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Photo by Gena Hamshaw

The 4th of July is rapidly approaching, which means plenty of outdoor celebrations, roaring fireworks, and buffet style tables piled with hamburgers, hot dogs, and other appetizing finger foods.

If you’re watching your figure or still keeping your New Year’s resolution to live healthier (if so, nice work!), these celebrations can make it hard to stay loyal to your usual wholesome diet. Luckily, we have four nutritious recipes to add to your 4th of July menu. Thanks to Choosing Raw blogger and certified clinical nutritionist, Gena Hamshaw, eating healthy on the 4th (or any day of the year) doesn’t have to be bland and tasteless.

Mindless munching is certain to happen when you’re surrounded by the aroma of medium-rare burgers, marinated honey-glazed chicken, and vegetable kebabs cooking fresh on the grill. It’s easy to reach for any of the open bags of chips and tortillas when they’re so easily accessible. This 4th of July, rather than letting your cravings convince you that you want to dip those greasy tortilla chips in heavy spinach dip, make your starter something healthy yet delicious. Start your meal off with this Smoky Cauliflower and White Bean Dip, paired with any of Gena’s raw crackers. This rich and creamy starter is packed with protein and Vitamin C.

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Photo by Gena Hamshaw

Salad is also a common starter. With that said, the sound of beginning your meal or pairing your main dish with a classic mix of lettuce, tomatoes, carrot shreds, and an excess of croutons and dressing seems monotonous. Rather than boring your taste buds with yet another mix of your usual legumes, prepare a napoleon. A layered stack of Heirloom Tomato, Kale, and Basil Pumpkin Seed Napoleons is the perfect salad substitute for your barbecue. Both flavorful and filled with fresh basil, this starter is vegan, raw, gluten free, and soy free!

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Photo by Gena Hamshaw

A barbecue must-have is the good ol’ hamburger. This 4th of July, don’t only provide the usual succulent hamburger, but spice up your menu by including healthier options. The Black Bean and Corn Burger is another one of Choosing Raw’s creations, containing wholesome ingredients such as BPA-free black beans and brown rice, flavored with teaspoons of cumin powder, paprika, and chili powder. These are vegan, gluten free, and soy free, and marvelously mouthwatering.

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Photo by Gena Hamshaw

Top your meal off with Raw Vegan Chocolate Covered Strawberries to satisfy your sweet tooth without the guilt. Made with raw cacao powder, this dessert only takes 10 minutes to prepare and 30 minutes to refrigerate. The only difficulty is trying to save some for the guests!

Add these recipes to your menu and you’ll have a 4th of July celebration that’s both healthy and delicious. Since you’re preparing your meals with ingredients as nutritious as these, don’t be afraid to dig in!

For more wholesome and flavorful recipes like these, be sure to check out www.choosingraw.com.

 – Sarah Santos