Fourth of July is nearly here. Whenever I think of the Fourth, I flashback to childhood memories in Cleveland.
Grilling, barbequing, swimming and playing in the yard while wearing my Cleveland Indian’s t-shirt, life as a kid was wonderful. Our youth are the innocent years where playing everyday and enjoying life outside of school is acceptable.
For me, the Fourth is special this year. In the past, I’ve taken certain things for granted and somehow entering my thirties, I now see the world differently than I did in my twenties. Some of it is part of growth and one’s life path, but being appreciative for everything in life in something I no longer take for granted.
And I do not take nature for granted anymore. It’s the one pure source of energy that we have on this planet and its beauty can inspire us to live greater lives. The beautiful hydrangeas and roses display their patriotic pride around Seattle. So, nature also inspired my patriotic culinary pursuits.
With my love for summer berries and gratitude for everything the US prides itself on, I decided to make a quick vegan white chocolate bark with strawberries and blueberries. This patriotic bark is one of the easiest desserts you can make or bring to your July 4th Barbeque.
Plus, it’s a lot healthier than all those dairy-laden Cool Whip desserts. Just know that most mainstream white chocolate is not vegan. Look out for the vegan-friendly brands or ingredients that do not contain milk powder. Whole foods sells vegan-friendly white chocolate.
There are two methods to making this bark. The first is to top the liquid chocolate with fruit. The second is to mix it all together. Note, mixing needs to be quick as white chocolate solidifies fast!
If you live in Seattle, I recommend visiting the Top Banana fruit and vegetable market in Ballard on 15th and 65th ave NW. I grabbed local strawberries and blueberries for two-dollars per pint – WOW!
And there’s no other WOW than the combination of strawberries and white chocolate mixed together. Fresh. Delicious. “Semi” healthy. Enjoy!
Vegan White Chocolate Summer Berry Bark aka Patriotic Bark
Cooking Time: 10 minutes
Waiting Time 20-30 minutes
1.5 cups of white chocolate chips (make sure it is vegan)
1/3 cup blueberries (cut in half if you are topping the liquid chocolate)
½ cup strawberries, finely chopped
Begin by washing and prepping the fruit. And place a piece of parchment paper on top of a dish.
Bring a small pot of water to a simmer. Place a bowl on top of the pot and melt the chocolate in the bowl, continuously mixing the chips until it liquefies.
Now, if you want to mix the fruit in, do it once the chocolate melts, stirring quickly and then pouring on parchment paper.
If not, pour the melted chocolate on the parchment paper, spreading it evenly with a spatula. Next, place the chopped berries on top, slightly pushing it into the chocolate. Place it in the refrigerator and once solid, use a knife to cut abstract pieces.
What dessert are you making (or hope to eat) this July 4th?
I would love to hear what's in your kitchen!
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Elizabeth Rae Kovar M.A. is Author of her memoir, Finding Om and is a Fitness Trainer, Yogi, Reiki Master, Presenter and Lover of Life. To view her portfolio please visit www.elizabethkovar.com