Smart Choices for a 4th of July Picnic

Red, white and blue foods aren't just patriotic, they confer health benefits. Plants get their colors from phytochemicals, which are health-promoting compounds. Red foods are filled with skin-protecting lycopene, some white foods have antibacterial allicin and blues are rich in circulation-enhancing anthocyanins.

Here are some foods featuring these colors to celebrate the 4th in good health.

Warm Sausage and Red Potato Salad: Swap in red potatoes as a healthy alternative to a classic potato salad.

Maple Berry Parfait: Layers of lowfat ricotta and berries make this into a beautiful breakfast or dessert (pictured above).

Mixed Berries with Limoncello: Fresh herbs and limoncello add a special twist to an eye-catching bowl of mixed berries.

Watermelon and Tomato Salad: Use red tomatoes and watermelon to capture the red, white and blue theme.

Whole Grilled Bluefish: There aren't too many blue fruits and vegetables, so cheat the color with heart-healthy bluefish.

Roasted Red Pepper Dip: Step aside, hummus. This pepper dip has lots of flavor and a bright color.

Jicama Slaw: Crunchy white jicama is a special alternative to traditional cabbage slaw.

Cauliflower Steaks with Beans and Tomatoes: This recipe calls for roasting the cauliflower steaks, but you can try grilling them, too.

Grilled Peaches: These make a super simple and sweet healthy dessert.

Red and White Sangria Pops: A grown up dessert with lots of fruit!

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