Healthy Food for Memorial Day Weekend

Revitalize your traditions with healthy food for Memorial

Revitalize your traditions with healthy food for Memorial Day.

I’ve decided this year to use the Memorial Day weekend as
an opportunity to share healthy food and drinks
with my relatives, neighbors, and the children around me.
I’m going to serve delicious and nutritious summer foods and
beverages. You can make the Memorial Day weekend a healthy
occasion by being a shining example of sustainable living.

Photo credit: Naotake
 via / CC BY

Healthy Food for Memorial Day Grilling

Memorial Day Weekend is the official opening of summer in the
U.S. People are rolling out their grills and setting up the
lawn furniture. It’s also the beginning of the season of fresh,
locally grown ingredients, so there’s no better time to
invigorate those Memorial Day barbecue and picnic spreads with
locally sourced items from surrounding farms and farmers

Spring produce
allows us to eat lots of greens. Mix
tantalizing greens like red lettuce, spinach, chard, arugula,
and others for a healthy and tasty spring salad. Turnip or
mustard greens may be new to your guests, and they’re an
excellent source of vitamin A and calcium. So, too, are
oriental vegetables such as bok choi. Savor the first peas of
the season raw as a garnish. And don’t forget to savor the
bounty of local rhubarb and strawberries.

Fresh ingredients can really make a Memorial Day dish come to
life. I try to check my
local farm guide
to determine what’s being harvested in
each season. You might spike some skewers with a pattern of
cherry tomatoes, mini mozzarella balls, and fresh basil leaves.
Infuse olive oil with fresh rosemary sprigs for dipping whole
grained bread. Your guests will love a Spicy Dill
and be amazed that its ingredients are solely derived
from plants.

Fresh Basil

Photo credit: amandabhslater
via /

The easiest way to focus on healthy food for Memorial Day is to
increase the amount of veggies you serve. Include side
dishes of dried fruits and nuts like craisins, sun-dried
tomatoes, walnuts, and almonds. Grill up some local asparagus. Make a
accompaniment. What about a
Broccoli Slaw
? Who wouldn’t love one of these recipes
that feature leeks
? Any of these demonstrates to guests how
wonderful sustainable eating can be.

Shift away from meats on the barbecue grill by injecting
recipes with beans and grains. They help to drop the risk of
type 2 diabetes by one-quarter, according to
Harvard researchers
. Whip up a whole-grain pasta salad with
an assortment of slivered or chopped carrots, celery,
scallions, red bell peppers, and yellow squash. Or try an
Noodle Salad
for a yummy twist on a classic.

Orange and copper-colored produce, the last of winter stocks,
burst with carotenoids—
those pigments that absorb free radicals, quell inflammation,
and prevent fatty plaque build-ups. Chop, slice, dice, or chew
these orange fruits and vegetables to open their rigid cell
walls and release their goodness. What about a yummy roasted
carrot salad with light apricot glaze
? Or a sweet
potato salad

And don’t skimp on fiber-rich foods made from soybeans or even
kiwis, both of which will aid in a soothing night’s sleep after
a long and stimulating day at the Memorial Day festivities. Try
Warm Root and Lentil Salad with Turmeric Mustard Dressing

to get the word and flavor out about delicious fiber.

And, with so many meat-substitutes
now available
on the market, there’s no need to feel left
out when the barbecue gets fired up. Sweet potato and quinoa
veggie burgers, seitan ribs, and portobello pizzas make

wonderful grill items
for Memorial Day. But you can also
grill corn, peaches, and peppers — meat eaters love these as
much as vegetarians and vegans! Or walk right by the grill to
Artichoke Lasagna
— you can make it ahead of time and put
it out on the buffet, ready to go, when it’s time for lunch.

Changing Out the Bar and Beverage Selections

So you’ve set up the outdoor tiki bar, plugged in the extension
cord, and retrieved the blender. What, no sugary pina coladas?
Share some of these
high-fiber smoothies
with your Memorial Day weekend guests
instead. They contain essential vitamins, minerals,
antioxidants, and healthy fats, which maintain those feelings
of energy and vitality. And they’re really delicious.

What about a
Ginger Cranberry Fizz
? And doesn’t an
Iced Vanilla Bean Matcha Latte
sound fabulous? You probably
have most of the ingredients in your fridge already. If you’re
adventurous, make your own
Homemade Ginger Syrup
for ginger ale. Scrumptious!

Even more importantly, these selections help model for your
guests how to choose
sustainable beverages
. Instead of a cooler of plastic water
bottles, have a dispenser filled with ice and water. You can
add slices of lemon and lime, too, for a burst of taste.

Organic beers and wines, ciders, teas and coffees, and even a
homemade seltzer are very appealing and sustainable beverage

Bottle of Hard Cider

Photo credit: radiobread
via /

With the backdrop of world issues like resource scarcity,
climate change, hunger, food security, and social disparity, we
can start in our own backyards with small choices like
sustainable beverages at our Memorial Day barbecues to support
UN’s Sustainable Development Goals for 2030

Have a Happy, Healthy Memorial Day Weekend

Memorial Day festivities are times to gather together with
family and friends and celebrate the beginning of the summer
season while also remembering lots of U.S. citizens who were
drafted and who were required to fight far away from home and
loved ones.

Gatherings for the Memorial Day holiday can become
opportunities to gently share stories about
ecological principles, building sustainable communities, and
living the healthiest ways possible. They can become ways to
commit to healthy living and activity to avoid

Veggies on the Grill

Photo credit: blondinrikard
via /

And you can use Memorial Day holiday weekend gatherings to
strengthen community and our commitment to a sustainable future
by the small choices you make for your guests. They’ll
appreciate your efforts and role modeling.

Keep up with the latest sustainable food news by
signing up for our free newsletter. CLICK HERE to sign