Although most of the Baby2Body Team is London-based, there are some of us living stateside and we’re busy getting ready for this weekend’s Fourth of July celebrations. Although the summer solstice rang in last week, the 4th has always felt like the definitive kick-off to the summer season, vacation getaways, and glorious beach days.
Of course, anytime a big holiday rolls around so do big meals. Some of the classic BBQ dishes (and drinks) this time of year aren’t the healthiest of options, but that doesn’t mean you have to forgo the festivities! We’ve got our top 3 meal recommendations to help you have a fab and guilt-free Fourth of July.
p.s. We’re writing this and hoping that none of our UK pals are still miffed about that whole claiming Independence thing… but either way, the following meals are perfect for any summertime gathering (wherever you are in the world), so we hope you enjoy!
1. Kick the cocktails in favor of some mocktails
We’re going to say this even though we know you’ve heard it before: if you’re pregnant or breasfteeding it’s best to steer clear of alcohol, and a delicious mocktail can be a great alternative. If anything, they’re way more fun than those glasses of water you’ve been downing. But if you’re just looking to curb your caloric intake this weekend, a great place to start is by nixing the alcohol. We promise, it will still be fun. Really, we promise. One of our favorite mocktails is a Watermelon Margarita – oh yeah, it is as good as it sounds.
To make it: place 2-3 cups of cut watermelon in the freezer overnight. The next day, add those to a blender along with the juice of 1-2 limes, a good squeeze of agave and hearty splash of lemon-flavored sparkling water (we recommend Spindrift). Puree and feel free to add more sparkling water as needed to get the desired consistency.
2. Pass on the potato salad
Heavy side dishes often make an appearance at barbecues and you may not be interested in tucking into salad greens that have been wilted by the heat (yuck). A side dish we’ll definitely be tucking into this weekend is a Summer Succotash that’s light and refreshing and sure to deliver a host of nutrients and loads of delicious flavor.
To make it: Add 1 cup freshly cooked corn, 1 cup lightly boiled fresh green beans (make sure they still have a godo crunch!), and 1 cup of cherry tomatoes cut in half to a large bowl. Drizzle 2 TBSP olive oil and 1 TBSP apple cider vinegar over everything, sprinkle with pink Himalayan sea salt and give a good toss. Garnish with some fresh cilantro or basil and you’re good to go!
3. Celebrate with a healthier cake!
No 4th of July celebration would be complete without a little flag cake, amiright? With all those fresh blueberries and strawberries, it’s basically healthy already… kind of. But we’re going to be whipping up a Low-Sugar Flag Cake this weekend that has all of the tastiness and none of the bad feelings.
To make it: We’ll be using this lemon-flavored almond flour cake in this recipe and topping it with a coconut whipped cream before layering the top with fresh blueberries, blackberries, strawberries and raspberries (the more fresh fruit the merrier!!). To make the coconut whipped cream, take 1 can of unsweetened, organic coconut milk that’s been in the refrigerator and add it to a chilled metal mixing bowl with 2-3 TBSP white sugar and 1 tsp vanilla extract. Beat ingredients with a mixer until you get beautiful, stiff peaks of coconut cream. This may take about 10 minutes – so be patient!
We wish all our Baby2Body mamas and mamas-to-be a very happy and healthy 4th of July!