The 4th of July always feels like the perfect time for me to try new recipes with fresh produce. There is something about the wide array of colors and textures of the different fruits and vegetables available during the summer that sparks my creativity and the desire to try something new. Plus, there’s no better time for an honest review of new recipes when family and friends get together for 4th of July celebrations.
If you are like me and hosting this year, you may have searched for “red, white, and blue themed foods”. My search revealed a host of recipes, many of which included large amounts of sugar or food coloring. Opting for a whole food, less processed approach for my July 4th festivities, I’m sticking with foods that are naturally red, white, and blue, such as watermelon, blueberries, strawberries, etc. As we are at the end of strawberry season here in North Carolina, I wanted to get my last strawberry fix while preparing recipes in line with a red, white, and blue theme!
Here are a few ideas that I have tried so far:
Cheesecake Stuffed Strawberries
This one-bite dessert is sure to be a crowd pleaser. With significantly less calories than actual cheesecake, these strawberries will not disappoint in flavor.
- 20 strawberries, washed, hulled, and centers removed
- 1 (8 oz) package cream cheese
- ½ cup confectioner’s sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ cup graham cracker crumbs
- Combine cream cheese, sugar until thoroughly mixed. Place into piping bag.
- Fill each hollowed out strawberry with cream cheese mixture.
- Dip the top of the strawberry in graham cracker crumbs.
Per Serving: 62 calories; 4.1 g fat; 5.6 g carbohydrates; 1 g protein; 12 mg cholesterol; 40 mg sodium
Recipe adapted from: allrecipes.com
Strawberry and Mint Infused Water
Instead of serving sugary drinks, try this festive fruit infused water. Throw in blueberries and blackberries to add to the red, white, and blue theme.
- 1 cup strawberries, quartered
- 12 mint leaves
- 1 ½ quarts water
- Combine strawberries and mint leaves in bottom of pitcher.
- Pour enough water to slightly cover the strawberries and mint.
- Using the back of a wooden spoon, gently crush strawberries and mint.
- Add remaining water to pitcher.
- Allow to sit in refrigerator for at least 2 hours and serve
Quinoa Strawberry Salad
A perfect addition to any spread, this salad includes strawberries, quinoa, arugula, basil, and almonds. Plus, the homemade dressing is easy to whip up quickly.
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
- ½ cup dry quinoa
- 2 cups baby spinach leaves, chiffonade
- 2 cups arugula
- ⅔ cup sliced strawberries
- 2 tablespoons sliced almonds, toasted
- 1 handful of fresh basil leaves, chiffonade
- Place quinoa in medium saucepan along with 1¾ cups water. Bring to boil, then cover and reduce heat to simmer for 15 minutes or until cooked.
- Remove lid and cook until all water is evaporated. Remove from heat.
- Make the dressing by combining all ingredients in a bowl or jar.
- Place the quinoa, spinach, arugula, strawberries, toasted almonds, and basil in bowl and combine.
- Add and toss in dressing just prior to serving.
Nutrition Information per Serving:
(Based on ½ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon black pepper) Serving Size: 1 cup, Calories: 182 calories, Carbohydrates: 18 grams, Fiber: 3 grams, Protein: 5 grams, Fat: 10 grams, Sodium: 33 mg
Recipe from medinsteadofmeds.com
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