7 Healthy Recipes for 4th of July

This 4th of July weekend try using some recipes Simply7 found to keep your holiday weekend healthy and delicious!

http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes_menus/collections/healthy_4th_of_july_recipes#3

1.  These red-white-and-blue popsicles are great to make when fresh blueberries and raspberries are in season. But other fruit, such as chopped strawberries or cherries, could work in this healthy popsicle.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups blueberries
  • 1 cup raspberries
  • 2 cups limeade

Preparation

  • Divide blueberries and raspberries among freezer-pop molds. Pour limeade over the berries. Insert the sticks and freeze until completely firm, about 6 hours. Dip the molds briefly in hot water before unmolding.

Red, White & Blue Potato Salad Recipe

http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes_menus/collections/healthy_4th_of_july_recipes#3

2.  Dressed with a tangy lemon vinaigrette and fresh mint, this healthy red-white-and-blue potato salad makes the perfect potluck contribution. Make it the day before and stir in the peppers and herbs right before you serve it.

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds baby potatoes, a mix of white and blue (or purple)
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 3/4 cup chopped roasted red peppers, rinsed
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint

Preparation

  • Place potatoes in a large saucepan or Dutch oven and cover with lightly salted water. Bring to a boil and cook until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water. Transfer to a cutting board. Let cool for 20 minutes.
  • Whisk lemon juice, oil, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Cut the potatoes in half, add to the bowl and toss to coat.
  • Just before serving, add peppers, scallions and mint to the salad and toss gently.

EatingWell Flag Cake Recipe

http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes_menus/collections/healthy_4th_of_july_recipes#3

3.  Though this stunning red, white and blue American flag cake screams “Fourth of July Cake,” it’s such a good dessert you’ll want to make it for Memorial Day and other summer holidays too. We made this flag cake recipe healthy, with less saturated fat and calories than traditional versions, by replacing some butter in the yellow sheet cake with oil. Plus, for the cream cheese frosting, we used reduced-fat cream cheese and low-fat Greek yogurt instead of full-fat cream cheese and butter. And for decorations we used fresh blueberries, strawberries and raspberries dusted with confectioners’ sugar instead of loads of piped-on frosting.

Ingredients

Cake

  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature (see Tips)
  • 2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour (see Tips) or all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • Zest and juice from 1 lemon
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Frosting & Decoration

  • 12 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese (Neufchâtel), at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar plus 2 tablespoons, divided
  • 3 tablespoons low-fat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups raspberries
  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 2 cups strawberries, sliced

Preparation

  • To prepare cake: Preheat oven to 350°F. Line the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with parchment paper; coat the paper and sides of the pan with cooking spray.
  • Beat granulated sugar, oil and butter in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until well combined. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until just incorporated.
  • Whisk whole-wheat (or all-purpose) flour, cake flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. Combine buttermilk, lemon zest, lemon juice, 2 teaspoons vanilla and almond extract in a measuring cup. With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients to the mixing bowl alternately with the buttermilk mixture, beating just until incorporated after each addition, scraping down the sides as necessary. Spread the batter in the prepared pan.
  • Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 28 to 34 minutes. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Turn out onto the rack and let cool completely, about 1 hour.
  • To prepare frosting: Beat cream cheese, 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, yogurt and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla in a mixing bowl until smooth.
  • To decorate: Invert the cake onto a platter. Spread the frosting over the top and sides. Mark 3 horizontal lines for the white “stripes” and a rectangle in the upper lefthand corner for the “blue rectangle.” Gently pat berries with a paper towel to dry. Make 3 “stripes” of raspberries on the marked lines. Place half of the blueberries in the “blue rectangle,” leaving space between each berry. Sift the remaining 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar over the raspberries and blueberries to make them the white “stripes” and “stars.” Fill the rest of the “blue rectangle” with the remaining blueberries. Place strawberries between the rows of raspberries as the red “stripes.”

4.  Fourth of July isn’t all about the food try making this delicious lemonade to keep the guests cool!

Healthy Watermelon Lemonade (Serves 4-6)

Check out this link to see the full recipe and many more.

http://aranthasgourmetbeauty.com/2012/07/31/guest-post-watermelon-lemonade-by-lindsey-crouch-of-quiche-queen/

Ingredients:

  • 6 cups fresh watermelon chunks
  • juice of 2 large lemons
  • 4 tablespoons (or 1/4 cup) pure maple syrup (Grade B preferred)
  • 2 cups cold water

Preparation:

  • Put the watermelon in a blender on high or “smoothie” setting, pushing it down with a tamper if needed, until it breaks down and becomes juice consistency (you may have a little froth on top, which is fine).
  • Squeeze both lemons into the blender with the watermelon juice, catching seeds with your hands (or use a juicer).
  • Finally, add in the maple syrup and water to the watermelon mixture in the blender.
  • Set the blender to medium speed and blend for about 30 seconds until thoroughly mixed.
  • Serve the watermelon lemonade over ice in glasses.

 

 

Turkey Bacon & Gorgonzola Sweet Potato Skins with Fresh Thyme

5.  These are bursting with complimentary flavors thanks to the smokiness of the turkey bacon, the bite of the Gorgonzola and the brightness of the fresh thyme. They are simple and DELICIOUS!

 

Turkey Bacon & Gorgonzola Sweet Potato Skins with Fresh Thyme

Check out this link to see the full recipe and many more.

http://aranthasgourmetbeauty.com/2013/01/02/turkey-bacon-gorgonzola-sweet-potato-skins-with-fresh-thyme/

Ingredients:

  • 4 small sweet potatoes
  • 3 slices of turkey bacon
  • 1/2 cup Gorgonzola cheese crumbles
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves

Directions:

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  • Wash the potatoes, then cut them lengthwise. Add them to a pot filled with cold water. Bring to a boil and cook until fork tender, about 15 minutes.
  • Transfer the potatoes to a plate until they are cool enough to handle.
  • Place the bacon on a paper towel or plate and microwave until crispy and browned (about 4 minutes).  When it cools, crumble into small bits and set aside.
  • When the potatoes are cool, use a spoon to scoop out most of the meat of the potato, leaving about 1/8 of an inch of potato over the skin (reserve this for mashed sweet potatoes, like these!). Place the potatoes on a baking sheet.
  • Divide the gorgonzola cheese among the potato skins, then top each with bacon bits. Sprinkle with the red pepper flakes, a pinch of salt and some freshly ground black pepper. Drizzle with olive oil.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the cheese is golden and bubbly.  Remove from the oven, garnish with thyme, and serve.

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6.  If you’re looking for the perfect, healthy dish to bring to a BBQ or potluck, this is a fantastic summer side dish. It’s packed full of fresh green beans and grape tomatoes so it’s really low in calories and the Dijon and Parmesan add a ton of flavor while keeping it healthy.

Dijon Parmesan Green Bean Salad (serves 8-10)

Check out this link to see the full recipe and many more.

http://aranthasgourmetbeauty.com/?s=dijon+parmesan+green+bean+salad&submit=Search

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 pounds fresh green beans, trimmed
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

Directions

  • Place beans in a large saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil
  • Cook, covered, for 8-10 minutes or until crisp-tender
  • Drain and shock the beans in a bowl of ice cold water to stop the cooking and keep them crisp and bright green
  • Place the green beans in a large bowl
  • Whisk the vinegar, oil, mustard, salt and pepper in a small bowl
  • Add tomatoes to the green beans
  • Drizzle with dressing and toss to coat. Sprinkle with cheese
  • Refrigerate until ready to serve

Magical Fruits Wands

7.  Fruit wands! They look super fun and not only will the kids love them adults as well. They are super easy to make and healthy. I guarantee they will be a big hit.

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The Latest Super Foods

Are blueberries, Greek yogurts and flax seeds already behind us? We’ve sought out the newest of the super foods and if you haven’t already heard about these you must read about them here!

Aloe Vera

Spotted forms of Aloe vera are sometimes known...Externally Aloe Vera has been used throughout history to help ease the discomfort of sunburns, minor wounds, cuts, scrapes and rashes. Many researchers believe that aloe can enhance the body’s ability to heal by stimulating the activity of collagen and elastin, two compounds responsible for healthy tissue integrity. Aloe juice alkalizes the digestive tract preventing over-acidity, a common cause of indigestion, acid reflux, heartburn and ulcers. A Must try for those suffering from ulcers or heartburn.  Buy here.

Goji Berries

These red berries are a rich source of vitamin C, having 500 times more vitamin C per ounce than oranges and actually more than any other fruit. They also contain vitamins A, B1, B2, B6 and E and

Goji berries Svenska: Gojibär

contain a full complement of protein with 18 amino acids and 21 trace minerals. Most of all they are an excellent antioxidant making it an ideal natural whole food for reversing aging and protecting against diseases. Purchase here on Amazon. 

Skyr 

This Icelandic yogurt is really a soft cheese, but its texture and

nutrients are similar to Greek yogurt, and it includes the same basic ingredients – skim milk and live active cultures. Skyr is made using a centuries-old straining processes that removes the whey (liquid), which makes it creamy and thick without providing any fat! A single 6 oz container of plain, nonfat contains 16 g of protein compared to about 14 g in Greek and 8 g in traditional yogurt. It’s time to try this!

Skyr
Skyr (Photo credit: roboppy)

Chia Seeds

This little whole grain is an ancient health food that was used by the Aztecs and Mayans as a main energy source. These seeds pack more heart and brain saving omega-3 fatty acids than flax seeds and have been shown in research to lower blood pressure and inflammation. These are a great addition to a smoothie for an added boost of fiber, protein, calcium, antioxidants, and omega-3s.  More info here.

Swiss chard

Swiss chard is rich in lutein, a carotenoid that helps protect against age-related macular degeneration. Swiss chard, with its plentiful nutrients, antioxidants, phytochemicals, and more helps prevent digestive tract and colon cancers and can also protect the kidneys of those with diabetes.

Swiss Chard. Taken during Tatton Park Flower S...
Swiss Chard. Taken during Tatton Park Flower Show 2009 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s good for bone health, lung health, heart health, vision, immune systems, and mental clarity. The list goes on and on. It’s time to learn how to cook this. Recipe here.