I'm a little embarrassed at how long it's been since I've written, so don't mind me as I sheepishly wiggle my way back into this space. But, whoa lots has happened. Birthdays, graduations, internships. Seasons have changed. Twice!
Nonetheless, I've found my way back and after last week's heat wave I'm not hesitating to stock my freezer with some refreshing and satiating cold treats. I've been gobbling up my favorite summer fruit for many weeks--CHERRIES. I've also been on a big tahini kick. It was only a matter of time before the two of them came together to create beautiful and delicious cherry-tahini babies. Both have been the stars of my smoothies this summer, and after nearly bursting into flames while walking the sweltering New York City sidewalks I had a revelation-FREEZE IT.
Popsicles are not just for kids! They're usually a blend of fruit, fruit juice, or artificial flavors, simple syrup and water, super sweet, and refreshing on hot summer days. I remember the orange popsicles of my youth. We used to make them in the summer with my mom. They were just orange juice made from frozen concentrate poured into our tiny popsicle molds with the red sticks. Then we waited for what felt like forever until they were finally frozen and ready to be lapped up in delight. While I would probably enjoy those little orange pops just as much now as I did then, the heat can play games with my appetite and I wanted to pump up the calories and the FULL factor this time.
Summer is smoothie time for me, and things have been very cherry in my blender. I've been using frozen, but given the season you can swap in fresh cherries. You'll just be tasked with the tedium of pitting them. That's a no thanks for me. I also like to keep frozen bananas stocked in my freezer for easy smoothie time, or a quick nice cream. This is usually the destiny of any banana gone brown on my counter, rather than the intended bread. They give a nice thick texture when blended, plus lots of potassium to help replace all of those electrolytes that we lose through our sweat this time of year, particularly on the subway platforms. Woof.
Given my current tahini phase I was really excited to find black tahini in the grocery store (organic to boot!). Black tahini is made from toasted black sesame seeds instead of the white ones we usually see. It's a lot of fun to play around with because the color is so dark. The flavor is a touch more bitter than traditional tahini, but blend it with a little honey or maple syrup and you have an amazing spread for your morning toast or topper to your oatmeal.
Finally, a little sweetener like honey or maple syrup and whatever milk or mylk you like. The best part is once it's all thrown into the blender if you can't wait for what feels like forever for it to freeze, you can just pop in a (metal) straw and suck it down as a smoothie immediately!
I'm a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Personal Chef in Brooklyn, New York. I grew up around the dinner table, and believe that food is intricately woven through all of our stories. It holds memories of our home, our childhoods, our beliefs; it comforts us, nourishes us, and creates a centerpiece to gather around.