This specific holiday is one of my all time favorites. Fireworks, catching fireflies, running around with sparklers, and eating some of my favorite summer cookouts recipes. Now I think it just makes perfect sense to showcase my dearest healthy recipe swaps for the 4th of July.
Now these recipe swaps are going to be geared towards those who eat both vegetarian and meat diets, because everyone can benefit from some healthy plant-based ingredient swaps. From the appetizers to the dessert, I’ve got you covered! Remember, eating healthy and using plant-based ingredients doesn’t mean that you have to sacrifice flavor. I’m completely and utterly obsessed with creating nutrient rich recipes that taste like the real deal. What’s life without enjoying the food you’re eating?
I was able to also talk about these healthy recipe swaps for the 4th of July on Good Day Chicago Fox so you can learn more about why I love using plant based ingredient in lieu of condiments like mayonnaise and dairy!
If you’re hosting or bringing an entree or side dish to your upcoming gathering, these recipes will not turn off your relatives who grew up on meat and potatoes. These healthy recipe swaps: 4th of July edition will most certainly be a a hit!
Healthy Recipe Swaps For The 4th Of July
The first thing that I always think of when I know that a 4th of July party is coming up, are the sides. Boy do I have a vast love for side dishes. Some of my most-liked side dishes are coleslaw, potato salad, mac n’ cheese, and *sigh* all time favorite: taco salad dip. Even though these side dishes make me swoon, they’re loaded with empty calories, sodium, processed ingredients and unhealthy fats.
A lot of classic coleslaw recipes call for mayonnaise and sugar, even buttermilk! Using dressings like this do taste creamy but it packs on the calories, unhealthy fats, and unnecessary refined sugar. To lighten up this side dish I use a pineapple based dressing instead of mayo. I also sneak in shredded carrots and sunflower seeds to add some beta carotene and healthy fats. The nuts also give the recipe a great crunchy texture as well.
- 1⁄2 cup pineapple
- 1⁄4 cup white wine vinegar
- 1⁄2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/2 tbsp honey
- Pepper to taste
- Slaw blend of: broccoli slaw, white cabbage, carrots, parsley and sunflower seeds.
- Toss together the broccoli slaw, cabbage, carrots and sunflower seeds in a mixing bowl.
- In a blender blend together the pineapple, white wine vinegar, pepper and 1/2 tbsp honey.
- Add the dressing to the mixing bowl, toss well and serve.
Healthy Potato Salad:
Potato salad is another classic summertime side dish that can be loaded with mayo. To cut back on the processed condiments and make this a dairy free side, I use dijon mustard instead. Let’s face it though, a lot of people still want their potatoes to be creamy. To add this type of texture to the recipe, I’m adding avocado to the dressing to infuse the salad with a healthy fat. As always, I try to sneak in at least one veggie and my choice for this one is asparagus. Now this typically starchy side dish with little nutritional benefit is packed with healthy fats, fiber, Vitamin A, C, K, and folate! What a difference a couple ingredient swaps can make!
- 1 lb frozen diced potatoes
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 avocados
- 1 bag of frozen peas
- 1 tbsp dijon mustard
- 1 bunch of asparagus chopped
- 2 cloves garlic
- Dill, parsley, basil
- Salt and Pepper
- In a large sauce pan, heat up coconut oil. Heat up the potatoes and peas until defrosted.
- Chop and add the asparagus and cook for about 10-12 minutes until well cooked.
- In a blender, blend together 2 avocados, the dijon mustard, garlic, and seasonings.
- Turn off the heat and add the dressing. Mix well
- Transfer the potato salad into a food container and chill in the fridge or about an hour.
- Serve and enjoy!
Ok here is where I’m offering a solution for meat eaters. I know it’s hard for some of us to lead a strictly vegetarian or vegan lifestyle, so trying to force everyone at your party to eat only veggie burgers may not go over well. To cater to your meat eating guests, try lightening up the typical burger recipe. We know burgers are tasty, but they can be high in fat and sodium. To lean this recipe out (and to sneak some plant-based ingredients into it) I’m swapping out beef for turkey, and using half ground turkey and half veggies to create the patties. I’m infusing these patties with quinoa, kale, and carrots so that it isn’t a 100% meat burger. To keep it low soduim, I’m also using coconut amino acids to give it a savory flavor.
- 1 lb of ground turkey
- 1 cup of kale
- 1⁄2 cup of carrots
- 1 cup of quinoa (cooked)
- 1⁄2 cup onion
- Garlic powder
- 1⁄4 cup Coconut amino acids
- Chop the kale and carrots into thinly diced pieces.
- Chop the onion into thinly diced pieces.
- In a large mixing bowl mix together the turkey, kale, quinoa and carrots until well blended. Do this with your hands.
- Add the onion, garlic powder, and coconut amino acids to the bowl and mix together again.
- Heat a skillet with coconut oil.
Shape each patty with your hands into a fist size portion and place 2 or 3 of them in the skillet.
Cook on each side for about 5 or 6 minutes (or until well cooked through).
- Serve on a whole wheat or gluten free bun, or on lettuce wraps. Top with dijon mustard, coleslaw, or BBQ sauce for taste!
Healthy BBQ Sauce:
Store bought brands can be packed with sugar and additives. Instead of using ketchup, use fresh tomatoes and passata sauce. Tomato sauce and paste is packed with lycopene, a strong antioxidant that helps fight free radicals and most importantly, sun damage! You can make a big batch of this BBQ sauce and use it over and over again for the rest of your summer cookouts.
- 1 large onion diced
- Jar of passata sauce
- 4 tbsp tomato paste
- 4 tbsp honey
- 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp red chili flakes
- Add all ingredients into a blender, blend for about 5 minutes until well mixed, and serve.
Top Your Party Off With A Red White And Blue Trifle Dessert:
Instead of loading up on desserts containing refined flour, processed sugars, and ridiculous amounts of empty calories. Create a fun and festive dessert that has a nutritional boost. This red white and blue trifle dessert is dairy free (vegan), contains natural sugars, and is definitely a splurge, with benefits. The white cake is gluten free, made with coconut oil instead of butter, and coconut flour instead of refined white flour. If you’re gonna have sweets, you should definitely have this.
For the white cake:
- 1 cup almond milk
- 1 1⁄2 cups coconut flour
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1⁄2 tsp baking powder
- 1⁄3 cup coconut oil
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
For the cream filling:
- 1 can of coconut cream
- 1 cup of cashews soaked
- Pinch of salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 dates
For the rest:
- 2 packages of blueberries
- 2 packages of strawberries
DIRECTIONS for the cake:
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Add the dry ingredients together in a bowl: coconut flour, sugar, salt, sugar, baking powder and baking soda. Whisk together until well blended.
- Add the wet ingredients into the bowl: vinegar, milk, coconut oil, vanilla extract. Whisk again until well blended and thick.
- Coat a 9 x 12 baking pan with coconut oil, and place the batter into the baking pan.
- Bake for 30 minutes. Check to see if the cake is done by placing a fork in the cake to see if it come out clean. If it does, it means it’s done.
- Move to a cooling rack to let cool, then cut into 2 by 1 inch squares.
DIRECTIONS for the cashew cream:
- Soak your cashews in water in a bowl for about an hour (do this while cooking other recipes)
- In a blender, blend the cashews and 1 can of coconut cream together.
- Add the vanilla, salt, and dates and blend for about 4 minutes until thick and creamy.
*AFTER your cake and cream is completed, follow these directions:
- In a clear bowl, layer the bottom of the bowl with your cake squares.
- Create a new layer of blueberries
- Create a third layer of cashew cream.
- Create a fourth layer of strawberries.
- Repeat these layers until you fill up the bowl.
- Thinly slice strawberries and place them on top of the layered trifle in a circle formation until you fill up the center. Serve and enjoy!
Do you have any other favorite healthy ingredient swaps that you love to use? Share them in the comments below! And bonus: if you want to learn how to incorporate even more healthy ingredients into your diet, you can sign up for my free 30 day Balanced Babe challenge below. I’m challenging you to create 3 recipes and 3 remedies from my special menu within 30 days. Not only will this help you form new healthy habits, you’ll be learning how to cook healthy and tasty meals. Oh and the beauty remedies will also help you slooow down and relax, who doesn’t want to have more time to themselves? You can learn more about the 30 Day Challenge here!