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Watermelon pops covert with an ultra creamy Greek yogurt, some freshly crushed pistachios and a last minute drizzle of orange blossom honey for a tasty and healthy snack this summer!watermelon popsicles

Watermelon Pistachio pops

These fun bites are crunchy on the first bite with a nice sweet yet salted taste, crunchy yet creamy texture and the more you eat it, the more it gets fruity and refreshing. Plus, there is no melting like with normal popsicles, so the little ones won’t mess up the floor with this popsicle version.

Watermelon Pistachio pops
The watermelon effect

Watermelons are enormous… generally you would want to use it before it gets bad without having to leave it for days in the fridge and monopolize all that precious space. Making a punch with it is a common solution or maybe next time try these popsicles. The famous pink fruit contains about 90% of water, making it a perfect candidate for the freezer. Of course, you’ll lose a tad of the sweetness, so better use a ripe watermelon to make the popsicles. I’ve left the watermelon rind, for esthetic reasons, but you could cut it off before freezing the pops. Another suggestion would be to pick up a seedless watermelon for… well… I believe no explanation necessary here.

Watermelon Pistachio pops
Let’s talk honey, honey!

There is a whole world of different flowers out there, different nectars, resulting in different honeys. Some more popular than others like multi flowers mix, the thyme, rosemary or lavender. Although one of my favorites is the spectacular one called Flor de Azahar, or orange blossom, which it simply beautifully perfumed, clear and really you can feel the orange and the sun in there. I’ve used this one for this recipe which I highly recommend but really it’s up to you! I’ve added the drizzle of honey once the pops are frozen, just before serving. It will freeze on the popsicles beautifully without making a mess and giving this extra fun texture to the popsicles!

Let’s make some tasty brain freezes going!

*Saveur magazine just opened their food blog awards 2017 nominations, The FoodOlic would love to be part of the nominees (especially in the “new voice” category). If you like this blog, it would highly be appreciated to fill in a nomination for it. Thanks a ton! Click here to be redirected to the Saveur Awards

 


Watermelon Pistachio Pops

Makes 6 pops | Difficulty: easy | Preparation: 1 hour

Ingredientsingredients
  • ripe watermelon (6 pieces cut into small triangles)
  • 150g (1 small cup) of natural or vanilla greek yogurt (0% fat or full)
  • crushed pistachio to taste
  • orange blossom honey to taste
Directions
  1. Cut the watermelon into small triangles (with or without the rind)
  2. Cut an opening with a sharp end knife (puntilla) in the end of each piece and insert a wooden stick
  3. Cover with the help of a spoon the top with some yogurt, add the crushed pistachio
  4. Add to a deep plate covered with wax paper, cover and freeze for a minimum of 1 hour
  5. When ready to consume, drizzle some honey on the popsicles.

 

Enjoy!

watermelon popsicles

Eggplant Fries with Honey is a fairly common tapas in Spain. Nice crunchy eggplants sticks deep fried in olive oil and finished up with a sprinkle of salt and good quality honey.vegetarian spanish tapas eggplant honey

Eggplant fries with honey

Ever wondered about nice authentic vegetarian tapas ? This crunchy Eggplant topped with honey tapa is what you are looking for! Called Berenjena con miel in Spanish this tapas originates from the south of Spain although nowadays you’ll find it in about every tapas bar in Spain. It’s usually served with a nice honey or a darker molasse (cane syrup) and a nice sprinkle of salt. A great sweet and salty dish!

 

Golden rule of deep frying

deep frying olive oilKnowing the common eggplants contains lots of water which makes them often saggy once cooked, the only way to make them relatively firm and crisp is by coating them in a light flour and breadcrumb layer and fry them up at high temperature. An important element to deep fry successfully the eggplant is to assure yourself the oil is hot enough, this way it won’t get absorb the oil and get saggy. Also be careful not to add too many pieces at the same time you’ll end up cooling the olive oil and finish up with sad greasy and soft fries. So make sure to keep the temperature of the oil between 180-190°C (300-350f) this way the eggplant won’t absorb much oil and will just get the top layer of the fries crisp.

Oh! and if you are one of those sceptic about deep frying with olive oil, don’t be! Olive oil is one of the most stable and resistant to long cooking periods, it loses less volatile compounds than most oils and doesn’t alter the taste of anything like many believe. Without saying, it’s the base of Spanish gastronomy, it’s everywhere and they are second on the list of country where people live the longest… just saying. They fry and deep fry everything in olive oil in Spain so olive oil must not be that bad… As long as you don’t reach the smoke point over 190°C (350F) it’s perfectly safe if not better than any other oil.

Eggplant fries with honey

Bitterness

Eggplant fries with honeySome people found eggplant have a bitter taste but personally I’ve never had a problem with bitterness. This unpleasant taste is mostly happening when the eggplant is too mature. Do not worry… there is a way to fix this problem. Soaking them in a salty bath for 30 minutes before you cook this purple vegetable is the way to eliminate the unwelcomed bitterness. This step is also giving an extra taste to the eggplant but if you do not feel like waiting for an extra 30 minutes, just omit this step and go right to the deep frying.

 

Honey or Cane syrup

This tapa in Spain is often served with a darker thicker syrup made out of cane sugar (molasse), it’s not an actual honey but they still call the dish “eggplants with honey”… But for this particular recipe I brought out my top notch honey and drizzled it over the eggplants with a sprinkle of salt. There is nothing like a nice sweet and salty combination!

So let’s get those fries going!


Eggplant Fries with Honey

Makes 4-6 tapas portions | Preparation: 45 minutes | Difficulty: easy

Eggplant fries with honeyIngredients
  • 2 big eggplants
  • 3 tbsp of flour
  • 3 tbsp of breadcrumbs
  • honey (as much as you like)
  • olive oil
  • salt (fleur de sel)
Directions
  1. Start by cutting the eggplant into thick (1cm) sticks (with the skin) and let it soak in salty (2tbsp salt) water for 30 minutes (add a plate over to immerse them completely)
  2. Heat up a good amount of olive oil to soak the fries completely in a deep enough pan and heat it up to 180°C to 190°C (350°F to 370°F) degrees
  3. Pat dry the eggplants sticks with a paper towel and add to a bowl
  4. Add the flour and bread crumbs to the bowl containing the fries, cover and shake the fries to cover them up with the mix
  5. Add a fry to test the heat, it need to make lots of bubble right away or check the temperature with a thermometer
  6. Add a few eggplant at the time not to cool down the oil, (don’t over fill) and let it fry for about 3 to 4 minutes until golden and crisp
  7. Take out the fries with a slotted spoon, sprinkle a little (fleur de sel) salt on them and reserve on a paper towel while you cook an other batch
  8. Just before serving, add a good quality honey or molasses on top.

 

Enjoy!

IMG_1681

Coco & Turmeric Pannacotta

Turmeric is a magical ingredient, it’s a medical ingredient in some countries, mainly because of it’s antifungal and antibacterial properties. It’s actually studied in many researches in relation with kidney and cardiovascular diseases, arthritis, cancer, irritable bowel disease, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, etc. Also, it apparently is a fantastic facial mask and natural teeth whitener. Finally, it’s also used in spiritual ceremonies around Asia. I mean… it is “THE INGREDIENT” to add to every meal if you want to live a long and healthy life!

Turmeric is looking similar to a ginger root, only smaller. The root is originally from southwest India, often used in the Middle East through Asia countries. If you decide toCoco & Turmeric Pannacotta venture yourself into cutting a root, beware of the strongly colorful properties of it, better use some latex gloves. Also, don’t use your favorite cutting board, it will stain it for a while… Consider yourself warned.

I got myself some bulbs of fresh turmeric and search for a Lebanese dessert I had at the restaurant last week… a curcuma cream.  It was super simple cream, turmeric, sugar. Then I’ve checked the internet for turmeric recipes, saw many smoothies with coconut milk, turmeric and sometime kaffir lime or honey. So I’ve made a mix between the cream from the restaurant and the smoothie and it became a “panna cotta de turmeric and honey”, with a topping of those candy ginger slices. It is really good! It’s delicate and so easy to do.

Let’s do this turmeric panna cotta!


Turmeric Pannacotta with Honey

Makes 3 portions

Ingredients
  • 500ml coconut milk
  • 10g of fresh turmeric cut into 2; equivalent of your small finger size (or 1 tbsp of powder turmeric)
  • 2 tbsp white sugar
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 gelatine sheets
  • pinch of salt
  • honey
  • candy ginger
Directions
  1. Add the gelatine sheets into cold water
  2. Bring the coconut milk to simmer
  3. Add the turmeric, sugar and salt
  4. Let simmer for 6-7 minutes
  5. Take off the fire, add the gelatine and mix until dissolved
  6. Add the cream to ramekin, or small greased pots, covered with plastic wrap
  7. Let sit in the fridge for minimum 4 hours
  8. Warm up a bit the outside of the pots to help release the panna cotta into a plate
  9. Top with the honey and ginger candy

Enjoy this healthy dessert!