If you want to enjoy a healthy 4th of July, you don’t have to spend the party hovering over the platter of carrot and celery sticks. Whether you are hosting a BBQ, bringing a dish for pot-luck, or taking a picnic to the park, there is no need to make compromises. 4th of July dishes are notoriously charred and fatty, from the burgers and dogs on the grill, to potato chips, coleslaw, mac & cheese, and ice cream.
But people, it’s summer! Look at all the delicious food that’s in season. Why can’t we say that all healthy summer foods are patriotic?
If you are vegan, gluten-free, macrobiotic, raw, paleo, or just want a healthier alternative, there are wholesome menus for every regimen and lifestyle.
Gluten-free Wrap your hotdog or veggie burger in lettuce or radicchio or try a gluten-free bun. Potato salad, coleslaw, quinoa tabouleh, grilled salmon, shrimp kebab, and all veggies and fruit are gluten-free approved. If you are strict about avoiding gluten, be sure to use condiments like mustard and mayonnaise that use apple cider vinegar instead of distilled white vinegar (from grain alcohol). Ratatouille is in season and surprisingly easy to make. Sautee zucchini, eggplant, yellow squash, and garlic with loads of Herbes de Provence; pour the vegetables into a roasting pan and bake until it forms a crust.
Vegan The centerpiece of a vegan BBQ might be a garden/veggie burger topped with Daiya cheese, avocado, and sprouts. The more ambitious chefs can try grilling portabellas and topping them with homemade pico de gallo, pesto, or mango chutney. Vegans can also make an easy mac & cheese with Daiya cheese and lots of dried herbs like oregano and thyme. And of course, the summer staple, corn on the cob will complement any menu.
Raw There’s no need to cheat on the holidays and eat cooked food when rawists can enjoy fruit salad, mesclun, all manner of wraps (with a collard green leaf as the ‘tortilla’), and handfuls of sprouted seeds and nuts. Rawists can also make a ‘burger’ out of sprouted beans and grains and serve it with a side of zucchini pasta salad with sprouted pepita pesto. Running out of time to prep a dish? You can pick up a Raw Walnut Taco Meat Burrito or a Sprouted Lentil Burger at the Erewhon café.
Macrobiotic Brown rice balls make a great addition to any gathering. You can also try grilling a kebab of kabocha squash cubes topped with a dash of tekka and gomasio. And a macrobiotic summer favorite – cucumber with umeboshi plums – will make a deliciously watery, crunchy, salty side dish.
Paleo This group should feel most comfortable cooking and eating in the rough! Paleos can wrap their burgers in lettuce or toast a couple slices of Paleo Bread (made from coconut flour). Include plenty of sides of vegetables and fruit, like green bean and pignoli salad with rosemary vinaigrette.
Regular, healthy eaters It might seem like this group of people can attend the BBQ and eat whatever is in front of them, but be wary of seemingly simple dishes that have a million ingredients. Regular eaters can enjoy burgers made with 100% grass-fed corn-free beef from Paso Prime and organic chicken with organic BBQ sauce, such as Annie’s Organic BBQ Sauce, David’s Unforgettable Balsamic BBQ, and Robbie’s BBQ sauce. Something everyone can slurp is chilled gazpacho soup, so easy to prepare – put everything in a blender – and so easy to gulp down from a paper cup. Even simple finger food can be made healthier; make deviled eggs with organic eggs, organic mayonnaise, and organic parsley and paprika. Finally, be sure to bring quenching drinks loaded with antioxidants, like vegetable juice and coconut water, to substitute for lemonade and soda.
Are you ready for a righteously succulent summer cookout? How about adding the extra challenge of serving a 100% non-GMO meal?
As you can see, the Fourth of July can be just as healthy as any other day of the year. The Declaration of Independence was all about letting people make their own choices, right? It’s not a stretch to say that making healthy choices and bringing wholesome dishes to a BBQ is your civic duty!
Erewhon has all the ingredients you need for a wholesome Fourth of July. See fireworks go off when your guests try these awesome dishes!
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