A visit to the local fruit & vegetable market is always inspiring. Especially if its first thing in the morning, when all the fresh produce arrives. There really is nothing more enticing than a lively bunch of radish, gleaming carrots, shiny grapes and staunch bananas staring back at you with all the excitement they cane muster!
Anyway, so after my occasional *cough* early morning run, I’m usually hungry like the wolf (Guess that super catchy song, and even catchier mash-up!). But thanks to the workplace (Which blesses us in the form early morning start to the day by helping us avoid rush hour traffic), I usually have little or no time to satisfy my hunger.
Trying to find a solution to this, I recently remembered all those articles where people seemed to love this DIY Spinach smoothies and then I remembered the early morning markets.
It all fell into place since winter is the time Mumbai gets its best and freshest spinach. So I thought, lets do a Spinach Smoothie Special!
What makes the Spinach smoothies special you ask? Well, the answer is 3 fold.
They’re super healthy for you & super filling.
They’re delicious & can be easily customized (Always a plus)
The darn thing takes less than 30 seconds to create!
These 1-step smoothies have very obviously become the best part of my mornings.
For today’s 1 step smoothie – Strawberry Papaya Smoothie
Welcome to this glorious occasion of the onset of the Indian summer, which can also be recognized by the sudden rise in fights with the AC and steady decline of talcum powder levels.
Tis’ the season to be unknowingly annoyed and perpetually fidgety. Mumbai summers, in all its humid glory, has always inspired me to seize that hedonist in me and to go about my way during this period.
So a few days ago, I tried my hand at being an eccentric innovator and putting two totally different things together.
Strawberries with Nutella. Yum.
Strawberries with Peanut Butter Waffles. Heaven.
Strawberries with Cream. A classic.
Chunky Tomato Basil Sauce. Divine.
Basil Pesto. A heart breaker.
Bruschetta with strips of basil. The BEST.
… Strawberries AND Basil?
At first, it seemed off – mixing a dessert fruit with an Italian fresh herb famous for garnishing your pizzas and pastas.
But, the more I thought about it, the more it made sense : The sweetness of the basil, the tart of the strawberry and the cold soda led to one of the most refreshing drinks you could recreate this summer. Introducing the Strawberry Basil Soda!
Makes : About 6-8 glasses.
Difficulty : Simple as the first level of Candy Crush Saga.
Preparation Time : 5-10 minutes.
Cook Time : Nada.
4-5 Basil Leaves
1/3 cup of Sugar
1 tablespoon of Lemon Juice
A bottle of Sprite (As Needed)
Hull the strawberries (Hull = Cutting out the stems, leaves to leave a beautiful strawberry)
Drop all the hulled strawberries in a blender/juicer/mixer and pulse till smooth.
Strain the strawberry puree through a sieve to remove the strawberry seeds.
In a liquid measuring cup, pour out this strawberry puree. Add water to reach 1 cup.
In a saucepan, add the strawberry puree, water, sugar, roughly chopped basil leaves and let it place it on the stove over low heat.
Keep stirring from time to time. Make sure all the sugar dissolves.
Once mixture starts bubbling from the sides, remove from heat. Let it cool.
Strain this mixture to get a smooth Strawberry Basil Syrup. Bottle this syrup. (This syrup can be refrigerated up to 1 week)
When in need of a drink, add 2 tablespoons of syrup into a tall glass.
Add freshly sliced strawberries, chopped basil and ice into the glass (Optional)
Top with Sprite and serve chilled.
There are very few things in the world that are as refreshing as this recipe on a sunny afternoon.
A tall chilled glass of a Strawberry Basil Soda, flipping through an absorbing magazine in the comfort of your room and listening to some Norah Jones : perfect way to spend a summer’s day, if you ask me.