Published on July 02, 2019

Simple, Healthy July 4th Recipes

It’s true when they say that we eat with our eyes, so why not go all-out with these July 4th-themed recipes? These recipes are sure to wow your guests and your waistline!

No-Bake Berry Flag Cake

No bake cake

This “cake” is a patriotic tribute and a light, fruity dessert for your firework-filled night!


  • 7 ounces graham crackers, broken into large pieces
  • ½ cup toasted pecans
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ⅓ cup canola oil
  • 2 (8-ounce) packages reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
  • 2 cups nonfat, plain Greek yogurt
  • ⅔ cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 ½ cups raspberries
  • 1 ¼ cups blueberries and/or blackberries


In a food processor, pulse graham crackers, pecans, and salt until finely ground. Add in oil while pulsing food processor. Flatten mixture in bottom of a 9-by-13” dish. Scoop cream cheese, yogurt, confectioners’ sugar, lemon zest, and lemon juice into food processor and blend until smooth. Spoon the mixture into baking dish and spread out evenly over graham cracker base. Cover the dish and refrigerate until cold (minimum 2 hours). When chilled, add berries on top in flag pattern and cut into 16 square pieces. Enjoy! 

Macaroni Salad with Creamy Avocado Dressing

Macaroni salad.

The perfect nutrient-packed side dish for your patriotic party!


  • 8 ounces whole-wheat elbow macaroni (about 2 cups)
  • 1 cup red bell pepper, chopped
  • ½ cup celery, thinly sliced
  • 2 scallions, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley or cilantro, chopped
  • 1 ripe, medium-sized avocado
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon dried, minced garlic
  • ¼ teaspoon ground pepper


Cook macaroni according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water. Scoop into large bowl and add red bell pepper, celery, scallions, and parsley/cilantro. Slice open avocado, remove pit, and spoon flesh into food processor. Add in mayonnaise, vinegar, salt, dried garlic, and pepper. Pulse until smooth. Add this dressing to bowl of pasta and veggies. Stir until evenly mixed. Place in fridge to cool for 20-30 minutes. Serve! 

Strawberry Nice Cream

Strawberry Ice cream.

A light and cool dessert for a hot summer night under the stars.


  • 1 pound strawberries, sliced and frozen
  • 2 medium bananas, peeled and frozen
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • ¼ cup cold water, more if needed


Once fruit is completely frozen, let sit at room temperature for 15 minutes. Pulse strawberry slices in food processor until well chopped, then add in bananas and lemon juice and pulse until smooth. Add water, if needed, until ice cream-like consistency is achieved. Top with fresh fruit or eat as is!

Your guests are sure to come back for seconds! These simple, healthy recipes are great for any gathering this summer. If you try one out, let us know how it goes!

Find these recipes and more.

This post was written by Marissa Pender, Dietitian Intern for Johnston Health.

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