The Fourth of July is not known as being one of our healthiest holidays. Whether there really are any “healthy” holidays is up for debate, but we can all agree that hot dogs, beer, and bomb pops aren’t a recipe for clean and healthy living. Still, you want to have fun, but without totally killing your diet and setting you back two weeks. It may seem tough, but it’s actually pretty easy to make yourself some healthy—and patriotic—snacks that you can enjoy all month long.
Red White and Blue Smoothie
Technically, it won’t come out looking red, white, and blue, but it will look amazing in the blender before you fire it up. Strawberries, banana slices, and blueberries layered in a blender just scream independence from your waistline. Use soy milk and coconut water to keep it from getting too thick, and feel free to top it with any other fruit you want.
Red, Mint, and Blue Fruit Salad
What this dish lacks in complexity, it makes up for in deliciousness. Add watermelon slices, blueberries, and finely chopped mint in a bowl. Add lime juice and an optional tablespoon of honey, and you’re good to go.
Ants on a Log
Cut up some celery sticks, and spread them with low-fat cream cheese. Then top them with blueberries and raspberries for this patriotic take on an old favorite.
Need something with a little more substance? Make a baked potato, but top it with low-fat Swiss cheese and salsa. If you’re looking for that blue to make it a little more flag-like, then snag some purple potatoes while you’re at the store.
And if you did pick up some purple potatoes, you probably noticed that there are a ton of different varieties and colors to choose from. Pick out the closest varieties you can to red, white, and blue, and chop them up for a potato salad. A simple oil and vinegar dressing will get you plenty of flavor without loading up on extra calories.
Missing those bomb pops from your childhood, but looking for a healthy adult version? Peel a banana, cover it in yogurt and roll it through crushed cereal, sliced strawberries, and blueberries. Stick it in the freezer the night before, and you can enjoy the adult version of your childhood frozen treat.
Get yourself some whole grain pita pockets, and stuff them with ricotta cheese and raspberries, blueberries, or strawberries, and you’ve quickly got yourself a great red white and blue treat for the Fourth.
In July we celebrate our independence, so don’t get trapped by empty calories and fried food. Try some of these healthy alternatives, and you’ll still find yourself feeling fit and looking good for your next trip to the beach.