Let's ring in the summer with natural vitamins and minerals presented as yummy, healthy and addictive dishes, much needed to combat the scorching heat. Goodbye winter wonderland and take that, summer!
VEGAN BANANA NICE CREAM SANDWICHES
For the cookies
2 cups rolled oats
1 cup coconut, unsweetened and shredded
1 cup bananas, frozen
1/2 cup agave syrup
1/4 cup peanut butter (or almond butter)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon
For the banana ice cream
2 cups bananas, frozen
4 tbsp almond milk
1 tsp vanilla
For the cookies, add oats, coconut, vanilla, and cinnamon in a high-speed blender or food processor. Process into a flour-like consistency. Add agave syrup, bananas, and almond butter and process until a sticky ball of dough forms. Scoop out the dough with an ice cream scoop and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Flatten the balls into cookies and stick them in the freezer.
For the banana ice cream, process all ingredients in a food processor, adding the almond milk a little at a time until you get a creamy ice cream. Assemble and take cookies out of the freezer. Sandwich banana ice cream between two cookies. Place back in the freezer to harden or enjoy right away!
ARRESTED FROZEN BANANAS
3 bananas, peeled and halved
150g chocolate (I prefer dark chocolate)
Finely chopped peanuts or other nuts (optional)
Insert popsicle sticks into each of the banana halves and put on a parchment-lined sheet. Freeze, uncovered, for at least two hours or overnight. Once the bananas are frozen, gently melt the chocolate in a double boiler (I rig one by putting a heat-proof metal bowl over a small pot of simmering water). Alternately, microwave the chocolate until melted. Carefully dip a banana half in chocolate so it is evenly covered, roll in nuts (if you prefer it), and hold upright for about 30 seconds, until the chocolate has set (it happens very quickly!). Set down on the parchment-lined sheet and repeat with the remaining bananas and chocolate. Serve immediately, or freeze until ready to eat.
GREEN COCONUT PUDDING
3 cups green coconut water
2 tsp sugar
7gm china grass
1 cup green coconut slices
Before starting, soak the china grass for 15-20 minutes. Drain water and keep aside.
In a medium sauce pan, add coconut water, sugar and china grass. Cook on low-medium heat. Keep stirring until china grass dissolve. Once done, turn off the flame. Take 2-3 small bowls and place sliced coconut in it. Put the hot coconut water and let it cool at room temperature. Then put it into refrigerator for 2-3 hours or until set. Serve chilled.
PIÑA COLADA PIE IN A JAR
3 cups graham crackers, finely crushed
12 tsp butter, melted
3½ cups pineapple, crushed
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup cream cheese, softened
1 tbsp sugar
½ cup unsweetened coconut flakes, toasted
To make the crust, combine graham cracker crumbs with butter in a large bowl and stir until combined.
For the pineapple layer, in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, add the crushed pineapple until thick and jam-like for about 15 minutes.
For the cream layer, in a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Fold in cream cheese and sugar. For best results, transfer mixture to a piping bag.
Among four mason jars, layer graham cracker crust, pineapple (using a spoon), and cream, alternating until you reach the top of the jar. Garnish with toasted coconut and serve.
ORANGE RICE SALAD
2 cups brown rice, cooked and cooled
½ cup celery, diced
¾ cup raisins or other dried fruit
¼ cup nuts, chopped
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp orange juice or vinegar
¼ cup parsley, chopped (or 1 tsp dried parsley)
3 green onions, washed and thinly sliced
2 cups mandarin oranges with juice
¼ tsp salt, ¼ tsp pepper
Mix all the ingredients together in a medium-sized bowl. Chill for an hour to allow the flavours to blend. Refrigerate leftovers within two hours. For added texture, add 2/3 cup diced green peppers or any other crunchy vegetables.
WATERMELON FETA SALAD
For the honey vinaigrette
2 tbsp honey, 2 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp olive oil, Pinch of salt
For the watermelon salad
1 watermelon, peeled, cut into cubes
2 cups cucumber, cubed
15 fresh mint leaves, torn
15 fresh basil leaves, torn
½ cup crumbled feta cheese (or to taste)
In a small bowl, whisk together the honey, lime juice, olive oil and pinch of salt. Set aside for a moment. In a large bowl or serving platter with sides, combine the watermelon, cucumbers, and fresh herbs. Top the watermelon salad with the honey vinaigrette and gently toss to combine. Top with the feta cheese and serve!
Compiled by Supriti Sarkar