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  • Lavanya Nair

5 Sweet Treats, Fit for Summer!

Updated: Jul 13, 2018

Summer's here and if you're in the UK like me, you're taking full advantage and basking in the sunlight! Warm weather is a rarity over here and so when it does finally appear after months of gloomy clouds and heavy rainfall, why not go all out and indulge! What I love most about food in general, are the recipes that are both healthy and delicious; a combination that was once perceived to be impossible. So here's 5 sweet treats to curb your cravings!


1. Berry Ice Lollies:



Ingredients: Makes 10 Lollies

-75g Sliced banana

-4 tsp runny honey

-150 g raspberries (Blueberries, Strawberries, Blackberries etc- You can leave the blueberries as they are but slice the straw/black berries into halves or quarters so you can add more into each mould)

-300 g flavoured, low-fat Greek yogurt, such as vanilla or honey etc (If you can't find flavoured yoghurt, then simply add a few drops of vanilla/3 tsp of honey to the yoghurt and mix well.

*Vegans can simply substitute the Greek yoghurt for Coconut Yoghurt


Instructions:


First, wash the berries thoroughly and then chop up the fruit until they form bite-size pieces; if you are using blueberries then leave them as they are. Set aside and prepare to divide the portions to fit 10 ice-lolly moulds. Alternatively you can mash the blackberries with 2 teaspoons of the honey then do the same with the raspberries and the remaining 2 teaspoons of honey in a separate bowl or plate.

Layer spoonfuls of the mashed fruits with the yoghurt in each ice lolly mould.

Add lolly sticks into each mould and then freeze overnight. To serve, just dip the moulds briefly in warm water and then lift out of the moulds.


2. Coffee & Caramel Ice-cream Sandwiches:


Annie |Flickr

Ingredients: Serves 10

-5 tbsp chocolate-coated coffee beans, roughly chopped

-10 scoops vanilla ice cream, softened (Vegans can use the appropriate substitute)

- A few drops of cool, brewed coffee (Must not be hot/warm as this will melt the ice-cream!)

-20 caramel wafers


Instructions:


Mix the chocolate coffee beans along with the brewed coffee into the softened ice cream until combined, then transfer to a small loaf tin and freeze for a few hours or until solid. *We want the ice-cream to be softened but not completely melted so work quickly as the ice-cream itself takes 10-15 minutes to soften in warm weather.


Scoop the ice cream on to one of each of the waffle pairs, then sandwich! For an extra touch, make some chocolate sauce by melting some semi-sweet/dark/white or vegan chocolate over a double boiler and stir in some half and half (heavy cream in the UK) or coconut milk with a drop of vanilla essence until the chocolate is fully melted and either drizzle over the wafers or simply dunk!


3. Key Lime Pie


sharyn morrow|Flickr

Ingredients: Serves 8

-300g Digestives, (Graham Crackers)

-150g butter, melted

-1 x 397g tin condensed milk (we used Nestlé)

-3 medium egg yolks

-finely grated zest and juice of 4 limes -300ml double cream

-1 tbsp icing sugar

-extra lime -zest, to decorate


Instructions:


Heat the oven to 160C/fan 140C/gas 3. Whizz the biscuits to crumbs in a food processor (or put in a strong plastic bag and bash with a rolling pin).


Mix with the melted butter and press into the base and up the sides of a 22cm loose-based tart tin. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes. Remove and cool.


Put the egg yolks in a large bowl and whisk for a minute with electric beaters. Add the condensed milk and whisk for 3 minutes then add the zest and juice and whisk again for 3 minutes. 


Pour the filling into the cooled base then put back in the oven for 15 minutes. Cool then chill for at least 3 hours or overnight if you like.


When you are ready to serve, carefully remove the pie from the tin and put on a serving plate.


To decorate, softly whip together the cream and icing sugar. Dollop or pipe the cream onto the top of the pie and finish with extra lime zest.

*Vegan Version: Serves 8

-250g cups macadamia nuts

-250g cups pecans

-43g cup dates (pitted) soaked in water for 1 hour

-1 pinch salt

-1/4 tsp vanilla extract

-1 1/2 cup lime juice (fresh, from about 12 limes)

-1 cup agave

-1/2 cup coconut milk

-2 avocados (ripe) halved, pitted, and peeled

-2 Tbsp vanilla essence/extract

-1/4 tsp salt

-1 1/4 cups coconut oil


Instructions:


Lightly grease a 9-inch spring form baking pan with coconut oil.

Put the macadamia nuts, pecans, dates, salt, and vanilla in a food processor/blender and process until the mixture is soft and manageable. Press the mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan.


Make the filling:


Put the lime juice, agave, coconut milk, avocados, vanilla, salt, and coconut oil in a high-speed blender and blend until smooth.


Pour the filling over the crust, cover with plastic wrap, and freeze overnight. Thaw before serving.


4. Summer Pudding:


richardoyork|Flickr

Ingredients: Serves 8

-300g strawberries -250g blackberries -100g red currants -500g raspberries -OR 1¼kg/2lb 12oz mixed berries and currants of your choice

-175g golden caster sugar (Vegans can substitute with agave)

-7 slices day-old white bread, from a square, medium-cut loaf


Instructions:


Wash the fruit and gently dry on kitchen paper – make sure you keep the strawberries separate. Put the sugar and 3 tbsp water into a large pan. Gently heat until sugar dissolves while stirring a few times. Bring to a boil for 1 min, then tip in the fruit (minus the strawberries). Cook for 3 mins over low heat, stirring 2-3 times. The fruit should appear to be softened, mostly intact and surrounded by dark red juice. Put a sieve over a bowl and tip in the fruit and juice. This will get rid of any pulp and seeds that we don't want in our final product.


Line the bowl with cling film and prepare the bread: Line the 1.25-litre basin with cling film as this will help you to turn out the pudding. Overlap two pieces of cling film in the middle of the bowl as it’s easier than trying to get one sheet to stick to all of the curves. Let the edges overhang by about 15cm. Cut the crusts off the bread and then cut 4 pieces of bread in half, a little on an angle, to give 2 lopsided rectangles per piece. Cut 2 slices into 4 triangles each and leave the final piece whole.


Next, dip the whole piece of bread into the juice for a few secs just to coat. Push this into the bottom of the basin. Now dip the wonky rectangular pieces one at a time and press around the basin’s sides so that they fit together neatly, alternately placing wide and narrow ends up. If you can’t quite fit the last piece of bread in it doesn’t matter, just trim into a triangle, dip in juice and slot in. Now spoon in the softened fruit, adding the strawberries here and there as you go.


Let flavours sit for a bit and then you are ready to serve: Dip the bread triangles in juice and place on top – trim off overhang with scissors. Keep leftover juice for later. Bring cling film up and loosely seal. Put a side plate on top and weight down with cans. Chill for 6 hrs or overnight. To serve, open out cling film then put a serving plate upside-down on top and flip over.


Serve with leftover juice, any extra berries and cream/coconut milk.


5. Vegan Banana Bread:


KittyKaht| Flickr

Ingredients: Serves 8


-3 large ripened bananas -75g vegetable oil or sunflower oil (weight), plus extra for greasing

-100g brown sugar

-225g plain flour (or use self-raising flour and reduce the baking powder to 2 heaped tsp)

-3 heaped tsp baking powder -3 tsp cinnamon/ mixed spice

-50g dried fruit or nuts (optional)


Instructions:


Pre-heat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. (This is roughly 390 degrees Fahrenheit) Mash the peeled bananas with a fork, then mix well with the oil and sugar. Add the flour, baking powder and cinnamon, and combine well. Add the dried fruit or nuts, if using.


Bake in a greased, lined 2 lb loaf tin for 20 minutes. If the cake is browning, then you can cover the bread with some foil. Bake for another 20 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean.


Allow to cool a little before slicing. It's actually best served a day after it's been made since it develops more of a gooey texture.


There they are! 5 sweet treats that are sure to satisfy your craving and keep the scales in check. (Everyone's dream right?)


Lavanya Nair



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