4th of July has always been one of my favorite holidays. I love the patriotism, the fireworks, the friends, and of course the BBQ! However, with the 4th it's a little bit more of a challenge not eating the typical BBQ food that's offered, so I am always looking for good alternatives that make me feel like I can still celebrate just as much as the next person, in true American style!
So here I give you my spin on a classic 4th of July food ... hot dogs! I mean, carrot dogs! One of my favorite American meals, except these dogs are way more creative, more fun to make, more nutritious, and even more delicious than your average hot dog.
I've created five ways to enjoy these carrot dogs that are sure to suit everyone's taste buds. A New York Dog for your classic friend, a South of the Border Dog for your spicy friend, a Red Relish Dog for your friend that doesn't like a lot of fuss, and Italian and Thai Dogs for your most worldly pals.
Carrots are a wonderful source of beta-carotene and vitamin A which are essential for good vision, healthy skin, and a strong immune system. They are also high in fiber, folate, potassium, vitamins K and C, and contain antioxidants that help protect against cancer and aging. Also, contrary to what you might believe, cooked carrots are even more nutritious than when eaten raw!
(Toppings make about 1-2 servings per recipe, you will just have to make extra carrot dogs if you want two of each)
5 good sized carrots, peeled and rounded at the edges to look like a hot dog 3 Tbs coconut aminos 1 Tbs pure maple syrup 1 tsp chili powder 1/4 tsp garlic powder 1/4 tsp onion powder pinch of black pepper
- Peel carrots, then mix all remaining ingredients together in a deep dish. Add carrots and cover in liquid then let sit for an hour or two to marinade. (If you don't have time for this, that is okay. They will be just as tasty!)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
- Cook carrots for 40-45 minutes or until fork tender, turning often.
The New York Dog
1 whole grain or gluten-free hot dog bun 1 carrot dog spicy brown mustard sauerkraut (P.S. Sauerkraut is fermented which means it is fantastic for gut health, and since 80% of our immune system lives in the gut, it is great for overall immune health as well!)
- Place a cooked carrot dog in a bun and top with as much mustard and sauerkraut as you'd like.
The South of the Border Dog
Prep it: 1 whole grain or gluten-free hot dog bun 1 carrot dog avocado, sliced or mashed jalapeño, diced (jarred or fresh) cilantro tapatio lime
- Place a cooked carrot dog in a bun and top with avocado, jalapeño, cilantro, tapatio, and a squeeze of lime.
The Red Relish Dog
Prep it: 1 whole grain or gluten-free hot dog bun 1 carrot dog 1/2-1 small onion, chopped 1/4 cup ketchup
- Chop onion and sauté in a pan over medium heat. There is no need to cook with any oil, just add a splash of water if the onion starts to stick.
- Once the onion has softened, add in the ketchup and combine until all of the onion is covered. Remove from heat.
- Place a cooked carrot dog in a bug and top with red relish!
The Italian Dog
Prep it: 1 whole grain or gluten-free hot dog bun 1 carrot dog 1 small red pepper, sliced 1/2-1 small onion, sliced
- Slice peppers and onions and sauté in a pan over medium heat. There is no need to cook with any oil, just add a splash of water if the vegetables start to stick.
- Place a cooked carrot dog in a bun and top with cooked peppers and onions.
The Thai Dog
Prep it: 1 whole grain or gluten-free hot dog bun 1 carrot dog 1/4 cup purple cabbage, chopped green onion, sliced lime Thai peanut sauce
Thai Peanut Sauce
Prep it: 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter 1.5 Tbs coconut aminos 1.5 Tbs apple cider vinegar 2-3 Tbs water to thin 1/2 Tbs pure maple syrup 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- Prepare Thai peanut sauce by place all ingredients in a bowl and whisking together to combine.
- Place a cooked carrot dog in a bun and top with chopped cabbage, green onion, Thai peanut sauce, and a squeeze of lime.
Pictured clockwise from top left: the Thai Dog, Red Relish Dog, Italian Dog, South of the Border Dog, New York Dog.
I hope everyone has a fun, safe, delicious 4th of July, carrot dogs in hand!