The Fourth of July is that time of the year where you find yourself eating all the things you should be trying to avoid. Even worse, you find yourself eating these "bad" foods more frequently because of all the cookouts, backyard barbecues, picnics, clam bakes and other celebrations. For this year's Fourth of July, why not try preparing some festive foods that aren't belly busters? Here are some healthy recipes for Fourth of July food you'll surely enjoy:
The Healthy One-Fourth For The Fourth
What's the Fourth of July without a delicious burger on the menu? Here is a recipe for a healthy ¼ pound burger that you won't feel bad about.
- ¼ pound lean burger patty (Look for 90/10 lean ground beef, which is made up of only 10 percent fat)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon of pepper
- Canola oil
- Red wine
- Wheat bun made from whole grains
- Coat your cooking pan with canola oil and set it on the stove at medium heat. Allow the pan to heat for a little bit you start cooking.
- Gently rub the salt and pepper on both sides of the burger patty. Alternatively, you can use a dry rub or seasoning.
- Cook one side of the burger patty on the pan then flip it to the next side for cooking once you see the edges start to turn brown.
- Place the top and bottom of the wheat bun face down along the edges of the pan, or directly on the pan if you have room, just before the burger patty is completely done cooking.
- Remove the slightly toasted buns from the pan, and place the burger patty on the bottom bun.
- Add a little more canola oil if necessary, then begin sautéing the mushrooms and onions in the same pan on high heat.
- After a minute or two, add a little bit of red wine to the onion and mushrooms.
- Place the sautéed mushrooms and onions on top of the burger patty, then add the spinach and the burger is ready to eat.
- Leaner meats tend to dry out faster since the fat is what makes a burger juicy. Cooking on medium instead of high heat will help keep the precious juices in. Also avoid pressing down on the burger to keep the juices from escaping.
- You want to flip the burger as little as possible. Try flipping only once if you can to keep it flavorful.
- Keep in mind well-done burgers tend to be the leanest burgers.
- Grilling and broiling are healthier cooking methods.
- The sautéed mushrooms and onions add moisture to a lean burger that tends to be dry. If you aren't very fond of these sautéed ingredients, try condiments that will add moisture to the burger like barbecue sauce or steak sauce.
- To create the healthiest burger, find alternative burger patties like turkey or chicken patties, Portobello mushrooms or soy-based patties.
Honey Walnut Shrimp Skewers
The Fourth of July is all about grilling, and some of the healthiest foods to serve from the grill are skewers and kebabs. Try this shrimp skewer recipe for this year's Fourth of July backyard barbecue.
- Peeled and deveined shrimps (four per skewer)
- ½ cup of orange or apricot marmalade
- 2 tablespoons of honey
- ¼ cup of soy sauce
- ½ teaspoon of ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon of salt
- Chopped walnuts (small bits)
- Green peppers
- Create the marinade by mixing the honey, marmalade, soy sauce, ground ginger, salt and crushed walnuts together.
- Marinade the shrimp and place it in the fridge an hour before cooking,
- Chop the onions and green peppers into squares to be placed on the skewers.
- Thread the shrimp, onions and green peppers on the skewers and grill them on medium-high heat for 4-7 minutes.
- Brush the marinade onto the shrimp skewers regularly.
- Lightly brush the marinade on the skewers one more time, then sprinkle some chopped walnuts over the skewers before serving.
- Italian dressing or teriyaki sauce can serve as alternative marinades.
- Soak wooden skewers in water for 15-30 minutes before cooking. Brush metal skewers with oil or cooking spray before cooking.
- Preheat the grill before cooking and spray the grates with cooking spray, or brush them with cooking oil.
- Serve with a side of brown rice.
Fourth Of July Fruit Bowl
This recipe is a crowd favorite at Fourth of July parties, plus it's healthy and easy to prepare.
- Slice the bananas into bite-sized pieces.
- Cut the strawberries in half.
- Mix the sliced bananas, cut strawberries and blueberries in separate bowls and serve!
- You can use tooth picks and skewers to create a Fourth of July flag with the same ingredients. Just use the blueberries for the star portion of the flag, and the strawberries and bananas for the red and white stripes. Use skewers to hold the flag together.