• Raw Blondie

Healthy Brands + Appetizers For This Memorial Weekend PLUS Shopping Tips

Memorial Day is here, which basically means the start of the summer has kicked off! Of course the weather is gorgeous but we don’t have anywhere to go and can’t throw huge parties. It would end up like this.

Just because it’s not the holiday we all expected- doesn’t mean you still can ring in the summer with a few friends and festivities.

This weekend was the best. We started off our weekend having a game night with our neighbors outside and I was in charge of appetizers, naturally. With myself and a few others being gluten and dairy free, I wanted to include options that not only aligned with everyone’s eating choices, but that didn’t feel restrictive.

For me, maintaining and having a healthy diet isn’t about being strict, it’s about consistency. That allows room for the holiday parties, spontaneous moments, and times where you just want some cake and ice cream.

Now I don’t want to be miserable at the party by consuming gluten or dairy, and I still want to see real, wholesome foods, so I decided to share in this blog post some brands and foods that are perfect for your holiday/summer festivities because their foods can still serve their purpose as “party foods” but have amazing, clean ingredients that don’t leave you feeling bogged down.

As the appetizer queen this weekend, I wanted to make sure everyone was represented. It was a plus that I knew my guests so well, but that meant not only being mindful of the gluten/dairy intolerance bunch, but being mindful of those that are not and not making everything gluten/dairy/paleo.

Some of my favorite go-to brands this weekend included:

Plus a few helpful tips while shopping:

  • Make sure to look for grass-fed, free range, hormone and antibiotic free deli cuts with clean ingredients and preferably no added sugars- I love Applegate for this reason

  • If you’re not about dairy-free cheeses, find cheeses that you know agree with your system

  • Example- if you know you’re okay with goat’s cheeses, stick with those. Or stick with cow’s, etc.

  • Buy grain free crackers and chips with simple ingredients

  • Find nuts, seeds, and dried fruits without any added oils or sugars

  • Make your own spreads and dips

  • I made my Jam Two Ways and Ambitious Kitchen’s Spicy Green Cashew Dip

  • I made her spread without jalapeno and subbed avocado

  • Include fresh vegetables

  • Create small skewers and appetizers that are paleo friendly

  • I made skewers with a date, sweet potato and prosciutto- DELICIOUS

  • PLUS chicken kabobs with chicken breast, pepper and pineapple

  • Sub some dairy-free chocolate so you have something sweet to enjoy afterwards (Justin’s nut butter cups)

  • Cappello’s cookie dough was perfect for whipping up some dairy-free/gluten-free cookies so I didn’t have to spend time baking them myself

  • Buy guac and salsa dip- saves time and Whole Foods makes bomb, clean-ingredient dips.

So there you have it. It’s so easy to still enjoy a night of games and appetizers and ensure you’re not missing out and staying true to your clean diet or straying away from those food intolerances. Plus, if you don’t tell your guests (who are not gluten-free) that something is gluten-free, chances are they won’t even notice.

Well, enjoy this weather today and there is still time to make a beautiful and delicious charcuterie board.



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