For July 4th, Sweet Treats in Red, White, and Blue

June 30, 2016 11:06 am Last Updated: July 1, 2016 7:44 am

July 4th is right around the corner, and America is gearing up for its annual birthday bash.

It’s a day full of rowdy parades, dazzling fireworks, and of course, delicious eats. Expect buildings, people, and food alike to be decked out in patriotic red, white, and blues, as Americans take to the streets and their grills to celebrate the nation’s independence.

Join the celebration with these festive red-white-and-blue-themed desserts. Cool off with refreshing layered popsicles filled with fruit and coconut milk, or creamy vanilla chia pudding loaded up with healthy toppings—both dairy-free and refined-sugar-free treats you can quickly whip up at home. For a slightly more indulgent option, try your hand at The Wayfarer’s airy pavlova, made with passion fruit cream, fresh berries, Chantilly cream, and strawberry consommé. The bright, fruity flavors and sweet, crisp meringue make a dreamy combination.

Then, turn to the skies to watch the fireworks light up the night—best enjoyed with friends, family, and a happily full stomach.

Vanilla Berry Chia Parfait

Vanilla Berry Chia Parfait. (Courtesy of Seed to Sprout)
Vanilla Berry Chia Parfait. (Courtesy of Seed to Sprout)
Serves: 1
 
Ingredients

For the Vanilla Cashew Soak:

  • 1 cup filtered water
  • 1/3 cup raw cashews
  • 1/3 cup raw agave nectar
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Pinch sea salt
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • Fresh blueberries
  • Goji berries
  • Unsweetened coconut flakes

Directions 

In a high speed blender, process the Vanilla Cashew Soak ingredients until creamy. Transfer to a bowl and whisk in chia seeds. Let sit 15 minutes, stirring once or twice. Transfer to refrigerator to chill. Layer 1/4 cup chia pudding, 1 tablespoon blueberries, 1/4 cup chia pudding, 1 tablespoon goji berries, 1/4 cup chia pudding. Top with blueberries, goji berries, and coconut flakes. Enjoy!
 
(Recipe courtesy of Alexandra Mazzucca and Cara Pescatore, co-owners, Seed to Sprout, Avon by the Sea and Fair Haven, N.J.) 

Red White and Blue Popsicles

Red, White, and Blue Popsicles. (Courtesy of Danielle Walker)
Red, White, and Blue Popsicles. (Courtesy of Danielle Walker)

Serves: 10-12

Ingredients
 
For the Red Layer:
  • 2 cups strawberries, halved and hulled
  • 1 cup raspberries
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice

For the White Layer:

  • 1 cup full-fat coconut milk
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice

For the Blue Layer:

  • 3 cups blueberries
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
Directions

Place all of the ingredients in the Red Layer in a high speed blender and purée until smooth. Strain through a fine mesh sieve into a bowl with a spout for easy pouring. Pour into popsicle molds. Place in freezer for 40 minutes until frozen.

While the Red Layer is freezing, make your White Layer. Mix all of the White Layer ingredients in a bowl. Once fully combined, pour into popsicle molds on top of the Red Layer. Place back in freezer and freeze for 40 minutes.

While the White Layer is freezing, make the Blue Layer. Place all of the ingredients for the Blue Layer in the blender and purée until smooth. Strain through a fine mesh sieve into a bowl with a spout for easy pouring. Pour on top of frozen White Layer. Place the popsicle tops with sticks in the partially frozen popsicles. Place the popsicles in the freezer and freeze overnight.

(Recipe courtesy of Danielle Walker. She is the author of New York Times best-selling cookbooks, “Against all Grain” and “Meals Made Simple.” Her third cookbook, “Celebrations: A Year of Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, and Paleo Recipes for Every Occasion” launches on Sept. 27)

Pavlova

Pavlova. (Courtesy of The Wayfarer)
Pavlova. (Courtesy of The Wayfarer)

Ingredients

For the Strawberry Consommé:

  • 1 pound frozen strawberries
  • 1 1/2 oz granulated sugar

For the Passion Fruit Cream:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups Passion Fruit juice
  • 12 ounces butter, room temperature

For the Meringue:

  • 3 egg whites, room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juce

Directions

For the Strawberry Consommé:

Toss the strawberries and sugar together in a heat-proof bowl.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and put in a warm place, like inside a gas oven with a pilot light, for 8–10 hours.

Strain the mixture without pressing on the fruit and store in the refrigerator for up to a week.

For the Passion Fruit Cream:

Mix the eggs, sugar, and passion fruit juice the bowl of a double boiler until it reaches 180F on an instant-read thermometer. You will know when you’re getting close when the color of the foam matches the custard and begins to dissipate.

Take the custard off the heat and allow to cool to between 140F to 130F.

Then mix in the butter with an immersion blender.

Store in the refrigerator for up to a week.

For the Meringue:

Place egg whites in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.

Whip the whites on medium speed until it reaches the ribbon stage, when the whites hold the trail from the whisk.

Slowly add 3/4 cup of sugar, a tablespoon at time until fully incorporated.

Turn the mixer to high speed and continue to whip until the sugar is completely dissolved. You can check this by rubbing the meringue in between your fingers. If you feel the sugar, continue to whip until the meringue is completely smooth.

Mix the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar with the cornstarch until thoroughly combined.

Once the meringue is ready, take the bowl off the mixer and fold in the cornstarch and sugar mixture in 2 to 3 additions.

Then fold in lemon juice.

Spoon the meringue onto a sheet pan with parchment and dry in a 200F oven for about 30 minutes, a longer for larger pavlovas.

Store in an airtight container and use within 24 hours, or store in the freezer.

To Assemble the Pavlova:

Spoon some passion fruit cream on a plate and place the meringue on top of the passion cream.

Spoon some whipped cream on top of the meringue and arrange fresh berries on top of the cream.

Put the consommé in a small pitcher like a gravy boat and pour some over the pavlova and around the plate.

(Recipe courtesy of Leona Sager, pastry chef, The Wayfarer, New York City)