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, macaroni salad, ice cream, s’mores, soda, and 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. I’m thinking Brazil would be fun right now with the World Cup happening.
If you can’t leave, you can make better choices and have a delicious July 4th.
1. Change up your hamburgers. Do not buy the pre-made burgers that are not so good. Make your own! This way you can control the size of the burger and the quality of the ground beef. Three 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. Add a slice of cheese and you are in serious heaven (sorry vegans).
2. Buy smaller hot dogs. There are a bunch of lower calorie hot dogs in the supermarket that are tasty and will hit that “dog” button. Hebrew National has come out with a 97% Fat Free Frank that is only 1 PointsPlus (40 calories each). I haven’t tried them yet, but I am going to because the dog for me is all about the mustard, ketchup, sauerkraut, and onions.
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.
6. Make some mini ice cream sandwiches. Making a dessert with a small portion of ice cream will stop you from inhaling a big bowl. Mash your favorite flavor between two graham crackers or try my pretzel ice cream sandwiches.
Please share your ideas for a healthier Fourth of July BBQ.
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