Quick and easy recipes add spark to Fourth of July celebrations

Quick and easy recipes add spark to Fourth of July celebrations

Add some freshly whipped cream to luscious red and blue fruits for a patriotic, and healthy, addition to your Fourth of July BBQ

Photos courtesy of jeff_golden, Sue Waters, Mike Mozart, John Lustig, Valerie Hinojosa, Adam Baker/flickr

SAN DIEGO, June 30, 2015 — Celebrating Fourth of July is one of America’s most cherished traditions.

While paying tribute to the signing of the Declaration of Independence by our Founding Fathers on July 4, 1776, those who declared freedom from English oppression to establish the United States of America, family and friends will gather together in celebration with barbecues, parties, picnics and other forms of revelry.

For the busy hostess or host, it can be challenging to find time to prepare crowd-pleasing fare which also encourages good health.

The following Fourth of July recipes are extremely healthful, and have red, white and blue ingredients and colors which also pay homage to our nation’s Old Glory.

The predominant ingredients in these recipes are seasonal fruits such as blueberries, strawberries and watermelon, which contain antioxidants with anticancer and anti-inflammatory properties.

Red, White and Blueberry Skewers, from www.makeandtakes.com, make a delightful and colorful appetizer or snack.

Photo courtesy of THOR /flickr
Photo courtesy of THOR /flickr

Main Ingredients:

  • Fresh strawberries, cut into fourths
  • Blueberries
  • Mini-marshmallows


  • Place freshly washed fruit and mini-marshmallows each in individual small bowls.
  • Using 10-inch wooden skewers, place a blueberry, strawberry and mini-marshmallow onto a wooden skewer-alternating placement until the skewer is completely full. Alternatively, fun and unique patterns add interest.
  • Serve them on a platter shortly after they are assembled.

Red, White and Blue Cheesecake Stuffed Strawberries from www.snappygourmet.com, are absolutely delicious, and may be prepared in advance shortly before they are enjoyed.

Photo courtesy of Sharon Mollerus/flickr
Photo courtesy of Sharon Mollerus/flickr

Main Ingredients:

  • 1 8 oz package cream cheese (low-fat) softened to room temperature
  • 1/4 cup sugar substitute
  • 2 tablespoons Amaretto (or 1 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract)
  • 12 large fresh strawberries, cut in half with stems intact
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped almonds
  • 72 small fresh blueberries


  • In a small bowl, mix together softened cream cheese, sugar substitute and Amaretto
  • Spoon filling into a small Ziploc bag; seal bag and cut off one corner of it. Pipe filling on top of each strawberry half.
  • Sprinkle almonds on top of each strawberry filling. Top each strawberry half with 3 small blueberries.
  • Store in refrigerator until served, it is best to eat within a few hours of making them.

Watermelon Salad-Red, White and Blue…and Green from www.willcookforfriends.com, is a delightfully fresh salad which is suitable for a variety of meals.

Photo courtesy of Harsha KR/flickr
Photo courtesy of Harsha KR/flickr

Main Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs. fresh watermelon, cut into cubes (1/2-1 inch)
  • 1 cup jicama, cut into cubes (1/4-1/2 inch)
  • 1 large cucumber, peeled, and cut into cubes (1/4-1/2 inch)
  • 1 pint fresh blueberries
  • 1 handful fresh basil, chopped (up to 1/4 cup to taste)
  • 1 small handful fresh mint, chopped (up to 1/8th cup, to taste)
  • 1/2 lime, juiced


  • Combine all ingredients in a bowl.
  • Cover and refrigerate for 1-2 hours or until well-chilled.
  • Serve.

Enjoy the fragrance and taste of nature’s healthful bounty replete with bold red, white and blue colors, while paying tribute to our country’s magnificent Old Glory this Fourth of July and to the millions of men and women who have fought and died to protect her.

Until next time, enjoy the ride in good health!

Laurie Edwards-Tate, MS, is a health care provider of over 30 years. As a featured “Communities Digital News” columnist, LifeCycles with Laurie Edwards-Tate emphasizes healthy aging and maintaining independence, while delighting and informing its readers. Laurie is a recognized expert in home and community-based, long-term care services, and is also an educator.

In addition to writing for “Communities Digital News,” Laurie is the President and CEO of her firm, At Your Home Familycare, which serves persons of all ages who are disabled and infirm with a variety of non-medical, in-home care and concierge services.

Copyright © 2015 by At Your Home Familycare

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Laurie Edwards-Tate
Laurie Edwards-Tate, MS, President and Founder of At Your Home Familycare in San Diego, California, was among the first to recognize the growing need for services allowing individuals to remain independent created by the aging of America including the Baby Boomer generation, now being called the “Silver Tsunami.” It is the Baby Boomers who are rapidly redefining what aging and growing older means and looks like in America today. Now celebrating its 28th year in business, AYHF is among San Diego County’s Top Women-Owned Businesses and Fastest Growing Businesses, and enjoys a reputation for upholding the highest possible standards among its employees and its emphasis on customer service. Edwards-Tate is a valued contributor to the public dialogue on current issues and challenges in the home care industry, and serves in leadership roles on the Home Care Aide Association of America Advisory Board and Private Duty Home Care Association Advisory Board, as well as the Home Care Aide Steering Committee of the California Association for Health Services at Home. Edwards-Tate is frequently interviewed in the media on healthy aging, caregiving, and health care topics. Follow Laurie and AYHF at www.atyourhomefamilycare.com; on Facebook at www.facebook.com/atyourhomefamilycare, and Twitter at @AYHFamilycare