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June 25, 2018 / Nicole Villeneuve

How to Throw a Low Carb Fourth of July Party

Coconut fruit bar snack

The Fourth of July is around the corner, and that means outdoor barbecues. If you're going low carb this year, you’ll want to avoid the traditional potato salad, baked beans, hamburger buns and endless trays of patriotic, sugary desserts. This doesn’t mean you can’t throw a great party, though. With just a few small changes, you can whip up a full low carb, low sugar Fourth of July menu to satisfy all your cravings.

Here are some ideas for appetizers, side dishes, entrees, and desserts at a low carb Fourth of July that won’t compromise your diet. You won’t have to sacrifice on style, either--by using the natural colors of healthy fruits and veggies, you can still give your food a patriotic feel.

Summer Salad

Potato salads and pasta salads may be traditional, but they often don’t showcase the start of summer: fresh produce. Tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuces, corn, zucchini, herbs: all of these are at their peak in July (You may even have a neighbor with an overflowing garden who’s dying to get some off her hands.) Dice some of these veggies and toss them in a vinaigrette and boom, you’ve got yourself a great-tasting salad to enjoy in place of the usual carb-tastic options.

If you want to go for a more traditional leafy salad, toss some blueberries and strawberries over mixed greens with some mozzarella  to make it an Independence Day-themed dish.

Red, White, and Blue Coleslaw

Coleslaw is an American staple and a perfect side dish for an outdoor Fourth of July party. To keep it low carb, low sugar, don’t add any sugar to the mayo topping. Instead, add some blue cheese for more savory flavor and a pop of patriotic color (hey, it’s “blue,” right?). You won’t even miss it with the sweetness of the carrots.

BBQ Ribs

Whether it’s ribs, chicken, or pork, meat usually takes center stage at an outdoor barbecue. Don’t worry, though: it’s actually quite simple to make this main dish low carb, low sugar. The secret is in the sauce. Traditional barbecue sauce is high in both carbs and sugar, but if you’re willing to shop around or make your own, you can enjoy favorite slow-cooked, tender ribs covered in sauce. (Same goes for marinades!)

Cheeseburger Lettuce Wrap

Substituting lettuce for a hamburger bun allows you to enjoy the same grilled deliciousness as other partygoers without the extra carbs. Top your burger with tomato and cheese, wrap in a crunchy piece of lettuce, and chow down.

Patriotic Parfait

Layer blueberries and strawberries with vanilla yogurt to make a delicious, sweet parfait that’s low on sugar. The striking layers of red, white, and blue lend a patriotic vibe to your dessert table, too, so make sure you serve them in clear dishes or cups for the full effect.

Homemade Fruit Popsicles

Popsicles are the perfect Fourth of July party treat for a hot summer day. While store-bought popsicles can be high in sugar, when you make them yourself, you can control the sugar content. By using the natural sweetness of fresh fruits like strawberries, raspberries, and watermelon, you can create a healthy dessert that still satisfies your sweet tooth. Here are ten sugar-free popsicle recipes to complete your low carb, low sugar Fourth of July party menu!

- Emily Polson

Nicole Villeneuve
Director of Content @ PlateJoy

Nicole Villeneuve is the Director of Content Strategy at PlateJoy and a certified Diabetes Prevention Lifestyle Coach. A graduate of Yale University, she previously worked in book publishing, with a focus on cookbooks and health, and ran the food blog Paper and Salt. Her writing has been featured in Bon Appetit, Food & Wine, The New York Times Magazine, The Paris Review, and The Daily Beast. Nicole lives in San Francisco and loves cooking, reading, exploring new restaurants, and running by the ocean. You can (very occasionally) find her on Twitter.


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