Plant-Based 4th of July Recipes Your Family Will Love

Americans consume about 20 billion hot dog per year and 155 million of them are consumed on the 4th of July! (1)

It's a shame that on a day of such importance and celebration, Americans consume foods (like hot dogs) that further contribute to diseases like diabetes and even death..

In a study of 8,401 non-diabetetic Seventh Day Adventists, participants consuming any processed meats (i.e. hot dogs) were 38% more likely to develop diabetes after 17 years of follow-up (3).

The EPIC study followed 448,568 men and women for 12.7 years.  At follow-up, "a higher consumption of red meat was associated with higher all-cause mortality and the association was stronger for processed meats" (2) like hot dogs.  

Imagine if we all took particular care on Independence Day to really take care of our bodies and our children's bodies by feeding our families health promoting foods as part of the celebration.  What an honor we'd be paying to our ancestors, building healthy minds and bodies to carry our country into the future.  

To help you offer health promoting meals for your family this 4th of July, below are traditional Independence Day family recipes that not only taste amazing, but won't increase your children's risk of diabetes and pre-mature death.  

Traditional 4th Of July Recipe Turned Deliciously Plant-Based 

Burgers - pop Cuban Black Bean Burgers on the grill instead of animal burgers.  Or, simply buy prepackaged veggie burgers.

Hot Dogs - because hot dogs are so disastrous for your health, I encourage you to buy packaged 'veggie dogs' instead of traditional hot dogs.  Stick them in your normal hot dog bun with ketchup, mustard, relish and onions (my favorite toppings) and it will be hard to tell the difference!

Macaroni Salad - can be a staple food for many American families.  Instead of the traditional style with oil or mayo, try Cathy Fisher's Macaroni Salad that uses dates as part of the '1000 island' style dressing, instead.  

Baked potatoes - instead of topping with sour cream, bacon bits or butter, try ketchup, mustard, back bean soup, hot sauce, corn kernels, hummus or my favorite, salsa!

Corn on the Cob - again, skip the butter or oil and flavor by rubbing a lime wedge across the corn and sprinkling with your favorite spice mix like bbq, taco or chipotle.  

Dessert - try Cathy Fisher's apple crisp or blackberry-peach cobbler for dessert and top with my fresh banana ice-cream.  

These are just a few ideas to help you and your family make smarter food decisions this 4th of July.  Be sure to plan ahead and have healthy plant-based options available.  This way, you won't have to eat the other disease promoting foods. 

Now take a second and answer today's Take Control Now question to help you put this information into action.  Put your answer below by clicking 'comment'. 

Take Control Now

What do you normally eat or prepare for the 4th?  What meals could you turn into healthier plant-based meals for you and your family?


1.  Eliana Dockterman, '10 things you didn't know about the 4th of July', Time, accessed online June 30th 2014 at 

2. Rohrmann S, Overvad K, Bueno-de-Mesquita HB, Jakobsen MU, Egeberg R, Tjønneland A, Nailler L, Boutron-Ruault MC, Clavel-Chapelon F, Krogh V, Palli D, Panico S, Tumino R, Ricceri F, Bergmann MM, Boeing H, Li K, Kaaks R, Khaw KT, Wareham NJ, Crowe FL, Key TJ, Naska A, Trichopoulou A, Trichopoulos D, Leenders M, Peeters PH, Engeset D, Parr CL, Skeie G, Jakszyn P, Sánchez MJ, Huerta JM, Redondo ML, Barricarte A, Amiano P, Drake I, Sonestedt E, Hallmans G, Johansson I, Fedirko V, Romieux I, Ferrari P, Norat T, Vergnaud AC, Riboli E, Linseisen J. Meat consumption and mortality--results from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition. BMC Med. 2013 Mar 7;11:63

3. Vang A, Singh PN, Lee JW, Haddad EH, Brinegar CH. Meats, processed meats, obesity, weight gain and occurrence of diabetes among adults: findings from Adventist Health Studies. Ann Nutr Metab. 2008;52(2):96-104.