When it comes to the Fourth of July, burgers and hot dogs on the grill, corn on the cob smothered in butter, and ice cream with apple pie are usually the images associated with the holiday.
However, as more Americans turn to a plant-based diet, foods made with meat, dairy and gluten can become less appealing, leaving a growing number of people feeling neglected at the cookout.
The good news for the forgotten foodie is that meatless, vegan and gluten-free foods are becoming more mainstream as companies like Beyond Meat are starting to stock grocery store shelves, with Impossible Foods not far behind, and fast-food chains Burger King are offering meatless alternatives.
Truly, it has never been easier to go meatless, dairy- and gluten-free this Fourth of July. Here’s a look at the variety of products available on store shelves.
Beyond Meat products offer an alternative to all the classic meaty barbecue fixtures. Beyond Meat has raving reviews saying it tastes just like the real thing. Bonus: All of their products are also gluten-free. Using Beyond Burger patties, you can have premade burgers, or if you’re the do-it-yourself type, you can use Beyond Beef to make burgers, meatballs or sloppy joes for your Fourth BBQ. They also have hot Italian and brat Beyond sausages, which would pair nicely with a gluten-free bun.
If you’re looking for a wider range of meals to prepare for your barbecue, Gardein products offer a range of options. From the classics like different styles of burgers to finger foods, they have it all, also gluten-free. In addition to burgers, Gardein has mini sliders in the black bean, beefless and chick’n varieties if you want a smaller patty. They also offer a variety of “chick’n” options, like tenders, patties and wings if that’s more your style.
MorningStar products are looking to be completely vegan in two years but, for now, offer both veggie and vegan alternatives. Their chicken nuggets and corn dogs are perfect options for the kiddos at your barbecue. If the traditional veggie burger doesn’t fit your needs, MorningStar has 14 – yes 14 – different types of veggie burgers, as well as “chik” patties in place of chicken sandwiches. They also have buffalo wings if you’re feeling spicy.
Lightlife meatless hot dogs are recommended as the best meatless and gluten-free alternative by a meat-free member of the USA TODAY team in our Los Angeles bureau. They also have meatless burgers, sausages and chicken.
Match Meat has all the Fourth of July barbecue staples – burgers, chicken, sausage and even pork. But if you’re looking to get fancy, they also have a crab substitute, which Match claims impresses “even native New Englanders.”
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Your burger no longer has to be bunless. There are gluten-free options such as Smartbun. The Smart Baking Company also has a line of gluten-free desserts.
Udi’s has both hamburger and hot dog buns that are gluten-free.
Wellaby’s has all the gluten-free snacks perfect for firework appetizers, including crackers and pita chips. All their products are also nut-free.
Chips with dips or salsa are often a backyard barbecue must-have. Substitute Beanfields bean chips for tortilla or potato chips. They come in seven different flavors – from salt and vinegar to spicy nacho – and are also vegan.
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Vbites offers more than 100 meat, fish and dairy free products, including a variety of dairy-free cheeses perfect for topping salads and burgers, or just to go on top of a cracker. Vbites also has plenty of dairy-free desserts such as fudge and whipped cream so you don’t have to skip the fun.
Butter and mayonnaise are two essential ingredients to any cookout. Earth Balance has dairy-free, vegan alternatives that ensure everyone can enjoy the buttery corn on the cob, homemade potato salad and any other creations you can whip up.
JUST offers vegan everything, including their line of salad dressings, mayos and cookie doughs – which you can either bake or eat raw without risking the salmonella because it doesn’t have eggs.
Tofurky Moocho cheesecakes
Tofurky’s Moocho cheesecake line comes in three different flavors. If you’re not sure which one you’re going to like, they have a variety pack where you can try them all. They also offer a variety of meatless products.
Ben & Jerry’s
The classic ice cream company launched its non-dairy line of products in 2016, which has expanded to 12 recreations of some of their signature flavors, including Cherry Garcia and Chunky Monkey.
If you’re the type of person who loves the basic ice cream flavors, So Delicious has the vanillas, chocolates and cookies and cream you’re looking for in their ice cream, which is made from a variety of dairy-free milks – almond, oat and coconut to name a few. Don’t worry, they have original flavors such as bananas foster and salted caramel cluster, too. So Delicious products are also gluten-free.
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