Four Healthy Swaps Guaranteed to Lighten Up Your 4th of July Barbecue

With the Fourth of July right around the corner, plans for cookouts, barbecues, and late night firework shows fill up our calendars, and all of our favorite classic ingredients fill up our shopping carts. But are those classics really the best choice for a flavorful, healthy afternoon gathering? This year, rethink your favorite dishes, and try these fFour 4th of July recipe swaps that are sure to be a hit at your barbecue or potluck.

Main Dish: Sodium Swap

Although there’s little that says ‘summer time’ better than a fresh grilled hot dog with all the fixings, at 200 calories, 630 mg of sodium, and 8.5 g of fat for just the dog and the bun, you may consider swapping it out this holiday. Go bunless to lose 110 calories, 220 mg of sodium and 1.5 g of fat, and choose spicy mustard (5 cal, 115 mg sodium) to cut back on the 20 calories and 160mg of sodium in 2 teaspoons of ketchup.

Side Dish: Sodium Swap

Potato salad is the one side dish that often steals the show at backyard barbecues. But just one 250 g (1 cup) serving of this classic clocks in at 357 calories, 20 g of fat and 1,322 mg of sodium, nearly 60% of the recommended daily intake! Swap it with this flavorful Garlic Parmesan Broccoli Potato medley from Damn Delicious that will save you 109 calories and yields a much more moderate 160 mg of sodium.

Beverage: Sugar Swap

No 4th of July barbecue is complete without a refreshing drink to wash it all down, right? This year, rethink your go-to fruit punch. Fruit punch can have over 100 calories per 8 oz serving and upwards of 30 g of sugar. Instead, opt for fruit infused water for a refreshing treat packed with nutrients and significantly less sugar. You can even choose to add strawberries and blueberries to stay in the 4th of July spirit! As an added bonus, blueberries have been shown to improve mental health and help ward off heart disease.

Dessert: Sugar/Gluten Swap

Apple pie, a classic, just as American as the flag itself. This dessert is sure to make an appearance at most summer gatherings, but Grandma’s recipe, though tried and true can clock in at over 200 calories and 20 g of sugar in ONE SLICE. Ouch. So this 4th of July, trade half of the calories and none of the taste with this low sugar, gluten free Apple Pie Oatmeal Cookie recipe from Amy’s Healthy Baking.

Sources:

http://damndelicious.net/2015/06/29/garlic-parmesan-broccoli-and-potatoes-in-foil/

http://amyshealthybaking.com/blog/2015/01/03/apple-pie-oatmeal-cookies/

http://dish.allrecipes.com/fresh-ideas-for-making-infused-water/

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/287710.php