Here we are, midway through the summer. The heat these past months has steered me to lighter foods so that if I had to choose a theme for this summer’s eating, it would be, surprisingly, vegan. It’s not something I consciously aspired to, but everyday decisions helped me get there. Being a vegetarian it’s easy to consume significantly more dairy than you intend. Think about it; a morning coffee, a sandwich with cheese or mayo (or both) for lunch, an afternoon latté, dinner and maybe even ice cream for dessert. It’s easy to look back on a day’s worth of eating to realize you’ve taken dairy at every meal. I’m not sure if this is good or bad. For me, I’ve noticed I feel lighter eating less dairy which is why I make small adjustments were I can. Each morning I use coconut milk creamer in my coffee. It’s a small step, but sort of sets me on the right course for the rest of the day. I limit afternoon lattes to a few per week, subbing in soy milk on occasion. I lean toward balance so if lunch is heavy, dinner will be light. Of course, it helps that raging temperatures tend to suppress the appetite and evoke cravings for fresh, crisp, light, water-based foods . I sort of love the idea of seasonal eating. It just feels right.
This summer I’ve found myself doing less butter, sugar baking and more fruit and vegetable chopping. My sweet tooth hasn’t suffered, which is a relief. Of course, recipes like this coconut milkshake provide decadence you almost can’t imagine with ordinary, dressed-down dairy. It’s nothing more than silky coconut milk, fresh chopped pineapple and toasted macadamia nuts.
And did I mention it’s vegan?
Ingredients: (makes 4 small shakes)
2 cups chopped pineapple
13.5 oz can coconut milk
8 mint leaves, chopped (more or less depending on your taste)
1/3 cup macadamia nuts, chopped and lightly toasted
1 cup ice
Directions: First, prepare the pineapple. Off with the head!
Skin it and chop.
Next, add pineapple to the blender with ice cubes and mint leaves.
Pour in that silky coconut milk. (Cocktail idea: Add a splash of rum to make a lighter version of pina coladas.)
Pour and serve with the toasted macadamia nuts and a mint leave garnish.
This would actually be a terrific post-workout snack (sans the rum, of course).
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