goal of any holiday gathering. Bon Appétit!

Tell us in the comments:

  • Do you have any other tips or healthy July 4th recipes to share?
  • What are your experiences with food at summer parties?

50 Fourth of July Recipes

Appetizers:

Spinach and Artichoke Dip


Bacon Wrapped Smoked Salmon Stuff Sweet Peppers

Chunky Pineapple Guacamole with Grilled Sweet Potato Chips


Sweet Plantain Guacamole


Carrot Fries with Garlic Aioli


Simple Shrimp Salad


Southwest Turkey Meatballs with Creamy Cilantro Dipping Sauce


Sausage and Goat Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms


Shrimp Sausage Skewers

Baby Pizza Bites


Bacon Wrapped Candied Butternut Squash Bites

Grilled Bacon Guacamole

Roasted Red Pepper Dip

Zucchini Pesto Roll Ups

Side Dishes:

Egg & Potato Salad

Honey Sweet Potato Poblano Salad

Bacon Lime Sweet Potato Salad

Grilled Chili Lime Sweet Potato Wedges

Garlic Dill Sweet Potato Wedges

Cinnamon Bacon Backyard Sweet Potatoes

Creamy Cucumber Dill Salad

Watermelon and Cucumber Mint Salad

Mint Prosciutto Wrapped Melon

Entrees:

Grilled Pineapple Burgers with Spicy Avocado Cream

Grilled Mustard Burgers

The Paleo Kitchen Perfect Burger

Apple & Arugula Bison Burgers

The JB Burger Special

Sage Bison Burgers with Balsamic Bacon Apple Chutney

Fully Loaded Citrus Marinated Chicken Wraps

Artichoke Lemon Pesto Chicken Pasta

BBQ Chicken Burgers with Sweet Potato Fries

Southwest Turkey Sliders with Spicy Avocado Slaw

Blueberry Maple BBQ Chicken

Sweet and Sexy Wings

Cilantro Chicken Nuggets

Triple Protein Burger

Mexican Inspired Burgers

Pulled Pork Waffle Sliders

Summer Cobb Salad

Desserts:

Mini Layered Ice Cream Pops

Fudgesicles

Lemon Fruit Tart

Strawberry Creamsicles

Magic Brownie Bars

Triple Chocolate Truffles

Coconut Juice Fruit Popsicles

No Bake Sticky Apple Pie Bars

Salted Caramel Ice Cream Sandwich

Chocolate Coffee Caramel Bars

4th of july health

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