In this era of clean eating, whole, fresh foods are replacing processed fare, and they can serve as both decoration and appetizer this Labor Day.
1 Fruit Wine Slush
One of the savviest ways to keep your booze consumption in check is to extend a portion of alcohol with other healthful ingredients. The perfect companion? Antioxidant-packed fruit. Combine one glass of red, white or rosé (hello, frozé!) with one cup of frozen seasonal fruit like berries, watermelon, peach or plums in a blender. To dilute your cocktail more, add some ice and lemon water. While it’s true that you’ve added some calories, you’ve also added a slew of nutrients, with no refined sugar. And you’ve stretched that one 5-ounce serving of vino, so you can enjoy more than one glass if you’re extra thirsty. Cheers to that!
2 Mason Jar Salad
Planning a picnic is an art form. Rather than making a run-of-the-mill pasta salad and scooping it out of a Tupperware, pack a Pinterest-approved summer salad in a jar. Place a handful of greens in a Mason jar and top with chopped veggies like cucumber, bell pepper, sliced grape tomatoes, red onion and shredded summer squash. Add a lean protein, such as beans, salmon or chicken salad, and a small scoop of a good carbohydrate, such as cooked, chilled quinoa or sweet potato. Top it all off with a healthy dressing like tahini, guacamole or pesto and seal it up. Keep it in the cooler and shake just before opening.
3 Water Bars
Soda is out, according to Fortune magazine. Sales for both regular and diet have fallen for the 11th consecutive year, to a 30-year low. That’s a good thing, because reports on both types of soda have linked the fizzy stuff to potential health consequences like infertility, stroke, dementia, increased belly fat, diabetes, metabolic syndrome and an increased risk of dying from heart disease.
But, let’s face it, plain water can be pretty blah. If you want to keep sodas off your summertime menus, but keep your guest’s interest, create a fancy water bar. Grab a couple of pitchers and fill each with ice, filtered water and various combinations of sliced vegetables or slightly mashed, in-season fruit, along with herbs and spices. Crowd-pleasing combinations include cucumber, lemon and mint; basil, blueberries and lime; and peach, ginger and cinnamon.
4 Edible Arrangements
Historically, pre-meal staples at summer get-togethers included chips and dip or cheese and crackers. A handful of potato chips and a quarter-cup of French onion dip adds up to nearly 300 calories, between 150 and 200 calories shy of what most women are recommended to eat for an entire meal. Two ounces of cheddar cheese and just four crackers clocks in at 295 calories.
In this era of clean eating, whole, fresh foods are replacing processed fare, and they can serve as both decoration and appetizer. To make an edible arrangement, cover a cloth table runner with colorful, washed, ready-to-eat fruits and vegetables accented by fresh herbs like mint and basil in miniature pots. Don’t forget to add edible flowers, which you can usually find in the produce section of your local market.
5 Iced Super Coffee
According to a recent report by Fortune, 62 percent of Americans are drinking coffee daily. Fortunately, a cup of java offers some pretty significant health perks, such as lowering the risk of Type 2 diabetes and protection against Parkinson’s disease. The trouble is, many people doctor up their cups with refined sugar or artificial sweeteners and industrial dairy.
Enter super coffee, a coffee that is mixed with healthy ingredients and superfoods. There’s no one way to make it, but super coffee essentially involves blending brewed coffee with ice and add-ins like plant milk, turmeric and black pepper, fresh ginger root and even freeze-dried plant powders, ranging from beet to spirulina.
|Read on: 10 End-of-Summer Food Trends to Help You WIN Labor Day | LIVESTRONG.COM|