Tag Archives: drinks

Healthy Avocado Smoothie with Cinnamon

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Using the blender to whip up a quick vitamin and mineral packed smoothie for breakfast or later in the day is a fast way of providing your body with food, sustaining energy levels and keeping hunger pangs at bay. Avocado are one of the super foods and we eat a fair amount in our family… I love their delicious buttery texture and slightly nutty flavor, the hass varieties with their knobbly skin are my favorite. We enjoy avocados in smoothies, salads, spreads, sandwiches and pâtés and of course who doesn’t love guacamole. Even if you are not an avocado fan, you can pamper your face with these wonderful home-made face masks… avocado’s are so good for your skin… inside and out. I don’t ever remember not liking avocados and as a child my first memory of eating them was when dining at hotel restaurants and choosing from the menu an Avocado half filled with Prawn Marie Rose which I always seemed to favor. Continue reading

Homemade Lavender Lemonade

Lavender Lemonade-0165Homemade lemonade brings back childhood memories of warm summer days, fresh country air and sunshine. For centuries lavender has been appreciated for its fragrance, used to perfume soaps and sachets for scenting linens. Lavender is also known for its health benefits, helping with insomnia and soothing the digestive system.

Lavender is such an incredible herb and can be used in sweet and savoury dishes. I love to add the floral scented flavour of lavender to cakes, biscuits, drinks and custard based desserts and I also enjoy spreading this delicious lavender and honeycomb butter on warm toast and scones. With a myriad of uses in the culinary world, dried lavender will always have a place in my kitchen. Continue reading

Mojito Cocktail or Mocktail

mojito-0343-2The seasonal forty day north wind usually keeps June somewhat cooler and speeds the ripening of dates on the palm trees. Summer temperatures will soar and reading 45 degrees celsius and up on a car thermometer leaves you feeling drained and rather hot. Whether it’s for relaxation or re-hydration, cool refreshing drinks are always welcome and two of my favourite summer drinks are a mojito and a nojito… a mojito without the alcohol.

mojito-0239While waiting patiently for my lime tree to start producing fruit (I do use the leaves), I love using the small flavorsome limes that grow locally, even touching them perfumes your fingers with their wonderful scent. Also, fresh mint is so accessible here and the herbs spearmint flavour is used often in my cooking.

Making a mojito into a cocktail or a mocktail is up to you, however, extracting the flavour from the mint and lime is the “key,” so a bit of muddling is needed. Using the whole lime is important, the juice and rind have different flavours and you want all those lovely oils from the rind, as well as using the juice. Bruising the mint leaves extracts the oils, chopping the mint leaves and adding to the drink will not achieve the same results… muddling everything together is the best way of extracting all that lime and mint goodness! 

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Now I don’t have a specially assigned muddler but I do have a spurtle which I have used more times (up-side down) for making mojitos/nojitos than stirring porridge!  You could use a large pestle and mortar if you were making up a few mojitos/nojitos, muddle together the limes, mint leaves and sugar before dividing into each glass.

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I prefer to use chilled bottled sparkling water and not canned soda water for these drinks. When muddling I like to use a fine-grained sugar which dissolves quicker. The sugar also creates some friction and helps extract more flavour from the mint and lime. If I make a mojito/nojito for others I keep the taste on the sharper side and serve a small bowl of powdered sugar on the side, should anyone need to stir in a tad more sweetness to their drink. The recipe is for one serving but you can make as many as you wish and adjust the recipe according to your taste. Making up a mojito or nojito is so easy and the flavours are so clean, delicious and refreshing. I do hope you try a bit of muddling over the summer.

Mojito or Nojito

Ingredients:

  • 12 large fresh mint leaves
  • 2 small limes cut into quarters, remove the pips
  • 2 or 3 teaspoons white caster sugar
  • 4 ice cubes
  • 2 tablespoons of white rum (optional)
  • chilled sparkling water

How to make: Place the mint leaves and lime quarters into a tall sturdy glass. Add the sugar and use a muddler (you might have to improvise here) to crush the mint and lime together to release the juice and oils from the lime and mint. Add the ice cubes and white rum (if using), pour in the sparkling water to fill the glass. Stir with a swizzle stick and serve immediately.

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