July 4th is a holiday all about tradition, family, friends and food! If you are planning a gathering for your loved ones here are some recipe ideas that keep health, quality and taste in mind.  Let’s think beyond hot dogs and store bought potato salad and move towards fresh produce, lean meats and ancient grains. Plan a cookout that is good for the body and soul.  

Starting with the appetizers, consider a vegetable tray that has colorful and unique veggies. Try using heirloom cherry tomatoes, purple and orange carrots, jicama, endive and thinly sliced spring radishes. Seeing a beautiful variety of colors on a vegetable tray makes people more likely to try something new. Many people also enjoy infused water. Use fruit like berries, lemons, limes and herbs to make a refreshing and healthy drink.   

Since we are celebrating America, it’s only natural to have meat as the main event on July 4th. Homemade hamburgers, grilled barbecue chicken and steak are all great options.  

Make memorable sides by offering a mix of fruit and vegetable salads.  Try a watermelon & cucumber salad or a colorful summer salad with honey balsamic dressing.

 A homemade dessert can be the perfect finish to any gathering. Since July 4th is usually a very warm day it’s nice to have a cool refreshing dessert or frozen drink!  Try a strawberry poke cake or strawberry chia smoothie

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