SEASONAL FOOD IN JUNE

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At the end of every month I will be posting a list of food coming in to season for the coming month. I think June is an ideal month to start this off with as many of my favorite fruit and veg are in season. I will be posting information on my fave fruit and veg however there is a lot more in season than those mentioned in my post, check out this link http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/seasonal-calendar/all if you want to find out more. I’ll also be including recipes where you can use the ingredients. I’m hoping this challenge will encourage me to use more in season food and will also give you some ideas on how to use them and encourage you to take advantage of what is in season. If you have any requests/suggestions of what recipes you would like to see, please feel free to comment below.

  • STRAWBERRIES  Strawberries are reaching there peak in June and are in season until early September. The perfect place I love to get Strawberries is a fruit picking farm. Some of my favorite childhood memories are walking round the fruit farm picking strawberries with my grandparents and eating more strawberries than what I put in the basket. SUGGESTION: Strawberry jam is ideal to make with the strawberries. TIP: Never wash your strawberries before putting them in the fridge as this will cause them to go soggy, and nobody likes a soggy strawberry. 
  • RASPBERRIES These are in season for the same amount of time as Strawberries and are also available at fruit picking farms. SUGGESTION: Make a summer fruit crumble using strawberries, and other delicious berries. TIP: Raspberries are very delicate therefore try to avoid washing them as the stream of water from the tap can cause them to disintegrate, if they need cleaned pat them with a damp tissue.
  • WATERMELON – It comes in to season mid-June until late August . The flesh of the melon is deliciously crisp, sweet and refreshing, making it the ideal fruit to indulge on in the summer months. SUGGESTION:  I love to eat frozen watermelon in the summer as a healthier version to an ice lolly. It also tastes great added to a feta cheese salad as it helps to cut through the saltiness and richness of the feta. TIP: When buying cut watermelon look out for the ones with the brightly coloured flesh and black seeds as opposed to the little white ones, as these will have the best flavour. 
  • RHUBARB – This will actually be out of going out of season this month, so there is only a small amount of time left to take advantage of this tart fruit. I have very fond memories of my grandfather growing this in his garden, stewing it in a pan with loads of sugar and me sitting down to eat it with loads of custard, yum heaven!!! SUGGESTION : You can eat this stewed with custard or if you want to try something different make a rhubarb upside-down cake. TIP: Keep the leaves on the rhubarb until your ready to eat it as this will help it to stay fresh, you need to ideally eat rhubarb within 2 days as it can wilt quickly.
  • APRICOTS – These are in season until September. I love Apricots fresh and dried. Dried apricots are a perfect healthy on the go snack. SUGGESTIONAn apricot butter cake is ideal for an afternoon treat if you have friends coming over. TIPAn apricots colour isn’t always a good guide to flavour however stay away from very pale ones. 
  • MINT – This lovely herb is in season from May till September. I love mint as its so versatile and easy to use. I love to add it to black tea when i’m in the mood for something different instead of the traditional milky tea. SUGGESTION: You can make a nice summary drink like a mojito with mint or make minted peas as a nice side dish when having a BBQ. TIP: Store in a plastic sealed bag in the fridge for up to 3 days. The little leaves at the top of the sprig are the sweetest.  
  • NEW POTATOES  These delicious little potatoes are in season from April till July. The great thing about new potatoes is you can eat them hot or cold, and even better they are hassle free because you don’t have to peel them, just rinse any dirt away and cook whole. SUGGESTION: I love to make potato salad with my new potatoes, it’s always been a staple dish at BBQ’s in my family. For something different you could make crispy new potatoes instead of chips as a side dish. TIP: Unwashed potatoes last longer as the dirt protects them from being bruised. 
  • AUBERGINE  Aubergines are actually a fruit and are from the berry family. They are in season between late May till October. When buying aubergines make sure to pick the firm glossy ones. They are perfect for vegetarians as they have quite a meaty taste. I however am not a fan of Aubergines however they are a staple in my house as my husband loves them.  SUGGESTION: The most common dish made with Aubergines is a moussaka however I normally stuff them with mince, tomatoes and parsley and cook in the oven. If you would like to see a recipe let me know in the comments below. TIP: To prevent any discoloration cut your aubergines just before cooking. 

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DOUGHNUT MUFFINS

 

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I love these little bite-sized treats they are so yummy I can’t stop eating them. Unlike doughnuts there is no yeast dough which means there is no kneading, proving etc needed and you don’t need to fry them. They are perfect if you have a craving for doughnuts but can’t be bothered with the hassle, so you can enjoy these in super quick time.

If you would like me to do a blog post on how to make Doughnuts let me know in the comments below.

Prep Time: 20 Mins            Cooking Time: 18 mins         Makes: 12

INGREDIENTS

140g Golden Caster Sugar

200g Plain Flour

1tsp Bicarbonate of Soda

100ml Natural Yoghurt

2 Large Eggs, Beaten

1tsp Vanilla Extract

140g Butter, Melted

12 tsp Seedless strawberry or raspberry jam

METHOD

1. Preheat oven to 190c and prepare a muffin tin.

2. Put the flour, sugar and bicarbonate of soda in a large bowl and mix together. In a jug whisk together the yogurt, eggs and vanilla extract. Add the mixture in the jug and the melted butter to the dry ingredients and quickly fold in with a metal spoon.

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3. Add two-thirds of the mixture to the muffin holes in the muffin tin, add a tsp of jam in to the center of each and then cover with the remaining mixture.

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4. Bake for 16-18 Mins until risen and golden.

5. Leave muffins for 5 mins before lifting out of tin. Then roll in extra sugar.

6. Serve and enjoy 🙂

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Notes:

-You can add any type of jam to doughnuts muffins like apricot or try adding Nutella (chocolate spread) for something different.

-You could also add cinnamon to the sugar for the outside of the muffins if you want to add a little spice to them.

 

BREVILLE BLEND-ACTIVE BLENDER REVIEW

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I have been in two minds whether or not I should buy this or not because I was worried it would be another one of those gadgets that I use for a few weeks and then stick it in the back of the kitchen cupboard and forget about it. However over the past few weeks with the really nice weather I have been finding myself craving smoothies. I thought this is the perfect time to finally bite the bullet and buy one as the weather is starting to get really nice and there is going to be a wide array of gorgeous fruit and veg. coming in to season, so this will be the perfect way to take advantage of their nutritional goodness.  

I have had my blender for a week now and I am absolutely in love with it. Unlike other blenders/juicers it is completely fuss free there is minimal cleaning and hassle. You simply fill up the bottle with your ingredients, screw on the lid, tip it upside down and clip into the blender, blend it all together, unscrew it, put on the lid and voila you have your drink. It’s as easy as that the only thing you have to wash is the blending blades and the bottle when you have finished your drink. 

The Blend Active blades are strong enough to crush ice and frozen fruit so it’s perfect to serve you really cool drinks in the summer heat. It also comes with a booklet that includes some yummy recipes for smoothies and milkshakes that I will defo be trying out. From now until the end of summer I will be posting my fave drink recipes of the moment. 

Here is my fave recipe of  this week;

GREEN SURPRISE

INGREDIENTS

1 x banana (frozen)

1 x apple

1 x Orange (make sure there are no seeds)

1 Cup of Kale

2 tbsps of Natural Yogurt

Some ice cubes

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METHOD

1. Chop your apple (keep the skin on), orange and banana and add it to the blending cup along with the Kale, yogurt and ice cubes.

2. Blend all the ingredients until smooth. You might have to shake the blender a little halfway through to make sure all the ingredients get blended.

3. Switch the lids, add a straw and enjoy 🙂

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NOTE: The reason I called this Smoothie “Green Surprise” is because I really don’t like Kale however I decided to try this recipe because I have heard so many people say you can’t taste the Kale when you blend it with other ingredients. So I gave it a go and found out they were right and not only that the smoothie tasted great. What’s the point in adding the Kale if you can’t taste I hear many of you ask and it’s because of the nutritional value, check out this website if you want to find out more on the health benefits of Kale. http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-4408/Top-10-Health-Benefits-of-Eating-Kale.html

STRAWBERRY CHEESECAKE

I think a Strawberry cheesecake is the perfect recipe to start my blog off with, spring is in the air and the sun is shining. Strawberries are coming in to season the end of May so it’s time to take advantage of there ruby red goodness.

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Serves: 16 or 4 Greedy people.

INGREDIENTS

  • 400g or 1 pack digestive biscuits, crushed
  • 110g butter, melted
  • 2 x 200g tubs cream cheese
  • 6 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 x 284ml pot double cream
  • 2 packets of Strawberries

 METHOD

Prep. Time: 30mins –  Setting Time: 7 hours

1. In a small bowl mix the biscuit crumbs and melted butter together. Even though the butter won’t seem enough it is. Press the mixture into a large square tin or 23cm round tin and chill to firm up, this should take about 1hr.

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2. In the meantime puree half of packet 1 of the strawberries. Put the puree in a medium bowl with the cream cheese and sugar, blend until smooth and creamy.

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3. Now add the double cream and whisk until thick. Next chop most of the leftover Strawberries (keep some whole ones back for decoration) in to small pieces and gently fold in to the mixture.

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4. Pour over the chilled base and smooth over. Refrigerate for 7 to 8 hours or overnight is even better.

5. Cut the leftover strawberries in half and use to decorate the cheesecake before serving.

6. Serve and enjoy. 🙂