SEASONAL COOKING: PRETTY IN PINK

Seasonal cooking has many benefits. The quality of products is way better, the price normally cheaper and because they come from local sources the ecological footprint is way smaller. In this segment, I want to introduce you to seasonal ingredients and delicious recipes.

The list of seasonal fruits, vegetables and pulses is long in June, therefore, I picked a few ingredients that share one big health benefit: they are rich in antioxidants.

What are antioxidants and what can they do for you?
We have free radicals in our system which are highly unstable molecules that cause cell damage. Antioxidants can counteract these damages and lower your risk for cancer, cardiovascular disease, strokes, and Alzheimer’s disease. They are also known to protect your skin from sun damage and to prevent wrinkles.
Antioxidants can be found in many fruits and vegetables. For these seasonal recipes, I picked strawberries, rhubarb, raspberries and beetroot. All of them come pretty in pink.

Let’s start with the recipes!

RHUBARB TARTLETS

8 tartlets | medium | preparation time: ~40 minutes

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Perfect dessert or company for a cup of coffee. Easily prepared in advance so you can take it to the next grill party.

INGREDIENTS
400g rhubarb
3 tbsp raw cane sugar
1 pack vanilla sugar
4 tbsp sliced almonds
100ml almond milk (or other plant milk)
200g marzipan
1 pack puff pastry (ca. 450g)
1 tsp turmeric
2 tbsp icing sugar

Pre-heat the oven to 200°C with the fan.

THE FILLING
Wash the rhubarb stems and cut into pieces of about 1.5 inches.
Take a sauce pan and add sugar 3 tbsp of water and the vanilla sugar. Mix until it is cooking. Add the rhubarb and cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes. Add the almond slices and put everything aside.

THE MARZIPAN
Put the marzipan and the almond milk in a saucepan and stir on medium heat until it becomes one smooth mass.

THE PASTRY
Cut the puff pastry into eight equal pieces and put on two oven trays. Spread the marzipan mass on the pastry pieces but leave a margin of 0.5 inches. Add the rhubarb mass on top. Mix the turmeric with a tbsp of water and spread on the margin of the tartlets with a baking brush.

Put the trays in the oven for 15 minutes. Let the tartlets cool down before eating. Sprinkle the icing sugar on top of the tartlets.

TIP: In autumn/winter this recipe also works with plums and cinnamon.

PINK POTATO SALAD

serves 4 people | easy | preparation time: ~90 minutes

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The perfect salad to bring to a BBQ since it is easily prepared the day before and can be stored in the fridge.

SALAD
1kg potatoes
5 big pickles
3 medium sized cooked beetroots

Cook the potatoes for 45 minutes and let them cool down.

Cut the pickles and beetroots into pieces.
After the potatoes are cooled down, cut them also into pieces. Put all of the pieces into a bowl.

DRESSING
1/2 cup hot water
1/2 cube veggie stock
1/2 cup vinegar from the pickle glass
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp black pepper
1 pinch muscat
1 tbsp mixed herbs

Mix all the ingredients and pour over the salad. Mix everything, let it soak for a few minutes and serve it.

BERRIES WITH AMARANTH YOGURT

4 portions | easy | preparation time: ~20 minutes

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Wonderful summer recipe that works perfectly for breakfast or as a dessert – your choice.

THE YOGHURT
1.5 cups soy yoghurt (or another plant-based yoghurt of your choice)
1/2 vanilla pod
2 tbsp coconut sugar (or agave syrup)
2 cups popped amaranth*
4 tbsp coconut flakes

Cut the vanilla open and extract the content with the point of a knife. Put all the ingredients in a bowl and mix with a spoon. Put in the fridge until the rest is finished.

THE BERRIES
2 cups of strawberries
1/2 vanilla pod
1 tbsp coconut sugar

Wash the strawberries and cut them into pieces of your preferred size. Cut the vanilla open and extract the content with the point of a knife. Put all the ingredients in a bowl and mix with a spoon.

THE TOPPING
4 tbsp coconut flakes
1 cup of raspberries

Wash the raspberries. Put the coconut flakes in a pan and fry at medium heat until all of them turn gold brown. Put the flakes into a bowl.

Get some glasses or bowls and start layering the mixtures of yoghurt and strawberries. After two layers of each put a tablespoon of coconut flakes and arrange the raspberries on top.
Serve instantly and enjoy!

* WHAT IS AMARANTH?
Amaranth is a gluten-free pseudo-cereal that has its origin in South America. It can be cooked like rice or popped like corn. It is considered extremely healthy because of the amounts of fibre, iron and protein it contains.

I hope you enjoy these recipes! Leave a comment and when you cook it yourself do not forget to take a picture and to tag me on Instagram @a.vegan.foodie and Facebook @aveganfoodieuk

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