Cooking wise, I have been a bit flustered this week as the winter vegetables that we were getting at the Indian store since past 3-4 months, have ceased to be in stock. This winter we enjoyed abundant flow of all the gorgeous greens like Fenugreek and Spinach and other veggies like Peas and Beans and what not, to our hearts content. All of a sudden, the shelves at the store have gone empty and even the vegetables that I manage to get my hands on, aren’t that tasty to consume. So I have had to plan my meals in a clever way, to transform them into something enjoyable.
Where the arrival of Summer has caused a bit of unrest in the veggie department, Mother nature has kindly made it up to us by showering us with the most delicious bounty of fresh fruits that are full of sweet nectar and stunning to look at too. We don’t get anything close to Indian mangoes here (Oh, you won’t know the difference until you have tasted one!) but there are plenty of other beautiful fruits to lessen our pain and console our tummies.
This summer, I want to do quite a few fruity drinks and am starting with this sensational mixed-fruit punch that is creamy, tasty and a perfect summer drink for all ages alike! It’s so easy to make and looks fancy to serve as well.
Most people opt for blending raw fruits in punch and I might do the same someday, but I think cooking them before-hand gives the whole beverage a very smooth, silky texture whereas raw fruits may end up in making the mixture a bit watery and pulpy. Also, by making a preserve from cooked fruit, you can also control the quantity to be used at one time and store the rest of the mix for future use in the refrigerator.
At the end of the day, do it any which way, but make sure to enjoy Mother nature’s bounty to the fullest in each and every season. Eat as many healthy fruits and veggies you can for a healthy lifestyle and also sneak in some nachos, ice-creams,crisps, doughnuts, steaks and pizzas every once in a while so that the balance of the foodie universe stays intact! *wink wink*
Have a great summer folks, and enjoy!! xx
- 1 large ripened Mango
- 2-3 ripe Plums or Nectarines
- 7-8 seedless black Grapes
- 3-4 large ripened Strawberries
- 1 cup chilled Milk
- 2 scoops of Vanilla Ice-cream
- A few drops of Vanilla essence or Almond essence
- 1/4 cup of sugar or as per taste
- 2 tbsn of your favorite Jam
- 1/4th cup of water
- 1 cardamom pod or a drop of Cardamom flavoring (optional)
- Some chopped Pistachio for garnishing
- A can of whipped cream
- Wash, peel (where necessary), de-seed and slice all the fruits into large chunks.
- In a sauce-pan, bring together the fruit slices, sugar, hot water and your cardamom. Cover and cook for around ten minutes till all the fruit gets mushy and cooked. Switch off the gas and discard the cardamom pod. Set aside to cool.
- Blend the mixture together to a smooth paste in a blender. I didn’t feel the need to sieve this mix but you can go ahead and do it if you want.
- Now, to this mix sitting inside the blender, add your milk, ice-cream and vanilla essence. Blend again to get a creamy and thick punch. You can increase or decrease the quantity of the milk for the desired consistency.
- To serve, smear the insides of your glasses with your favorite jam. Pour the fruit punch till the rim and top it off with a swirly of some yummy whipped cream. Sprinkle some pistachios.
- Insert a straw, serve immediately and enjoy!
- Adjust the sugar according to the sweetness of the fruits and your personal preferance.
- Ice-cream is cold enough to chill your whole punch but if you want, you can add a few ice-cubes in the final blend to make your punch extra chilled.