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Delicious 4th of July Recipes to Fuel Gymnasts for a Fun Celebration!

Fourth of July often means parties, delicious spreads of food, and a fun time outside with family and friends. When attending parties with a variety of fun food choices it’s important to remember that all food can fuel a gymnast and there shouldn’t be any restrictions to what they can and can’t eat. As many gymnasts are used to a routine of similar food choices, these fun foods that are different from their usual diet may cause some stress and anxiety.


Remember that ANY food can be fuel for your body, and no food is off limits for gymnasts. You can still use your Athlete's Plate as a guide, to fuel your body even at an event.



To build a performance plate this bbq season:


  1. Make 1/4 to 1/3 of your plate from protein - BBQ foods such as burgers, hotdogs, grilled chicken, steaks, kebobs, veggie burgers, shrimp, salmon and more!

  2. Add 1/4 to 1/3 of your plate from grains and starches - Food like pasta salad, potato salad, buns, rolls, cornbread, and more!

  3. Finish 1/3 to 1/2 of your plate from color - Don’t forget to add some colorful fruits and veggies to your plate! Dishes like corn, coleslaw, grilled veggies, salads, fresh fruit, fruit popsicles, and more are super fresh and delicious this time of year!

  4. 1/4 (or whatever feels right to you) of your plate with fun foods! - 4th of July parties typically have a lot of red white and blue themed desserts to choose from and enjoy.


Make sure to enjoy the special treats at the party! There are plenty of foods that we eat every day that are more than just "fuel." Add that cookie or slice of cake to your plate or grab that fun drink. It's important to remember that nutrition (like gymnastics) is all about balance. One food, one meal, or one day will not change your body or your health. You want to look back on celebrations like these and remember the fun times you had with family and friends, not the time you spent worrying about the food you did or didn’t eat.


Enjoy some fun, fueling recipes for the fourth of July!



Patriotic Pancakes



Ingredients: 

  • 1/4C whole wheat flour

  • 1T sugar (less if desired)

  • 1t baking soda

  • 1 pinch of salt

  • 1 5.3oz single cup OR 3/4C of Greek yogurt

  • 1 egg

  • 1/4t vanilla extract

  • Water

  • Blueberries, strawberries, and blackberries

  • Whipped cream

(or you can always use your favorite pancake mix or protein pancake mix of your choosing and follow the directions on the package)


Directions:

  • Combine the flour, sugar baking soda, and salt in a bowl. Mix to combine

  • In a separate bowl, mix the yogurt, egg, and vanilla

  • Combine the wet and dry ingredients. Mix to combine and let sit 5-10 minutes.

  • Preheat a greased pan or skillet over medium heat.

  • Pour in 1/4C of batter per pancake into the pan. Place toppings in pancake batter while cooking, then flip to finish cooking.

  • Top pancakes with a dollop of whipped cream and additional fruit once fully cooked through

  • Enjoy! 


Berry French Toast Casserole


Ingredients: 


For the bread:

  • 1 loaf bread (brioche or hallah work best)

  • 1 ¼ cup fresh strawberries, diced

  • ½ cup blueberries

  • 1 egg

  • ½ cup egg whites

  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon

  • 1 cup vanilla unsweetened almond milk or cow's milk

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • ¼ cup pure maple syrup

  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder (optional)


For the icing: 

  • 150 grams vanilla Greek yogurt, (1 single serve cup)

  • ¼ cup powdered sugar

  • ½ cup vanilla unsweetened almond milk or cow's milk

  • ½ tsp almond extract


Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Coat a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray.

  2. Cut each piece of bread into 9 squares (3 rows & 3 columns).

  3. In a large mixing bowl whisk together: egg, egg whites, cinnamon, milk, stevia, vanilla extract, maple syrup and protein powder. Whisk until the protein powder is completely dissolved.

  4. Add the cubed bread pieces into the mixing bowl with the wet ingredients and toss around until each piece of bread is well coated. Mix in diced strawberries and blueberries.

  5. Dump bread and fruit mixture into your greased baking tray doing your best to evenly distribute the fruit pieces.

  6. Bake for 30 minutes or until bread is toasted.

  7. While the french toast casserole is baking, use a hand mixer to beat together frosting ingredients. 

  8. Then, drizzle it over the baked casserole and let it soak into the bread. Enjoy! 


Recipe Inspired By A Paige Of Positivity



Grilled Tomato Feta Pizzettes



Ingredients: 

  • 1 lb. store-bought pizza dough

  • All-purpose flour, for dusting

  • 1 shallot, finely chopped 

  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

  • 4 oz. feta, crumbled 

  • 4 oz. mozzarella, shredded  

  • 1/4 c. extra-virgin olive oil 

  • 1 (12-oz.) pkg. cherry tomatoes on the vine (about 30)

  • 2 scallions

  • 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper 


Directions:

  1. Prepare a grill for high heat; preheat 5 minutes (it should get up to 500°). Divide dough into 6 pieces. Press and stretch each piece, dusting with flour, into an oblong round shape; it doesn’t have to be a perfect circle.

  2. In a medium bowl, combine shallot, garlic, feta, mozzarella, and oil.

  3. Grill tomatoes and scallions until tomatoes burst and scallions begin to char, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board. Cut scallions into quarters.

  4. Grill dough (and leave it alone) until it releases from grates and grill marks form, about 5 minutes. Turn dough and top with cheese, tomatoes, scallions, and shallot mixture. Cover and continue to grill until cheese melts, about 5 minutes more.

  5. Season with pepper and enjoy! 


Pro Tip: These are very customizable, so feel free to add or omit any toppings that you like or use it as a make-your-own meal to get the whole family involved! 


Recipe Inspired By Delish



Burger Bowls


Ingredients 

  • For the burger meat:

  • 1 pound ground beef

  • ½ teaspoon onion powder

  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano 

  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder

  • ½ teaspoon paprika

  • 1 teaspoon salt 

  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper 

  • For the bowl:

  • 3 medium potatoes

  • 2 tablespoons high heat oil (like avocado, grapeseed, or canola)

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • ½ teaspoon black pepper

  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder

  • Romaine lettuce

  • Tomatoes 

  • Pickles 

  • Red onion

  • Any other vegetables or burger toppings you’d like to add! 


Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425F with a lightly oiled sheet tray in the oven (so it also gets hot)

  2. Peel the potatoes and cut them into 1in cubes. Toss them with the oil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder

  3. Carefully pour the potatoes onto the hot sheet tray and roast for 45 minutes (or until cooked through and golden brown), flipping half way

  4. Heat a skillet over medium high heat. Add the ground beef and spices. Brown the beef, breaking it up as it cooks, until it is fully cooked through.

  5. Assemble your burger bowls. Start with potatoes, then add romaine lettuce, the toppings and cooked ground beef.

  6. Top with a drizzle of your favorite salad dressing (like ranch, french, or honey mustard) or bottled restaurant sauce (like Chick Fil A sauce)


Recipe Inspired By All Healthy Things


Spinach Ranch Feta Turkey Burgers



Ingredients:

  • 1 lb ground turkey (93%/7% is my personal favorite)

  • ¼ cup chopped red onion 

  • ¼ cup chopped spinach

  • ¼ cup feta cheese 

  • 1 packet dry ranch seasoning

  • 4 buns brioche or pretzel buns


Directions:

  • Combine Turkey, red onion, spinach, feta, and dry ranch seasoning into a mixing bowl and combine well

  • Fold together and form 4-6 burger patties

  • Grease a skillet and heat the stove to medium-high (or, these would be perfect on the grill). Add the patties and cook for 4-5 minutes per side or until burgers reach 165°F

Optional: Add your favorite sliced cheese to melt on top 

  • Lightly toast the buns 

  • Assemble burgers and add whatever toppings you like! My favorites are tomatoes and pickles, but feel free to load up on all your favorite veggies! 


Recipe Inspired By A Paige of Positivity


Deviled Eggs


Ingredients:

  • 6 hard-cooked eggs

  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise

  • 1 teaspoon white sugar, or to taste

  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar

  • 1 teaspoon prepared mustard

  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped onion

  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped celery

  • ½ teaspoon salt, or to taste

  • 1 pinch paprika, or to taste


Directions:

  1. Hard Boil the eggs

  2. Once boiled, peel the eggs

  3. Slice eggs in half lengthwise and set yolks aside in a mixing bowl 

  4. Mash yolks together, then stir in mayonnaise, sugar, vinegar, mustard, onion, and celery. Mix together and add salt and pepper to taste

  5. Stuff yolk mixture into egg whites

  6. Sprinkle with paprika

  7. Store in refrigerator until ready to serve


Red Skin Potato Salad



Ingredients: 

  • 2 pounds clean, scrubbed new red potatoes

  • 6 large eggs

  • 1 pound bacon

  • 1 onion, finely chopped

  • 1 stalk celery, finely chopped

  • ¾ cup non-fat plain Greek yogurt

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 2 garlic cloves

  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar

  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

  • 2 green onions

  • 1 teaspoon celery salt

  • ¼ teaspoon salt

  • salt and pepper to taste


Directions:

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add potatoes and cook until tender but still firm, about 15 minutes. Drain and allow to cool

  2. Hard boil the eggs

  3. Place bacon in a large skillet and cook over medium-high heat, turning occasionally, until evenly browned, about 10 minutes. Drain bacon slices on paper towels, then crumble

  4. To make the dressing, add the Greek yogurt, olive oil, vinegar, mustard, garlic, celery salt, black pepper, and green onions int a food processor or blender. Blend the dressing until smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides of the food processor a few times as needed.

  5. Chop cooled potatoes, leaving skin on. Add to a large bowl, along with eggs, bacon, onion, and celery. Stir in dressing, salt, and pepper

  6. Chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour before serving.



Patriotic Fruit Kabob


Ingredients:

  • Watermelon 

  • Blueberries or blackberries

  • Skewers

  • Star shaped cookie cutter


Directions: 

  • Cut watermelon into the shape of stars with a cookie cutter

  • Put about 10-15 blueberries on each skewer

  • Top skewer with a cut out watermelon 



Blueberry Popsicles



Ingredients

  • 3 cups of frozen blueberries

  • 1 Banana 

  • 1 cup of Greek Yogurt

  • Wooden popsicle sticks

  • Popsicle mold


Directions:

  • Blend fruit and yogurt together until smooth. You may need to add a little liquid to make it easier to blend - water or apple juice work well 

  • Pour mixture into popsicle molds

  • Place wooden popsicle sticks in the molds 

  • Freeze popsicles for 4 hours 

  • Enjoy! 


Comments


Kerry Bair, RD, LDN, MPH

The Gymnast RD

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