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Everything You Need to Know About Caster Sugar

Everything You Need to Know About Caster Sugar

Despite the warnings about its negative effects on our overall health, refined sugar remains the most widely used modern sweetener. Raw honey and fruit syrups were the earliest sweeteners used by humans but today we can’t imagine our lives without sugar.

Here at MyGreatRecipes we are all about deliciousness and sugar is a part of some of the most delicious desserts. So, we have found the perfect compromise – consume sugary treats in moderation.

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Refined sugar is made from sugar cane or sugar beet. There are several types of refined sugar which add flavors and textures to your desserts. These sugars can be divided into two broad categories – white and brown sugars. Caster sugar belongs to the first category, together with granulated sugar and icing sugar.

What is caster sugar? Is it so different than powdered sugar? Can they be used as substitutes for each other? We offer the answers to these questions so that you’re always on the safe side when preparing magnificent desserts for your loved ones. In addition, we offer several amazing recipes to inspire you.

caster sugar

What is Caster Sugar?

Caster sugar is known by many different names: castor sugar, casting sugar, superfine sugar, bar sugar, or baking sugar. Caster sugar is actually the British term for fine sugar which derives from the condiment dispenser known as a ‘caster’. In the States, caster sugar is often sold under the label ‘superfine sugar’.

Appearance and Texture

Caster sugar is made by pulverizing granulated sugar into finer crystals (grains). Its crystals are about 25mm, so it is not a powder.

The fine grains that comprise caster sugar dissolve very quickly and that is why this sugar is well-loved by both cooks and bartenders. In texture, it is somewhere between table sugar and confectioner’s sugar.

Caster sugar is firm, airy, voluminous, and comes in two colors – white and golden brown. Golden caster sugar is widely used in the UK but more difficult to find in the States, where the white variant is preferred. Golden caster sugar is a dry, free-flowing sugar made from unrefined sugar cane or beets. It is popular mostly due to its color and its slightly buttery flavor.

White and golden caster sugar have the same level of sweetness and can be used interchangeably without making a big difference in recipes.

caster sugar

How to Use Caster Sugar?

Since caster sugar dissolves very quickly when added to beverages and does not leave syrupy layers behind, it is a perfect addition to cold drinks like iced tea and various cocktails.

Superfine sugars like caster sugar incorporate more easily in whips and dissolve faster in creamed mixtures. When it comes to desserts, this sugar is ideal for creating light and fluffy delights like meringues, soufflés, mousses, puddings, custards, sorbets, cakes, and cookies. It is the best sugar option for sprinkling on top of desserts or fresh fruits.

Caster Sugar Substitute

What happens if you don’t have caster sugar? This type of sugar is not easy to find and many of us don’t have a habit of stocking up on it. In addition, it tends to be more expensive than both confectioner’s sugar and brown sugar. Compared to regular granulated sugar, it costs twice as much per pound.

It’s a tricky situation because you can’t replace castor with another type of sugar. Granulated sugar is too thick and will change the consistency of the dessert. Powdered sugar, on the other hand, contains small quantities of cornstarch, which is added to prevent it from clumping and can affect the recipe.

Luckily, there is a very simple caster sugar substitute you can make at home in no time. All you need is some granulated sugar and a food processor:

Step 1: Pour the granulated sugar into the food processor.

Step 2: Cover the food processor’s lid with a kitchen towel in order to keep the dust down while the processor is running.

Step 3: Turn on the food processor at high speed and process the granulated sugar for 1-2 minutes (if the amount of sugar is larger, it may take longer). Process until the sugar is very fine grain.

Step 4: Don’t open the processor immediately. Wait for a minute or so for the dust to settle down. Remove and store the castor sugar in an airtight container.

caster sugar

Alternatively, you can use a coffee grinder instead of a food processor. Sugar can etch your food processor’s pitcher, especially if it’s made of plastic. A coffee grinder is great if you are making smaller batches of castor sugar since food processors are more suitable for larger amounts and, in this case, can result in unevenly ground sugar.

That is why, if you use a food processor, you need to use larger quantities of granulated sugar than you will actually need. Or, if your processor has a grinder, use it instead of the blades. If you have a coffee grinder, use its smaller cup and grind your granulated sugar in batches so as to get a more even texture. Each batch in the coffee grinder will take from 30 seconds to a minute to be turned into caster sugar.

While granulated sugar can’t be used as a caster sugar substitute, caster sugar can be used as a substitute for granulated sugar. To be more precise, this sugar is the perfect compromise between granulated and powdered sugar because it possesses similar workability as powdered sugar but with the more pronounced sweetness of granulated sugar. This swap functions especially well in pastry doughs, cakes, and cookies.

Caster sugar vs. Powdered sugar

Powdered sugar is very fine sugar, also known as frosting sugar, icing sugar, or confectioner’s sugar. It is obtained from granulated sugar and often contains cornstarch, which is added as an anticaking agent, i.e. to prevent the formation of lumps. There are different grind sizes, 14X being the highest. As a rule of thumb, the higher the grind, the faster the sugar dissolves.

To sum up, the difference between powdered sugar and caster sugar is that the former contains cornstarch and is finer than the latter,.

You can make powdered sugar at home as well. Combine one cup granulated sugar with one teaspoon of cornstarch and process in a food processor or a coffee grinder until the sugar is completely powdered.

Powdered sugar is especially good for sweetening foods that don’t require heating and need to have a smoother texture. It is especially good to use in various types of icings, including glacé icing and buttercream.

caster sugar

Delicious Caster Sugar Recipes

Strawberry Meringue Cookies

These extra-airy cookies are naturally low in fat because they’re made with only egg whites, caster sugar, and salt. Tip: Spray the spatula with some cooking spray before removing the cookies from the baking sheet, in order to prevent them from sticking.

Three-Layer Mousse Cake

This cake is easier to make than it looks—the fridge does most of the work! It is perfect for summer special occasions in the back yard.

Banana Pudding

Classic trifle pudding comprised of chopped vanilla wafers layered with luscious custard, and banana slices then topped with whipped cream. Easy and delicious.

Mocha Custard Pi

This magical pie reveals two different layers as it bakes —a chocolate one and a mocha one. It not only looks great, but it also tasted divine. Tip: In some recipes, such as this one, scalding the milk is essential for success. To scald milk, place it in a saucepan and heat until bubbles appear at the edge of the pot. Remove from heat immediately.

Caramel Cheesecake

A surprise layer of pecans over the crust and caramelized sugar in the creamy filling—you simply must try this incredible cheesecake!

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Black Forest Cake

Just looking at this cake will make your mouth water. And yes, it tastes as amazing as it looks – a perfect combination of cake mix and cherry pie filling.

Hawaiian Cookies

Macadamia nuts team up with chewy coconut to produce these cookies with a tropical flavor. Tip: To make these cookies look even more tropical, press a piece of canned pineapple into the center of each one before baking. To serve, sandwich together three cookies with coconut ice cream. Top with more ice cream, scatter over some sugar sprinkles and serve immediately.

I believe that food should not only taste good, but make you feel good as well and that is why I am so interested in exploring ingredients, preparing meals, and finding ways to make the whole cooking experience fun and exciting! Being a blogger for MyGreatRecipes unites my two passions – food and writing, and I am enjoying every second of it!
Booze It Up: How to Make Jello Shots Plus Awesome Jello Shot Recipes for Your Summer Parties

Booze It Up: How to Make Jello Shots Plus Awesome Jello Shot Recipes for Your Summer Parties

This summer, give jello shots another shot!

We’re sure that these vividly-colored shots were a part of your college party repertoire. We are also positive that, in terms of taste, your experiences with college-era runny shots are associated with bad booze and horrible hangovers.

But now that you’re a bit older and much smarter, revisit your old jello shot cups. We are here to assist you in creating fancy and sophisticated jigglers for your summer get-togethers.

What Are Jello Shots?

Known under several names (gelatin shots, Jell-O shots in North America, and jelly shots or vodka jellies in the UK and Australia), our favorite party shooters are made with an alcoholic beverage, usually vodka, rum, tequila, champagne, or neutral grain spirit. If you want alcohol-free jello cups for your kid’s birthday party or Halloween, just replace the booze with fruit juice or water

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The urban legend says that jello shots were invented by the American satirist and mathematician Tom Lehrer in the 1950s. Driven to find a way around the restriction of booze in the National Security Agency where he worked, Tom allegedly developed and served a vodka and orange jello shot recipe at the agency’s Christmas party.

However, facts tell a different story. There is an earlier record of these jigglers, published in “How to Mix Drinks, or The Bon Vivant’s Companion” by Jerry Thomas in 1862. This jello shot recipe is called “Punch Jelly” and involves gelatin mixed with rum, cognac, and lemon juice.

Like all gelatin desserts, jello shots contain animal ingredients. Gelatin consists of partially hydrolyzed collagen, a tough & flexible protein obtained from animal’s connective tissues like bones, tendons, ligaments, and skin. Grossed out? Luckily, there are gelatin substitutes suitable for vegans and vegetarians.

Such animal-friendly gelatin replacements include agar-agar, a product made from red algae and traditionally used in Asian cuisines (it should be noted that agar smells rather unpleasantly when cooked); carrageenan, a product also obtained from seaweed; konjac, also used in Asian cuisine and known for the konnyaku fruit jelly candies. If you are using any of these, expect them to be a bit different in terms of consistency, methods of preparation, and storage conditions that regular jelly.

So, jello shots are not only easy to make (if you know the basic tips and tricks), but they are also very versatile in terms of shape, size, color, and flavor.

How to Make Jello Shots

Making jello shots is so simple, you don’t even need a recipe. Just substitute half of the water amount in the directions with your favorite booze.

However, in order to get to the bottom of the art of making these wobbly cups, let’s take a simple jello shot recipe and analyze it.

To avoid making runny jello cups, the first thing to consider is the proportion of ingredients. After some experimenting, we have found the perfect formula.

how to make jello shots9

Ingredients:

1 box flavored gelatin powder

1 cup boiling water

1 cup cold alcohol of choice

Kitchenware:

mixing bowl

1-quart measuring cup

a dozen mini plastic cups

A few words on the main ingredients:

Gelatin powder 

The four original jello flavors were lemon, orange, strawberry, and raspberry. Today, you can choose from a large number of flavors like lime, pomegranate, cherry, and many more.

But besides the popular flavored versions, there’s also an unflavored one. In case you decide to go with the unflavored jello powder, you’ll have a chance to use your imagination by using more intense alcoholic beverages along with fruit juices. To avoid tasteless jello shots, replace part of the hot water in the recipe with hot fruit juice of choice!

The proportion is as follows:

2 packets unflavored gelatin

1 cup alcohol

½ cup juice

½ cup water

When choosing gelatin powder, there is one general rule to follow: the stronger it is, the firmer the shot. This is especially important if you want to obtain a mixture that can be eaten with fingers or cut into cubes. Gelatin’s strength depends on its so-called “bloom” rating. Common gelatin brands sold in the grocery stores have a strong bloom.

jello cubes

Alcohol

Don’t let the cute looks fool you. Despite their colorful and innocent appearance, these jigglers can pack quite a punch. This is due to the fact that the sugar contained in jello shots camouflages the alcohol. It’s worth mentioning that very strong shooters just don’t taste good so, make sure the liquor you’re using is not too strong or, in case it is, reduce the amount of alcohol and replace that amount with more water or fruit juice.

If you want, you can pre-chill the booze before adding it to the mixture. Since booze has a lower boiling point than water, if it is cold, it will make sure that none of the alcohol evaporates when added to the boiled water and gelatin powder.

Method of preparation:

Step 1: Mixing the powder and water

Bring the water to a boil before adding the gelatin powder. This will activate and properly dissolve the powder, so it can set and firm in the later stages.

Step 2: When to add the liquor?

This is the point where you need to add the cold alcohol. Make sure you do that only after the water-and-jello mixture has cooled down. If you add the booze too early, it will evaporate (nobody wants alcohol-free shooters at a party, unless it is a kids’ party). Add the alcohol and stir.

Step 3: How long should the jello mixture spend in the fridge?

Pour the mixture into cups and, ideally, chill in the fridge for at least two hours, until set. If you don’t have so much time, the required minimum is 15 minutes. Just put the mixture as a whole to chill and thicken, but it will still be runny enough to be transferred into containers.

Jello Shots Serving Ideas

 

how to make jello shots

Containers

The first thing to remember when serving your jello shots is: the larger the cups, the fewer shooters

Jello shots are usually served in 1 or 2-ounce plastic cups. Avoid paper cups because they will deform the moment the liquid is poured into them.

For more representative servings, opt for cocktail, shot, or cordial glasses. However, bear in mind that glass containers make it more difficult to shoot from, so it would be wise to serve them along with spoons or cocktail straws.

Another option is to pour the jello mixture into a flat tray and then cut it into squares with a knife or, even better, use cookie cutters to form various shapes.

Finally, if you are patient and skillful enough, you can use hollowed citrus peels as containers for your shots.

Whatever type of containers you decide to use, make sure to spray them with a bit of cooking spray to facilitate the displacement of the shots later on.

Add-ins

When it comes to edible additions like gummy bears or chocolate chips, they are a very easy but effective decoration. Fold them into the gelatin directly into the mixing bowl, but only after it had spent 15 minutes in the fridge to thicken a bit. Transfer the jello into a pan or mold and use a toothpick to position the add-in. Return to the fridge to set completely.

If you decide to add a healthy twist to your wobbly shooters, opt for fruits. However, it should be noted that, when it comes to jello shots, not all fruits are equal.

There are some you should avoid because they contain enzymes that prevent the gelatin from solidifying like kiwis, pineapples, mango, guava, papaya, and figs. This counts only when the listed fruits are fresh or frozen but your shooters will be fine if the fruits are canned or cooked.

champagne jello shot recipe

You can also choose between fruits with less density that will float in the mixture like bananas, apples, oranges, grapefruit, raspberries, and strawberries, or those that will sink such as cherries, apricots, grapes, pears, peaches, and pineapple.

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Why stop with being creative here? Choose an appealing topping for your jello shots amongst the following: fruit slices, whipped cream, sprinkles, chocolate chips, or edible glitter.

Amazing Jello Shot Recipes

Mosaic Heart Jello Recipes

Strawberry Champagne Jello Shots

Raspberry Champagne Jello ‘Drinks’

Sparkling Orange Jello

Gummy Worm Jello Cups

I believe that food should not only taste good, but make you feel good as well and that is why I am so interested in exploring ingredients, preparing meals, and finding ways to make the whole cooking experience fun and exciting! Being a blogger for MyGreatRecipes unites my two passions – food and writing, and I am enjoying every second of it!
How to Make Homemade Chorizo

How to Make Homemade Chorizo

Summer food doesn’t necessarily need to be light and refreshing. And that is not a bad thing. Not if you have spent your holidays in Spain and had a chance to indulge in Spain’s amazing food!

When it comes to food, this Mediterranean country has so much to offer – paellas, empanadas, lechazos, tapas, frisuelos…The Spanish cuisine is a beautiful blend of regional cuisines and past historical processes which, along with the climate, shaped the traditions, cooking methods, and the use of specific ingredients that make Spanish gastronomy so exquisite. The Spanish, like all Mediterranean nations, know how to enjoy food, so much so they tend to halt the working schedule to take a mid-morning snack, followed by an afternoon nap they call siesta.

 

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This nation of hedonists has also invented chorizo, our latest food obsession and the main topic of interest of this blog post. We are so in love with chorizo that we have decided to make it at home. The absence of authentic, dried Spanish chorizo in the US supermarkets was another reason we undertook this adventure.

The preparation of homemade chorizo was a long process of learning, choosing the perfect ingredients, and curing, in the course of which we have discovered many interesting facts about this specialty. Intrigued? Keep reading.

What is Chorizo?

 

how to make homemade mexican chorizo

Chorizo is a sausage traditionally made with natural animal intestine casings since the Roman times.

It is made from pork mince and lots of spices, predominantly paprika. If it is cured and fermented, chorizo can be consumed without cooking, simply sliced and placed in a sandwich or on tapas. It can also be grilled, fried, or simmered (usually in a strong alcoholic beverages like apple cider) and included in various dishes to add richness and flavor.

Tracing the origins of chorizo is not easy due to the fact that humans have been preserving meat for a very long time.

The word ‘chorizo’ probably originated from the Catalan xoriço (fun fact: Catalonia is a region with seventeen different varieties of this sausage). Xoriço peppers, also known as capsicum peppers, are used to make paprika, the main spice that gives chorizo sausages their distinctive flavor.

The use of pork in these sausages goes back to the 15th century Spain. Unlike cattle, which used to be bred outside cities and villages, pigs lived inside human settlements and were killed on the streets to make chorizo. And believe it or not, this custom still exists in some small Spanish villages.

Chorizo’s great taste and versatility make it one of Spain’s favorite foods – the country produces 65.000 tons of chorizo a year! Another fact that speaks about chorizo’s popularity is the existence of a chorizo festival called “The Exaltation of the Sausage”. During this festival, you can watch sausage makers work their magic, sample different types of chorizos, and buy as much as you want to take home. The event is held every February in a small town called Vila de Cruces in Galicia, Spain.

However, Spain is not the only country that loves chorizo. Spanish introduced pigs to Mexico after invading it in the 16th century, which eventually led to the development of an entirely unique variation of chorizo that is one of today’s trademarks of Mexican cuisine.

How to Make Homemade Spanish Chorizo

 

how to make homemade chorizo

The term ‘chorizo’ in Spain is very broad and it refers to many different sausage varieties depending on the region. Generally speaking, Spanish chorizo is a dried and cured sausage in a casing with a very dense and chewy texture. It is made of coarsely chopped or ground pork meat and pork fat, seasoned with pimentón (smoked paprika) and salt. Other typical additions are herbs and garlic.

Spanish chorizo can be found in the following varieties:

  • smoked or unsmoked
  • sweet (dulce) or spicy (picante)
  • short or long
  • lean (usually eaten uncooked, along with the casing or without it) or fattier (more suitable for cooking and often added to soups for flavoring)

More specifically speaking, there are four main types of Spanish chorizo:

–    Picadillo is the variation that is closest to the Mexican chorizo. It is a somewhat looser sausage, made with ground meat and often consumed fried.

–    Fresco (meaning fresh) is very similar to picadillo but stuffed in a casing and cooked.

–    Semicurado (semi-cured) is a sausage that has been cured, sometimes smoked, but not dried.

–    Curado (cured) is probably the most popular Spanish chorizo variety and the one that is most widely consumed in the States. It is cured, smoked, dried and consumed raw.

If you decide to make homemade chorizo, there are three main elements to consider:

Meat (30 oz.)

As mentioned before, pork is the meat of choice for homemade chorizo recipes. The question is: which cut is the best? Here is what to choose:

–    The muscle from the pork neck to the shoulder (cabacero)

–    Pork loin (lomo)

–    Pork belly (pancetta)

–    Pork jowl (papada)

As a rule of thumb, chorizo requires meat that has a higher level of fat (about 35%). Leaner types of meat will produce a drier and grainier chorizo but in this case, pork fat comes to the rescue.

Tip: To save money, combine high-quality pork cuts with lower-quality meat that is not suitable for roasting.

how to make homemade chorizo

Fat (7 oz.)

When it comes to pork fat (also known as tocino), the best type to choose is back fat since belly fat is too soft.

Tip: Place the fat in the fridge for a while to harden a little bit. This will facilitate its grinding (read below).

Pimentón (3 tablespoons)

Pimentón is the most important spice is Spanish chorizo. Also known as paprika, this spice is made of long and pointy chili peppers. There are two types of pimentón:

–    Pimentón de la Murcia which is sun-dried and milder in taste.

–    Pimentón de la Vera, which is dried on a wood fire and has a smokier taste. This variety is most commonly used in homemade chorizo recipes. The different levels of spiciness of pimentón de la Vera (hot, sweet, and bitter-sweet) allow you to adjust the recipe to your taste. This spice is also responsible for the vibrant red color of chorizo.

pimenton for homemade chorizo recipe

Other ingredients needed for homemade chorizo

The process of curing Spanish chorizo sausages requires a few additional special ingredients:

–    Potassium nitrate is a must in order to lower the risk of being infected with botulism or listeria. Even though this ingredient is often associated with the increased risk of cancer, the fact that it is used in very small amounts in homemade chorizo recipes (a ¼ teaspoon should be just enough) makes it perfectly safe.

–    Demerara sugar is brown, partially refined sugar used (optionally) to obtain a caramel twist.

–    Casings. There are different types of casings to use, from pork to hog and beef bungs, rings, and middles. Hog casings are used for smaller chorizos and cooked chorizo varieties, whereas beef middles are perfect for uncooked chorizos. For large-diameter chorizos, opt for beef bungs.

apas with homemade chorizo

Instructions to prepare homemade Spanish chorizo

Step 1: Use a meat grinder to grind the pork meat and fat.

Step 2: Add the pimentón de la Vera, salt (1 tablespoon), garlic (2 cloves), and potassium nitrate and mix the ingredients together until the fat and spice are uniformly distributed throughout the meat. Be careful not to form a paste though!

Step 3: Cover the mixture with plastic wrap and leave it in the refrigerator overnight. This will make the flavors blend together.

Step 4: Soak the casings in water according to the package instructions. Rinse them well.

Step 5: Pull the casings over the sausage stuffer nozzle, then pull a small part of the casing off the nozzle and tie the end with a tiny knot. Use a sausage stuffer to press the meat carefully through the casing. When you are done, tie the end and cut off any excess casing.

Step 6: Make sure your chorizos don’t have any air gaps. If you do find such gaps, use a needle to prick those points to let the air out.

At this point, the chorizo can be cooked and eaten immediately. Or, you can proceed to curing it.

Step 7: To dry-cure your homemade Spanish chorizo, tie the ends and hang it in a cool, dry place for a few weeks. Generally speaking, the more your chorizo hangs, the better it will be.

How to Make Homemade Mexican Chorizo

 

how to make homemade mexican chorizo recipe

Mexican chorizo is a sausage made with ground pork or other types of meat such as beef. Unlike the Spanish variety which is almost always cured, Mexican chorizo is sold raw and uncooked, either in a casing or loose. The casing, if there is one, is broken open and the meat is crumbled to be fried in a pan.

Meat

The best pork cuts for Mexican chorizo recipes are the pork shoulder or butt. Just like in the Spanish varieties, fattier cuts produce better chorizo sausages.

Seasoning

Mexican chorizo appears in different colors, depending on the spices used in the recipe. Most commonly, it is orange or light red due to the usage of dried chili. There are many different types of dried chili that can contribute different levels of hotness and smokiness to your homemade Mexican chorizo. For instance, if you are going for a milder taste, opt for guajillo or ancho chili; if you are a fan of hotter bites, use chipotle; and for very hot homemade Mexican chorizo, choose habanero or arbol chili.

No matter which of the abovementioned types of chili you decide to use, you should know that they are sold as a whole, so you’ll need to remove the stem and pulse them (together with the seeds) in a food processor or a blender to obtain flakes.

Chili flakes (about 5 tablespoons) are usually combined with garlic (5 cloves) and salt (2 tablespoons), then pulsed further until a crumbly paste is obtained. Other common seasonings are cumin (1 teaspoon), coriander (1 teaspoon), and oregano (1 teaspoon).

Besides red chili peppers, there are also green Mexican chorizo varieties that contain green chili, tomatillos, or cilantro.

Instructions to prepare homemade Mexican chorizo

Step 1: Combine the meat with the seasoning mix and a 1/3 cup of white vinegar in a large bowl. Knead until the seasoning is uniformly distributed throughout the meat (the color of the meat should change depending on the chili flakes you’ve used).

Step 2: Once you have insured that there are no spice pockets into the meat mixture, cover it with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for about an hour until the spices are well blended. Knead the mixture some more when you take it out.

The best thing about Mexican chorizo is that it doesn’t have to be stuffed into casings. You can use it immediately for instance in tacos, pizzas, or burgers or freeze the mixture in an airtight container until you’re ready to use.

In case you decide to make Mexican chorizo sausages, use hog casings. Follow the instructions given for stuffing Spanish chorizo sausages.

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As mentioned before, Mexican chorizo sausages don’t require curing. When you are ready to eat, just break up the sausage using a fork, drain the excess fat, and grill or fry the meat on its own or combined with other ingredients.

Need ideas? We have a few chorizo recipe suggestions.

Homemade Chorizo Recipes

 

how to make homemade mexican chorizo recipe2

Homemade Chorizo

Southwestern Beef Tacos

Paella Bake

Spinach Chicken Roll-Ups

Chorizo Rolls

Potato and Chorizo Pie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I believe that food should not only taste good, but make you feel good as well and that is why I am so interested in exploring ingredients, preparing meals, and finding ways to make the whole cooking experience fun and exciting! Being a blogger for MyGreatRecipes unites my two passions – food and writing, and I am enjoying every second of it!
25+ All American Recipes for your 2017 Fourth of July Celebration

25+ All American Recipes for your 2017 Fourth of July Celebration

On the Fourth of July, we the people celebrate the Declaration of Independence 🙂

This is the birthday of the nation when, besides taking the time to contemplate what freedom means, we come together to share our patriotism and pride with family-and-friend gatherings, parades, fireworks, patriotic speeches, bells, balloons, singing, and dancing…

But Fourth of July is also a perfect day to share the love for good food and fun! So, however you decide to celebrate this year, there is one thing you’ll need for sure –delicious eats!

 

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Fourth of July Celebration Tips

There is nothing more fun that a 4th of July picnic – warm weather and happy people seated in the shadows, enjoying the day, while waiting to see the fireworks after dark. “A Fourth of July picnic is as traditional as Uncle Sam’s striped trousers”, as someone wise (or a bit drunk after a 4th July picnic) once said 😊

The first written record of 4th July family picnics is from 1862. Old-time picnics usually involved fried chicken and potato salad, whereas traditional refreshments were lemonade and watermelon.

If you are hosting the party, you don’t need to go too far. It can take place in the backyard or on the porch. The eats should be festive, tempting, and most importantly, all-American! However, no matter how delicious and attractively served the food is, the hostess should be as relaxed as her guests. What’s a holiday if you get stuck in the kitchen all day and miss all the fun? Being responsible for all the food for a large group of friends and family is not an easy task; that is why we offer a few tips to help you stay organized and relaxed.

fourth of july

  • Choose foods that are easy to prepare and simple to serve, i.e. don’t require the use of knives, forks, or spoons (We believe that the recipe selection we have offered below will largely contribute to a relaxed Independence Day party).
  • Your good time on the Fourth largely depends on forethought. Plan the main dish(es) and make a shopping list. Do all the shopping for ingredients 2-3 days in advance and see which foods you can prepare the day before.
  • If you decide to go with a backyard barbecue, feel free to leave food preparation to your significant half. Just place a tub full of ice and beer by the grill and watch all the male guests follow their natural instinct and gather to help with the preparation of meat.
  • To minimize the mess, pack box lunches for the children with simple items like sandwiches and sat them under a big shade tree where they can play (and make noise) without disturbing the adults. For the grown-ups, serve the food buffet style on the porch/terrace. Bear in mind that this is not a formal dinner but a relaxed get-together, so feel free to use paper plates, cups, glasses, napkins. You’ll be glad to avoid massive dishwashing on a hot day!
  • Another option is to tell everyone to bring one dish. This will leave you enough time to prepare patriotic favors for the guests, come up with fun game options, suitable decorations, and most importantly, prepare the fireworks!

 

Declare Your Independence from Plain Food with These Amazing Traditional 4th July Dishes

Have you ever wondered why we eat hamburgers and hot dogs on Independence Day? Have barbecues always been a part of America’s birthday? There are so many questions about traditional Fourth of July foods.

You’ll be surprised to find out that on the first celebration of the Fourth, President John Adams, along with his wife and thousands of other Americans, enjoyed – soup. That’s right, a dish as plain as the green turtle soup. And yes, it was a soup made from the flesh of real turtles. In fact, turtle soup was extremely popular at the time, especially on 4th July. Its popularity decreased due to concerns related to endangering turtles (thank God!). Today, Americans in the South still enjoy turtle soup, but a mock one, usually made with veal.

If you really must eat soup on this day, we have just the thing: a cool and refreshing recipe, perfect for hot days:

Cool Cucumber Soup

Cucumbers, onion, and parsley make up a refreshing, emerald-green summer lunch.  This soup allows a number of modifications. For instance, you can use baked and chopped potatoes (without the mint springs) or omit the chicken broth, increase the amount of parsley, and add some garlic. Another option is to substitute one cup of mayonnaise for one cup of sour cream. Then, put all the ingredients in a blender and process the mixture until smooth.

According to reports, this festive meal also included poached salmon, green peas, egg sauce, boiled potatoes, apple pandowdy, and Indian pudding. How much have 4th July menus evolved since 1776? Let’s find out.

Barbecue

4th july barbecue

Today, barbecues are probably the first thing that pops up when mentioning the Fourth. Grilling became popular in the 19th century when the Fourth wasn’t even a national holiday. In some US regions, political leaders started organizing gatherings to mark this day, but also to boast with their patriotism. On some of these rallies, especially in the South, barbecues were prepared as an expression of regional pride. Large crowds were attracted by roasting oxen or pigs.

These huge public barbecues became more private in the 20th century. This transition might have something to do with the fact that charcoal grills became widely popular and entered almost every household.

Here is a fun fact: Last year, 74 million Americans reported attending a barbecue on Independence Day!

Down-home Barbecue Chicken

For best results, make your own barbecue sauce and store the extra in the fridge. You’ll have it on hand for a quick weeknight meal.

Barbecued Spareribs

It’s a good thing you’ll be using plastic utensils and not-so-fancy tablecloths because these saucy ribs are quite messy. But we couldn’t resist! Tip: For well-trimmed, easy-to-eat ribs, boil the uncut spareribs and let them cool slightly. Then trim and discard the skin from the back of the ribs and cut them into sections.

Barbecued Beef Roast

The most economical choice for this dish is beef chuck roast with a very mild flavor. However, for those who like beefy flavor, you can use a bottom round roast instead. The leftovers of the barbecue are delicious when shredded and served on a corn cake.

Tarragon-Grilled Chicken

The mixture of tarragon and Dijon gives this all-America dish a classically French twist. To capture all the juicy goodness of this chicken, serve it with fluffy white rice. Less messy sides include bread or rolls for dipping in the juices.

Maple Barbecue Ribs

Liven up your Fourth of July barbecue with baby back ribs marinated in a spicy glaze that features the added sweetness of maple syrup. For an Asian flair, replace the Worcestershire sauce, mustard, and spices with Chinese five-spice powder and grated ginger.

Asian Barbecue Chicken

Grilled chicken drumsticks are basted with a rich hoisin sauce enlivened with orange zest, and garnished with grilled orange wedges. Tip: you can substitute hoisin sauce with a thick barbecue sauce.

Hamburgers, cheeseburgers, and hot dogs

fourth of july burgers

Burgers and hot dogs are another great way to celebrate Independence Day!

Did you know that it was the Spanish who brought domesticated farm animals like pigs, chicken, and cattle to the New World? In the early days, cattle ranches did not exist and cattle meat was rarely eaten. No wonder people opted for turtle soup instead of eating burgers!

Today, burgers are usually made with beef and served with tomatoes, pickles, salad, and, in the case of cheeseburgers, cheese. Some recipes also include bacon, green chili, jalapeños, or chipotle mayonnaise. Even vegetarians can celebrate 4th July with quinoa patty burgers!

Want a few fun facts? During the holiday season, Americans eat about 150 million hot dogs (that’s enough hot dogs to stretch from Washington, D.C to L.A!). In addition, they devour 750 million pounds of chicken!

Cheddar-filled Burgers

This burger combines bacon, cheese, and barbecue sauce in an absolutely juicy and tasty treat! Tip: These burgers can be prepared on the stove top with a griddle pan or outside on the grill.

Shrimp Burgers

If you are a fan of fish and seafood, try this variation! Tender shrimp blended with seasonings and breadcrumbs for deliciously unique patties. Add a slice of pepper cheese on top of each patty in the last minute of cooking for a special zip!

Swiss Mushroom Burgers

These hearty burgers topped with melted Swiss cheese and mushrooms will be your party sensation. Add a little cornstarch mixed with water to quickly thicken sauces and gravies.

Hawaiian Burgers

Grilled pineapple rings combined with a sweet-and-tangy sauce give these great burgers tropical Hawaiian flair.

Greek Chicken Burgers

This 4th July, savor the Mediterranean flavors. These open-face patties include a tart cucumber sauce, reminiscent of the famous Greek tzatziki. Tip: use a sieve to drain the moisture from the yogurt and cucumber to make the sauce authentic, creamy, and rich.

Tex-Mex Hamburgers

This is the burger of your dreams. Every bite is a perfect blend of tastes and textures that will satisfy any appetite. Tip: use spicy Pepper Jack cheese instead of Monterey Jack. If you want to shorten the preparation time, buy prepared guacamole from the supermarket.

Fried Chicken

fried chicken

Chicken leg

While at the meat department, it’s worth mentioning fried chicken as a separate Fourth of July staple food. The chicken is covered with flour, seasoned with salt and pepper, then fried in a pan. It is usually served with gravy, composed of some of the oil which the chicken has been cooked, flour, cream (or milk), and black pepper. Here are a few varieties to try.

Blue-Ribbon Fried Chicken

This is a spicier version of the classic Southern fried chicken recipe. Tip: cast-iron pans are the best choice for frying chicken. They keep the heat consistent and provide even browning.

Maryland Fried Chicken

The traditional cracker crumb coating this crispy chicken is complemented with a traditional Chesapeake Bay seasoning composed of celery, cloves, allspice, and salt. Tip: use tongs to stay safe while transferring the chicken in and out of the hot oil. In addition, the tongs won’t pierce the chicken and let the juices out.

Crispy Batter-Fried Chicken

This crispy chicken breast in golden coating seasoned with garlic and fresh tarragon is perfect for sandwiches. Prepare some baguettes and buns, and complement with a creamy mustard dressing, lettuce, and tomato.

The Strength of a Great Fourth of July Barbecue Lies in the Side Dishes

Even though meaty recipes are definitely the stars of our Fourth of July celebrations, they still need suitable companions (besides beer) to form a hearty and balanced meal. Potato salads, baked beans, and corn are the top three choices. In numbers, this translates into the following: one-half of the Americans eat potato salads/chips or corn with their BBQ, whereas about one-third opt for baked beans.

Potato Salad

fourth of july potato salad

There are two reasons why we love eating potato salad on the Fourth. First, it is very easy and it can be prepared the night before. Potatoes are boiled for about 20 minutes and then cut into cubes. Then, they are combined with boiled eggs, mayonnaise, onions, and dressing. Second, this salad is served cool, after being refrigerated for a few hours or, better yet, overnight. That’s the basic version. If you want something slightly different, here is an inspiration.

Roasted Potato Salad

The potatoes are roasted along with garlic to sweeten the garlic taste. For real garlic fans, increase the mashed garlic amount up to 6 teaspoons.

Fresh Sweet Potato Salad

This salad has the best texture and flavor on the day it is made, so we suggest making it in the morning. However, if the salad is chilled overnight, just drain the liquid that had accumulated in the bowl before serving. Also, you can use shredded carrots instead of sweet potatoes because carrots produce less liquid.

Make a variation of the original recipe by substituting one cup of shredded or chopped Mexican potato (jicama) for one cup of the sweet potato. Add a cup of dried cherries to the salad as well.

Sweet Potato Salad

For a colorful salad with extra crunch, combine sweet potatoes with toasted pecans, celery, and mayonnaise. For a change of pace, replace the sweet potatoes with new potatoes or red-skinned potatoes, and leave the skin on.

Honey Mustard Potatoes

The secret to this quick potato dish is the sweet honey-mustard dressing that gives it additional flavor. Turn this side dish into a main meal by layering the potatoes with diced ham or chopped cooked bacon.

Baked Beans

Baked beans

This New England staple is the number one choice alongside all grilling foods simply because its taste pairs great with… well, everything 😊

Boston Baked Beans

This dish is made of pinto beans, bacon, and onion baked in a sweet-and-smoky sauce. To add extra flavor and spice, replace the bacon with a sausage (regular or chorizo) and add some chili powder.

Corn Dog Casserole

This creative recipe that combines a few American favorites: corn dogs, baked beans, and cheese. Tip: if you have the time and patience, you can easily turn this casserole into cute muffins: Line a muffin pan with paper liners. Divide the corn mixture evenly, then press 2-inch hot dog pieces into the center of each muffin. Bake and serve with a dollop of ketchup or mustard.

Corn

fourth of july corn

According to the old adage “Knee-high by the Fourth of July”, our nation’s birthday isn’t just a celebration of independence but also an important milestone for the corn crop. Even though this seems strange since today waist-high (or even higher) corn is typical on the Fourth, in the past farmers had much lower yield expectations, and having knee-high corn by July was considered a great success.

Herbed Corn-on-the-Cob

Buttered corn-on-the-cob is the simplest yet delicious food. it doesn’t need much improvement, just some fresh herbs added to the butter.

Mashed Potatoes with Corn

A dish that unites two Fourth of July traditional foods – potatoes and corn, complemented with carrots and onions. Tip: to save time when chopping carrots, shred them on the large holes of the grater.

Paprika Corn Casserole

Sweet, corn in a buttery sauce, well-seasoned and complemented with veggies & bacon – a perfect holiday side dish. To make it spicier add dried jalapeños place some crushed tortilla chips on top.

Cajun Corn

This creamed corn is truly satisfying and can be served even as a main dish. Tip: if you have some leftover Cajun spice after you make this recipe, store it in an airtight container. You can use it later for various meat and vegetable dishes.

Dips

fourth of july dips

The great eating experience on Independence Day wouldn’t be the same if there weren’t several dips on the buffet table.

Warm Spinach Dip

Fresh spinach, pimiento peppers, and herbs compose a colorful and flavorful dip with great taste and even better nutritive properties! Frozen spinach also works well, but make sure to sauté and drain it before adding to the other ingredients. As far as herbs are concerned, dried ones have a much more concentrated flavor, so when using fresh herbs, don’t forget to increase the amount.

Festive Cheese Dip

This multifunctional dip can be used for dipping, topping, or spreading on top of bread slices and works especially well paired with fresh cucumbers or pickles. This brings us to the next subject of interest.

Pickles

fourth of july pickles

Pickles ate more eaten on Independence Day than any other period of the year. They are consumed either right out of the jar or placed inside burgers, hot dogs, and sandwiches.

Crisp Zucchini Pickles

If you want to have some great homemade pickles ready for Fourth of July, this recipe is perfect for you. To sterilize canning jars, put a clean kitchen towel in a large pot, then place the jars on it and fill the pot with water. Bring the water to a boil and boil for about two minutes. Place the lids and rings and boil for another minute. Remove the jars using tongs, drain, and fill.

If there is one word that lies at the core of all Fourth of July traditional foods, it would be ‘simplicity’. Being a nation of immigrants, thriftiness was in the roots of early celebrations. But people coming from different countries also contributed to different kinds of foods, which ultimately transformed our Independence Day picnics from pig roasts to a more diverse, rich selection.

We’re done with the main dishes and sides, but try not to overeat. Leave some room for dessert…

Celebrate the Sweet Land of Liberty with These Amazing Patriotic Desserts

Let the food be the decoration on your festive buffet table by choosing from a palette of patriotic desserts in red, blue, and white color scheme!

Blue is the most difficult hue from this trio since nature doesn’t offer many options. If we set artificial ingredients like gelatins and food colorings aside, we’re left with delish natural options like blueberries and grape juice.

Red is presented in more varieties:

Vegetables: beets, pimiento peppers, paprika, red cabbage, tomatoes, red radishes;

Fruits: cherries, strawberries, cranberries, watermelon slices…

White is found in white grapes and radishes, but also in all dairy products like cheese, yogurt, milk, sour cream, whipped cream…

However, these are just the basics. Many of these ingredients can be incorporated in delectable desserts that appeal both eye and palate.

Flag Cake

fourth of july flag cake

According to the legend, Betsy Ross is the name of the woman who sewed the first American flag in 1776. She is also credited for convincing George Washington to change the shape of the stars from six-pointed to five-pointed.

The national flag was adopted on June 14, 1777 by the Continental Congress with the purpose to promote national pride and unity. “Resolved: that the flag of the United States be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation”.

This flag cake will certainly show your patriotic spirit! Top it with luscious fresh fruit and fluffy whipped cream, and make it a centerpiece of your July 4th picnic table!

Sweet Strawberry Shortcakes

Statistics say that strawberry shortcake is the no.1 dessert served on the Fourth! This cool and refreshing delight is served in almost every household on this day. We offer a cuter alternative in the form of smaller, lighter-than-air cakes. They are filled with fresh strawberries and sweetened whipped cream. You can also add blueberries (or raspberries) to the red strawberries to capture the symbolic red, blue, and white trio. If you want even more color, add mint leaves as well.

Creamy Sponge Cake

This tasty, good-looking cake is perfect for special occasions, but when you are not celebrating Independence Day, bear in mind that it goes well with a wide variety of toppings (as long as they’re fruits 😊).

Chocolate Cherry Ice Cream

Let’s not forget ice cream first, because you can expect hot weather in July and second, because kids will be ecstatic when you serve it. You can go with the tri-color scheme and make strawberry-vanilla combo topped with blueberries or make our recipe suggestion.

A few tips if you’re using an ice cream freezer: Turn it on before packing the ice and salt around the canister. Use seven parts of ice to one part of salt. Dribble some hot water over the ice and salt if they clump together.

Drinks

fourth of july drinks

Barbecues, burgers, and hot dogs simply cry for beer. No wonder 23 million cases of beer are sold every 4th July (that’s more than 5% of the national yearly beer consumption!)

But in order to endure the hot weather easier and help your stomach win the battle with all the food eaten on the Fourth, besides beer, you’ll need a few more refreshments. Cold water and lemonade? Sure, but we have more interesting suggestions.

Strawberry Lemonade

There’s nothing cooler and more refreshing than a lemonade. We offer a recipe with a twist; trust us, you’ll never reach for powdered lemonade after you have a sip of this natural beauty made up of fresh strawberries and lemons!

Margarita-Style Coolers

The beauty of this cocktail is that it is a mock one. This means that it doesn’t contain any alcohol, only strawberries and lime. However, if you want an adult-friendly version, add a cup of white tequila instead of water (and make sure the kids don’t go near it 😊).

Fourth of July Decoration Ideas

fourth of july decorations

Now that we have compiled the menu for America’s birthday, it’s time to dedicate some space to the décor (For what’s a birthday without decorations?) Here are a few interesting ideas:

DISCOVER GREAT RECIPES, TIPS & IDEAS!

  • Costumes and outfits: Dress up like Betsy Rose, Uncle Sam, Abe Lincoln, Paul Revere, Lady Liberty… Or, if you think you’ll be too hot wearing a costume, invest in patriotic accessory kits consisting of sunglasses, hats, necklaces, bracelets, headbands, shirts…
  • Party supplies to consider: invitations, tablecloths and runners, plates, napkins, cups, bottles, straws, coolers, serving utensils, trays, and galvanized buckets, all printed to look like the American flag.
  • Baking supplies: baking cups, cake pans, cookie molds, cupcake stands, icing and sprinkles, American flag toothpicks.
  • Candies: lollipops, candy sticks, jelly beans, and more, arranged in patriotic favor boxes and bags and decorated with stickers & ribbons to create the sweetest 4th of July candy buffet.
  • And of course, lots of flowers, balloons, and confetti in red, blue and white

Don’t forget the flags! Happy Fourth of July!

I believe that food should not only taste good, but make you feel good as well and that is why I am so interested in exploring ingredients, preparing meals, and finding ways to make the whole cooking experience fun and exciting! Being a blogger for MyGreatRecipes unites my two passions – food and writing, and I am enjoying every second of it!
Summer 2017 Food Trend Report – What is Hot and What is Not

Summer 2017 Food Trend Report – What is Hot and What is Not

Summer is finally here! We have long been preparing for it by focusing on healthy foods like cucumber salad and tomato soups, as well as avoiding foods with added sugars. Turns out, we’ve been following the hottest trends all this time!

Even though the first association for food trends is probably Instagram attractions like cloud eggs or unicorn foods (we’ll get to them later), research shows that two-thirds of the people DO care about what they eat and how it affects their overall health, longevity, and cognitive sharpness. This means that no matter how good colorful foods ‘grams look, most people would probably pass on them.

 

DISCOVER GREAT RECIPES, TIPS & IDEAS!

However, after a vast research, we have decided to include both categories of food trends in our summer trend report: healthy and unusual, alongside hot national cuisines and the most popular smart-eating trend at the moment. Give them a try, even if it means just taking a cool photo that will liven up your Instagram feed! Here are a few to start with…

Unusual Instagram Food Trends

We’re happy to announce that unicorn food will not be taking center stage this summer. But even though the amount of color is decreasing (slightly), the level of weirdness is still quite high and mythical creatures continue to appear. And you know what, we can roll our eyes as much as we want, but no one can dispute their prettiness!

Cloud eggs

Credit: Daria Khoroshavina

Cloud eggs have taken the world by storm! As sophisticated as they might look, these fluffy clouds are very simple to make by separating the egg whites and whipping them until thick and fluffed up. Then, the yolk is placed in the center. Their great taste can be further enhanced by including ingredients like cheese, bacon herbs, or spices into the white.

Cloud bread follows the lead of cloud eggs by looking, tasting, and (let’s face it) sounding great. But it also has one more important feature – it’s healthy. Unlike traditional breads, this cloudy delight is packed with protein and has no carbs!

Inspire yourself: Cheesy Garlic Cloud Bread Texas Toast

Mermaid Foods

food trends 2017 mermaid toast

Credit:http://www.vogue.com/article/how-to-make-mermaid-toast-instagram-food-trend

It all started with mermaid toast, a beautiful, ocean-inspired creation (relative to unicorn toast -there it is again 😊). Most varieties you see on your Instagram feed are probably not so good for you, made with food coloring mixed into cream cheese, then smeared on top of a toast bread.

However, with a few minor adjustments, your mermaid toast can be made healthier. Enter more food trends: use sprouted bread and color the cream cheese with turmeric root to obtain yellow and orange, beet juice for pink, chlorophyll drops for green, freeze-dried blueberry powder to get purple color, and spirulina powder/blue majik for blue.

Capturing this amazing aquatic look is much easier in mermaid smoothie bowls and, as of recent, the world can enjoy mermaid coffees as well. Cheers!

Blue Majik Foods

food trend blue majik

Credit:http://greensofthestoneage.com/blue-mermaid-smoothie-bowl-with-e3live-blue-majik/

This vibrant ingredient doesn’t appear only in mermaid foods. Blue Majik is an extract of spirulina, blue-and-green algae that are full of protein. So, the feelings of satiety that protein produces, together with the great looks will have to be enough to persuade you to try fishy-smelling blue majik smoothies and desserts.

Activated Charcoal Foods

food trends goth ice cream

Credit:https://www.someecards.com/life/food-drink/black-ice-cream/

Maybe you’re more familiar with the term ‘goth’ popularized some time ago with the appearance of black goth ice cream. The name is much fancier but it refers to the same thing – activated charcoal, the social media’s new favorite ingredient.

This black ingredient isn’t just cool and unique, but it also offers some serious health benefits. To name just a few: it boosts the digestive system, removes toxins, reduces bad cholesterol levels, and decreases bloating.  Besides ice cream, you can enjoy charcoal bread, kabobs, pancakes, cakes, macaroon cookies, and more!

Inspire yourself: Mickey Bento

Fluorescent donuts

food trends 2017 glowing donuts

Credit:http://metro.co.uk/2017/06/07/a-bakery-is-making-doughnuts-that-glow-in-the-dark-6690635/

Having problems detecting your food during midnight craving visits to the kitchen? Fluorescent foods are just for you!

After the huge success of neon foods like cotton candy and ice stream ramen, ‘glonuts’ are stealing the fluorescent show this year. Don’t worry, they are not radioactive. On the contrary, glow-in-the-dark donuts are 100% natural, the glowing glaze being made of vitamin B.

Inspire yourself: Vanilla Doughnuts

Tiny Foods

If you have seen Tastemade’s series Tiny Kitchen, you know what we’re talking about. It features various tiny foods including mini munchkins, M&Ms, McDonald’s happy meal, breakfast meal, pizza, potatoes… All of them made in a tiny little kitchen equipped with tiny little kitchen appliances, and with great precision. We don’t know about the taste, but they sure look cute!

Carrot latte

Credit:http://www.foodiggity.com/latte-served-in-a-carrot-because-nothing-is-sacred/

It all began with the unicorn latte (here it is again), then came the avolatte, now it is carrot latte. What is it? Just a latte poured into a hollowed-out carrot. It was made as a joke and received quite a few negative comments, but it still managed to hit the ‘grams and become a huge hit.

Let’s look at the cons. First, we must assume that there are carrot bits floating inside the coffee (yuck). Second, the carrot probably doesn’t hold the coffee well so the chances of making a mess are quite big. On the positive side, “if it cuts down on the wastage from coffee cups why not?”, as one happy customer said.

If you don’t find carrots attractive enough to replace cups, there are also lattes served in apples or you can try tomato cortado, whatever that is.

Inspire yourself: Frothy Matcha Latte

Buddha Bowls

buddha bowl food trends 2017

Credit:http://steamykitchen.com/43567-roasted-vegetable-buddha-bowl.html

Buddha Bowls are the perfect transition from attractive Instagram foods towards healthy foods. The name reference is from the book Buddha’s Diet: The Ancient Art of Losing Weight Without Losing Your Mind. In terms of ingredients, they include green veggies (fiber), whole grain (good fats), and protein. In addition, they are easy to make at home and contain almost no calories.

Inspire yourself: Chickpea Broccoli Buddha Bowl

Healthy Food Trends

Forget traditional summer barbecues. Plant-based foods are on the rise, especially plant-based protein as a substitute for red meat. So, instead of beef, opt for falafel, chickpea, and quinoa burgers!

Inspire yourself: Veggie Burgers

Chia seeds have been around for some time and their popularity doesn’t seem to fade away! It’s no wonder considering this seed’s nutritional values – it is gluten-free and full of proteins, dietary fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. In addition, it is quite versatile and can be used in various baked recipes, like breads, cakes, and muffins!

To unite healthiness and popularity once again, let’s mention another huge Instagram trend – chia jars, an amazing creation of alternating fruit and chia pudding layers. Chia pudding is very simple to make by putting chia seeds in a mason jar, then covering them with milk. After a while, the seeds will absorb the liquid and expand. That’s your cue for topping them with nuts, fruits, or whatever your heart desires.

Inspire yourself: Peanut Butter and Jelly Chia Pudding

chia jars food trends

Credit:http://www.poppydeyes.com/chia-breakfast-jars/

Coconut is everywhere! With alternative milks made of nuts or soy gaining popularity at the expense of cow milk, coconut leads the way as one of the most popular ingredients to embrace this summer. Like chia, coconut is also considered one of the healthiest foods on the planet, especially in the form of coconut oil which is credited for preventing a large number of chronic diseases including cancer and diabetes. Besides oil, this tropical fruit-nut-seed (three in one!) also appears as coconut water, ice cream, chips, jam, butter, you name it!

Inspire yourself: Mango and Coconut Tartlets

While at the butter topic, alternative nut butters have really exploded in popularity. To translate this into numbers: The popularity of cashew butter has increased by 998 percent, pistachio butter – 348 percent, and almond butter has increased by 121 percent.

Inspire yourself: Candie Cookie Bites

White bread vs. sprouted bread. Despite statistics claiming that people have started favoring sprouted grains and bread made from them, Matt Preston, an English-Australian food journalist, restaurant critic, writer, and television personality, has shocked the world with his claim that humble white bread is making a big comeback. “Diners are getting tired of jellies and foams, and the fine dining market is saturated with chefs who forage, pickle and ferment,” he said. The question here is do you want to be trendy or in good health?

Inspire yourself: Herb French Bread

Hot National Cuisines

After looking at the summer trends throughout the net we have connected a few dots and united three hot trends under one name: Mexican wave.

First, we have discovered that there is a serious taco fever taking over the world this summer. Makes sense, since this dish is perfect for hot days – simple, spicy, and versatile. When it comes to fillings, feel free to use just about anything that comes to mind, from classic ingredients to yesterday’s leftovers. Or, if you want to stay in fashion, opt for pickles.

Pickled and fermented veggies are another food trend we have identified. They don’t just add flavor to your dishes, but they are also healthy (especially good for the gut). Pickle some sliced jalapeños for your summer tacos and you have the summer 2017’s winner dish!

Savory yogurts. Very simple, buy some plain, unsweetened yogurt and twist it with savory add-ins: feta cheese, grated cucumber, avocado, lemon juice & zest, paprika, mint, toasted pine nuts. Olive oil, salt, and pepper are a must for every combination! Chill your savory yogurt, grab a spoon and enjoy it directly from the bowl, or dollop onto your tacos for a refreshing note.

Inspire yourself: Southwestern Beef Tacos

tacos food trends 2017

Another national cuisine to pay close attention to this summer is Filipino cuisine, thanks to top chef Anthony Bourdain. This food connoisseur claims that certain dishes from this underestimated cuisine will win the hearts of hipsters around the globe very soon. Bourdain has a particular dish in mind: pork sisg – a casual, accessible, and crispy dish made from liver and pig’s head!

Inspire yourself: Maple-Glazed Pork

food trends 2017 filipino food

Smart Eating Summer Trend– Sustainable Food

Millennials have paved the road for smart eating choices after making waste-free eating the hottest trend for 2016.

Food waste control is at the core of this year’s smart trend as well. Sustainable foods take into account environmental, health, social, and economic factors. This industry is focused on local, organic, and seasonal ingredients. It tries to reduce the use of animal foods as they’re among the most energy and greenhouse-gas intensive food products, as well as endangered fish species. In addition, it promotes healthy eating, fair trade, and food democracy. It’s worth thinking about it!

DISCOVER GREAT RECIPES, TIPS & IDEAS!

If you want to be part of the sustainable food trend, have a sustainable coffee at the McDonald’s or a taco made with sustainable salmon at the Rubio’s.

Enjoy good food and create great memories this summer!

I believe that food should not only taste good, but make you feel good as well and that is why I am so interested in exploring ingredients, preparing meals, and finding ways to make the whole cooking experience fun and exciting! Being a blogger for MyGreatRecipes unites my two passions – food and writing, and I am enjoying every second of it!

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