A Very Patriotic Hello, Red Rabbit Friends and Family!
July 4th is a time for celebrating with family, friends and loved ones around an abundance of delicious home-cooked foods. While we indeed live in a sweet land of liberty, sometimes the American plethora of food choices makes it too easy for an Independence Day bar-b-q to be dominated by fried snacks, meat and indulgent desserts. The good news is that we don’t need to compromise flavor, or our most-loved patriotic recipes, to make a July 4th bar-b-q a little healthier this year!
Here are some tips for incorporating healthier options into your July 4th festivities:
Make your own marinade. Marinades are easy and less expensive to make on your own! Many store-bought, ready-made marinades and bar-b-q sauces come laden with added sugars (sometimes high fructose corn syrup), preservatives, artificial colors and unrecognizable ingredients. If making your own marinade is not an option, read labels at the grocery store closely and avoid those products with artificial ingredients and additives.
Move over the meat, for veggies! When we think of BBQ, images of juicy drumsticks and ribs come to mind. This doesn’t mean the grill can’t handle a veggie or two! Grilling vegetables is one of the most delicious ways to prepare them. There’s no need to deprive yourself of your burger, but simply adding more vegetables to your plate will make it a more healthful, balanced meal.
Pack your burger with veggies. This year, get creative with your burger bar and offer your family and guests a variety of vegetables to pack between their burger buns. More veggies on your burger will increase the flavors and textures of your meal and pack in extra nutrients for your body!
Substitute whole grains. Do you usually buy the same brand of white hamburger and hot dog buns every summer? An easy way to make your July 4th BBQ more nutritious is to look for 100% whole grain breads to pair with your proteins. Better yet, visit your local bakery for some freshly made whole grain rolls, free of preservatives and additives that many store-bought packaged items contain.
Spruce up your fruit salad. Turn a conventional fruit salad into an impressive dessert that your guests won’t be able to resist. Try incorporating some colorful summer fruits beyond melons, such as berries, plums, peaches and cherries. Offer with a dollop of plain Greek yogurt or heavy whipped cream as an alternative topping to ice cream!
Celebrating our Independence as a nation and maintaining our health do not need to be mutually exclusive! By following our tips and tricks, you can enjoy the fireworks, parades and BBQ’s without sacrificing your health.
Let Freedom Ring – Happy 4th!
The Red Rabbit Team