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The holiday weekend is nearly here, and on both sides of the 49th parallel, cookouts abound. With Independence Day celebrated July 4 in the U.S. and Canada Day on July 1, there's no shortage of backyard parties — and we can help with cookout-friendly products and homemade accompaniments, all non-GMO.

You can find the Butterfly in virtually every aisle at the grocery store, or you can search the Verified product listings for something specific.

Halo + Cleaver

Halo + Cleaver makes low-sugar sauces that satisfy your tastebuds without sacrificing your health. The company's founder, Matt, comes by his expertise honestly: butchering and barbecuing are in his blood. But, when Matt began experiencing health issues, he knew he had to reevaluate his diet. Matt didn't want to stick with bland food to regain his health, and he doesn't think you should have to either. 

These barbeque sauces and ketchups are made with no added sugar or high-fructose corn syrup. Instead, Halo + Cleaver uses apples, pineapples and bananas to sweeten their products naturally while bringing you bold and multi-layered flavor. Their entire line is dairy-free, gluten-free, keto friendly and whole30 approved. Available online and through select U.S. retailers.

0% Bull

Finally, a 100% plant-based veggie burger that offers all the convenience, nutrients, and flavor without any wheat, gluten, or isolates — and no bull! 

The NoBull Burger isn't meant to imitate meat. It's got its own thing going on. Handcrafted, whole-food veggie burgers made from organic lentils, grains and roasted vegetables, NoBull was born out of a simple belief that when we eat good, we feel good, and when we feel good, we live a healthier, happier life. Available at Whole Foods Market in the freezer section.

Beside the burger

Alas, we cannot live on burgers alone. Enjoy these summer side-dishes adapted from The Non-GMO Cookbook: Recipes and Advice For a Non-GMO Lifestyle by Megan Westgate and Courtney Pineau.

Chicken Summer Salad

Low-calorie, gluten free and very healthy, this is a great dish to throw together for a potluck or serve at any summer party! 

2 cooked chicken breasts, cubed

2 bunches baby kale (or arugula, baby romaine, or fresh spinach), roughly chopped

1 peach, sliced

1 small cucumber, peeled and chopped

¼ cup Old Chatham Creamery Goat Chèvre Original, crumbled

1 tbsp plus 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp balsamic vinegar

Salted pecans to taste

Sea salt and pepper to taste

While the chicken is still warm, mix all ingredients together in a large bowl. Make sure everything is evenly combined and let it sit for a few minutes so the goat cheese melts into the olive oil and the greens wilt slightly from the warm chicken. Serves 4.

Wild Summer Salad

This dish is gluten free and vegan. For a non-vegetarian version, try adding 1 cup cooked and cubed chicken breast. 

1 cup Lundberg Wild Blend rice

¾ cup tomato, seeded and diced

¾ cup green onions, chopped

⅓ cup cooked green peas

4 tbsps rice vinegar

1 tbsp sesame oil

1 clove garlic, peeled and minced

½ tsp dried tarragon

½ tsp sea salt

½ tsp black pepper

Cook the rice according to the package directions. Combine cooked, cooled rice with all ingredients. Toss lightly. Chill and serve. Makes 4 servings.

Save your spoon, there's dessert

Of course, no cookout is complete without a scoop of ice cream. Whether you're looking for simple vanilla to top off a pie or crumble or something more daring, there's a flavor for every palate. Check out our top picks in dairy and vegan frozen desserts here.

We wish you all a happy and healthy holiday hootenanny!

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