Along with my favorite black bloggers, I’m participating in the 2020 Juneteenth Cookout Takeover.
Juneteenth (a merge of the words/date June Nineteenth) marks the June 19, 1865, the emancipation of the last enslaved people in Galveston, Texas.
And for over 150 years since, Black American families, home-cooks, chefs, and culinarians have commemorated the summer holiday with a wide range of food traditions that tell a story of the perseverance of a people.
This initiative was established to encourage the celebration of Juneteenth – a jubilee of freedom to commemorate the end of slavery – and to amplify the food traditions of black culinary creatives.
The foods in this list come from all over the African Diaspora. So many of the recipes are classic to our cultures. They range from appetizers to desserts.
For me, even growing up in Texas, I never celebrated Juneteenth much. We had the cookout at church, but it was honestly never a celebration that was taught to us in school, or highlighted in history books.
Knowing the significance helps me observe the holiday and hold the meaning of it much closer.
I hope you incorporate them into some of your cooking – not just on Juneteenth, but always.
Check out their recipes and what Juneteenth means each one of us.
Black Bloggers Juneteenth Cookout
This food is authentic, and delicious. Scroll the list for some amazing black bloggers and their Juneteenth recipes.
A keto-friendly take on a beloved comfort favorite: catfish. The breading is replaced with a delicious blackened seasoning that’s so good, you won’t even care that it’s low-carb! This tender, flaky, spicy, and delicious blackened catfish will soon be one of your favorites!
Sweet Potatoes or yams are a favorite holiday staple for African Americans. This recipe takes a typical spice cake up a notch by adding sweet potatoes and creating a delicious moist cake that is great year round.
Collard greens is a classic dish loved by the African diaspora all over the world. This Brazilian version is a crisp, garlicky side dish full of bacon bits. It's an easy collard greens recipe, perfect as a mid-week side dish or that celebratory cookout your familia will love all year round!
This buttermilk fried chicken recipe is as nostalgic as much as it is crispy and delicious! With the sour cream and honey sauce, it takes me right back to summer days hanging with family and breaking bread at cookouts.
Listen, this homemade chicken and waffles recipe has never looked better; super crispy and perfectly flavored buttermilk fried chicken paired with fluffy and tender golden waffles! The most perfect pairing!
Watermelon is a seasonal favourite and it is married with other great ingredients to add another great dish for the celebration of Juneteenth. Watermelon is a traditional staple at the Juneteenth table.
This classic Southern icebox pie recipe, having traveled with my grandmother up north to Ohio during the Great Migration, then to my father, and then passing down to me, is a perfect representation of the spirit of Juneteenth -- celebrating our joys in the face of struggle, remembering where we came from, and sharing love, food, and good times across the generations.
Crawfish Etoufee is a Cajun/Creole roux-based recipe that masterfully blends spices and crawfish into a creamy sauce. Typically served over rice, this is another soulful dish to add to your recipe box.
Fried fish is a summertime treat of the African Heritage Diet. I combined two joyful childhood memories to create the easily achieved Guaymas Shrimp. Happy Juneteenth to all us descendants of Black Texans!
T'ara says: "A Jamaican beef patty recipe that made my Jamaican father proud. This Jamaican beef patty recipe will give you the flavor and flaky crust that makes this dish such a staple in Jamaican culture. For Juneteenth, I'm acknowledging the roots of my culture that make me who I am today. For me, one of the best ways to express my love for my culture is with food. Grab a bottle of Ting or Red Stripe and some cocoa bread to eat with these delicious beef patties!"
This tropical take on my Grandmother's classic pound cake recipe will be a welcome addition to your Juneteenth celebration table. In Texas, we tend to celebrate Juneteenth with cookouts and block parties so I recommend pairing this with a scoop of ice cream to help cool you off!
An ode to the Juneteenth celebration staple, Red Soda Water, this Blackberry Ginger Soda is a refreshing blend of crisp ginger ale, blackberry syrup, club soda, and festive blackberry ice cubes. Add this to your Juneteenth soiree and toast with this!
Pound cake is a staple dessert in most in which the recipe in most families has been passed down generation to generation. The use of cream cheese in place of milk is what makes this favorite family cake so moist.
This berry fruit salad is an easy 6 ingredient recipe! All your favorite fresh berries, a honey orange juice dressing, and fresh mint. The orange juice dressing makes this berry fruit salad so refreshingly delicious!
A staple in every Cajun and Creole household, the tradition of beans and rice is handed down from the African influence in Southern Louisiana. These Cajun White Beans combine beef sausage, coconut milk and Cajun seasonings resulting in the perfect pot of flavorful and tender beans.
Comfort food at it's finest. A Vegan-friendly update to the Southern Classic: Braised, Cabbage and Johnny Cakes. You won't even realize you're missing the bacon. The peppers and liquid smoke are stealthy flavor boosters!
Originating in West Africa, callaloo is a nutrient-dense dish that is common across the African diaspora. In Trinidad, callaloo is a quintessential part of Sunday lunches. In this recipe, carrots and butternut squash braise alongside dasheen leaves, okra, green onions, garlic, onion, cilantro and thyme in coconut milk.
These Crockpot Smoked Red Beans are the perfect savory side dish for your Juneteenth celebration bbq. One of it’s origin stories comes from the enslaved people on Louisiana’s sugar plantations 300 years ago. On Juneteenth, we eat it to celebrate their ingenuity and lives.
Juneteenth is normally celebrated with a menu of red foods to represent the perseverance of the enslaved. This Juneteenth I honor that tradition with my Strawberry Cornbread Skillet Cobbler, a bright crimson blend of juicy summer strawberries, mint, and citrus nestled under a bed of pillowy golden cornbread. This cobbler is delicious and ridiculously easy to dish up making it the perfect contribution for all summer gatherings.
Rich, comforting, healthy and satisfying, this vegan twist on a traditional Congolese dish is made with lots of greens, red onions, peanut butter and habanero for a touch of heat. Serve it alongside golden plantains and rice.
Black American culinary tradition is rooted in barbecue. Modern times call for modern measures: When you don’t have time to set up the smoker or fire up the grill, these Easy BBQ pork ribs come to the rescue.
When it comes to this Ultimate Vegan Mac + Cheese recipe, it is by far more than a fork full of goodness! Super creamy, 'cheesy', and loaded with flavor, this 'Mac + Cheese" is made from gluten-free macaroni, savory seasonings, nutritional yeast, and cashews soaked overnight (which makes the cream cheese base). A beautiful twist on a classic dish that it sure to be a staple in your household. Completely vegan and gluten-free.
This Strawberry Buttermilk Biscuit recipe takes a southern staple and gives it a sweet twist. Fresh strawberries are baked right into these fluffy buttermilk biscuits for a delightful spin on a classic southern recipe.
If you’re looking for a light tomato pie for your gathering, then you’re in the wrong place. But if you want a guilty pleasure fulfilled in one bite of a pie that just so happens to contain hearty sliced tomatoes. Then you are exactly where you need to be.
Paying homage to my southern roots by sharing a staple known to have a designated place at every family "cookout". Let's add a twist to traditional deviled eggs with fresh herbs, lemon and hot sauce topped with buttered cajun shrimp!
To us, softshell crab is the one and only taste of summer. They are blue crabs that are in the midst of shedding their shells, rendering the entire crab, claws and all, edible. This dish’s double-dredge is the best way to amplify the subtle crab flavor and maximize crunchiness. And the fried garlic sauce just takes everything over the top.
Roasted sweet potato salad is a delightful twist on traditional potato salad! Consider switching it up and adding this side to your Juneteenth or any summer cookout menu. This dish can also be turned into a sandwich or finger food option. Simply add the potato salad mixture onto wraps, add in 4 toothpicks to hold in place and slice into quarters in between. (Note: Omit the bacon to make this dish vegetarian friendly)
Jerk chicken is almost as old as Jamaica itself and is believed to have been developed by enslaved Africans who escaped to Jamaica and combined their cooking techniques with the seasonings and spices of Jamaica’s native Arawak people. Jerk chicken is at its core a dish that symbolizes rebellion against oppression and the uniting of different cultures through food, a perfect compliment to the Junneteenth celebration!
The classic color, red, is seen everywhere during the Juneteeth celebration. That’s what makes this entree so special. Served alongside coconut rice and sweet plantains, Red Red Stew is the perfect entree to celebrate the historic holiday. Here is my vegan take on the popular West African black-eyed pea dish!
Jamaican Jerk Chicken is a staple recipe in Caribbean culture. It's one of the classics that the world is familiar with. This recipe shows you how to create the best, authentic jerk chicken marinade, and make a delicious Jamaican jerk chicken wing appetizer.
The Juneteenth holiday consists of red foods & drinks as part of the celebration of freedom. Red as a symbol of perseverance. Foods like strawberry soda, kola nut tea, hibiscus tea, watermelon and strawberry pie are all customary items included in the festivities. We thought a vegan hibiscus strawberry ice cream was the perfect way to honor this tradition.
The earthiness of the sweet potato meets the warmth and comfort of traditional buttermilk cornbread and, right in the center of the Jubilee table, the richness of our African-American heritage takes the form of Sweet Potato Cornbread.
This appetizer can be found in restaurants and parties across Ghana. Usually the kebabs are covered in a peanut seasoning, but this version here is made Whole30 by omitting the peanuts and using roasted cashews. All ingredients compliant with Whole30 and Paleo.
Mila Clarke Buckley is a type 2 diabetes patient advocate and the founder of The Hangry Woman blog, that shares approachable food and lifestyle tips to help others living with type 2 diabetes.
HangryWoman.com covers topics like diabetes management, shame and stigma, cooking, and self-care from the perspective of someone living with the chronic condition.
Mila’s work has been featured by The New York Times, Healthline, WebMD, GE, Health and Diabetic Living Magazine.
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