Celebrating Independence Day usually means backyard barbecues, outdoor picnics, and pool parties—where it’s all too easy to overindulge in greasy finger foods and brightly dyed desserts. That’s why we asked a few of our favorite food bloggers for perfectly patriotic treats with a healthier twist. From a flag-inspired popsicle to a festive, flavorful pie, check out these four guilt-free recipes that you and your family can enjoy over the holiday weekend.
These striped treats are made without food coloring or added sugar. Even better, you only need three ingredients (and a popsicle mold, of course) to whip them up.
1 heaping cup raspberries
1 cup blueberries
1 cup vanilla-flavored Greek yogurt
1. Using a blender or small 4-cup food processor, puree the raspberries
until smooth. Set aside.
2. Do the same with the blueberries.
3. Put the yogurt and each of the berry purees in small measuring cups with spouts. The goal is to thin them just a bit so they are pourable. Use water for the yogurt and the raspberries, and depending on the color of your blueberries, you can use water, or yogurt if you need to brighten up your “blue.” Keep these cups chilling in the refrigerator when you are not using them.
4. To layer your pops, start by pouring a little of the blueberry in the bottom of each mold. The only tricky part to these popsicles is getting the layers in without too much spillage to mar your stripes. Use my photos as a rough guide for how much blue you want. Don’t get too fussy; it should look rustic!
5. Put the mold in the freezer and freeze till firm, at least an hour.
6. Layer a little bit of yogurt into each mold for the next stripe. You will be able to see through the side of the mold to check your progress. At this point, cover the top of the mold with foil and insert the popsicle sticks. Make sure to get the stick a little bit into the frozen layer so it will stand straight. Put back into the freezer until solid.
7. Remove the foil at this stage; you won’t need it, since the stick is in and you need to layer. Next comes your raspberry stripe and so on until the molds are filled. Make sure to freeze each stripe until solid before adding the next. Don’t worry if the stripes are uneven, but do try to clean up any dribbles as you go. Use a popsicle stick to scrape down the insides of the mold after each stripe.
8. Once they’re filled and completely frozen solid, you can un-mold your pops. Fill the sink with hot water. Remove the foil, and immerse the mold just up to the lip, being careful not to let any water splash onto the top. Hold it for 30 seconds, remove, and try to pull the pops out. If they don’t slide out, immerse again for just a few seconds.
9. It’s recommended to keep the popsicles in the mold until you are ready to serve, or, if you are working in batches, wrap each pop quickly in waxed paper or a baggie and place back in the freezer.
Thanks to festive toppings, like strawberries, blueberries, and toasted coconut, this fiber-rich chia seed pudding is perfect for a tasty breakfast or snack on the Fourth of July—or any other day of the year.
1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (Almond Breeze used in original recipe)
½ cup plain Greek yogurt (2% used in original recipe)
1 ½ tablespoons pure maple syrup
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
¼ cup chia seeds
1 banana, thinly sliced
½ cup chopped strawberries
½ cup blueberries
¼ cup unsweetened coconut flakes, toasted
2 tablespoons cacao nibs
1. Stir together almond milk, yogurt, maple syrup, and vanilla. Whisk in the chia seeds. Cover and refrigerate overnight. If you’re in a rush, less time will do—at least 3-4 hours is recommended. Wait until you’re ready to serve the chia pudding before preparing your toppings.
2. To toast your coconut, preheat a sauté pan to medium heat. Add coconut flakes and stir constantly until they turn a golden color (this will take about 1-3 minutes). Remove the coconut flakes from the pan and allow to cool.
3. Stir the chia seed pudding to make sure there aren’t any big clumps, and then spoon into 4 serving dishes and top with banana slices, strawberries, blueberries, coconut flakes, and cacao nibs, using a quarter of each topping for every serving.
4. If you’re not planning to eat all 4 servings at once, simply leave the toppings and chia seed pudding in separate airtight containers in the fridge until ready to serve. The chia seed pudding should last 4-5 days in the fridge, so you can make a batch at the beginning of the week and have it for breakfast or a snack on multiple days.
Instead of serving watermelon wedges at your barbecue, copy this hydrating Fresca-inspired drink. Your guests will love the naturally sweet and tangy flavor, all thanks to blended watermelon and lime juice.
2-3 cups watermelon, largely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 cup ice
Plain seltzer water (optional)
1. In a blender, combine watermelon, lime juice, and ice. Blend for about 20 seconds and then pour in a glass. Top with seltzer if desired, and enjoy.
No Fourth of July gathering is complete without a patriotic pie. This baked oatmeal version is not only a better alternative to most buttery, sugary pies, but it’s also incredibly simple to make.
2 cups Quaker Old Fashioned Oats
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon brown sugar
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup fresh strawberries, sliced
1 cup milk
½ cup Greek yogurt
½ teaspoon coconut extract (sub vanilla)
5 basil leaves
1 tablespoon shredded coconut
1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
2. Combine dry ingredients.
3. Combine wet ingredients.
4. Mix wet into dry.
5. Grease a pie dish with butter, and pour oat mixture in.
6. Arrange strawberries.
7. Chiffonade basil and sprinkle on top, assembling pie in whatever design you’d like.
8. Sprinkle with coconut.
9. Bake for 35 minutes until middle is set and edges begin to brown. Allow to cool 5-10 minutes before slicing, or your first piece will look more like oatmeal than pie.