The 4th of July is one of those holidays where it’s easy to kick healthy habits. Here are 4 tips to keep our bodies happy and healthy throughout all of the socializing and celebrating with a bonus 6 healthy plant-based recipes for the whole day!
1. Stay hydrated with plenty of water:
It is HOT out right now... The 4th of July calls for plenty of outdoor activities and socializing and it can be easy to forget to keep up your hydration levels. Be sure to keep a bottle of water nearby while taking sips regularly. Your energy levels the following day will be thanking you!
2. Skip the sugary desserts and stick to fresh fruits:
Fruits are packed with healthy antioxidants, vitamins, fiber, and water as well as an easy way to curb those artificial sugar cravings. The natural sugars in fruit will help with skipping processed foods and refined sugary treats that everyone can enjoy without those nasty sugar spikes and crashes. Put out a plate of cooled and freshly cut watermelon or sweet berries like strawberries, blueberries and raspberries and enjoy!
Looking for something new and a little more exciting? Try our Mixed Berry Crisp Dessert!
Mixed Berry Crisp Dessert
5 heaping cups of a mix of berries (strawberries, pitted cherries and blueberries are our favorite)
1 Tbsp chia seeds
2 Tbsp lemon juice
Oat and Pecan Topping:
1 cup old-fashioned oats
½ cup packed almond flour
½ cup chopped pecans
⅓ cup date sugar
¼ tsp fine grain sea salt
4 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
Plain Coconut yogurt or your favorite vegan ice cream to serve
- Preheat oven to 350°f. Rinse and drain the berries and pick through to remove any stems if still attached. If you’re using strawberries, slice them into ¼-inch thick pieces.
- In a 9 by 9-inch baking dish, mix together the berries, chia seeds and lemon juice. Set aside.
- In a medium mixing bowl, stir together the oats, almond flour, chopped pecans, date sugar and salt. Mix in the melted coconut oil. Stir until all of the flour is incorporated and the mixture is moistened throughout.
- Dollop spoonfuls of the oat mixture over the filling and use your fingers to break up the mixture until it is evenly distributed.
- Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, or until the filling is actively bubbling around the edges and the top is lightly golden. Let the crisp rest for 5 to 10 minutes before serving. Serve with a scoop of coconut yogurt or vegan ice cream :).
3. Substitute sugar-filled drinks with healthy ones:
An easy way to avoid sugar-filled drinks on the 4th of July is to stick with sugar-free flavored soda-water or homemade iced tea sweetened with natural sweeteners like agave nectar or fresh fruit.
Another healthy summer beverages to try is our Basil & Watermelon Slushy!
Basil & Watermelon Slushy
1 bunch fresh basil
1 bunch fresh mint
1 lime, juiced
Chop up the watermelon into square chunks, removing the rind and any seeds, and place in a container to freeze for 1-2 hours. When the watermelon chunks are cooled or slightly frozen, add them to a blender with a handful of fresh basil leaves and mint leaves to taste (and feel free to add more if you like)! Blend ingredients until smooth adding the lime juice to taste. Enjoy!
4. Try out some of our favorite plant-based BBQ Recipes:
The 4th of July almost always calls for a big BBQ bash with friends and family. If you’re celebrating this year while also trying to maintain a healthy plant-based diet, here is a full 3 course Plantable approved BBQ menu everyone can enjoy! Let’s put that grill to work!
Grilled Eggplant Dip with Veggies and Pita
1 red pepper
1 red onion, peeled and cut in half
1 medium eggplant, poked with a knife all over
3 cloves garlic (minced)
3 Tbsp tahini
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp salt (to taste)
1/2 tsp ground cumin
¼ teaspoon harissa powder (or smoked paprika)
⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
- Heat the grill to medium heat. Grill the eggplant, red pepper and red onion, turning occasionally, until skin is charred and flesh is softened, 25-45 minutes for the eggplant (depending on the size), 15-20 minutes for the red pepper and onion.
- Place a colander over a large bowl. Place the eggplant in the colander and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Halve eggplant, scoop flesh into the colander set over the bowl, and let it drain for at least 10 minutes; discard liquid.
- Pulse the eggplant, red pepper (you can peel the charred skin or leave it on. We like it left on) along with the garlic, tahini, cumin and harissa in a food processor or blender; slowly incorporate olive oil and pulse to combine. Add parsley and give a final pulse or two. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Serve with grilled or fresh pita and veggies of choice.
BBQ Jackfruit Sandwich with Easy Cilantro Lime & Avocado Side Slaw:
Serves: 4 heaping sandwiches
BONUS: Also try out our ‘Plantable approved no sugar BBQ Sauce’ below!
BBQ Jackfruit Sandwich
2 20-ounce cans young green jackfruit in water (NOT in syrup or brine*)
BBQ Dry Seasoning:
2 tsp salt
4 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp ground mustard
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
4 Whole Grain Hamburger Rolls
BBQ Jackfruit Sandwich Directions:
- Rinse, drain, and thoroughly dry jackfruit. Chop off the center “core” portion of the fruit and discard. Place in a mixing bowl and set aside.
- Mix together BBQ seasoning and add to jackfruit. Toss to coat.
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add 1-2 Tbsp oil of choice and seasoned jackfruit. Toss to coat and cook for 2-3 minutes to achieve some color.
- Add BBQ sauce and stir to mix thoroughly. Reduce heat to low and cook for 20-30 minutes. Using two forks, "shred" the jackfruit.
- Toast the whole wheat rolls and top with BBQ jackfruit.
BONUS: Plantable approved no sugar BBQ Sauce:
This is a Plantable approved no sugar BBQ Sauce, but feel free to buy one from the store!
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 medium white onion, diced
4 cloves garlic minced
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 (14.5 oz.) can crushed tomatoes
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup chopped dates, pitted packed
1/2–3/4 cup water, or as needed to reach your desired consistency (we used 3/4 cup)
2 Tbsp vegan Worcestershire
1 tsp mild chili powder
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 Tbsp dijon mustard
Salt and pepper, to taste
BBQ Sauce Directions:
- Heat a large pan on medium. Add oil and sauté garlic and onion for about 3-5 minutes Add in tomato paste, paprika, and cloves. Cook, stirring constantly, for 3 more minutes.
- Add the remaining ingredients, except the salt and pepper, and turn up the heat to medium high until they come to a boil.
- Reduce the heat to low, and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Remove the sauce from the heat and let it cool for 15 minutes. Blend the sauce with an immersion blender or regular blender until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Easy Cilantro Lime & Avocado Side Slaw:
This can be served on top of the jackfruit in the BBQ Jackfruit Sandwich or served on the side.
7 oz shredded white cabbage
7 oz shredded red cabbage
4 oz shredded carrots
1 large bunch cilantro, leaves roughly chopped
3 limes, juiced (about 1/3 cup)
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 avocados, peeled and diced
sea salt and pepper to taste
Mix everything together. Let sit for 10 minutes to marinate and bring the flavors together.
Plantable’s Famous Sweet Potato & Black Bean Veggie Burger
1.5 lbs sweet potatoes
1/3 cup uncooked millet
1 cup old fashioned oats
15 oz can organic black beans, rinsed and drained
½ small red onion
½ cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
2 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp chili powder
½ tsp cayenne powder
1 tsp paprika
½ tsp salt
8 Whole Grain Hamburger Rolls
- Preheat oven to 400°f.
- Slice sweet potatoes down the center, lengthwise and then place them, cut side down, on a baking sheet. Roast them until they yield a gentle squeeze, about 30-40 minutes.
- Remove the sweet potatoes from oven and once cool enough to touch, remove the skin. Set aside to cool completely.
- In the meantime, cook the millet in a small saucepan until tender, then cool.
- Grind oats in a blender or food processor, leaving some texture.
- Combine all ingredients with your hands until a dough-life consistency is formed and the ingredients hold together nicely. Portion and shape burgers and then refrigerate until cool.
- Preheat oven to 350°f. Spray a parchment lined baking sheet with olive oil and bake the burgers for 30-40 minutes, flipping halfway.
- Allow to cool before serving! Toast the whole wheat rolls and top with sweet potato & black bean patty.
- Pair with sweet potato fries and a side salad. Enjoy!
For desserts, see #2 for our Mixed Berry Crisp Dessert!
The 4th of July does not have to mean throwing your healthy habits out the window or avoiding social gatherings altogether! With these few adjustments listed above, your body will be fully satiated and your energy levels sustained for all of the festivities throughout the day!
Happy 4th of July everyone and enjoy!
Love the Plantable team🌱
The majority of the above recipes are created by our brilliant Director of Culinary Operations, Aviva Gibbs.
Thank you Aviva for sharing your delicious creations with us!