Thursday, July 2, 2009

Festive 4th of July Treats!

Summer BBQ's, potato salad, layered jell-o salads, fireflies, and sparklers flashing through the humid July night sky....these are my 4th of July memories growing up in the Midwest.

Since layered jell-o salads just aren't in my cooking repertoire anymore I have devised something even more delicious...and good for you!

I decided to take two recipes from my cookbook and combine them; the Cherry Apple Pudding and the Blueberry Fruit Pie. I used the ratios for the pudding and the ingredients for the pie to create these fancy, festive little treats. The juice glasses can be found at Fred Meyers for $1.49 each, though I have found them at Goodwill before too. You can use any small, clear glass you have on hand though.

All of the berries, except the blueberries, are from my garden. If you decide to make this for the 4th of July, then you can prepare the filling and cashew cream up to a day before and chill in the refrigerator, covered. Add the fruit up to 3 hours before serving.

Layered Blueberry Cashew Pudding Treats

Blueberries, cherries, and strawberries all work well for the filling. I would suggest using either cassava syrup or honey for the cashew cream as maple syrup causes the cream to be a dark color (the goal here is red, white, and blue). I also like to use a non-alcoholic vanilla extract when making the cashew cream because I find the alcohol flavor to come though too strongly. Kudzu is a white powdery substance that comes in white chunks. It can be found in the Asian section of your natural health food store or in the bulk spice section. It is very soothing and healing to the intestines.

Blueberry Pudding:
1/4 cup kudzu (dissolved in 3 tablespoons of water)
1 cup organic berry juice
2 cups blueberries
1/4 cup maple syrup or honey

Cashew Cream:
1 cup raw cashews
1/4 cup cassava syrup or honey
3 tablespoons water
2 to 3 teaspoons vanilla extract

sliced strawberries
fresh blueberries
sliced cherries

Place the kudzu and water into a saucepan (2 to 3 quart) and stir with a small wire whisk to dissolve. Place the remaining filling ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. Pour blueberry-juice mixture into the kudzu and whisk together. Turn heat to medium-high and bring to a fast simmer, immediately turn heat down to low and simmer, whisking continuously, until thickened and a dark blueish-purple, about 10 mins.

To make the cashew cream, place all ingredients into a high-powered blender and blend until smooth and creamy.

Pour the blueberry pudding into small glasses and chill for at least an hour before adding the cashew cream. When ready, add dollops of the cream to each cup. Chill and then add your fruit no more than 3 hours before serving.


Other Great 4th of July Recipes:

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About the Author

Alissa Segersten holds a Bachelor's of Science in Nutrition from Bastyr University. She is the founder of Whole Life Nutrition, the mother of five children, a whole foods cooking instructor, professional recipe developer, and cookbook author. She is passionate about helping others find a diet that will truly nourish them, and offers elimination diet recipes, healthy gluten-free recipes, paleo and vegan recipes, as well as tips for feeding your family a nourishing, whole foods diet. Alissa is the author of two very popular gluten-free, whole foods cookbooks and guidebooks: The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook and Nourishing Meals. She is also the co-author of The Elimination Diet book. Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram!


  1. This looks fun; I have your book now but haven't had a chance to get to the aforementioned recipes. I am on my way out the door now to buy ingredients! Thanks again, I appreciate the nutritious recipes you provide to all of us.

  2. Thanks for the idea Ali, my kids love the cherry pudding so I am sure this will be a winner as well. Like the red white and blue theme you have going here.

    How many mini "juice glasses" does this recipe make? I am just wondering if I should double it for all of the kiddos we will have around here tomorrow. Thanks!

  3. We just made the Cherry Apple Pudding the other day and my kids actually ate it. Baby steps, baby steps....they are just beginning to like curry. I use half the curry powder you call for and it seems to have been working. The yellow dal is now a staple, yippeeee!

    Thanks, Tiff ;-)

  4. L - Enjoy! I need to make a trip to the store today too as my girls finished off all of these treats today! :)

    yogamama - The recipe made 8 small glasses. Doubling it would probably be a good idea, enjoy! :)

    Tiff - I am so happy to hear you guys are having success with introducing new foods to your family's diet! Glad to hear they liked the pudding, this recipe is very similar so should also be a hit. Thanks for your comment! :)

    -Ali :)

  5. This looks great and so festive too! I like your idea of maintaining traditions - yet making them healthy treats! I will have to make these this summer for all of the grandkids! Yummm.......

  6. This looks like a hit for kids of all ages...I bet it would look impressive on a dessert table. I have made fruit pudding before but never thought of layering it this way. Does the kudzu work in a similar fashion to cornstarch?

    Happy 4th!

  7. How funny! I posted a similar recipe on Wednesday! I think your filling is thicker than mine though. It sounds delish. We must be on the same wavelength :-) Love, Kelly

  8. Deb - thanks, these would make a treat on just about any hot summer day! :)

    Amy - Yes kudzu does work much like cornstarch, but not exactly. Arrowroot is a better replacement for cornstarch. I love kudzu because of its healing properties. It thickens liquid more so than does cornstarch so there is not a 1:1 replacement.

    Kelly - I just checked your blog - looks great! I like the idea of soaking the cashews and then adding coconut oil - looks rich and delicious! :)

    -Ali :)

  9. Does the kudzu change the texture? The layers look so lovely! Great blog.

  10. Lauren - The kudzu thickens the juice to create a smooth/soft jell-o like pudding when chilled - it is very yummy. :)

  11. I also should have mentioned in the recipe above that I use an organic 100% berry juice - "Santa Cruz organic Berry Nectar" :)

  12. Gorgeous! You should submit those pics to right now.

    You did have me going at the Jello salad at first though ... even I don't do Jello salads. LOL


  13. I made these for the Fourth of July for everyone and they were a hit! These are so good! Yummy! My husband had to finish the pudding stirring part while I was doing something else. He poured the pudding into each glass as I had asked and then he put the whisk and the pan in the sink and filled it with water to soak (!). He clearly doesn't share my favorite parts of cooking (licking the pans and spatulas!). There was still enough to enjoy, but I had to wait a bit longer than I had hoped!

  14. Shirley - Thanks, I will check out the Taste Spotting site.

    Jennifer - I need to lick the pots too, can't let any of that good stuff go to waste! Oh well, glad you enjoyed them when you did. :)

  15. Could you make this without the cashews? I have an allergy to cashews and It's so sad because I LOOOVE them and I'm sure a dessert cream sauce made from them is DELICIOUS. Do you have any suggestions as to what I could substitute them with???????


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Thanks and Happy Cooking! ~Ali :)