Fourth July food is prepared to celebrate the American Independence Day. Apart from family gatherings, friendly baseball games and fireworks in the evening, the day is celebrated with a variety of traditional and modern Amercian dishes of which different types of barbecued food, such as Barbecued Sausages, and desserts, such as, the Strawberry Shortcake are very popular. 4th July is also celebrated as the National Barbecued Spareribs Day, spareribs being an inexpensive cut of pork ribs.
July Fourth Foods
Grilled beef brisket and smoked spice lobster, hot dogs and burgers are a part of the traditional July Fourth recipes. Both Hot Dogs and Burgers are served along with various pickles and sauces. Different varieties of beans are also barbecued on this day.
The barbecued 4th July recipes are accompanied by salads and various dips. The potato salad belongs to the popular salad varieties which are an integral part of the July 4th recipes. Since July fourth is a hot day, chilled beer and lemonade are served as drinks.
Summer fruits like the blueberries and raspberries are used to make the Fourth of July recipes for dessert that include fruit pies, fruit cakes and fruit cobblers. Ice cream is topped on the pies and cobblers. Of all the uniquely special 4th July recipes ice creams, the Blueberry and Strawberry Ice creams are the most widely made and sold.
Most July Fourth recipes are outdoor dishes and they reflect the relaxed mood of the people celebrating. The 4th July recipes are also meant to be easily cooked and not elaborately done. In the southern states of the USA, the July Fourth recipes are sometimes referred to as Soul Food recipes.
The cooking methods and recipes of other cuisines are constantly incorporated into the traditional preparation of July Fourth recipes. There is a strong Asian influence in the preparation of the Spareribs (char siu). The Central Asian grilled Kebabs have also found their place in the 4th July recipes list. The Italian Pizza and Spaghetti and Meatballs are also made on the Fourth of July.
Nutritional Enhancement of July 4th Fare
A. Barbecued Meats being extremely popular as an American celebratory dish, it can be made healthier by-
- Cutting down on the oil content by employing cooking methods such as grilling and baking instead of frying that might lower the requirement of external fat source as the meat tends to cook in its own fats and juices in this manner.
- By trying to avoid red meat and using lean chicken or fish instead, since these are equally delicious and high in protein, when barbecued with special sauces.
- A fresh mixed greens salad must be included with rocket, watercress, romaine lettuce and fresh tomatoes drizzled with vinaigrette. Crunchy fresh celery may be included as a palate cleanser.
- A tall glass of fresh lime juice would aid in iron absorption obtained from the above meal.
B. Hot Dogs & Burgers
- Preferably whole wheat buns must be used.
- Low fat butter and cheese must be used.
- Romaine lettuce and tomato slices must feature in burgers
- Patties made using beans (red kidney beans) and soy granules; seasoned with spices and herbs would make for a healthy vegetarian/vegan alternative and also help weight-watchers and persons with cardiac concerns.
C. Salads & Dips
- Using low-fat or fat-free dressings with small amounts of olive oil, plenty of fresh veggies, including greens and toppings of sesame seeds of flax seeds would make for a healthy, wholesome side dish, snack or complete meal providing vitamins, minerals antioxidant nutrients, fiber and omega-3 fats which benefit health.
- Dips could be made with tahini (sesame paste), hummus (chickpea paste) and avocado puree for soluble, insoluble fiber value and a host of mineral nutrients like zinc, calcium, magnesium, iron, proteins, and unsaturated healthy fats.
- In place of French fries, carrot, celery, asparagus, cucumber sticks can be presented with the above herbed dips for a refreshing change.
- Low fat ice creams, fresh natural sorbets with fruit flavours, low-fat milk shakes with dried and fresh fruits and interesting desserts like a fresh fruit salad with chopped apples, bananas, strawberries, kiwi, peach, grapes, orange topped with almond slivers and cherries would make for a delicious festive dessert.
- Natural unsweetened Fruit Yoghurts would make for a light, healthy option. Blueberries, strawberries and other berries while providing a good source of Vitamin A, C; help with healthy vision, skin and increase the antioxidant potential to protect body tissues from harm.
July Fourth Recipes Trivia
A lot of the July Fourth recipes are cooked in three colors; red, white and blue. The three colors are the colors of the American flag. Pizzas, Shortcakes, Cakes, Salads, Ice creams, Parfaits, Pies, Cookies, Beverages and even Burgers are made in the tri-colors of the American flag.