Entertaining this 4th of July?
The 4th of July is for sure a time when we love to get together with friends and family. I’ve put together some great recipes that will for sure have your celebrations sparkle!
Anything with fruit is sure to please a crowd! The sweetness and crispness of the fruit are so refreshing! There are lots of fruits that are in season like watermelon, cantaloupe, strawberries, and mangos. You can enjoy these fruits on their own or how about making this simple, yet tasty Summer Fruit Salad.
Another fun way to enjoy fruits this summer is by making salsas with them! This Simple Peach Salsa is filled with flavorful fruits and veggies! You can dip chips in this salsa, or you can top grilled or baked fish with it! Talk about yummy!
And speaking of dips….
Make some crowd-pleasing ones! They are a convenient and delicious way to consume a wide variety of vegetables, spices, and healthy fats. While we love the convenience of pre-packaged hummus, many brands contain unnecessary levels of fat and preservatives. Making dips yourself allows you to control the flavor and quality – and it’s easy!
The best dips begin with a creamy base made from foods such as beans, lentils, avocados, edamame, and roasted vegetables, like eggplant, carrots, squash, zucchini, peppers, or cauliflower, that are blended with oil or another liquid. Add flavor boosters such as tahini, garlic, hot sauce, nut butters, nuts and seeds, lemon or lime juice, and zest to add dimension. You will finish by seasoning with fresh and dried herbs, spices, salt, and pepper and your dip is complete.
Here are some of our favorite combinations using some healthy ideas:
• Chickpea hummus – The classic chickpea base is very versatile and can be made with any bean. Add tahini, garlic, lemon, and cumin to chickpeas for a traditional version. Some variations include roasted red pepper, lemon kale, Moroccan carrot, roasted zucchini, kalamata olive, spicy sriracha, and creamy pesto. Try this crowd-pleasing version for Lemon Dill Hummus.
• Avocado, otherwise known as guacamole, is also a great dip! We love the healthy fats in avocado, but the calories can be intimidating. To cut the amount of avocado in half, try adding defrosted edamame beans! This will decrease the calories and increase the protein. Win, win! Add some greens to keep your dip bright and fresh. Our Kale and Edamame Guacamole is a team favorite.
• Roasted vegetables – Baba ganoush is the ultimate example here – a combination of roasted eggplant, tahini, lemon, and garlic. Other roasted vegetables that work well in dips are butternut squash, cauliflower, zucchini, carrots, and peppers. Roasting them allows you to process vegetables until creamy. Start with store-bought roasted red peppers for this nutrient-dense and super flavorful Roasted Red Pepper Walnut Dip.
There are lots of great “vehicles” to dip! Otherwise known as DIPPERS!
• Carrot chips or sticks – You can purchase prepared crinkle-cut carrot chips or slice carrots on an angle. Baby carrots will work too.
• Cucumber chips – Slice cucumbers on an angle to maximize surface area for scooping.
• Broccoli or cauliflower – Lightly steam these vegetables to bring out their sweetness – you want them to still have the firmness necessary to dip.
• Green beans – Remove stems, rinse, and dip. If you prefer, you can lightly steam these as well.
• Endive – This nutrient-dense vegetable is the ultimate chip – perfect shape, size, and sturdiness.
• Peppers – Red, yellow, and orange peppers provide a variety of phytonutrients and are milder than green peppers.
• Celery sticks – Firm and crisp, celery is great for dipping.
• Snap peas – These can be consumed raw or lightly steamed.
• Cherry tomatoes – We love using grape tomatoes on our crudités platters, but dipping them can be tricky. Bonus tip: Using toothpicks can help keep your fingers free of dip.😘
To get more great recipes like these, try one of my meal plans! Check them out here! Try it for free for 3 days, no credit card required!
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