Save 1,263 Calories on the 4th

This may be your biggest cookout of the year. Here are ways to keep the meal bursting with patriotic flavor–with way fewer calories.

Fresh Fruit Sangria

Brew a Fresh Fruit Sangria
Skip the sugar-packed margarita mixes, and stir up this sparkling 140-calorie treat. It’s sweetened with real fruit and saves 30g sugar. Combine 1 cup pitted and halved cherries, 1 cup blueberries, 1 cup quartered strawberries, ½ cup chopped peaches, and 1/3 cup brandy in a large pitcher; chill 2 hours. Stir in 1 cup pineapple juice and 1 (750-milliliter) bottle chilled prosecco. Garnish with fresh mint. Serves 8. Savings: 160 calories

Light Beer

Light beer instead of sangria? It’s about 100 calories.

Slim the Slaw
A little heart-healthy canola mayo goes a long way to keep our slaw creamy, while mustard seeds and a pinch of ground red pepper boost flavor (try Mardi Gras Slaw). You’ll also cut out 14g fat and 300mg sodium. Savings: 166 calories

Potato Salad, Yes. Mayo, No.
Shave calories and sodium with our version, which tosses crisp-tender taters in a tangy herb-infused olive oil sauce (try Roasted Potato Salad with Creamy Dijon Vinaigrette). Savings: 115 calories

Crunchy Crudites

Lay on Lots of Crunchy Crudités
Give the chips and onion dip a day off. Nosh instead on a platter of fresh vegetables, and serve with our simple, creamy herb dip: Combine 4 ounces 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, ¼ cup nonfat buttermilk, 2 tablespoons fresh chives, 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, ¼ teaspoon salt, and 2 minced garlic cloves; beat with a mixer until smooth. Savings: 150 calories

Trim the Trifle

Trim the Trifle
Billowing clouds of whipped cream send a traditional patriotic trifle into 500-plus calorie territory. Keep the berry goodness and light texture with angel food cake, but swap the cream for 12 ounces reduced-calorie whipped topping spiked with 2 tablespoons Grand Marnier. You’ll save 15g sat fat with this lighter layer. Savings: 250 calories

Pressed for time? Trade the trifle for ice-cream sandwiches—a cool, handheld, 160-calorie treat.

Build a Leaner Burger

Build a Leaner Burger
Start with a 90% lean ground beef base to save 100 calories and 4g sat fat (per raw 4-ounce patty) over the 80/20 grind. A thin slice of cheese adds melty goodness for just 45 calories. Guacamole adds creamy zip with only 25 calories per tablespoon and 120mg less sodium than ketchup. Finish with farm-fresh tomatoes, red onion, and crisp greens for super-low-calorie flavor and crunch. Savings: 230 calories

Serve with whole-wheat buns for a 3g fiber boost over white.

Make Baked Beans Better
Dress up organic navy beans with fresh thyme and center-cut bacon. Our recipe (try Quick Classic Baked Beans) also saves 600mg sodium over canned pork ‘n’ beans. Savings: 192 calories

Photos: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Food Styling: Kellie Gerber Kelley; Prop Styling: Cindy Barr

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