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A Very Vegan 4th of July!

A Very Vegan 4th of July!

Happy Birthday, America! Even with all it's flaws and it's sordid history, I can say with 100% honesty that I am still proud to be an American. This country was built on the shoulders of my ancestors, and I am living proof that there are many who are actively working towards a healthier, more compassionate future for all our citizens.

That being said, here are six recipes to get you started on a Very Vegan 4th of July! Frequently at barbecues and parties vegans are left with few (and/or very boring) choices for food. But it doesn't have to be that way! Check out some of my fave plant-based party foods and feel free to share others you love in the comments! These recipes and tips work great for any gathering at any time of the year, but are particularly awesome for summertime barbecues.

1. Vegan Cauliflower Hot Wings

No successful summer party is complete without hot wings. My burn-your-face-off meat-free version using cauliflower is not only big on spiciness, but also big on flavor! You can adjust the quantities of the seasonings to make it less spicy if you want to. And you can try a vegan ranch dressing recipe as a healthier alternative to the traditional version.

2. Vegan Fermented Cheese

Cheese is frequently one of the hardest things to give up when going plant-based. But think about it, what mammal drinks milk after infancy? Just us! Even in cheese form, dairy is known to cause inflammation and a buildup of mucous in the body (you're welcome for that visual!) as well as tummy issues, not to mention high levels of saturated fat which leads to heart disease (among other things.) So try my vegan fermented cheese recipe! While no vegan cheese I've experienced thus far is an identical sub for regular cheese, this one is so delicious, you won't be sorry for trying it. Especially given it's probiotic properties!

3. Vegan Shish Kabobs

This is probably one of the easiest options for a plant-based Independence Day. Chop your favorite veggies+fruits, add your favorite marinade (like my Vegan Teriyaki Sauce) and/or dry seasonings, and toss 'em on the barby! You can also add drained chunks of extra firm tofu. This is fun to do at parties as a DIY, just place the ingredients in containers, or on bowls or plates, and let your guests build their own kebobs.

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4. Tofu Burgers

Another easy option to replace traditional meat burgers. Slice firm tofu length-wise into two rectangles. Brush on barbecue sauce and other seasonings, and grill over medium heat. Or place in a pyrex casserole dish with barbecue (or teriyaki) sauce both at the bottom of the dish and on top of the tofu (you can also cook them on a rack over a cookie sheet to still give them a "grilled" quality.) Bake them in the oven on 350 for 25-30 minutes (flipping over halfway through) until they're warm all the way through and slightly crispy around the edges. Enjoy with your favorite bun and burger toppings! *Here's my recipe for yummy Vegan Teriyaki Sauce*

5. Salty-Tangy Watermelon Chunks

Nothing says summer like delicious watermelon. Seriously, I could eat it all day. Cut your watermelon into spears or wedges, leaving the rind at the bottom so guests can hold them easily while eating. Sprinkle fresh lemon juice, sea salt and a little cayenne on top...it's a ridiculously good flavor combo that'll make you want to go back for seconds!

6. Strawberry Coconut Chia Pops

What's a summer celebration without popsicles? These delicious summer-y pops were featured in the June 2017 issue of Thrive Magazine and are completely dairy-free. Featuring the nutrient-rich superfood chia seeds, this is a yummy treat for kids and adults alike! And if you add some blueberries in there, you'll have a nice red, white and blue theme going! Let freedom ring!

Bonus Recipe: Virgin Kombucha Fruit Punch

I've found that besides the occasional glass of red wine, alcohol just doesn't feel good in my body. There are numerous benefits to avoiding alcohol, and I've found kombucha is a nice alternative to alcoholic beverages that has benefits to boot. Keep in mind that some versions do contain a small amount of alcohol due to the fermentation, but their labels will indicate that if you're using store-bought 'bucha. Here's my easy kombucha fruit punch recipe that's sure to be a fan favorite at your next gathering.

  1. Make kombucha ice cubes by pouring kombucha into ice cube molds and freezing completely. You can also add fruit or edible flowers to the cubes before placing them in the freezer.
  2. Add kombucha ice cubes to individual glasses and pour your favorite fruit juice, tonic or sparkling water over them. Ginger beer is also a yummy option and doesn't contain any alcohol, or you can even use lemonade! The possibilities are endless! You'll definitely want to serve this in clear glasses, as this drink is as visually appealing as it is delicious! Champagne or martini glasses are a fun and fancy way to serve it. 
  3. As the kombucha cubes melt into the juice, you'll experience the fizzy deliciousness, as well as the benefits!
  4. Enjoy!

Want to easily and inexpensively make your own never-ending supply of kombucha? Check out my awesome Hibiscus Kombucha recipe that you can customize with any flavor you can dream up. And you can also see my plant-based vegan Kombucha Scoby Sushi recipe for all those extra scoby's you'll have on hand.

©2017 Cazoshay Marie. All rights reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Cazoshay Marie with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Kombucha SCOBY Jerky

Kombucha SCOBY Jerky

Gourmet Vegan Fermented Cheese (#1)

Gourmet Vegan Fermented Cheese (#1)

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