Healthy Fourth of July Recipes

Independence day is nearly here and Americans across the country are gearing up for grub at their annual barbecues. But navigating typical Fourth of July cookout staples can be frustrating for those focused on healthy eating.

Elizabeth Edelman, resident culinary expert and healthy eating guru at Diabetes Daily (, has developed nutritious adaptations of American classics, including a holiday-themed sangria, stuffed hamburgers, healthy shish-kabobs with tomatillo salsa and a fresh take on corn that are easy to make and sure to please – whether you are hosting or just bringing something to share – at any Fourth of July celebration. Her recipes are listed below.


Red White and Blue Sangria

What You Need:
1 bottle chilled white wine (Elizabeth likes Rioja when she makes Sangria)
1/2 cup peach schnapps
1 shot Cointreau or triple sec
1 cup diet 7UP
1/2 cup diet ginger ale
1 cup sliced strawberries (fresh or frozen)
1/2 cup raspberries (fresh or frozen)
1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)

How to Make It:
Combine the chilled white wine, the peach schnapps and the Cointreau in a large pitcher and stir. Add the strawberries, raspberries and blueberries to the pitcher. Top with the 7UP and the ginger ale and stir lightly to combine. Pour into individual glasses.

Serves 6.

Nutrition Facts per Serving
Calories: 127
Carbohydrates: 9g
Fiber: 2g
Sugars: 4g
Total Fat: 0g
Saturated: 0g
Trans: 0g
Sodium: 1mg
Protein: 1g

Hamburgers Stuffed with Cream Cheese and Jalapenos

What You Need:
1 lb. ground sirloin
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
6 oz. whipped cream cheese
4 jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped
Lettuce, for wrapping
Any condiments you may want

How to Make It:
Heat your grill over medium heat. While the grill is heating, combine the cream cheese and the chopped jalapenos in a bowl and stir to combine. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the ground sirloin, the egg, Kosher salt and black pepper. Form eight 1/4″ thick patties. Spoon the cream cheese and jalapeno mixture onto half of the patties. Place the other patties on top of the cream cheese and press to seal them shut.

Grill the burgers over medium heat, for about 6-10 minutes per side, or until cooked to desired temperature.

When the burgers are done, remove from the grill and wrap in the lettuce leaves.

Serves 4.

Nutrition Facts per Serving
Calories: 344
Carbohydrates: 3g
Dietary Fiber: 0g
Sugars: 2g
Fat: 25g
Saturated: 12g
Trans: 1g
Sodium: 499mg
Protein: 26g

Mahi Mahi and Pineapple Skewers With Tomatillo Salsa
*These kabobs can be made with any type of meat, tofu, pork, chicken or shrimp.

What You Need:
12 oz. Mahi Mahi, cut into 1″ chunks
1 cup pineapple chunks
1 bell pepper (any color) cut into chunks
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Corn tortillas
Tomatillo salsa, recipe follows

How to Make It:
If you’re using wooden skewers, soak for at least 30 minutes prior to grilling. Preheat a grill to high heat.

Alternate fish, pineapple and peppers onto the skewers. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place the skewers on the grill and cook for 3-5 minutes, turning once. Be sure not to overcook!

Wrap the tortillas in foil and place on the grill to warm. Remove skewers from the grill. Assemble your tacos, and top with salsa.

Serves 4.

Nutrition Facts per Serving
Calories: 156
Carbohydrates: 19g
Fiber: 2g
Sugars: 5g
Total Fat: 1g
Saturated: 0g
Trans: 0g
Sodium: 659mg
Protein: 18g

Tomatillo Salsa

What You Need:
2 Anaheim chile peppers, roasted, peeled, and chopped
1 pound fresh tomatillos, peeled, stems removed, about 10 to 12
2 fresh Serrano chiles, cut in half
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 medium clove garlic, minced
1/4 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon lime juice
1/4 teaspoon salt

How to Make It:
Pulse tomatillos in food processor until coarsely chopped. Add peppers and next 3 ingredients; pulse until small dice, but do not over process. Pour into a serving bowl. Stir in the olive oil, lime juice, and salt until well blended. Cover and chill.

Serves 4.

Nutrition Facts per Serving
Calories: 74
Carbohydrates: 13g
Fiber: 3g
Sugars: 8g
Total Fat: 2g
Saturated: 0g
Trans: 0g
Sodium: 151mg
Protein: 2g

Sautéed Fresh Corn With Herbs

What You Need:
8 to 10 ears of corn
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme

How to Make It:
Remove the husks and silk from the corn. Cut the kernels off the corn carefully, making sure to not remove any of the husk. Heat the butter over medium heat in a large skillet. Sauté the corn with the salt, pepper and thyme for about 10 minutes, until nice and brown.

Servings: 8

Nutrition Facts per Serving
Calories: 96
Carbohydrates: 17g
Fiber: 2g
Sugars: 3g
Total Fat: 3g
Saturated: 2g
Trans: 0g
Sodium: 232mg
Protein: 3g

More Healthy Fourth of July Favorites
You can find more healthy adaptations of Fourth if July favorites at

Connect with NJTODAY.NET

Join NJTODAY.NET's free Email List to receive occasional updates delivered right to your email address!
Email for advertising information Send stuff to NJTODAY.NET Like Us On Facebook Follow Us On Twitter Download this week's issue of NJTODAY.NET
Print Friendly, PDF & Email