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Fourth of July celebrations spark ideas for delicious, colorful, and fresh food, and Missouri happens to be a hub for diverse and plentiful produce that inspires a variety of dishes.
Missourians are beginning to reap the benefits of their gardens, especially for those who were able to plant early. U-Pick farms across the state are also offering ripe and fresh fruits and vegetables, like strawberries, blueberries, cherries, and zucchini.
Thierbach Orchards, near Marthasville and the Katy Trail, are welcoming pickers and have fresh blueberries, cherries, and raspberries ripe to pick already. Customers can pick every day, 7 am-noon and 5 pm-8 pm. Click here to see what’s ripe before you plan your trip.
If you’d rather not pick and prefer to purchase their products, Thierbachs have a roadside market, packed with produce, jams, tomatoes, peaches, and more. The market along Route 47 is open July through November. Thierbach Orchards are one among many locations across the state. Click here to find out a Missouri U-Pick farm near you.
Here are some recipes for your Fourth of July menu that you can kick up with fresh, local produce.
Red, White & Blue Poke Cake
- 1 white moist cake mix
- 1 cup boiling water
- 3/4 cup cold water
- 1-3 ounces strawberry gelatin mix
- 2 cups strawberries, sliced
- 1-8 ounces whipped topping, thawed
- 1 cup fresh blueberries
- Prepare cake according to package directions, in 13x9-inch pan. Cool for 20 minutes. With a large fork or the end of a wooden spoon, pierce cake in ½ inch intervals.
- In a small pan, boil water and add gelatin mix, until dissolved. Stir in cold water and all juice from strawberries. Pour over cake.
- Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving. Frost with whipped topping and add blueberries and sliced strawberry mixture on top of the cake. Raspberries and or cherries can be included.
Moist Zucchini Muffins
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup sugar
- 1-8 ounces crushed pineapple, drained
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 3 cups flour
- 2 cup zucchini, chopped
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- ½ teaspoons nutmeg
- 1 cup walnuts (optional)
- Mix eggs, sugar, pineapple, oil, applesauce, vanilla, and zucchini together, until moist.
- Fold in flour and remaining ingredients. Add nuts if desired.
- Pour into greased muffin pans.
- Bake at 350° for 15 to 18 minutes, or until inserted toothpick comes out clean.
Luella Fischer enjoys writing and has a passion for cooking and Missouri history. She is also the author of a children’s book series and directs a Missouri Farmers Care agriculture education program where third graders have the opportunity to make bread, plant seeds, and experience food and agriculture hands-on.