A Fourth of July celebration is about friends, fireworks, and food (though, usually not the nutritious kind). Planning a meal that is colorful and delicious without the additional fat, sugar, and processing is just as easy and fun for everyone. This year, try healthy substitutions and bring festive party foods made from fruit. We promise, these naturally red, white, and blue desserts with a patriotic twist will wow the crowd.
Star Spangled Fruit Kabobs
Place organic blueberries, organic raspberries, and organic marshmallows on skewers in a flag design for your own beautiful star-spangled delight!
All-American Fruit Infused Water
Stay hydrated during your outdoor get-togethers! Serve water with a twist — using red, white, and blue fruits elevates the basic and makes a great alternative to sugary drinks. Before pouring, cut organic apples or pears into stars using a cookie cutter. Add those along with your organic berries into a pitcher, then cover with water and ice. Infuse for 30 minutes to an hour. Cheers!
Red, White & Blue Popsicles
Cool down with a patriotic popsicles. Organic blueberries, strawberries, and yogurt make great stripes, one layer at a time. Starting with the red, purée one to two cups (depending on the size of your popsicle molds) of fresh strawberries. Pour it into your molds, filling them about 1/3 of the way. Place your molds in the freezer for 20 minutes or more.
While you’re waiting for the pops to freeze, rinse out your food processor so it’s ready for the blueberries. Purée the same amount — one to two cups — for the blue layer. Once the red layer is frozen, fill your mold until 2/3 full with your plain yogurt. Return to the freezer for an additional 20-plus minutes. Pour the blended blueberries into your molds until full. Freeze for an hour or more before letting your kids taste test!
4th of July Strawberry De-Lights
Keep things light with these bite-sized desserts. They’re perfect for eating while mingling. Hull your organic strawberries. Fill them with homemade whipped cream (use your organic milk or cream of choice). Top with an organic blueberry. Enjoy!
And before you serve up the your meal’s grand finale, check out these Independence Day health and nutrition tips so your party is a bang, not a bust:
Choose healthy meats for grilling such as wild salmon, organic free-range chicken, and organic extra lean ground beef or turkey.
Avoid charring and burning because it creates HCAs (heterocyclic amines), which have been linked with increased cancer risk.
Make your grill more colorful by adding fruit and/or vegetable kabobs.
Use clean utensils and plates for cooked food – don’t place cooked meats on the same plate used to prepare raw meat.
Cook meats to the proper temperature, which is typically at least 165 degrees, but refer to this Federal Food Safety Minimum Cooking Temperatures as guide.
On the Table
Wipe down all picnic surfaces before putting food down and eating.
Serve a red, white, and blue salad – strawberries, feta cheese, and blueberries atop spinach.
Replace mayonnaise-heavy potato salad with a spiral pasta (gluten-free, if needed) and fresh vegetable salad tossed in a simple oil, vinegar, and lemon dressing.
Avoid artificial food colors, which are very common this holiday with red and blue dyes and decorative stars and stripes cookies and cakes.
Keep cold foods appropriately chilled (under 40 degrees) by packing plenty of ice around them or keeping them in a cooler with ice. When in doubt, throw it out.
Don’t let food sit out for more than an hour in hot temperatures.
Have a happy and healthy Fourth of July!