Granita is Sicily’s rustic take on sorbet. All you need to achieve snowflake-like perfection is a flat airtight container, a fork, and some return visits to the freezer. The key to success is to not let the mixture freeze into a solid block, so watch the clock. Puréed fruits such as watermelon or strawberries are often used as a base for granitas, but coffee makes it all grown up.
Research has revealed that pure coffee, which comes from the seed of a fruit, contains a payload of healthy antioxidants.
2 1/2 cups (625 mL) strongly brewed hot coffee
1/3 cup (80 mL) coconut palm sugar or other natural sugar
2 tsp (10 mL) vanilla extract
1/8 tsp (0.5 mL) cardamom
Fresh mint (for garnish)
Chill flat airtight container in freezer.
Place coffee in bowl and stir in sugar until dissolved. Mix in vanilla extract and cardamom; let cool to room temperature.
Remove container from freezer. Pour coffee into container, cover, and freeze until ice crystals start forming around edges, about 2 1/2 hours. Do not let mixture freeze solid.
With fork, scrape ice crystals into centre of container and return it to freezer in same covered container.
Scrape ice crystals every 45 to 60 minutes afterward until all liquid has frozen into small crystals, about 4 times in total. (You may wish to set a timer so you don’t forget and let the mixture freeze solid.)
Place in serving bowls and garnish with mint. Store extra in airtight container in freezer.
Each serving contains: 70 calories; 0 g protein; 0 g total fat (0 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 18 g carbohydrates; 0 g fibre; 8 mg sodium a
Did you know?
Dessert granitas are also traditionally made with almonds and mandarin oranges as well as chocolate. As a palate cleanser between courses of a meal, granitas can also incorporate savoury ingredients.
source: "The Big Chill", alive #358, August 2012
Lime juice and ginger add a tropical whiff to this French-Japanese mashup, where seaweed tendrils and Dijon mustard bring out the umami flavours in mushrooms and eggplant. The ingredients might seem to be strange bedfellows, but they work. The result is somewhere between a quiche and a soufflé, with a gluten-free eggplant crust featuring punchy mustard and citrus. This makes for a hearty vegetarian main for brunch, lunch, or dinner with a side salad, or a filling side dish. Fresh or dried If you don’t have fresh thyme and parsley, use 1 tsp (5 mL) dried thyme (divided) and 1 Tbsp (15 mL) dried parsley. The flavours won’t be as pungent, but a little flavour is better than none.
These are the perfect two-bite appetizers. Though the first bite likely won’t “wow” you, the more you chew, the more the salt from the dulse soaks into the avocado and tomato. Wait for it. You can also turn these into breakfast à la avocado toast by substituting a piece of your favourite bread for a slice of baguette. What’s in a name? Theoretically, this should be called a “DLTA” because of the avocado (dulse, lettuce, tomato, and avocado). And if you left out the lettuce, you’d have a “DTA.” A DTA would arguably be a better overall eating experience, since lettuce slightly waters down the rich and creamy result and makes it harder to keep the tomatoes from sliding off the top of the crostini. But the juicy lettuce is actually helpful, since it spreads the salt from the dulse throughout the entire bite, making the “wow” moment come sooner. Besides, neither DLTA nor DTA is as fun an acronym as DLT.
This triple-threat recipe is made with (up to) three types of seaweed. Wakame is essential for the pesto, but kombu boosts the umami punch of sautéed garlic and cherry tomatoes, while kelp noodles are a low-carb substitute for flour-based noodles. Because kelp noodles can be hard to find (you’ll likely need to order them online), feel free to use your favourite boxed linguine, zucchini noodles, shirataki konjac, tofu, or yam noodles instead. You can also leave out the vongole (clams) to keep the recipe plant-based, or use mussels, which are usually more affordable than clams. Both clams and mussels are generally sustainable, as, like seaweed, they’re farmed without feed or antibiotics, unlike many farmed fish operations. Double-duty pesto Make a double batch of seaweed pesto, and enjoy it with eggs, scrambled tofu, or toast.
Spicy popcorn? You bet. This Japanese seven-spice blend combines salty and spicy notes for a healthy snack. If you don’t make your own togarashi, check the container before adding it to your popcorn to make sure it doesn’t contain salt. For an even simpler recipe, skip the togarashi and just grind a few pieces of nori and a pinch of salt in a blender or spice grinder to sprinkle on your popcorn instead. If you’re fresh out of nori, you can always grind wakame, arame, or dulse instead, leaving out the pinch of salt for dulse or any seaweed you taste and find already salty. Shichimi togarashi This customizable spice blend generally features sansho pepper, a.k.a. Japanese prickly ash, a green peppercorn with a citrusy taste, along with seaweed flakes, chili pepper, and dried citrus peel—often yuzu or mandarin orange. If you can’t find sansho, look for Sichuan peppercorn, which has a slightly stronger mouth-tingling effect. You can buy dried orange, mandarin, or tangerine peel. Or you can dehydrate your own, in which case you might as well dehydrate a 1/8 in (3 mm) thick piece of fresh ginger along with the peel. If you can’t handle a lot of chili pepper heat, reduce the pepper to your taste.