16 Drool-Worthy Food and Drink Recipes for a Healthier Fourth of July Cookout
Fourth of July is a wonderful time to invite friends and family over to lounge and catch up over food and fireworks. If you have your people picked out but have yet to draw up a menu, we have you covered. Below are 16 food and drink recipes, from Buffalo Cauliflower Bites to coconut mojitos, that will make waves at the BBQ without forcing anyone to unbutton their jean shorts at the picnic table. (Phew.)
Healthy Cookout Appetizer Recipes
Buffalo Cauliflower Bites with Blue Cheese Sauce
via The Beach Body Blog
I’ll be the first to admit that I am a sucker for buffalo wings, but the amount of calories in a basket can be pretty daunting. That’s where these Buffalo Cauliflower Bites, which ring in at 72 calories per serving, come in.
via Culinary Hill
The first time I had this dish, I couldn’t stop eating it. No doubt: A breath mint was necessary after all that raw onion, but it was just so insanely good. A perfect twist to your usual salsa, it packs a punch of protein and tastes incredible on top of any meat or on its own with tortilla chips. Note: You can easily leave the sugar in this recipe out.
Shredded Carrot Salad with Mustard Seeds
via Food Network
This lemony salad is one of my all-time favorites. My dad has been making it for us as long as I can remember and I can never get enough. The best part about it is that it tastes amazing hot or cold, and even better the next day as a leftovers.
Crispy Baked Green Bean Fries
via Joyful Healthy Eats
Instead of opting for your usual potato fries at this year’s cookout, try these lighter baked green bean fries served with a creamy Sriracha sauce. You’ll get crunch with way less calories.
Healthy Cookout Main Dish Recipes
Grilled Salmon Burgers with Avocado Salsa
via Laughing Spatula
Sure, a classic beef burger is tradition at your Fourth of July BBQ, but everyone will be so busy oohing and ahhhing at the avocado salsa on this bad boy, they probably won’t even notice you subbed in salmon.
Vegan Sloppy Joes
via Minimalist Vegan
For all the vegetarians and vegans joining in on the festivities, these vegan sloppy joes, made with lentils, are sure to satisfy. (And maybe bring back some sleep-away camp memories, too.)
Chili Lime Shrimp Tacos
via Fox and Briar
One of the many joys in life is a good taco enjoyed in the summer sun, and these are packed with citrusy flavor perfect for a hot summer day.
Fajita Chicken Kebabs
via Well Plated
Kebabs are a crowd-pleaser: They’re easy to make, fun and oh-so-Instagram-worthy. And the nice thing is, you can mix up the veggies you put on the skewer based on what you have available.
Healthy Cookout Dessert Recipes
Blueberry Yogurt Swirl Pops
via Sally’s Baking Addiction
Admit it: Even as a full-grown adult, the thought of popsicles still makes you happy. What will make you even happier is the fact that these only require three ingredients, making them SO easy to make and perfect for any summer BBQ.
via Dessert Now Dinner Later
Sticking with blueberries and strawberries, this easy one-bite dessert will be gobbled up before you know it.
Grilled Pineapple with Coconut-Cinnamon Whipped Cream
via Treble In The Kitchen
What is better than a fresh summer pineapple? Not much. But by grilling it and topping it with a homemade dairy-free whipped cream, you can perhaps make the perfect fruit just a little bit more perfect. Honestly, I am salivating at my desk over this one.
Avocado Chocolate Cookies
via The Sprouted Fig
At the end of the day, the easiest cookout dessert is something that can just be grabbed off a platter like cookies. Bonus: These are gluten-free, so everyone can have a bite.
Healthy Drink Recipes
Natural Vitamin Water
Via Deliciously Ella
This fruity, refreshing concoction will cool folks down while also keeping them hydrated, sans added sugar or alcohol. (As a bonus, it is quite beautiful to look at.)
Strawberry-Basil Vodka Soda
via Slim Sanity
Put those end-of-season strawberries to good use and throw them together with some basil, soda water and vodka for an alcoholic beverage that wont cost you serious calories.
via Taste and Tell Blog
Easily avoid boring drinks and bring tap or seltzer water to life with this very simple hack of freezing watermelon into ice cubes.
via Honestly Healthy Food
Most will agree: mojitos are a summer-cookout must. This recipe adds a twist of coconut water for a healthier version of your favorite boozy beverage.
Psst: We also have plenty more healthier cocktail suggestions for you here.
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