The holidays may be over, but nature is just getting into the swing of things. This sunny season offers up a vibrant bounty of watermelon, blueberries, strawberries, and granadillas. Make the most of their natural bright beauty with these refreshing recipes.
Embrace the seasons
Eating produce that is in season benefits your pocket and plate. The fruit and vegetables have been naturally ripened on the vine or tree under optimum conditions and are picked at the appropriate time.
As a result, they naturally taste better and are packed with more nutrients. They will also be slightly cheaper, which will save you in the long run. Here are a few tips to consider when using in-season produce:
- Any leftover fruit, such as berries or watermelon, can be blitzed together until smooth and frozen as ice cream or sorbet, but also as ice cubes to add some zing to your favourite cocktails.
- Add any excess fruit to a pan, along with sugar and water, and simmer together until sticky to create a compote. This will add decadence to any dessert — plus it preserves the fruit.
- In a rush? Simply freeze any leftover fruit in a single layer in zip seal bags. Use them to create smoothies as needed.
Granola and berry yoghurt bars
Makes 12 Bars Total Time 20 Min Plus Freezing Time
For the compote
- Fresh or frozen blueberries 2 tubs plus extra for serving
- Honey 3-4 tbsp
- Lime, zested 1
- Vanilla essence 1 tsp
For the granola base
- Double cream plain yoghurt 2 and a half cups
- Granola 2 cups
- Butter, melted 50g
- Fresh mint for serving
To make the compote
- Simmer all the ingredients (except the vanilla essence) in a saucepan for about 5-6 minutes.
- Allow the berry mixture to cool slightly before adding the vanilla.
- Combine the compote with half the yoghurt and mix well.
For the granola base
- Add the melted butter to the granola, mix well and spread out evenly over the base of a 25x18cm baking tray and level with a spoon.
- Spread the compote on top of the granola.
- Gently add the remaining yoghurt to the compote and use the back of a tablespoon to create swirls.
- Place the tray into the freezer and freeze for at least 12 hours or until completely firm.
- Remove from the freezer, slice into bars and serve with the remaining fresh berries. Garnish with fresh mint.
For a gluten-free option, replace the granola with a mix of nuts, seeds and gluten-free rolled oats
Rum and mint watermelon slices
Serves 6-8 Total Time 20 Min
- Large watermelon, sliced 1
- Water ¼ cup
- Sugar 1/4 cup
- White rum 1/3 cup
- Limes, juiced 3
- Fresh mint, chopped 1 packet
- Fresh basil handful
- Coarsely ground black pepper
- Place the watermelon slices onto a flat serving tray.
- Add the water and sugar to a pan. Place it over medium heat and stir the mixture until the sugar dissolves and a syrup is formed. Cool.
- Combine the homemade syrup, rum, lime juice and chopped mint.
- Pour the mixture over the slices and allow to marinate for about 10 minutes, turning regularly to soak both sides.
- Garnish the wedges with the remaining mint, basil, and a crack of black pepper.
- Serve alongside drinks, as part of a snack platter or simply enjoy on its own.
Three-part granadilla ice cream
Makes 2L Total Time 20 Min Plus Freezing Time
- Cream 250ml
- Granadilla pulp 3 tins, plus extra for serving
- Condensed milk 3 tins Fresh mint for serving
- Whip the cream and a pinch of salt until stiff peaks form.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the granadilla pulp and condensed milk.
- Fold the whipped cream through the mixture.
- Swirl through any remaining granadilla pulp to create a marbled effect.
- Pour the mixture into a large freeze-proof container and freeze for at least 12 hours until firm to the touch.
- Scoop the ice cream into glass jars, drizzle with any remaining granadilla pulp and garnish with fresh mint
Create a showstopping treat by stacking scoops of this sorbet between wafers or stroopwafels. Sprinkle over some lime zest and chopped nuts and drizzle with honey.
Pink lemonade and mint sorbet
Makes 1.5l Total Time 20 Min Plus Freezing Time
- Sugar 1 cup
- Water 1/4 cup
- Fresh mint, chopped 4 sprigs plus extra for serving
- Lemonade 500ml
- Strawberries 2 large punnets plus extra for serving
- In a saucepan, heat the sugar, water, mint and half the lemonade together. Stir until the sugar has dissolved and a syrup has formed.
- Remove from heat and set aside to cool completely.
- Blitz together the cooled syrup and strawberries until smooth.
- Stir through the remaining lemonade and pour into a 2L plastic container.
- Cover with clingfilm and freeze for 8-12 hours or until firm.
- Serve scoops of the sorbet in ice cream cones, garnished with fresh berries, and topped with mint.
Add fresh basil or lime juice to the food processor to add an extra zing of flavour
Photography: Fresh Living Magazine, Zhann Solomons