Even if you’re not at the park watching fireworks or gathered in a backyard with 50 of your closest friends, there are still ways to get festive with food!
Favorite 4th of July Festivities
We all want something to look forward to. In the summer, I always look forward to the 4th of July. Independence Day brings parades, fireworks, swimming pools, and barbeques – all good stuff!
My family usually attends our city’s “Pet Parade”, then we walk to the town park for an old-fashioned festival – complete with funnel cakes and three-legged races. In the evening, we cook-out with friends and try to stay awake long enough to watch the city’s fireworks display.
Celebrate Independence Day with Red, White, and Blue Foods
Some years, we end up having a much simpler and less social Independence Day (but still fun, because we try to be fun people!). We play outside as a family, then barbeque & set off legal fireworks at home (or in the street with neighbors).
One thing I always get excited about, however, is the food. I may not get (or want) shaved ice from a food truck after waiting in the blazing sun for 30 minutes, but I can get festive with red, white, and blue foods.
Easiest, Easy, and “Creative” Options
Easiest: You buy the food and eat it. No prep. Plates, bowls, etc. optional.
Easy: You buy the food and might have to wash it and/or chop it up. Probably want to use a serving dish.
“Creative”: You buy the food and perhaps some other ingredients to go with it. A recipe may be involved.
- Easiest: Strawberries, bite-sized tomatoes, cherries or red grapes. OK, you should wash these, but then, just eat them.
- Sweet: Watermelon. Technically pink, but can be near-red if you’re lucky. Slice the fruit into wedges for “easy” and seed-spitting fun. If you’re really nice, chop into cubes or use a melon baller (if you have one – I don’t) for rind-free eating.
- Salty: Tomato-based salsa, paired with white or blue corn tortilla chips.
- Creative: Roasted red peppers. Chop red bell peppers into 1 – 2 inch pieces and then toss them with oil/butter and season with salt/pepper/garlic powder. Grill (or bake at 425’F for 20 minutes) until tender and charred.
- Sweet: Vanilla yogurt (or ice cream), whipped cream, marshmallows.
- Salty: Store-bought hummus, Tzatziki or sour cream dip, air-popped popcorn.
- Sweet: Sliced pears
- Salty: Sliced jicama; white cheese such as Monterey Jack, white Cheddar, and others. Pair with crackers, fruit, or slice and eat.
- Creative: Grilled Potato (or Cauliflower) Packets. Add a dollop of sour cream for double-white color!
- Sweet: blueberries or blackberries (again, wash the berries before eating)
- Salty: Blue corn tortilla chips
- Easy: Blue cheese (or Gorgonzola or Roquefort)
- Creative: Grilled purple cabbage: Cut a cabbage into 8 wedges. Sprinkle or brush both sides with oil and season with salt/pepper/garlic powder. Place wedges on a double thickness of heavy-duty foil or sheet pan that you don’t care about. Grill (or bake at 425’F for 20 minutes) until tender and charred.
Trifecta: Red, White, & Blue Combined
There’s no “Easiest” category here, because, by definition, you will have more than one ingredient. So, if you’re feeling a little ambitious, go for the “trifecta” food color combinations!
- Sweet: Combine red and blue fruit with ice cream or whipped cream
- Red fruit (strawberries, cherries, grapes)
- White vanilla ice cream or whipped cream
- Blue fruit (blueberries, blackberries)
- Salty: Serve blue chips & veggies with salsa and sour cream
- Red salsa, red pepper strips, cherry tomatoes
- White sour cream, sour cream dip, or tzatziki sauce
- Blue corn tortilla chips
Holy moly, poke cake is one of my all-time favorite summertime desserts. It’s cold, it’s sweet, the texture is divinely tender. Trust me, if you have the time and fridge space, do it!
- Sweet: Red, White, and Blue Poke Cake
- Red Jello
- White Cake and whipped cream
- Blue Jello
- Salty: Roast or grill the following colorful veggies together, according to directions above.
Ready to Make a Patriotic Plate?
I hope these ideas get you excited to celebrate any day with a colorful plate of deliciousness! Some of these options aren’t what most people would consider “health foods”, but so what? They are fun to make, eat, and share with others. Enjoy!
I’d love to know what’s on your menu or agenda for this or any summer weekend! Feel free to drop me an line at firstname.lastname@example.org or post to any of my social media channels. 🙂