You know how they say that twins have the same mannerisms and matching responses and reactions to questions and in conversations? For us, this is mostly true, but it’s not always the case. However, there are particular situations where it’s a given that we’ll respond in identical ways. For instance, mention our elementary school, summer vacations in Ocean City, Maryland and in Duck, North Carolina and the 4th of July– and it’s a guarantee that we’ll both instantly smile and get starry, dreamy-looking eyes, as we’re flooded with fun-filled memories of our innocent childhood days. And when it comes to the 4th of July, this day was always one of our favorite days of the year, filled with sun, fun, and lots of red, white and blue—everything from our star-spangled bathing suits to the foods that we ate. And to this day, the 4th of July is a guarantee that we’ll both be making sure it’s every bit as fabulous as it always was!
As registered dietitian nutritionists, it’s so much fun to make this holiday all that we remember it to be by using red, white and blue foods. Here you’ll find our twin tendencies kicking in and even though we try not to make the same thing as each other, there’s a 99% certainty that we’ll both use the same foods. We can’t help it. First, we both love the opportunity to celebrate our holiday in-style, and second we know that anyone who eats our food is expecting to be getting some nutritional bang for their star-spangled bite!
So, check out what we’ll be whipping up, and why!
Cranberry BBQ Sauce! And Cranberry Juice Cubes!
Betcha didn’t know that cranberries, the all-American superfruit, are one of three commercially cultivated fruits native to North America, and this is just one reason they are ideal at your 4th of July celebration (as well as in all of your summer BBQs!).
And with their gorgeous bursting red color, comes quite the nutrition bang. Check out these awesome cranberry health facts:
- All cranberry products, including fresh and frozen cranberries, cranberry juice cocktail, dried cranberries and sauces, contain unique, health-promoting flavonoids called PACs. PACs help reduce the incidence of certain infections, maintain a healthy urinary tract, improve heart health and reduce inflammation associated with chronic disease and aging.
- A new study published by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that drinking 8-ounces of cranberry juice a day reduced the number of symptomatic UTIs by nearly 40 percent in women with recurrent UTIs.
Cranberry Juice Cubes
These little magical delights are simply cranberry juice frozen in ice cube trays. They jazz up water or seltzer with great flavor and nutrients—and make the holiday glasses look even more festive.
Cranberry BBQ Sauce
Yield: 8 servings
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 cup minced yellow onions
1 Tbsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. dry mustard
1 tsp. chili powder
1 ½ Tbsp. tomato paste
1 ½ cups cranberry sauce
¼ cup cider vinegar
1 Tbsp. dark molasses
¼-½ cup water, if needed
- In a sauce pan, heat oil over medium-high heat; add onions and sauté 2 minutes. Mix in garlic, mustard and chili powder and continue cooking 1 minute. Stir in tomato paste and cook 1 more minute.
- Add cranberry sauce, vinegar and molasses and bring to a simmer, whisking often until mixture becomes smooth. Lower heat and simmer 15-20 minutes or until mixture reduces and thickens. Add water to mixture if it gets too thick. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature. Place in a covered container and refrigerate until ready to use. Reheat before using.
Serving suggestion: Use as a condiment or on grilled vegetables, lean meats or poultry.
Nutrition Information Per 2 Tbsp. Serving: Calories 120, Calories from Fat 20, Saturated Fat 0g, Trans Fat 0g, Total Fat 2g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 25mg, Total Carbohydrate 24g, Sugars 19g, Dietary Fiber 1g, Protein 0g, Vitamin A 2%, Vitamin C 2%, Calcium 2%, Iron 4%
“Recipe courtesy of the Cranberry Marketing Committee”
Note: Cranberry products, including cranberry juice cocktail, dried cranberries and sauces, offer the same health benefits of fresh cranberries, but may be sweetened to satisfy a variety of taste preferences
For more health information or research, please visit CranberryInstitute.com