As with all fruits and vegetables, wash avocados before cutting. Check out our tips for how to choose and use California Avocados

From beach picnics to watching the fireworks in the same place each year, 4th of July celebrations are often ingrained traditions for family and friends. While you may not be willing to completely shake up how or where you celebrate, I thought I’d share some of my favorite recipes (and tips) – no matter what type of celebration you’ll attend – for you to try. Not surprisingly, my Fourth of July tips and traditions include California-grown avocados.

If you already have the ultimate crowd-pleasing dish you celebrate Independence Day with, perfect the recipe and enter our contest for the chance to win free, Fresh California Avocados!

4 ways to include California Avocados in your summer holiday festivities:

1. Prep Parade Snacks

Attending a parade is a yearly Fourth of July tradition and since I no longer scramble with the kids to pick up candy that’s rained down by the local businesses, having something to snack on while watching the stream of marching bands and baton-twirlers is a must. I typically bring recipes that are portable, easy-to-pack and eat, and appealing to both adults and kids alike. Here are a few ideas:

Gluten Free Chocolate Avocado Donuts with California Avocado Mocha Ganache
Since getting a prime location along the parade route requires an early arrival, I try to pack a little morning treat – these gluten free donuts are always a hit! They are baked (not fried) and satisfy my almost insatiable chocolate craving. 


Kid Friendly Hummus Cups 
Fun for kids and filling for adults, these popular snacks are easy to prep and eat on-the-go. Make them extra festive by including red pepper slices, white jicama pieces, and blue heirloom carrot sticks for dippers!


While a cooler full of snacks is always a must at a parade (I love my collapsible canvas one – it’s ultra-portable and not as clunky as a rolling plastic one), don’t forget the other parade necessities, like:

  • Folding camp chairs
  • Lots of water – 16oz. per person, per hour is probably a good rule of thumb when sitting in the summer sun
  • Sun protection – Think sunscreen, hats and an umbrella for comfort

2. Provide a Potluck Contribution 

While it’s always nice if a host “assigns” recipe categories to guests so there are a variety of foods available for everyone, sometimes not having any restrictions on your recipe can let your culinary experience shine. But, before you get too inventive in the kitchen, remember some of the etiquette tips for being a good potluck attendee:

  • People’s tastes all differ, so including too many unique ingredients could cause you to end up spending too much while not enticing people to taste
  • Try not to bring a recipe that requires the stove or oven so that you’re not hogging the host’s appliances
  • Bring your own serving utensils so that your host isn’t scrambling to find one more serving spoon
  • Make a recipe that can be served up using only one hand (remember, your other one is likely holding onto your plate)

Some of my tried-and-true summer potluck recipes include:

Classic 7 Layer Salad
With only 200 calories per serving, this recipe is a modern, lightened-up take on a classic favorite. I always leave with an empty serving dish when I bring this along. Don’t let that classic photo fool you – you’ll love the flavor combinations! 


California Avocado Macaroni Summer Salad
This side-dish is simple to make ahead and chill in the fridge before going to the potluck. I recommend adding the diced avocados right before serving for extra freshness and to reduce avocado browning due to oxidation.


Avocado Potato Salad
No Fourth of July meal is complete without a heaping spoonful of potato salad, and this one from Created by Diane is delicious!


3. Pack a Picnic 

While you can bring along many of the recipes listed above for a 4th of July picnic, transportable dishes that can hold up to time spent in the wet environment of a cooler are key. I’ve been eyeing the following avocado recipes for my next picnic: 

Asian Fruit Salad with California Avocados
Rachael from La Fuji Mama came up with this refreshing recipe, which contains a light dressing that helps keep this fruit salad fresh for a solid 4 hours while stored in a cooler. Plus, serving it in Mason jars allows for easy eating!


California Avocado Roast Beef Sandwich
While there are many sandwich options I’d like at a picnic, the bagel, along with using California Avocado and cream cheese versus a runnier spread keeps this sandwich from becoming soggy. 


American Dream Cupcakes
Dessert is always my favorite part of any meal and I love that California Avocado replaces the butter or oil in this patriotic cupcake recipe.


4. Host a BBQ

If you’re planning to host this year’s Fourth of July BBQ for your friends and family, there are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind as you plan.

  • You can’t grill everything! While you can find plenty of burger recipes and even some salads with grilled ingredients, give guests a variety of flavors with other menu options 
  • Provide games or activities that help put guests at ease as they mingle – especially if you’re inviting people who may not have met each other yet
  • Use decorations that provide double duty; like decorated mason jars that hold utensils or repurposing a watermelon rind as a guacamole serving dish

Unless you’re planning on hosting a potluck style BBQ where you only provide the main course (if that’s the case, remember to read the potluck section above), you will want to provide your guests with a few dining options. Here are some of the recipes I have bookmarked to serve this summer:

California Avocado Cucumber Cups
I’ve found that no matter the venue, people love bite-sized appetizers and this fresh, 100-calorie recipe is no exception.


Grilled Ribeye Steaks with Avocado Goat Cheese Topping
While hotdogs and hamburgers are my typical go-to BBQ fare when serving large groups, I love grilling up some juicy steaks when I have fewer guests. This recipe just gets better when it’s topped with California Avocados, along with tomatoes and artisan cheese from the farmer’s market near my house.


Mango Lassi with Sweetened California Avocado
A bite of this creamy treat developed by Shawn over at I Wash… You Dry, pairs perfectly with warm summer nights and a sky full of fireworks! Yum.


How do you plan on celebrating the Fourth of July this year? If you think you have a festive 4th of July recipe that is tastier than any of those listed above, we’d love to see it, make it, taste it and maybe even give you a prize for it! Visit the 2015 California Avocado All-American Recipe Contest to see how to enter your original recipe.

I hope you have a fun, firework-filled 4th of July!


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