BC blueberries are here! To celebrate, we made a batch of easy cream shortcakes on BT Calgary this morning, with berries in the dough as well as simmered to spoon over the split biscuits. Add some whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream, and you have a dessert that tastes like summer. All the berries are coming into season now, and would be fantastic piled on a freshly baked, crunchy-topped shortcake – here’s the recipe!
Summertime is beverage season, and while I’m not against the occasional slurpee, there’s too much in the way of Kool-Aid, pop and other sugary drinks that are so heavily consumed throughout the hot summer months. My standby is homemade lemonade, jazzed up with fresh herbs, ginger or sliced cucumber. Lemons are classic, of course – but limes and even grapefruit can be added to the mix to shake things up a bit, so to speak.
To make your own lemonade concentrate, bring equal parts freshly squeezed lemon juice and sugar to a simmer in a small saucepan. (I usually do a cup of each.) Stir to dissolve the sugar, and if you want to add flavour, grate in some fresh ginger, toss in a few stalks of chopped rhubarb, or a handful of mint, rosemary or thyme, and strain before serving.
Your lemonade concentrate will keep up to a couple weeks in the fridge; to make a pitcher or glass of lemonade, add water or sparkling water to taste, and a handful of ice. (This concentrate also works well with lime juice, and makes a fine mojito or addition to a gin & tonic.)
I don’t have many kitchen gadgets, but I love my ice cream machine – it’s so easy to make your own, and experiment with interesting flavours and fresh fruit in season. My go-to formula is so simple it doesn’t require eggs, or making a custard (which must be well chilled before using) – it’s just cream, sugar and fruit. I find strawberry irresistible when they’re in season – here’s an easy recipe we make over and over.
If you’re concerned about the amount of sugar, artificial colours and flavours in typical frozen treats, here’s an easy way to make all-fruit popsicles to keep kids cool during the warm summer months. With its high water content, watermelon is perfect for pureeing and freezing in ice pop moulds – add a few whole berries to add an even bigger vitamin boost.
How different is this?? A fresh, tasty coleslaw made out of white watermelon rinds! In addition to being environmentally friendly and economical (a great way to eliminate food waste), the rind is packed with citrulline and arginine, two compounds that aid in healthy blood flow! No one will guess what this crunchy salad is made out of.
We love a good picnic salad. This one is made with orzo pasta and takes full advantage of summer cherry season. Feel free to use other fresh produce if you have it — strawberries would also work well and the kernels off of a fresh ear of corn would also be a tasty addition.