A Fruity Vegan Summer

2022-08-23

 |  Food/Agriculture

When I think about summer and food, my first thought is always fruits, and we are very lucky that those fruits are healthy and vegan. This season is full of flavours and colours, even though it’s too hot to even think about food sometimes. My main inspiration to cook during summer is making things natural and refreshing. This includes a lot of herbs, such as mint, touches of lemon, and a fair amount of strawberries. I chose to share 3 of my favourite recipes here as they incorporate these ingredients in different ways and are easy for the day-to-day. 

Pink Lemonade

My favourite summer refresher is strawberry lemonade, also known as “Pink Lemonade,” which you can find now in lots of coffee shops with different versions of the drink. Here is a simple recipe to start your day or refresh during the afternoon to save money and be more sustainable.

Ingredients: 

  • 1 lemon
  • 1 cup strawberry 
  • A dash of mint 
  •  ¼ cup sugar 
  • 1 cup ice

To prepare, you will only need a blender and a knife. Start by peeling the lemon and then put the ice, the whole lemon, and the strawberries in the blender, blending until it’s at the consistency that you want. For me, the perfect consistency is close to a slushie, because it’s summer after all! Then, you can add the mint in the end and wait for a bit until it is mixed well. For this drink, you can also add coconut milk or alcohol like tequila and gin, both are amazing add-ons.

Not only is this one of the easiest recipes ever, it’s also vegan, and that’s a good thing for our bodies and our planet. It wouldn’t be the summer without a refresher!

The Summer Salad

(Photo Credit: Gabriela Valadão)

Summer is the perfect time to eat more salads. A fresh and healthy meal that will keep you satisfied and hydrated, while adding some flavour to your day. This is my favourite summer recipe, and also reminds me a lot of my country.

Ingredients: 

Salad

  • 2 carrots 
  • 1 cabbage
  • 3 cups strawberry 
  • 2 onions

Dressing

  • 2 Tablespoons brown sugar 
  • juice of 1 lemon 
  • 4 Tablespoons mustard

We’ll start by shredding the carrot, cabbage, and onion. Next, we’ll cut the strawberries into thirds and keep them aside.

For the dressing, melt the brown sugar and add the mustard. Once both have been added, add the lemon juice and mix. This is an easy option to substitute the famous honey and mustard dressing, but needs to be mixed with the salad quickly as it needs to be cool. 

We can add some pumpkin seeds or mint when everything is mixed as a garnish. 

This salad is ideal as a lunch option or to eat as a side during a vegan barbecue on the beach.

The Perfect Jam 

(Photo Credit: Gabriela Valadão)

The Perfect Jam is a delicacy that requires no cooking, and can be prepared in less than an hour with easy ingredients for your next favourite sweet treat! 

Ingredients: 

  • 4 cups of strawberries  
  • 1 cup of sugar 
  • 1 lemon, finely zested 
  • juice of 1 lemon 
  • 2 teaspoons of mint 

For dessert, I like to choose an option that uses the same ingredients as the lemonade, but the strawberries are the main focus. We’ll start by crushing the strawberries with a potato masher. Then, put the sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest and mint in a blender. Mix in the strawberries with a whisk and then stir. Use a glass container to keep it in the fridge r. It’s perfect to eat during breakfast or used as an ingredient in a tart. 

With these 3 recipes, we can be ready to enjoy summer, not wasting a lot of time in a hot kitchen, but still saving money and respecting the environment. All the recipes in this article were made with local produce. Summer is the perfect time to visit your closest local market and choose some beautiful fruits and vegetables like carrots and strawberries. I wish you all a summer full of fun and good food!

Thanks so much for reading another one of our articles here at The Starfish Canada Youth Journal. If you like what you’re reading, please donate or share this article with a friend. Your contributions support the ongoing growth, development, and sustainability of our program – giving voice to young environmental leaders across the country.