Apr 19th 2018
Refreshing Foods

Spring has arrived, how wonderful this hot weather is! I am grateful for the longer hours of sunlight, being able to walk Henry (my dog) in the evenings is a huge joy. Now I find myself on the look out for cooling, refreshing wholesome foods, ones that naturally are light in taste and ones that can be frozen for delicious sweet treats! I do like to keep to seasonal produce and include these in my every day eating, now with a twist.

I am no longer thinking up ways to heat the vegetables or looking at warming tastes such as chilli, ginger, cayenne pepper or dishes such as stews & one pots, I am moving more towards cooling and fresh tasting foods such as salads, juices, frozen treats and lots of water. As I remind myself of ways to cool down through eating I feel myself being totally supported by wholesome ingredients, ones that I hope you will find a joy to eat too.

  1. Mint: refreshing, cooling and versatile. Can be used in both sweet & savoury dishes and juices. Think tabbouleh with quinoa instead of bulgar wheat for gluten free, chopped mint, parsley and for extra goodies organic dried prunes (2-3 sliced) they bring a grounding sweet note to a tabbouleh in you feel it doesn’t need it leave it out. This goes really well with just lemon & olive oil, if you would like a little more taste try a harissa paste mixed in too. Also tastes great in juices with apple & lemon in green juices.
  2. Frozen fruit. Delicious as a base for ice cream, berries or bananas frozen in chunks and then used in blenders really do make a decadent homemade quick & easy ice cream. You can add in coconut sugar or xylitol if you feel your taste buds need it. For chocolate flavour simply add raw cacao powder with maybe a little liquid sugar sugar as maple syrup or rice syrup, this helps to mix the cacao powder into the ice cream & naturally sweeten too.
  3. Sauté cruciferous vegetables, in a frying pan chop broccoli or cauliflower into florets and then in half again. In a little oil such as olive oil or coconut sauté the broccoli, these creates a slight char to the broccoli creating flavour as well as softening too. If the broccoli isn’t softening add a splash or two of cold water to the hot pan this will create steam, pop the lid on to cook the broccoli for a few minutes. Once cooked, now the choices! Great with lettuce, watercress, rocket, grated carrot, de-shelled hempseed, puy lentils or simply on their own, dressed with… PESTO. Can add mint and parsley to the pesto for different variations both are lovely.
  4. Water. Now if you find water difficult to drink then add certain fruit or herbs like mint to your water, you’ll get added benefits and it flavours the water. I am a huge fan of lemon water although I do like to vary it, this is where I blur the lines slightly for I do not always using seasonal produce such as pineapple is delightful sliced into water, cucumber ribbons really infuse into water quickly, chunks are fine too for cucumber is quite a watery vegetable so you get the nutrition for the cucumbers as well. Grapefruit, orange, apple, kiwi, melon, limes are all super.
  5. Dust off your juicer and get back into your groove. Blanched spinach or baby spinach is great in juices for you simply cannot taste it. Remember all you need is 250ml of juice for you body to get the nutritional hit it needs, anymore and it can be a waste. Think watery bases such as celery, cucumber, romaine lettuce, then ingredients such as apple, ginger, lemon & mint all go really well into a green juice too. I would try and have a green juice every other day.
  6. Potato salads- jump to it! Resistance starch is the next big thing to help create a healthy gut and there is plenty of it in cold potatoes: new potatoes or chopped baked (and cold) potatoes. Try a potato salad with chopped spring onions (chives if you prefer), vegan mayo (or regular if you prefer it- add a splash of ACV to regular for the benefits), gherkins, mix it all together.
  7. Cabbage. Thinking about making sauerkraut, go for it. Either slice VERY thinly a cabbage or if you have a magi mixer give it a whirl, the thinner the better. Then add salt, organic fine sea salt works the best and just rub this into the cabbage, you can add flavours like cumin seeds or just keep it plain, it is just salt & cabbage rubbed together. Soon the water will release from the cabbage, as it does this is a signal it is ready to go into a jar. Then you need to wait for a few weeks and it will be ready. Or if that’s not quick enough then a simple coleslaw of both white & red cabbage chopped up and with either mayo or the creamy herby dressing drizzled over the top are delicious, if you use ACV be prepared your red cabbage will go pink, I’ve found its best to leave it a few hours in it for it softens.

Enjoy this food journey AND before you know it it’ll be BBQ weather!

Emily

Recipe Links:

Tabbouleh

Raspberry Ice cream

Roasted or Sautéed Cauliflower

Green Juice

Vegan Mayo

Berry Cold Infusion

Creamy herby dressing