After a brief summer-fun filled hiatus, I've returned to the blog with a refreshing drink recipe that's perfect for enjoying before, during or after a frolic in the hot summer sunshine. But first, let me tell you what I've been up to these past few months.
At the end of May I spent two lovely weeks in France; first with friends in the south-west countryside, and then with my family in Paris. I gratefully filled my face with baguette de campagne slathered in cultured french butter and mild, fragrant radishes. I enjoyed vibrant salads topped with thick slices of fresh smoked salmon, nutty cave aged Comté cheese and sculptural pastries adorned with edible glass and tiny fraises du bois. In June I baked popcorn cookies and s'more cookies (a flavour for each kid) and made orange scented rhubarb compote and homemade mint chocolate chip ice cream to celebrate the start of summer and the end of another school year. Then July arrived with a colourful explosion of ripe seasonal vegetables at the local markets. So far my favourite homemade eats have been quinoa salad with roasted veg tossed in a harissa dressing (inspired by this recipe), creamy, sweet steamed new potatoes with butter, sea salt and garden chives (no recipe, just do it), tomato salads of all sorts and this perfect "rehydrator" that was inspired by one of my favourite UK chefs and cookbook authors, Anna Jones.
I bought Anna's cookbook A Modern Way to Cook a few months ago after watching her make a citrus rehydrator (basically an all natural energy drink) on Jamie Oliver's Food Tube. I loved it so much that I went on to purchase her other, first cookbook A Modern Way to Eat, and noticed a different rehydrator recipe that called for strawberries. Well it just so happened that I had some in my fridge, along with a bunch of chopped up watermelon. So I whizzed it up with a bit of mint and a handful of ice. My son and I drank the entire blender-full sitting outside in the late afternoon sun and it was exactly what I needed to provide me with enough energy to sauté some shrimp in fresh garlic, make a salad and call it dinner.
This drink is perfect in hot weather, after a workout or in the morning after a night of gratuitous libations because the salt and maple syrup help to restore electrolytes and the lemon provides a massive dose of vitamin C. It's also delicious, feels special and is relatively low in sugar compared to juice, soda... or a glass of rosé, which also has its time and place.
STRAWBERRY WATERMELON REHYDRATOR
inspired by Anna Jones
500 ml cold water
Juice of 3 lemons
1 handful of chopped strawberries
1 handful of chopped watermelon
2 tbsp. maple syrup, agave or honey
pinch of sea salt
Put everything in the blender and whizz up until smooth. Serve over ice garnished with mint, if you have some.
I have also made this with limes instead of lemons and blueberries as my main fruit. There are endless possibilities, but the key is lots of citrus juice, a pinch of sea salt and a couple of tablespoons of natural sweetener.