Recipes for Our Founding Fathers

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Today is President’s Day and over at, they’ve put together a great collection of the US Presidents’ favorite foods.

It’s got some great research and we’re happy to see so many of them enjoyed vegetables, fruits and whole grains. We took a look at some historical first families and found some cancer-protective modern dishes they might have enjoyed.

George Washington, famously rumored to have loved cherries, preferred a variety of fruits, along with nuts and fish. Eating a variety of fruits and other plant foods is probably protective against several kinds of cancer, including mouth and esophagus. And lab studies suggest the phytochemical anthocyanin, credited with giving cherries their notable red hue, acts as a potent antioxidant.  Fresh game and fowl from his farmland was also popular at the table. He might have loved to try Pork Tenderloin with Cherry Sauce.

Abraham Lincoln was more inclined to view food as fuel. Corn, eggs and apples were dietary staples for him and honey was supposedly his favorite indulgence.  Maybe this recipe for Honey Roasted Parsnips with Sweet Potatoes and Apples would have peaked his interest.

John F. Kennedy reportedly had a penchant for rich French cuisine, but preferred a simpler meal during the day. Soup was a lunch favorite and the same New England-style chowder can easily be updated to reduce fat and calories. Low-fat milk can replace artery-clogging cream, and vegetables, like butternut squash, can give the soup rich body. Try this recipe for modern New England Chowder.

More recent presidents have enjoyed everything from Monkey Bread (a buttery sweet bread akin to cinnamon rolls), to corn pudding to pretzels.

Check out the AICR Test Kitchen to try something new and healthy for your table.

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