Watermelon

Watermelon cooler and summer et al

I admire bloggers who have one post per week that arrives exactly on time. I guess I am not that blogger…..yet! It’s been a very busy summer and all the wonderful recipes that I had hoped to share with you are still waiting to be posted. So, let’s go! One of the things we all love about summer is the cornucopia of fresh produce in the grocery stores and roadside stands. Especially, fruit. In the Midwest, everyone says that once you see sweet corn sold on the side of the roads, summer has arrived. We are enjoying amazing sweet corn. And I learned a new way to cook corn.

In the old days, we would boil a huge pot on the back of the stove, getting the kitchen nice and hot, dump in the shucked corn and boil it for 9″. At the end, you served slightly overdone corn, had a hot kitchen but boy did it taste good. Then I learned form the Iowans to shuck the corn, rinse it quickly in a little water and wrap it in plastic wrap. 3″ and boom you are done. I did worry about the plastic wrap being microwaved so close to the food and found that parchment paper would be a better bet by reading this article. But there is an infinitely better way! Take the UNSCHUCKED corn and microwave it 4″. Then chop off the stem end and slip the corn out. No silk! No hot kitchen! No plastic wrap! YAY!

I should add that corn is not part of the Paleo diet. I cannot resist fresh corn and since corn can be tolerated easily on the GERD diet and this blog is about GERD…..well enough rationalizing. I am eating corn.

I had marvelous berries in my Schwäber garden in Switzerland: red and black currants, gooseberries, raspberries and thornless Arkansas blackberries that were the pride of my garden. My toddler daughter, dressed only in a swimsuit would wander through the berry patch and eat berries until her hands and little belly were stained. Since she wasn’t much of a vegetable eater and I had read that berries had as many minerals and vitamins as broccoli, I let her roam the garden. After we moved to America, I would buy EXPENSIVE berries and give them all to her. I soon forgot how wonderful a big bowl of fresh berries can be. Somehow, I was equating the cost of the berries as a luxury item. That was over 14 years ago. Even with the cost of today’s berries, spending $3.99-4.99 on berries is cheaper than a dessert in a restaurant. Tastier and more healthy, too. There is something in me that can’t quite make a raspberry pie, pouring all that sugar on fresh berries, no matter how much anyone loves a berry pie. I have been making a vegan “whipped cream” lately that is wonderful over fresh berries.

 

All the recipes are in three stages of the diet plan

First stage: The beginning, healing diet indicated with an “H

Second stage: A maintenance diet when the inflammation is gone and you are moving into a gluten and dairy free diet indicated by an “M

Third stage: Paleo indicated by a “P

Vegan Whipped Cream

H M P

Soak 2 c. of cashew pieces in filtered water for 4 hours or overnight. Drain. In a Vitamix, blend the cashews, 3 c. of coconut milk, (not lite!) ½ c. honey, ¼ tsp Himalayan salt or sea salt. Add 1 ½ tsp. liquid lecithin and ¾ c. of coconut oil. Blend and refrigerate for 4 hours. If it is not the consistency of a dense whipped cream and is runny, put it back int he Vitamix and add a little more lecithin.  This makes TONS.

One wonderful way to serve berries was an idea that Claudia Moser, the great hotelier and owner of  ”Zum Rebstock” in Luzern, Switzerland gave me. One summer evening, she walked over to our table to chat and suggested berries for dessert.  She took sliced strawberries and drizzled high quality balsamic over them, then ground fresh pepper and tossed them gently. I was a little stunned about the combination but trusted her. The balsamic vinegar made these berries into another fruit. The pepper made it even more sublime.

Strawberries

I like to reduce the balsamic vinegar just a bit (watch out-it can caramelize very fast and then you have a vinegar sucker on your hands) and recently purchased chocolate balsamic from Harvest Oil and Vinegar, that wonderful shop in Iowa City that I mentioned a few posts ago. The reduced chocolate balsamic was heavenly on the strawberries!

I have to plug this shop. The quality of the artisanal oils and vinegars is of the highest level. All the fruit balsamic vinegars are made from pure fruit juice and have no added sugar. Harvest ships, so take a look at their products. Nothing like a in-store visit for a tasting but if you shop without tasting the oils and vinegars, I promise you, you won’t be disappointed.

I generally don’t like to mess around with fruit in the summer unless it is in its most pure form: ripe, unadulterated, raw fruit in its original container: itself. But two summers ago, someone gave me a taste of a watermelon cooler that was stunning. It is very easy to make. Due to the lime in it, I would not drink this if you are in the early healing stages of GERD.

Watermelon Cooler

P

In a food processor, purée 4 c. of organic watermelon with 1 T. honey. Add 1/4 c. freshly squeezed lime juice. Drink this ambrosia immediately or chill until awfully, terribly, wonderfully cold.

Watermelon cooler

 My work is beginning to wind down and so I promise to blog more summer recipes soon.

The gardens are just beginning to produce after this cool spring and summer. I can’t wait to share some zucchini recipes with you!

poppy_Sig

 

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