Healthy barbecue options for Fourth of July

Julie Feldman highlights different recipes, including frozen banana skewers

(iStock / adlifemarketing)

DETROIT – The Fourth of July is Friday, and with many looking forward to attending and eating at barbecue events, some may be looking for alternatives that are healthier.

Related: Slim down your barbecue

Julie Feldman, MPH, RD is a nationally recognized nutrition expert who has helped hundreds of Michiganders live a healthier life, according to her website bio at DietitianJulieFeldman.com.

Featured Thursday morning on Local 4 News Today, Feldman highlighted a number of different healthy barbecue options, including Firework Kale Chips, Red, White and Blue Slaw, Watermelon and Feta Salad, and frozen Banana Skewers.

Firework Kale Chips

Each baking sheet:
--½ bunch kale leaves
--Olive oil cooking spray
--1½ tablespoons nutritional yeast
--1 teaspoon garlic powder
--¾ teaspoon chili powder
--½ teaspoon onion powder
--½ teaspoon smoked paprika
--¼ teaspoon fine grain sea salt or pink Himalayan sea salt
--1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 300 F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Remove leaves from the stems of the kale and tear up into large pieces. Wash and dry leaves thoroughly.
3. Place kale leaves on a baking sheet and even spray with olive oil or coconut oil cooking spray.
4. Combine seasonings and mix well. Sprinkle kale leaves with seasonings.
5. Bake for 10 minutes, rotate the pan and bake for another 10-15 minutes until the kale begins to firm.
6. Allow to cool for at least 3 minutes.

Red, White and Blue Slaw

--6 cups of white shredded cabbage (typical coleslaw mix)
--¼ cup lemon juice
--3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
--½ teaspoon salt
--Freshly ground pepper to taste
--2 cups grape tomatoes sliced in halves
--2 cups washed blueberries
--4 scallions thinly sliced
--¼ cup coconut sugar

1. Combine cabbage, tomatoes, scallions and blueberries in large bowl.
2. In a separate bowl, combine lemon juice, olive oil, coconut sugar, salt and pepper.
3. Toss dressing with cabbage to create a colorful and festive low-calorie side dish.

Watermelon and Feta Salad

--1 large watermelon cut in 1-inch pieces
--1 package of fat free or regular feta cheese
--1 bunch of fresh mint leaf

1. Combine watermelon and feta in a large bowl.
2. Rinse mint leaf. Separate the leaf from the stem, and tear small pieces of the leaves and add them to the watermelon-feta mixture.
3. Serve and enjoy!

Frozen Banana Skewers

--6 bananas
--3 cups of Yoplait 100 calorie vanilla Greek Yogurt
--1 bag of KIND healthy grains clusters

1. Cut a peeled banana into two halves.
2. Place a skewer in each of the sections. Evenly dip the banana on a skewer into the Greek yogurt, making sure to get an even coating. Putting the yogurt into a tall glass works well for this.
3. Roll the yogurt-dipped banana in KIND healthy grains to get an even coating.
4. Place coated bananas on a piece of parchment paper in the freezer for at least 15 minutes.
5. Enjoy!

For recipes and more from Feldman, click here.