4th of July Picnic Ideas without the extra Guilt

Healthy 4th of July Recipes
Happy 4th of July!
Happy 4th of July!  Well...almost.  So who all has that big 4th of July picnic coming up?  Are you hosting or attending one?  Let me guess, the annual picnic that you either host or attend consists of hamburgers, hot dogs, potato salad, baked beans, corn on the cob, macaroni salad, chips, pretzels, alcohol, maybe some cupcakes or cake! What did I miss??!  Surely I don't have the only family picnic that consists of all of this food, right?

So, heading in to this holiday weekend one of two things is probably going to happen.
1. You stay on track, maybe pick at a few cheats for your holiday meal, and don't feel too guilty when the weekend is over.
2. You end up over indulging on anything and everything, drink a few too many drinks, and end the weekend a couple pounds heavier feeling guilty.

Does anyone else usually end up like #2?

Holiday picnics can be so tough.  I swear all of the socializing makes you hungry!   I personally will be heading to my parents for a pretty big family picnic that will last all day long. All of the traditional picnic food, and then some, will be staring me right in the face! So, I have a few tips for you consider following this weekend whether you are hosting or attending a party.

Healthy 4th of July Recipes
So, if you are hosting a picnic, then you have complete control over the menu.  Sure, friends and family may bring a sweet temptation, but, you can control the main dish and even some side dishes.  BUT, what if you are attending a party and you know there will be NO healthy options?  Simple, bring something that you YOU can eat!  No, it doesn't have to be something like carrots and celery.  There are several delicious side dishes, and even desserts, that are actually healthy!  Fool those around you.  Bring something delicious and don't tell anyone that it is actually healthy!

Here are some suggestions:

You can certainly check out the side dishes under the Clean Eating Recipes tab right here on my blog. The Bean Salsa and Southwestern Salad are always a huge hit! 

I came across this idea through the 21 Day Fix Facebook page, but found the full recipe on my favorite site, The Gracious Pantry. 

Clean Eating 4th of July Watermelon Cake

Watermelon Cake, Healthy 4th of July Recipes
Watermelon Cake
* 1 pint clean, organic whipping cream or full fat coconut milk
* 3 tbsp. honey
* 1 watermelon
* 1 pint fresh strawberries
* 1 pint fresh blueberries
* I've also see sliced kiwi used too!

1. In a large mixing bowl, whip the cream until stiff peaks form.
2. Quickly blend in the honey at the last minute.  Do not over beat!  Just beat it for a few seconds to incorporate the honey evenly.
3. Peel the watermelon, leaving it whole.  Cut the bottom and top to flatten them. 
4. Using a spatula, spread the whip cream over the watermelon, covering it completely.
5. Decorate with berries. 

Here is a great side dish recipe that will definitely be a hit!

Patriotic Quinoa Salad

* 1 cup cooked quinoa (1/2 cup uncooked)
* 1 cup fresh blueberries
* 8 ounces fresh strawberries, diced

Ingredients for Citrus Dressing:
* 2 ounces EVOO
Quinoa Salad, Healthy 4th of July Recipes
Patriotic Quinoa Salad
* 2 Tbsp rice vinegar
* Juice of one medium orange - about 3 Tbsp.
* 3 Tbsp lime juice
* 2 tsp Dijon mustard
* 1 Tbsp raw honey

1. Cook Quinoa according to the package directions and transfer to a large mixing bowl.
2. Add the blueberries, strawberries and set aside.
3. In a small bowl or blender, add oil, vinegar, orange juice, lime juice, honey, and mustard. Whisk or blend until combined.  
4. Pour over Quinoa and fruit and use a spoon to toss.
5. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes before serving so that all flavors can blend together. 

Sea Salt & Vinegar Sweet Potato Chips  

Sweet Potato Chips, Healthy 4th of July Recipes
Sweet Potato Chips

* 1 Tbsp Malt Vinegar
* 1 tsp sea salt
* 2 small sweet potatoes

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
2. Slice sweet potatoes into thin slices.
3. Place the slices on a non-stick baking sheet.
4. Bake for approx. 10-12 minutes, flip, then an additional 10-12 minutes (or until extra crisp).
5. Place and shake sweet potato slices in a large Zip-Lock bag with Sea Sale and Vinegar. 

Enjoy your holiday weekend and have a safe and wonderful 4th of July!!

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