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5 Healthy Alternatives to Popular 4th of July Staples

Ah yes, the fourth of July… As famous for hot dogs and potato chips as it is for parades and fireworks. But does the fourth have to be a holiday filled with junk food? I find healthy alternatives like fresh raspberries, ripe blueberries, and a heaping dollop of Greek yogurt way more patriotic. And let’s face it—way more appealing than store bought brownies.

5 Healthy Alternatives for Independence Day Snacks

  1. Red, White & Blue Corn Chip Bites—ditch the potato chip bowl, and reach for these. Simply warm about 20 blue corn tortilla chips with 3/4th cup salsa and Mexican Cojita cheese. The whole grain chips are packed with fiber, and cheese is rich in protein. Together, they work to keep you fuller, meaning you’ll likely eat less at dinner.

  2. Red, White & Blue potato Salad—Mayo is so 2001. Try this delicious and healthy alternative instead: dice two pounds of red, white, and blue (or purple) baby potatoes and boil for 15 min. Then, simply brush with a vinaigrette made of 1/4th cup lemon juice, 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, and salt and pepper (to taste). Add colorful toppings, like white scallions and red peppers, for a patriotic feel.

    Tip: Find fresh, delicious, organic colored potatoes at your local farmer’s market. Perfect for healthy snacks!

  3. Grilled Watermelon, Mint, and Feta Salad—looking for interesting, healthy alternatives to Cole Slaw? Try this winning salad. First, cut 1 small watermelon into 1-inch rounds. Toast the rounds on a heated grill, letting each side cook for 2-3 min each. Next, add ½ cup chopped mint, then 2 oz of crumbled Feta. Finish off with a drizzle of 1 Tb olive oil, 1 Tb balsamic, and salt/pepper to taste.

  4. Grilled Salmon with Charred-Corn Relish—Salmon is chalk full of omega-3s, essential for optimal heart and brain health. And because salmon is quick to grill, you’ll get a gourmet meal without wasting precious pool time. Make Salmon central to your Fourth of July feast with this nutritious recipe.

    The relish: season 4 cobs of husked corn with salt and pepper. Then, grill corn till charred on all sides. Slice the kernels off the cobs, then mix in a bowl with 1 pint cherry tomatoes, 2 Tb olive oil, 2 Tb vinegar, and salt/pepper to taste. Serve on top of Salmon.

    The Salmon: season with salt and pepper, grill fillets on one side for 3-4 minutes, then flip and cook for another 3 minutes. Serve with relish.

  5. Patriotic Popsicles—your kids will be begging to help you prepare these festive treats! Divide 1 ½ cup blueberries and 1 cup raspberries evenly across 10 freezer-pop molds. Follow by pouring 2 cups limeade evenly over berries. Wait 6 hours—ta-dah! A healthy dessert alternative so yummy you’ll almost forget they’re actually full of vitamins and antioxidants.

What healthy snacks will you bring to the annual potluck this independence day? Let us know in the comment section below!

Recipe sources:

http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes_menus/collections/healthy_4th_of_july_recipes

http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20705276_13,00.html

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