Hi, Dear Friend,
Are you all ready for the biggest Red, White and Blue Holiday of the year?
Yes, the 4-th of July is coming up and no matter where you go everything around is red, white and blue! And this spirit inspires everybody, me included, to come up with something patriotic but unique, and in my case, sweet and, of course, healthy!
So I want to offer you a healthy and cute red, white & blue dessert idea for you to bring to that potluck (I think that those white chocolate stars look pretty impressive, aren’t they?), or… oh, well, I will probably be also eating one (or two:) ) for breakfast since, if you’ve been following my blog for awhile you know how I love starting my days with a healthy and yummy treat 🙂 And why not start hhe Red, White and Blue Holiday with the decadent and yummy Healthy Red, White and Blue Cupcakes?
These Healthy Red, White & Blue Cupcakes are all-natural and very easy to make. The only hassle-some part could be making the strawberry and blueberry syrups in two separate pots. But if you don’t have the time to cook both, you can just make one of the syrups and use them for all the cupcakes. It’s just that I wanted to be extra-fancy and make the Red, White & Blue Cupcakes all over, instead of just on top… And as far as the white chocolate stars go, I spotted that cute star-shaped candy-mold in Michaels and got it because I loved an idea of molding my own chocolates, but if you don’t happen to own one of those molds you can simply melt the white chocolate and “draw” the stars on a piece of parchment paper and them let them cool and harden.
And… I also want to add a little personal story to this post… Because although yes, I am totally excited about the upcoming holiday, I was not born here, in America. I was born in Russia, (Soviet Union, back then), but I was exposed to the American culture growing up. Especially the movies. And… being a romantic that I am I totally fell in love with those movies and their heroes. They were strong, protective, sensitive, – the real heroes a girl dreams about… They were very unlike most of the people I was surrounded with: back then in the 90-s Russia very few people wanted to be romantic. With the markets crashing and new (mostly illegal) opportunities emerging most people were all about business, sarcastic and bitterly practical. I knew I wanted something different… I had my chance when as a teenager I went to the US as a student. And then… things happened for me fast: I got married and gave birth to my two boys.
I consider myself an American. I treasure my Russian cultural background and I love Russia as my birthplace. But my family is here. And spiritually… I am very much an American in heart. Because I love American values and I very much support the ideas of Independence and Freedom.
The cute little bear that you see on my pictures is a present that I got from my American friends and family when I just got my citizenship. He’s cute, isn’t he 🙂
And… here is the recipe for the Healthy Red, White & Blue Cupcakes for your Independence Day celebration!
Healthy Red, White, and Blue Cupcakes
For the Cupcakes:
- 1 1/2 cup white whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup oil
- 1/2 cup non-fat or low-fat milk
- 1 egg
- 4 egg whites
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
For the Frosting:
- 4 cups non-fat Greek yogurt
- 2 3.4- oz packets of vanilla pudding mix
For the Strawberry/Blueberry syrups:
- 1 cup each strawberries
- 1 cup blueberries
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 tsp fruit pectin
- 1 oz freeze-dried strawberries ground in a food processor
- 1 oz freeze-dried blueberries ground in a food processor
- 4 oz white chocolate
To make the white chocolate stars melt the white chocolate and pour it in the star-shaped molds or "draw" stars with the melted chocolate on a piece of parchment paper and let them cool and harden.
To make the cupcakes preheat your oven to 350 F.
Mix the flour with the baking soda, baking powder and salt.
Whip the egg and the egg whites just a little but with the sugar, until the soft peaks form. Add the milk, lemon juice, oil and vanilla extract. Mix everything well.
Pour the wet mixture into the flour mixture and stir until just incorporated.
Bake the cupcakes for 15-20 minutes until the toothpick inserted in their middle of a cupcake comes out clean. Let the cupcakes cool to the room temperature.
To make the frosting beat the yogurt with the pudding mix until it's fluffy.
To make the syrups put the strawberries with 1/4 cup of sugar, 1 tsp of pectin and 2 tbsp of water in a pot and bring to boil. Boil for 5 minutes and let cool to the room temperature. Put in a food processor and blend until the strawberries are pureed.
Do the same thing with the blueberries.
To assemble the cupcakes poke a hole in each cupcakes and fill the holes with the blueberry and strawberry syrups.
Pipe the frosting on top of the cupcakes.
Sprinkle the cupcakes with the freeze-dried ground blueberries (for the cupcakes filled with blueberry syrup) and freeze-dried ground strawberries (for the cupcakes filled with strawberry syrup).
Decorate the blueberry cupcakes with the white chocolate stars.
Enjoy, and if you decide to give it a try, please snap a few pics and let me know how it came out! 🙂