[Not Your Mama's] American Feast

This Patriot Day, we remember the courage of the service members, first responders, and ordinary citizens who responded to the attacks of 9/11/2001. From running into burning buildings to donating blood, Americans rallied around NYC and DC in a powerful display of compassion and unity.  It's true what they say - we're better together.  The same can be said for these delish eats. Next time you throw a backyard bbq, surprise everyone with a true red, white, and blue American feast.

1. Alabama

Toss some blackberries in your salad and enjoy the rich sweetness of Alabama's state fruit!

2. Alaska

For antioxidant power and a healthy dose of fiber, mix up an acai bowl inspired by Acai Alaksa.

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3. Arizona

Prickly pears are a big deal in Arizona. Serve up some prickly pear ice cream, cupcakes, or popsicles for a refreshing treat! Toss in a few cases of CALIWATER and you're set.

4.  Arkansas

The best pink tomatoes come from Arkansas! Caprese salads are a crowd favorite.

5. California

To make anything 'Californian,' just add avocado! Stir poppy seeds (from California's state flower) into freshly made guacamole, and you'll have a dish your guests can't resist. 

6. Colorado

The trend-setters of the beer world have all gathered to this state, and Denver may just be craft beer heaven. Sour beer (jam-packed with probiotics) is currently trending, so definitely set up some flights for your crew to sample.

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7. Connecticut

Did you know that America's first cookbook was published in Connecticut?  For your shindig, think traditional colonial food with some healthy modern upgrades to represent The Constitution State.

Try Chocolate Covered Katie's recipe for an amazing sugar-free, dairy-free, vegan apple pie that is sure to get the party started!

8. Delaware

Chop up some of Delaware's state fruit, the strawberry, for a heart-healthy indulgence that you won't later regret. Get fancy with a strawberry shortcake or just eat them as is!

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9. Florida

Peel 'em or squeeze 'em; you have to have Florida oranges as part of your culinary rainbow!

10. Georgia

Forget the cobbler - these honey mascarpone grilled peach halves are to die for. Don't forget to add a sprig of fresh mint!

11. Hawaii

Go ahead and show off a little with a pineapple fruit salad boat -- because every party needs a little slice of island life.

12. Idaho

Trade in refined sugars for natural starches like those found in Idaho potatoes. After all, the goal is to limit - not eliminate - carbs. Everything in moderation! 

13. Illinois

This state has an official state snack: popcorn! "Based on fiber, whole grains, and antioxidant levels, popcorn is the king of snack foods." says chemistry professor Joe Vinson, PhD!

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14. Indiana

Buckle up for a taste of the Indy500 with a healthy twist: vegan corndogs!

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15. Iowa

You can't go wrong with a cookout classic like corn on the cob.

16. Kansas

Wichita, Kansas, is home to the first Pizza Hut, and mini-pizzas are charming conversation starters for a party in any city!

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17. Kentucky

Don a wide-brimmed hat worthy of the Kentucky Derby and sip on a mint julep to be a Southern Belle for an afternoon.

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18. Louisiana

Transport your guests to the bayou with this Spicy Creole Shrimp Dip. Ça C'est Bon!

19. Maine

Lobster dip or lobster rolls? You've really got a win-win here.

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20. Maryland

Serve crab cakes for a protein pick-me-up that'll have your friends dreaming of the sandy shores of The Old Line State. 

21. Massachusetts

Massachusetts is known for a lot of things - Fenway Park, Matt Damon, and...cranberries? Yep! These little gems are a great source of fiber, antioxidants, and vitamin C. Wicked good by anyone's standards!

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22. Michigan

Cherries are grown in the northern part of Michigan, and blueberries are grown to the west. Bring them both together in a cherry- blueberry spritzer and raise a glass to the Great Lakes. 

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23. Minnesota

High fiber, low calorie honey crisp apples from Minnesota will help you stay satiated and satisfied all weekend long.

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24. Mississippi

Boiled peanuts are lower in calories than other nuts, but they're still high on flavor. Mississippi likes 'em hot and spicy!

25. Missouri

Norton grapes have a truly American spirit; they're unique, resilient, and capable of producing something spectacular. Add wine from Missouri to your menu, and there will be no doubt as to the virtue of this indomitable grape!

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26. Montana

Cherries grown in Montana are perfect for a yogurt/granola parfait (which literally means 'perfect' in French)!

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27. Nebraska

Corn is the #1 cash crop in Nebraska, and this Tomato, Mozzarella, and Corn Galette by ShinyHappyBright tastes like a million bucks!

28. Nevada

Nevada is home to over 300 Thai restaurants, so take a gamble and add some Asian fusion to your American feast!

29. New Hampshire

It's September, and we know you're dreaming of corduroy, cable-knit, and pumpkin flavored everything. That's where New Hampshire's blue ribbon pumpkins come in.

Pumpkin seeds are a tasty go-to garnish for a variety of dishes. Plus, they're chock-full of protein and iron!

30. New Jersey

The first baseball game was played in Hoboken, NJ, which also happens to be the birth place of Frank Sinatra. That's a lot of Americana for one state!

Pick up some Jersey tomatoes for homemade tomato soup or make a mean marinara in honor of Ol' Blue Eyes to fly your tastebuds to the moon.

31. New Mexico

Kick the party up a notch with green chiles on the grill.

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32. New York

Cheesecake is an iconic dessert in the city that never sleeps. This Raw Coconut & Raspberry Cheesecake from Our Holistic Kitchen has our sweet tooth in high gear!

33. North Carolina

Serve Pimento cheese (a Southern delicacy) with crackers or chips; better yet, top a burger with it!

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34. North Dakota

Honey is a hit in North Dakota. Ferment it, and it becomes mead: a grape-less, scene-stealing wine that will make your party totally buzzworthy.

35. Ohio

Paw Paws are celebrated in Albany, OH, each year. They're high in magnesium and vitamin C and are believed to have cancer-fighting properties.  Talk about a superfruit!

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36. Oklahoma

Fried okra is part of the official state meal of Oklahoma. We say roast it instead!

37. Oregon

Oregon pears put a twist on traditional pizza; pear cider keeps the good times rolling past midnight!

38. Pennsylvania

How do you turn a low-calorie, nutrient-rich veggie into a filling entree? Stuff it, of course! 

39. Rhode Island

Rhode Island is all about seafood, and Quahog (hard shell) clams are the fave from Newport to Providence. 

40. South Carolina

For mouthwatering coastal chow, serve up a Charleston-style low country boil.

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41. South Dakota

Chislic is synonymous with South Dakota, so pick up a few skewers before your American feast and fire up the grill.

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42. Tennessee

Tennessee is famous for BBQ in Memphis, hot chicken in Nashville, and whiskey in Lynchburg. You choose what works for you!

43. Texas

Tacos and tamales reign supreme in Texas. For a lighter Texan flare, try cauliflower lettuce tacos!

44. Utah

Believe it or not, green jello is all the rage in Utah. How cute are these margarita-styled jello shots?

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45. Vermont

Keep it classy with gourmet cheese from The Green Mountain State.

46. Virginia

Virginia is best known for ham, but Virginians also love deviled eggs! For a healthier version of this classic starter, skip the mayo and use hummus, avocado, or Greek yogurt instead.

47. Washington

Washington is a major producer of oats, and oatballs are the ideal snack for raising your energy level while keeping your glucose level in check.

48. West Virginia

Apples, corn, peaches, soybeans -- West Virginians love fresh, local fare.  Check out a farmer's market near you to bring nature's bounty home!

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49. Wisconsin

Bring the Wisconsin supper club vibe to your back porch by mixing up a Brandy Old Fashioned for each member of your squad!

50. Wyoming

Wyoming's cowboys can cook anything so long as they have a cast iron skillet and an open flame. We're digging this vegetarian skillet meal of cauliflower, asparagus, seasoning, and olive oil.

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We're sending positive vibes from our corner of the USA to yours!