Friday, June 26, 2015

Gluten-Free 4th of July

The Fourth of July is all but upon us! It's one of my favorite holidays, for multiple reasons: I love summertime, I love being patriotic, I love fireworks and, last but not least, I love celebratory cookouts!

All this adds up to a great time, but a friend of mine was confronted with a dilemma recently, and her story is worth sharing, I think. She intends to have a July 4th cookout, but get this: some of her guests are pretty adamant about having all the classic foods at the party (burgers, sides - you get the idea), while two of the other attendees are gluten and dairy free. The gluten-free guests still really want to be able to participate without demanding a separate menu, and my friend is at a loss about how to cater to both sides.

Luckily, there are simple answers both for my friend, and for anyone else in a similar situation! It turns out that you absolutely can put on an old-fashioned Independence Day cookout, while making it accessible to gluten and dairy-free guests. Check out the great news below!

Don't fret about the main course: these can be easily made or purchased gluten free. Use ground chuck or sirloin to make your own, or buy a pack of Bubba Burgers. Udi's buns are gluten free, as are Heinz ketchup, French's mustard and Vlasic pickles!

There are so many options here! Potato and pasta salads and the like, when prepared properly of course, are gluten free. Do watch out for dressings, but major brands like Kraft label their ingredients very well.

Worried about the chips, dips and baked beans? No need! Lay's brand chips are excellently labeled and offer plenty of options, and a simple bag of gluten-free tortilla chips and guacamole can go a long way. As for those tasty beans, all of Bush's beans are now gluten free, if you need something quicker than homemade.

Watermelon (or any kind of fresh fruit!) is an obvious choice, but the options don't stop there. Fruit salads are a logical step! Want something sweeter? There are tons of summer dessert recipes out there using Oreos - check out Trader Joes Joe-Joes as a g-free substitute, and get creative!  And who doesn't like S'mores? Hershey's chocolate is gluten free, as are Schar's graham crackers and Campfire marshmallows. Get that fire going once the grilling is done!

These are just the beginning, but as you can see, the potential is there for a classic - and gluten-free - Fourth of July cooking experience. Hungry for more? Check the links below!

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