Archive for Seasonal

Iced Chai Lemonade

Holy smokes it’s hot.

It’s August and we’re about to flee the city for a cabin on a lake for a while. Thank goodness. Because as much as I’ve been travelling and exploring this summer, so much of it has been in the name of work. Fun work, to be fair, but work (in the form of creating content) nevertheless.

The cabin by the lake doesn’t have wifi, and electricity is somewhat challenging, so that kinda limits the amount of work I’m able to do. Forced relaxation FTW!

Chai Lemonade

One of my jaunts this summer took me over to Vancouver Island, and to the Nanaimo Farmer’s Market.

One of the vendors there was a local guy who was selling chai tea. Now you know I love chai. It’s warming and spicy and…. great in the colder fall and winter months. In the summer, though?? When it’s blazing hot? Not so much.

Believe it or not, it’s actually good to drink hot liquid in the hot months. You see, it raises your internal temperature, so you don’t feel so hot. Having said that, I’ll still be sticking with my iced coffees for a bit, thankyouverymuch.

The Chai Guy was doing an iced chai as well, mixed with lemonade, and it was a really wonderful summer drink. A little spicy, not too sweet, clean and refreshing. He gave me some of his Citrus Chai blend and the recipe, and I thought I’d share it with you.

This really was something completely new to me… and I like it a lot. I’ve brewed up a batch of it to keep in my fridge and serve over ice.

It’s tasty and cooling. Try it!

By the by, this would also make a very nice cocktail when combined with a shot of vodka or tequila. Just sayin.

Iced Chai Lemonade

Iced Chai Lemonade

Ingredients

Method

  1. Pour the two cups of water into a small saucepan on the stove and add the chai tea. Bring up to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and allow to simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from the heat, strain, and allow to cool at least slightly.
  2. In a cocktail shaker (you don’t really need to shake it, you can just mix equal parts tea and lemonade over ice, but I liked the “head” effect I got from shaking it in a cocktail shaker), place some ice. Add 1/2 cup tea and 1/2 cup lemonade, put the top on and shake vigorously. Pour into a glass (with the ice) and enjoy.

 

Lemon Blueberry Pavlova Two Ways {Vegan}

I’m not quite sure what I’ve gotten myself into. It’s blueberry season, and I seem to just keep acquiring more and more and more blueberries! It’s not my fault… they just follow me home, honest!

So, yeah, I have too many blueberries, so I have been making ALL the blueberry things. Earlier it was a (non vegan) lemon blueberry pound cake, but I always like to make sure I have something that’s entirely plant-based happening most of the time.

Today’s recipe is just that.

And I found, when I started to get into the recipe, that I could use the same ingredients in a variety of different ways. I was actually able to create two distinctive desserts out of the same group of ingredients.

Lemon Blueberry Pavlova

Dessert number one is a vegan pavlova.

If you’re not Australian you may not know what Pavlova is. Basically, it’s a big meringue that is baked at a low temp for a long time, and the final result is something that is crispy on the outside, but chewy on the inside. They are usually topped with a mixture of curd, whipped cream, and fresh berries, and often served at Christmas.

My vegan version is made, of course, from aquafaba. You simply take a basic aquafaba meringue recipe and instead of piping it into “kisses,” you pipe it into what looks a little like a bird’s nest. This creates the base of the pavlova. You top it with lemon curd, fresh berries, and coconut whip.

Blueberry Lemon Eton Mess

Dessert number two is inspired by a non-vegan one I had a few weeks back at a local restaurant, H2 at the Westin Bayshore. It was called a Blueberry Lemon Eton Mess, and it consisted of layers of lemon curd, whipped cream and a blueberry compote, topped with meringues. It was delicious, but I wanted to recreate it and make it vegan.

Vegan Blueberry Lemon Eton Mess

Here’s the basic recipes to create both:

Here is how to make the meringue. I piped half into “birds nests” to make pavlovas and half into “kisses” for the Eton Mess. You can skip the raspberry powder if you like, but I had some left over from making this recipe, and I liked the idea of raspberry and blueberry together.

Here is how to make the lemon curd.

  • 2/3 cup non-dairy milk
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 2 tbsp corn starch
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup lemon juice (about 2-3 lemons)
  • zest of one lemon
  • 1/2 cup vegan butter
  • pinch of salt
  1. In a mason jar, combine water, non dairy milk and cornstarch. Screw on the lid and shake well to mix. Pour into a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan, and then cook over medium heat, stirring continuously with a whisk until it starts to bubble.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients, and continue to stir until it thickens and bubbles.You’ll know it’s done when it coats the back of a spoon, and you can run your finger through it without it running back together.

Here is how to make the coconut whip (or you can be lazy and buy it in a can!).

Here is how to make the blueberry compote:

  • 2 cups blueberries
  • 1/4 water
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1-2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  1. In a smallish saucepan, place all the ingredients over  medium heat, and gently bring to a boil. Allow to cook down for 5-10 minutes, until the consistency is jammy. I like to mash mine up with a potato masher, or you can puree it in your blender if you like a smoother consistency. Allow to cool before creating your dessert–it will thicken as it cools.
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