I love the 4th of July – the fireworks over the Hudson here in New York City, parades, spending time with loved ones celebrating our country’s freedom, and of course, summer BBQ’s. The only thing I don’t love is all of the acidic food most Americans eat at the typical BBQ. Heavy meats with chemical-based sauces, fried chips, potato salads thick with mayonnaise that is loaded with pro-inflammatory Omega-6 fats, alcoholic beverages, and sugary desserts all increase the acid our bodies have to fight off to maintain a constant pH of 7.4. And fighting off acid takes its toll on our health. Headaches, fatigue, acid reflux, irritable bowel syndrome, joint and muscle pain, difficulty sleeping, hormone imbalance, Diabetes, obesity, and even cancer all share the same smoking gun: highly acidic lifestyles. So I propose a new tradition for the 4th – an alkaline BBQ (or at least ADD some good healthy choices amidst all that acid!). You can still enjoy quality time with friends and family outdoors without the acid. Bring these 5 alkaline, show-stopping dishes to your BBQ or picnic instead, and by the time the fireworks start, you’ll be feeling better than ever. All of these serve about 4 people so adjust for your size group as necessary. Most can be prepared in advance, so you’ll have a healthy, delicious, laid back 4th celebration. WATERMELON GAZPACHO Ingredients 1 watermelon (about 2 lbs.) with rind removed, chopped 1/4 cup packed cilantro leaves (plus more for additional garnish) 3 tbsp. lime juice, fresh squeezed 2 tbsp. packed mint leaves (plus more for garnish) 1 English cucumber (or regular cucumber) 2 tbsp. EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) 1 jalapeño, stemmed and chopped (add to taste) 1 large red heirloom tomato, cored and chopped 1 shallot, chopped Sea salt to taste (Celtic Grey, Himalayan, or Redmond Real Salt) Black pepper to taste Directions Combine the watermelon, cilantro, lime juice, mint, olive oil, cucumber, jalapeño, tomato, and shallot in blender and puree until smooth. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours. When ready to serve, garnish each bowl with fresh mint and cilantro leaves. APPLE CABBAGE SALAD WITH BEETROOT Ingredients Salad 1 head of butter lettuce, chopped 1 green apple, spiralized 1 small beet, spiralized 1 cup chopped purple cabbage 2 tbsp. hemp seeds 2 tbsp. sunflower seeds Ingredients Dressing 1/4 cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed 2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped 1 tsp. black pepper Sea salt (Celtic Grey, Himalayan, or Redmond Real Salt) Directions Chop the lettuce and cabbage, and spiralize or use a vegetable peeler for the green apple and beet. Mix all salad ingredients together in a mixing bowl. Whisk all of the dressing ingredients together and season with sea salt. Dress the salad just before eating. Store salad and dressing separately. SAVORY AVOCADO WRAPS Ingredients 4 lettuce leaves 2 avocados, sliced Large handful of spinach 2 tomatoes, diced 4 tsp. cilantro, chopped 1 red onion, diced (add to taste) 1 tsp. cumin Sea salt (Celtic Grey, Himalayan, or Redmond Real Salt) and pepper to taste Optional: Green jalapeno pepper to taste Optional: Alfalfa sprouts Directions Smear the avocado on the lettuce leaf and sprinkle with spinach, diced tomato, red onion, cilantro, cumin, salt, and pepper. Fold in half and enjoy! BAKED ZUCCHINI CHIPS WITH COOL DILL DIP Ingredients Zucchini Chips 2 zucchinis, sliced thin 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil Sea salt (Celtic Grey Sea salt, Himalayan, or Redmond Real Salt) Ingredients Dill Dip 1/2 cup coconut milk from the can (I use Native Forest, thick part from top) 2 tsp. fresh lemon juice 1 tbsp. parsley, chopped 2 tbsp. dill, chopped 1 garlic clove, minced Sea salt (Celtic Grey Sea salt, Himalayan, or Redmond Real Salt) Pepper to taste Directions Thinly slice zucchinis using a mandolin if you have one. Blot zucchini chips with a paper towel to absorb excess water. Place zucchini chips on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush each one with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Bake at 225° for 2 hours or use a dehydrator at 115° for 12 hours (overnight). In the meantime, blend all dip ingredients in a food processor. Add a little water if it’s too thick for your liking. Serve with the baked chips and enjoy! MIXED SUMMER FRUIT SALAD Ingredients 1 peach, pitted and chopped 1 nectarine, pitted and chopped 1/2 cup cherries, pits and stems removed 1/2 cup or one pint of blueberries Zest and juice of one lemon 1 tsp. mint, chopped Heaping spoon of coconut butter Directions Mix all ingredients in a bowl and enjoy! For more on which foods to avoid this summer and which to eat more of (like the ingredients in these delicious alkaline recipes), get your copy of The Ultimate Alkaline/Acid Food Chart now for easy, clear information about hundreds of foods!