In the searing heat of summer, I want my food to be refreshing, full of supercharged ingredients, and speedy to prepare. Balmy evenings and the dry warmth of the summer air begs for our energy to shift from the comforting presence of the stove and lengthy food preparation, towards simple alfresco food solutions that can be enjoyed by adults and children alike.
In the warmer parts of the year, my priorities shift away from indoor activity, to more outdoor, social engagements; morning yoga sessions and beach walks followed by throw-together breakfasts, inviting friends over for a shaded outdoor lunch of simple, seasonal ingredients, and family gatherings where common sense, last-minute entertaining or pot luck offerings are regularly required.
When enjoying the food of summer, I always tackle my food planning with a two-fold approach. Firstly, and most importantly, I focus on healing, supercharged ingredients that are full of the season’s well-curated nutrients that support immunity, energy and vitality that the summertime requires. Secondly, I love to embrace speedy simplicity by taking hold of the ritual of batch cooking, one pan options, and easy-peasy snacks and refreshments that allow less time in hands-on food prep, and more time enjoying the outdoors and the presence of those I love.
For summer breakfasts, you can’t go past a glorious granola topped with a mountain of seasonal fruits. My Cranberry and Walnut Granola is my favourite go-to. I find great contentment mixing and baking a large batch of this scrumptious stuff during a Sunday batch-cooking session. You should smell the aroma! The blissful scent of sweet cranberries and roasting nuts will fill the air of your home, comforting your mind with the assurance of nourishing breakfasts sorted for the week ahead. I love to immerse my granola in homemade almond milk topped with fresh organic farmer’s market fruits. You can’t beat passionfruit, mango or raspberries!
One pan meals minimise the need for hands on time in the kitchen, and you don’t have to miss out on flavour with a throw-together dish. My Seven Minute One Pan Salmon with Greens is one you could do blindfolded, and always delivers the light, fresh oceanic flavours of salmon, plus the anti-inflammatory benefits of this high omega 3 fish. It’s also surrounded by seasonal greens that are important for oxygenating the blood to increase energy levels for outdoor cricket or rugby and trying to keep up with chasing around my three step sons during the holidays.
But if I were to uphold one of the greatest summer recipes that I know of, I’d have to wave my banner for these no-fail popsicles. For the amount of effort required to whip up a batch of these darlings, it never ceases to amaze me how many times they have brought a sense of delight to both adults and children on a sweltering summers day.
As guests drizzle in through the holidays, I love to have a few variations of this basic recipe stored up in my freezer to bless unexpected guests. At the point of their presentation, it’s beautiful to watch the kid come out of everyone in response to the offer.
When whipping these up, you can use the basic variation, add cacao for a cheeky chocolate flavour, or try some of these seasonal variations:
- Blend in some mango chunks and scatter some whole macadamias into each mould
- Drop a handful of chopped strawberries into the mix before pouring into moulds for a strawberries and cream popsicle
- Stir the pulp of two passionfruit into the mix before pouring.
- Blend in a handful of blueberries and the zest of one lemon.
The best thing about this recipe is that it utilises simple non-perishable food items that can be kept on hand for use at any moment. Aside from being conveniently canned, coconut milk is also highly nutritious and rich in fibre, vitamins C, E, B1, B3, B5 and B6 and minerals including iron, selenium, sodium, calcium, magnesium and phosphorous. It’s also dairy free, so your popsicles will still impress friends or children with dairy allergies.
My Heal Your Gut powder is included in this recipe but is an optional addition. However I always love to prioritise a scoop, as it’s a simple way to cram in its remarkable gut healing benefits of improving detoxification, aiding nutrient absorption, increasing the health of hair skin and nails, and boosting hydration in the hot weather. You can read more about the benefits of the HYG powder and purchase it here.
Makes 6-8 popsicles
- 2 cans of organic coconut milk
- seeds of one vanilla bean (or alcohol free vanilla/ vanilla powder)
- 2 Tbsp HYG Powder
- 10 drops of stevia (or to taste)
For chocolate version add in 1 tsp of cacao powder
- Blend all ingredients in a blender.
- Pour into popsicle mould and leave in freezer for 3-4 hours.
*These are best eaten at this time, as if left overnight or too long in the freezer, the coconut milk sometimes splits.
Make them and let me know how you go! Viva la holidays 🙂