This segment was sponsored by Bob’s Red Mill & Suncore Foods. All opinions are my own and I appreciate your support!
Can you believe it’s already the 4th of July?! Summer’s in Chicago feel so short as it is so to have July 4th creep up so quickly just feels so rushed! I guess as a kid I always looked at it like a halfway point of summer, but maybe that’s not so bad because you know I’m already anxiously awaiting fall!
I do love the BBQ’s, sparklers, festive foods and spending time with friends and families that the 4th brings about. When I’m going to a party, I always offer to bring something! Maybe it’s a healthier dessert or maybe it’s one of the side dishes below that are easy to throw together and incorporate the flavors of the season. That way it takes the stress out of wondering if there will be something you’re going to want to eat at a party. I promise other people will want to grab a bite of those healthier side dishes you brought too! For more tips and suggestions on how to navigate summer eating occasions in a smart way, check out my guide to smarter eating for summer here!
I talked all about this and more on The Jam on WCIU (episode airing Wednesday, July 4th) and brought some of my favorite delicious and nutritious side dishes, desserts and other fun things that are perfect for the party! In you’re in Chicago be sure to tune into the Jam on Wednesday morning around 6:40am and 7:40am to catch talking all things festive and nutritious with the crew!
Festive & Nutritious Foods for the 4th
Red, White, & Blue Smoothie Bowls With Suncore Foods
These are as patriotic as they are exotic and a great way to color your smoothie bowls on the 4th or any day time of the year in a natural way. For the blue smoothie bowl I used Suncore’s butterfly pea flower powder which adds this vibrant hue to smoothies and more. It’s definitely a safer alternative to use vs. other chemical dyes. As for the pinkish red bowl that is colored with Suncore’s pink pitaya powder which has many antioxidants and vitamin C, protein and fiber. Their red dragon fruit chips were a great topped to both smoothies and are parts of the pitaya fruit dried. With no added sugar or preservatives, these along with some of Suncore’s other smoothie toppers like hemp seeds, and cocoa nibs that I always have in my cabinets are a great way to add nutrition and a crunch to your smoothie.
To get the smoothie bowl consistency, I mixed the powders with 1 cup unsweetened almond milk and 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt.
Simple Side Dishes With In Season Veggies
If you’re worried about the party having any veggies at all, bring some! I drew inspiration from these two recipes for charred corn and cherry tomato salad with zucchini and a healthy southwestern pasta salad to feature as great options for your 4th of July BBQ. What I like about these is that they are made up of in season veggies at their peak of freshness right now and they are super simple to put together. Use up your farmers’ market haul or whatever else is left in your fridge to bring these flavors together!
Patriotic Parfait Muffins With Bob’s Red Mill
It’s not a 4th of July party without a festive dessert and while I love something to satisfy my sweet tooth, I also love when I know it’s packed with a little more nutrition than usual! The fresh berries of the season add the sweetness to these otherwise sugar modest, yet oh so moist, parfait muffins. Instead of traditional frosting, I used vanilla greek yogurt to give these muffins that parfait like taste. They are made with Bob’s Red Mill organic whole-wheat flour which is higher in protein and certified organic. I like cooking and baking with Bob’s Red Mill because they truly have a flour for every dietary need. Bob’s Red Mill products can be found in stores nationwide or ordered directly from bobsredmill.com.
Scroll down to grab the full recipe!
Patriotic Probiotic Popsicles & Watermelon Stars
Skip the sugary popsicles and make them yourself instead! I froze kefir, which is a drinkable yogurt with probiotics into popsicle mold for a perfect treat to enjoy on a hot 4th of July night. Kefir comes in many different flavors, so you can great creative mixing different ones together.
Break out your Christmas cookie cutter collection and use a start to cut out shapes in your watermelon. This is fun for the kids to do and looks cute on a kebob or decorating a fruit tray. Watermelon is nearly 100% water so it’s a great thirst quencher in hot weather.
These parfait muffins are healthy alternative to frosting covered cupcakes and give you the best of both world with the mix of muffin and parfait cups. The seasonal berries add a touch of natural sweetness!
- 2 cups Bob’s Red Mill whole-wheat flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup almond milk
- ½ cup pure maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup vanilla greek yogurt (I used siggi’s whole-milk vanilla)
- 1 1/5 cup sliced strawberries, blueberries, blackberries & raspberries
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 12-cup cupcake pan with cupcake liners and spray with non-stick cooking spray.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Add the eggs, milk, maple syrup and vanilla. Whisk until mixture is thick and well combined.
- Divide mixture evenly among prepared cupcake liners, filling each one about ⅔ full. Bake for 13-15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cupcakes comes out clean. Let cupcakes cool in pan for 10 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack or plate for topping with yogurt and berries.
- Place a dollop of yogurt on top each muffin and sprinkle with a couple of your favorite red, and blue berries.
Feel free to fold blueberries directly into the batter for an extra dose of nutrition.
Pin these patriotic parfait muffins!
Pin these exotic & patriotic smoothie bowls!