Patriotic Dishes for Independence Day

Sunrise Senior Living  |  July 1, 2014

Fireworks, cookouts, and a wave of red, white and blue are coming your way soon as Independence Day draws near. Many Americans across the country celebrate this national holiday in a variety of ways, from hosting family reunions to planning sporting events with their friends.

Whether you're preparing a party for the senior community or you're having a low-key holiday with family, there are several dishes ideal for this time of year. Load up on red, white and blue fruits - like strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and apples - as you'll need them all for these festive dishes.

Freedom fruits
It's no secret that fruits are chock full of nutrients essential for cognitive and cardiovascular health. Don't be shy when integrating these foods in your July Fourth menu. One easy snack to make is fruit kebobs, which people can munch on any time of day. 

Ingredients

  • 13 kebob sticks
  • 1 pkg. blueberries, washed
  • 1 pkg. strawberries, washed and sliced
  • 6 bananas, sliced

Directions
Once your fruit has been washed and prepared, arrange the kebob sticks vertically on a tray. On the first six sticks, pile on enough blueberries to cover one-third of each stick. Then, place a piece of strawberry and a piece of banana and repeat until the end. For the remaining seven sticks, alternate strawberry and banana slices until you have an even pattern that resembles the American flag.

Old Glory granola
If you're looking for an option that blends fiber with fruity flavors, be sure to try this Old Glory granola, which is the perfect option for your patriotic breakfast. Make this dish one day in advance, as it tastes better after it's had a chance to sit in the fridge for a while.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups oats
  • 2 cups 2 percent milk
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 cup strawberries, sliced
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 cup bananas, sliced
  • 1 cup almonds, chopped

Directions
Start this dish by preparing your oats with the water and yogurt mixture. Allow the oats to sit for four to five hours in the fridge, then stir in the strawberries, blueberries, bananas and almonds. Return the mixture to the fridge for an additional eight to 12 hours. Serve cold. 

Patriotic pizza
This flatbread feast can be prepared in a number of ways, but to spread out your ingredients and ensure your dish is as tasty as ever, consider preparing it in the following way.

Ingredients

  • Prepared whole-grain crust
  • 2 cups marinara
  • 3 cups low-fat mozzarella cheese
  • 2 cups black olives, sliced
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 1 yellow pepper, chopped

Directions
Spread marinara on the surface of your crust and then coat the surface with a thin layer of cheese. Using your black olives, create the outline of a star in the middle of the pie. Inside the pattern, place another layer of cheese. On the outside, arrange the tomatoes, green and yellow peppers so they resemble a colorful array of fireworks. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until cheese is golden brown.

Constitution celebration cake
Don't be shy about piling your favorite fruits in this delicious dessert. 

Ingredients

  • 1 pkg. prepared white cake
  • 2 pkg. Jell-O strawberry jelly powder
  • 3 cups strawberries, sliced
  • 2 cups blueberries
  • 1 pkg. low-fat whipped topping

Directions
Line the bottom of a large baking dish with crumbled white cake. Prepare Jell-O according to directions on package, but prior to refrigerating, stir in 1 cup blueberries and 1 cup strawberries. After the gelatin is prepared, cover with the whipped topping and start arranging fruit on the surface, following an American flag pattern with blueberries in the top left corner and strawberries as red stripes.