There’s nothing better than warm summer breezes, the company of loved ones, and the smell of something on the barbecue. Eating outside is good for us, and there’s no better time to do so than around the Fourth of July. While fireworks light up the sky, here are 8 foods and drinks that might light up the eyes of your guests—and why outdoor eating is so “in” right now.
Al Fresco is Best
The average American spends close to 90% of their life indoors. Taking a break from the indoors—especially the office—is beneficial for your health. Scientists have found that just a single 30-minute outdoor session can have positive physical and mental impacts.
Being outdoors helps to raise our vitamin D levels—a protector against diseases like stroke, depression, and heart attack that many of us are deficient in. Your backyard dinner may encourage more exercise (play). It may improve your concentration, too. Studies have found that even exposure to natural light can support healing and recovery from injury!
This is why eating in the open air is so invaluable. It also urges us to slow down and appreciate what surrounds us. Al fresco dining provides benefits that go far beyond the quieting of our rumbling stomachs. The fresh air helps us shed the anxiety of the day and boost our happiness.
Now let’s get to what to eat outdoors this summer.
8 Fourth of July Recipes
Make the holiday a real ‘boom’ with these 4th of July recipes, suitable for a range of al fresco dining experiences.
1. Summer Sipper
While everyone’s lingering around the barbecue or playing backyard games, cool them off with a refreshing summer beverage. Simply add slices of lemon and strawberry, along with some sprigs of mint, to your AquaTru water. It’s a way to cool down with a healthy, sugar-free alternative to lemonade.
Turn up the heat this summer by adding a little kick to a traditional picnic or backyard party side dish! The adobo sauce from a can of chipotles (or a minced chipotle if you’re feeling extra spicy) adds a splash of flavor, while smoked gouda helps to cool it down. Easy to make in advance, this pasta salad tastes even better if it chills in the fridge for a few hours before serving.
3. Green Goddess Vegan Potato Salad (Taste of Home)
Turn ‘drab’ to ‘delightful’ by adding a splash of color (and a plant-based twist) to boring ol’ potato salad. Creamy avocados help to make the green goddess dressing delicious, and sliced radishes look especially pretty sitting atop the dressed potatoes.
4. Cajun Boil on the Grill (Taste of Home)
Easy to prep and divvy up for small dinners or large gatherings, this cajun inspired meal is perfect for seafood-lovers, featuring both salmon and shrimp. A little cubed summer sausage brings some smoky flavor, while fresh sweet corn adds a splash of summer. Everything grills in foil packets for up to 25 minutes, making it a relatively hands-off way to make something delicious.
5. Peach Glazed Chicken (The Seasoned Mom)
Is there a quintessential summer produce like the peach? When its juices aren’t dripping down your chin or incorporated into a dessert, you can use it to sweeten up a traditionally-savory meal! Combined with dijon mustard, sweet onion, and rosemary, peaches will dress up skinless chicken thighs in this easy, one-skillet meal.
6. Portobello Mushroom Burger (Simply Recipes)
So mouthwatering that your dinner guests won’t even realize it’s missing the meat, this burger is a new take on an old favorite. The grilled mushrooms are dressed up with spinach, onions, mayo, and sun-dried tomatoes to pack on layered flavors. In just under 30 minutes, you’ll have this tasty meal—and it’s 12 grams of plant-protein.
7. Fresh Blueberry Pie (Food Network)
Blueberries are another star of summer, and this recipe will make use of four cups of them. With a splash of berry-flavor evoking Cassis liqueur and a splash of lemon juice, it’ll be hard for your guests to turn down a second slice. The pie should be baked up to 24 hours in advance, then reheated to serve warm—a la mode, if you’re feeling extra decadent.
8. Tequila “New Fashioned” (Forking Up)
For grown-ups who want to celebrate Independence Day with a special beverage, consider a new take on the Old Fashioned. Made with margarita mix, tequila, and a summery mango garnish, this could become a new favorite for everyone. The chile simple syrup blends chile powder, cayenne powder, and brown sugar. Be sure to use your purified AquaTru water for the best flavor!
Red, White, and FaBLUElous Food
We hope that this gets the culinary wheels turning and has you feeling excited about incorporating nature and some of summer’s best foods into your Fourth of July celebrations, and those that follow. As always, AquaTru will be here with the contaminant-free, all-fun water!