There is some very offensive mint plants growing in my yard. I thought to use them for something, and wanted to make some cool sweet drink for sunny weather. Also, in my freezer there is some frozen banana, which is a great base for vegan “milk”shakes and sorbets. I usually freeze the bananas, if for some reason I have forgotten them and they have become completely black. This way they make the best sorbet. This is what I came up with this time:
Mint – Coconut – Pineapple Smoothie
1 frozen, overripe banana
1/2 can of canned pineapple
1 small handful of spearmint leaves
3/4 dl coconut milk
I blended it all with a handheld mixer.
Beetroot seems to be my favourite ingredient these days… I had an idea of combining the same ingredients as I would for a beetroot stew that I sometimes make, but to make a sweet cake out of it.
4 dl finely grated beetroot
1 tbsp finely grated ginger
4 dl wheat flour
3 dl muscovado sugar
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
3 tsp Orgran egg replacer
1 dl grated coconut
150 g vegetable margarine, melted
1/2 dl lime juice (juice of one lime)
2 dl coconut milk
25 g vegetable margarine
1 dl soy yogurt
1/2 dl powdered sugar
I made this cake simply by first mixing the dry ingredients, including sugar and the egg replacer, in a bowl. Then I added the grated ginger and then the beetroot, and mixed carefully. Then I added the coconut milk and limejuice, mixed, added the melted margarine and mixed still a little bit more. It’s important not to mix these kind of cakes too much, in order to not make them chewy.
I poured the dough into a cake tin, which was greased and coated with grated coconut. I baked the cake for about an hour in the oven, in 175°C.
Then I made the the topping for the cake, by melting the margarine and mixing with the other ingredients. It was quite runny and not that pretty, but it didn’t matter so much, since I wasn’t going to transport the cake anywhere.
For the taste of the cake… It tasted surprisingly much of beetroot, but it wasn’t unpleasant. The difference between this cake and a carrot cake was that somehow beetroot was more distinguishable in the ready baked cake, than carrot in a carrot cake. So all in all: a strange, but nice cake. I don’t actually know for what kind of crowd it would be best suited for, but at least it would surprise most people.
The main ingredients for this soup are very easy to find and cheap in Finland in the wintertime. Yet it tastes quite exotic, little bit like satay sauce, and you can almost forget the dull cabbage… This recipe yields about 20 – 25 portions.
Peanut and Cabbage Soup
500 g onions
1 kg carrots
3,5 kg cabbage
8 garlic cloves
1 tbsp grated ginger
3 green chillies
3 tbsp oil
4 dl peanut butter (the brand that I was using has salt and sugar in it, but it’s not overtly sweet)
1 dl vegetable fond
1 canned coconut milk
3 tbsp tomato paste
salt to taste
I chopped all the ingredients finely, and fried the onions, ginger, garlic and chillies in a big cooking pot together with oil. Then I added the cabbage and the carrots, and fried them some minutes. Then I added enough water to cover the vegetables, the vegetable fond, the tomato paste and some salt and brought the mixture to boil. Then I let it simmer for about 40 minutes, or until the cabbage was completely soft and translucent. Then squeezed the limes, added the lime juice, the coconut milk and the peanut butter to the soup and let it simmer still for a bit.
The people whom I made this soup for, liked it very much, except for one who thought it tasted “strange, but interesting”. I am at the moment very fond of peanuts, and this soup fulfilled that craving very well.