4 Ways to Use Veggies from Your Garden for a Fourth of July Cookout
Anyone who says you need meat for a delicious barbecue has clearly never tasted some of the flavorful, refreshing vegetables that you can grow in your very own backyard. There are so many amazing twists that you can bring to classic Fourth of July cookout classics that are sure to get the party going. And depending on what vegetables you get, you can personalize the options to fit your taste and your party!
Even though veggies aren’t the primary staple of every party, it can’t hurt to have some amazing plant-based options that show off your delectable homegrown delights. Go with a primary veggie option, or chow down on them all!
1. Lettuce Buns and Wraps
If you grow fresh greens in your garden, they deserve more than a spot plopped between a burger and bun — why not make the greens the bun? Using lettuce wraps can bring a refreshing crunch and a flavorful lift to any burger or sandwich. You can use any lettuce you happen to grow, from dark leafy greens to lighter, more refreshing ones. You can even fold it like a taco for a fun, easy to hold snack.
2. Fresh Tomato Salsa
If you’re looking to make a splash with your appetizers, get some chips ready and chop up some juicy, ripe tomatoes for fresh salsa. You can even include peppers or other vegetables and herbs from your garden if you want to make an entirely home grown creation. Dips and salsas are great ways to utilize all your garden has to offer. Plus, if you have leftovers, salsa is an excellent way to utilize food scraps, which help to eliminate food waste and give back to the environment.
3. Homemade Veggie Burgers
If you grow herbs and spices, this is a place they could shine. Making your own veggie burgers is easy, fun and creative. You can use black beans as a base, or go with another hearty protein like chickpeas or white beans. Mix in fresh vegetables and herbs from your garden, and your guests will surely be satisfied. Try topping your burgers with other veggies from your garden for a fresh, healthy and flavorful serve.
4. Drinks that Pack a Punch
Go beyond the staple fruit tray for your fruity dish of choice this holiday weekend. Whether you want to get boozy or simply want something refreshing to sip on, you can include fruits and herbs from your garden in your drinks. There’s nothing like sipping on a fresh, cool drink as you watch fireworks and chill out with your friends and family. You can even make a fruit punch or smoothie depending on what you’re working with.
Your Fourth of July cookout can be one where the garden is the star of the show. In the middle of the summer, who wouldn’t want to sip on a fruity drink and eat fresh, flavorful foods from your own backyard? All you’ve got to do is pick your direction and get cooking.
Emily Folk, Contributing Author, Change Food – Emily covers agricultural and sustainability topics. You can find more of her work on her blog, Conservation Folks.