The northern hemisphere may be blanketed in snow, but our southern counterparts are currently experiencing a summer scorcher bar none. In solidarity with my countrymen who battle the heat I’ve decided to share some simple summery treats that also pack a considerable nutritional punch just in time for Valentine’s day!
Yoghurt is an incredibly versatile ingredient and especially great as a base for a variety of cool, soothing dishes for those days when the sweltering heat seems to turn the air to a thick, sticky soup. It’s creamy and delicious and, best of all, naturally packed with protein and probiotics that keep your body regular as clockwork.
WORDS BY ANNA-BET STEMMET | PICTURES BY JAN HENDRIK VAN DER WESTHUIZEN | PRODUCTION BY JAN HENDRIK VAN DER WESTHUIZEN AND INEMARI RABI
Pro tip: When it comes to buying yoghurt, cutting corners doesn’t make any sense. Low fat versions are pumped full of sugar to make it palatable and don’t get me started on the supposedly ‘fruit-flavoured’ varieties that sport more artificial colorants than actual nutritional value. Your best bet is unflavoured, double thick natural Greek or Bulgarian yoghurt that you can sweeten and flavour at home using honey, preserves or real fruit.
Here is one of my favourite ways to enjoy yoghurt. These popsicles are ridiculously easy to prepare in advance and always make a big impression. Serve it as a summertime snack or dessert or grab it as breakfast on the go perfect to impress your Valentine!
LITCHI + ROSE YOGHURT POPSICLES | serves 8
1/3 C (80 ml) honey
500g double cream natural yoghurt
2 tsp. (10 ml) rose water
Dried rose tea buds
Litchis, peeled and halved
Mix the honey, yoghurt and rose water together in a bowl until combined (if you like it a bit sweeter, feel free to add more honey).
Arrange the rose tea buds and litchi pieces in your popsicle moulds and pour the yoghurt over.
Freeze for 1 hour. Arrange popsicle sticks/twigs in the yoghurt and freeze for another 4-5 hours or until you are ready to serve it.
Alternatively, you could go completely traditional and enjoy your daily dose of culture with an old favourite – granola. Here’s a recipe for a delicious granola that captures the essence of South African summer with lashings or rose and rooibos.
ROOIBOS + ROSE GRANOLA | makes about 6 cups
4 c (1l) rolled oats
1 c (250 ml) almonds, roughly chopped
1 c (250 ml) pistachio nuts
½ T (7.5 ml) pink peppercorns, crushed
½ t (2.5 ml) salt
¼ c (60 ml) rose tealeaves (or tiny rose tea buds)
¼ c (60 ml) rooibos tea-leaves
½ c (125 ml) butter
½ c (125 ml) honey
1 t (5 ml) rosewater
1 c (250 ml) dried cranberries
Preheat the oven to 180˚C. Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.
Place the oats, almonds, pistachio, crushed peppercorns, salt, rose tea-leaves and rooibos tea-leaves in a large bowl.
Heat the butter, honey and rosewater in a small sauce pot until the butter has melted. Pour over oats mixture and stir to combine. Spread the oats mixture evenly in the prepared tray and bake for 20-25 minutes, mixing it halfway through. Set aside to cool down.