Summer Break: Unconventional Grillers for the 4th of July

People all across the country are firing up their grills and cooking out for the Fourth of July. Hamburgers and hotdogs are almost always par for the course for this all-American occasion. This year, however, leave the traditional cookout fare to the amateurs. Treat your friends and family to unconventional grilled delights.

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I don’t know about you, but I am a fan of just about anything that comes off a grill. Food such as green beans and even ice cream have become trendy additions to cookout menus. Grilling your food can be a healthy alternative to preparing fried or mayonnaise-based sides. Throwing a variety of options on the barbie will also send your tastebuds to chargrilled heaven this Independence Day.

Aundrea's 6 Unconventional Foods to Grill This 4th of July

  1. Flatbreads: While savory meats come to mind first, appetizers and side-dishes are equally important to a good cookout. Sliced and paired with hummus, grilled flatbread is a worthy substitution for common starters such as chips and dip. Flatbreads are also great as the foundation of homemade pizzas. Check out other tasty flatbread recipes here.
  2. Peaches: I may be biased because I'm from Georgia, but I am currently addicted to sweet, savory, and succulent grilled peaches. Whether by themselves, on top of a salad, or sitting next to a slice of grilled pound cake (yes, this is a thing!) the taste will blow your mind!!

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  3. Artichokes: This Fourth don't forget about the veggies. Grilled artichokes are a sophisticated and flavorful addition to the cookout spread. If artichokes are not your thing, kale and romaine lettuce are other great greens to throw on the grill.
  4. Oysters: The smokey flavor of grilled oysters is a truly unique addition to any table. For real seafood lovers, it is nearly impossible to eat just one or two. Try serving them as a stand-alone appetizer or as a full meal with grilled veggies.
  5. Bison burgers: Bison meat is a low-fat alternative to beef for grilled burgers. Packed with vitamin B and essential minerals such as iron, this lean protein is also a healthier option for fighting heart disease. For your first taste of bison, try this delicious recipe.
  6. Veggie sausage: Beef and pork are the traditional choices for links thrown on the grill. To switch it up and provide inclusive options for vegetarian guests, try out veggie sausage links. With some brands offering all the flavor of a regular hotdog, chances are even the biggest carnivores won't be able to tell the difference.

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Celebrating the birth of our nation needn't be rigid in tradition. As you enjoy firework displays and gatherings around the grill, try something new. After serving unconventional grillers, your Fourth of July cookouts may never be the same.

Aundrea_Gregg-TheWiseLatinaClubAn education policy wonk at the Georgia Center of Opportunity, Aundrea Gregg holds a Master’s degree in Social Policy and Planning from the London School Of Economics and a Bachelor’s in Classical Civilizations and Political Science from Howard University. She also is a nail painting enthusiast and writer living in Atlanta, GA. Connect with Aundrea on Twitter or Google+.

Edited by: Viviana Hurtado, Ph.D.

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