I think that July 4th is the most American of our holidays. A terrifying time for vegans, we get our grills fired up!
As with many of our holidays, it is a food fest of epic proportions. You know what I am talking about: hamburgers, hot dogs, potato chips, coleslaw, ice cream, s’mores, and (the one super healthy food) watermelon.
My children will participate in a parade that serves ice cream, and THEN they will go to a parade where candy is tossed from police cars. I can’t make this stuff up.
My first suggestion for a healthier July 4th is to leave the country. In Canada, for example, it will be just a regular Thursday :) If you don’t have money or time to leave, here are some other ideas:
1. Change up your hamburgers. Two years ago, I made this hamburger with a hole in it and I put salsa in the hole see: How To Eat Less Red Meat & Still LOVE Your Burger.
If you are ready to make a big change, you can also try a portobello mushroom burger for a meat free experience that many patriots would admire.
2. Buy smaller hot dogs. There are a bunch of lower calorie hot dogs in the supermarket. My favorite are the most expensive but at 110 calories each, they are a great option. See: Applegate Farms Natural Beef Hot Dog. The other brands such as Oscar Mayer or Hebrew National have made smaller hot dogs - which I think is a good thing.
3. Try baked or reduced fat potato chips. I happen to LOVE Cape Cod Reduced Fat Potato Chips. I can’t tell the difference between these and the real thing. They use less oil and the potato taste is exceptional. If you can’t find these, Baked Lays are an okay option.
4. Serve a lot of salad, watermelon, cherries, grapes, tomatoes, etc. with all the BBQ meats you are inhaling. This is the season of fresh produce for less money so take advantage of it. For example, you don’t have to do ANYTHING to cherry tomatoes to enjoy them.
5. Use fruit for your dessert. Grill some peaches, make my healthier strawberry shortcake, or just serve a bowl of fresh cherries for a lighter dessert than ice cream.
Please share your ideas for a healthier Fourth of July BBQ.
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