Healthy Girl Recipes: Stars & Stripes Sangria and Firecracker Nachos for July 4th!
Posted by Kara Stout on June 29, 2012 at 1:15 PM
Summer is now in full swing! I can’t believe it’s already time for July 4th picnics, fireworks, parades, BBQs, backyard cookouts, and outdoor dinner parties. Many people will gather with family and friends to celebrate our country’s independence from Great Britain on July 4, 1776. Threw in a little bit of history;)
A 4th of July menu definitely calls for red, white and blue ingredients! I wanted to provide some easy recipes that are not only FUN, but are healthier choices as well. Many of the options out there are not always the healthiest, so here are two that are and that people will enjoy!
Stars & Stripes Sangria
Sangria is particularly enticing on these warm summer nights. The fruit not only makes it refreshing, but adds in many health benefits as well. Strawberries are loaded with vitamin C and fiber and enhance the immune system. Blueberries are very high in antioxidants and help protect against aging. For apples, just remember the saying, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” Apples contain antioxidants, fiber which helps us feel full longer, and they can help to regulate digestion. An additional ingredient included in the sangria is agave nectar. Agave nectar is a natural sweetener that has a relatively low glycemic load and can be a healthier option to sweeten things up.
Prep time: 15 min
1 chilled bottle of your favorite white wine* (opt for organic if possible)
2 cups of sparkling mineral water
1 ½ cups strawberries, hulled and sliced
1 cup of blueberries
2-3 large red apples, sliced to desired thickness for star-shaped pieces
2 tbsp agave nectar (or raw honey)
* I used a blend with mostly Riesling & Müller-Thurgau called Borealis: The Northern Whites. It’s made with organic grapes, and you can pick it up from Whole Foods. It’s delicious!
- Combine all of the ingredients to a large pitcher and stir.
- Use a mini star-shaped cookie cutter to make your star-shaped apple pieces.
- Chill for at least 15 minutes or up to 2 hours in the refrigerator.
- Garnish glasses with star-shaped apple pieces!
Keep in the refrigerator until serving so no ice is needed. Ice will water it down.
If you need to store your sangria more than 2 hours, cover with plastic wrap and use within 1 day.
If you are not familiar with Adzuki beans, also called Aduki beans, they are a great source of high-quality, plant-based protein. In Japan, they are considered the “king of beans” because when compared to most other beans, they contain more protein and fiber and less fat. These beans can also be a good choice for weight loss. Onions have anti-inflammatory, antibiotic, and anti-viral properties among many other health benefits. Tomatoes are loaded with vitamin C, enhance the immune system, and are a good source of vitamin E, which helps to protect us from toxins. Greek yogurt and cayenne pepper make an excellent dip for these nachos. Greek yogurt is high in protein and can be a good source of calcium. Cayenne pepper contains antioxidants, can help to improve circulation, and can boost the metabolism. It is also cancer fighting and anti-bacterial.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Baking time: Place in oven until the cheese melts (approx. 5 minutes)
¾ bag of blue corn chips*
1 cup organic shredded cheese (mozzarella is a good option for the color scheme)
1 can adzuki beans (small red bean)
1 onion, chopped
1 large tomato, diced
½ cup plain organic Greek yogurt (best used as a dip)
Cayenne pepper (definitely adds a spicy little kick!)
* My favorite chips are the Garden of Eatin’ Blue Chips made with organic blue corn.
- Place chips on a baking sheet
- Chop onion and distribute onto chips
- Add Adzuki beans
- Sprinkle cheese
- Dice tomato and place on chips
- Place in oven for 5 min at 350 degrees
- Mix plain Greek yogurt with desired amount of cayenne pepper*
*For the cayenne pepper: 1/2 tsp = mild, 1 tsp = spicy
Wishing you a very happy and healthy July 4th! Enjoy!
Sources for health benefits:
The Top 100 Healing Foods by Paula Bartimeus
The Top 100 Immunity Boosters by Charlotte Haigh