The sun is out, and with it comes a range of seasonal fruit and vegetables. Bridie Kersten* shares some of her favourite summer recipes with us to get December off with a bang.
Summer is here! The days are not only longer, but also warmer. The blossoms have come and gone and been replaced with tender green leaves. All things new and fresh are being celebrated as we step out of a long, cold winter. Perhaps this week you will enjoy a picnic or a walk outdoors. With lots of fruits and vegetables now in season, here are some fresh recipes to kick off your summer.
Strawberries and Cream Icy Poles
250 g punnet strawberries
400 g can coconut milk
1 tsp vanilla (optional: use rosewater instead of the vanilla, it makes a delicious alternative to this recipe)
1 tsp honey
Blend all ingredients together and pour into icy pole moulds. You can buy these from most supermarkets and two-dollar shops. Freeze until solid. You may need to run warm water over the outside of the mould to pop out the icy pole. Enjoy!
Chai Nice Cream
4 frozen bananas
1 tsp cinnamon powder
1 tsp ginger powder
1 tsp vanilla essence
plant-based milk to blend (almond, soy or coconut milk are good options)
The best way to freeze bananas is to wait until they are very ripe and then peel them, cut them into chunks and pop them in a ziplock bag in the freezer. To make nice cream, put them in to a blender with the cinnamon, ginger and vanilla and about ¼ cup of milk. Start blending and add enough milk so that it blends into a soft-serve consistency.
Homemade Fizzy Drink
2–3 tsp thyme leaves
8–10 strawberries, sliced
juice of 2–3 limes
1 litre mineral water
stevia to sweeten (I use stevia powder or tablets—it is the best sweetener for this as it dissolves easily and is not too strong)
Put the thyme leaves in the bottom of each compartment of an ice cube tray. Layer slices of strawberries on top and then pour in enough water to fill. Put in the freezer until frozen. Meanwhile, pour the lime juice into the mineral water and add the stevia to sweeten. Once the ice cubes are frozen solid, pop them out into a container and store in the fridge. When you are ready for a cold drink on a hot day, pour some of the lime mineral water into a glass and add two or three strawberry ice cubes. Consider investing in a reusable, stainless straw.
Bananas, berries and citrus fruits are all in season and at their best now. Try including them in smoothies, lunch boxes or even an after-school fruit platter to increase your fruit intake and add some fresh flavours to your meals.
*Bridie Kersten is a registered nutritionist with an interest in holistic and alternative health who blogs at facebook.com/thenutritionistnanny