Between all of the patio parties and beach blowouts, there's one summertime bash that beats them all: the Fourth of July. Not only does this national holiday give you a chance to flaunt your patriotic pride with friends and family, but it's probably one of the only times in the year when blue eye shadow, white jeans and Kool-Aid red lips are all acceptable.
That said, with all the holiday's perks comes a sizeable problem: food. It's almost impossible to resist classic barbecue fare, but Fitness expert David Kirsch shows you how to enjoy a guilt-free Fourth with all of your favorite Independence Day dishes done right.
Dodge Calorie Bombs
Skip the greasy potato chips and fattening dips for a much healthier, yet equally satisfying, option. Try crunching on fresh vegetables with David's recipe for non-fat hummus dip. This enticing appetizer nixes up to 22 grams of fat, filling you up without weighing you down.
Opt for Low-Cal Condiments
1 ½ cups cooked or canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained
¼ cup nonfat plain yogurt
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1 tablespoon minced garlic
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon ground cayenne
¼ cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice
In a food processor, combine all ingredients. Process until well blended. Use immediately, or refrigerate up to 3 hours. 1/2 cup: 227 calories, 3g fat
Excessive calories can hide in the most inconspicuous of places. Avoid sugar-packed condiments like ketchup and opt for Red Pepper Almond Pesto instead. This little dip packs a big flavor, minus the extra calories and salt.
Red Pepper Almond Pesto
2 red bell peppers, cored, seeded and quartered
1 shallot, peeled
¼ cup roasted, blanched almonds
1 large garlic clove, smashed
Pinch salt and pepper
Place the peppers, shallots, almonds and garlic into the bowl of a food processor or a blender. Blend ingredients until finely minced and spreadable. Add salt and pepper to taste.
On a scorching day, a heavy, creamy potato salad will only leave you feeling sluggish. (And sick as a dog if stored improperly!) Go with the season and cool off with a cucumber salad that's as refreshing as it is crisp and satisfying.
1 cup thinly sliced seedless cucumbers
¼ cup thinly sliced red onion
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
In a small bowl, combine cucumber, onion, vinegar and pepper flakes. Toss to mix. Cover and refrigerate or set aside at room temperature for two to three hours before serving to allow the flavors to blend. Makes 1 serving. 1 serving: 98 calories, 0g fat