With the summer months upon us and the heat bearing down, I
must admit that I am not as enthused about working in the kitchen as I am in
the cooler months of the year. During these warmer and sometimes downright HOT
months, I generally look for good, healthful, unprocessed dishes I can prepare
quickly with minimal effort that won’t slow me down physically and heat up the
house. I’m also into food experimentation and this proclivity for the unusual
makes the Aronia Berry the perfect ingredient, as it mixes well with so many
different flavors and is perfect for prepping quick, healthful meals.
During a recent dinner gathering, based upon my various
experiments, I prepared a nice, creamy Aronia Berry Hummus with Superberries
Frozen Aronia Berries. The hummus added a bit of an interesting flair to our
dinner table as both an appetizer and a conversation starter. The light, purple
hummus was served with a side of raw vegetables and kale chips seasoned with
sea salt. The initial reaction from my “test” audience was a resounding thumbs
up as the flavor of the tahini, Aronia Berry and chickpeas melded together famously
with the slight tang and sea salt of the crisp kale and the various vegetables.
My next course was a simple Aronia Kale Salad served with a
delightful and lighter Aronia Berry dressing I concocted in many experiments in
the kitchen. The Aronia Salad was well received and the flavors were tart with
that hint of sweetness tickling the tongue, yet not overwhelming, and the
lightness of the Aronia dressing added a different dimension of taste that was
off that clichéd chart.
With the main course of homemade grilled veggie, turkey and salmon
burgers surrounded with a side of sweet potato and eggplant fries, I served a
delectable Aronia Strawberry Relish that complimented the grilled fare
perfectly. The heat and the sweet of the Aronia Relish pleased the crowd and
was probably the most popular dish on the table. The astringent flavors of the
Aronia berries and the tart vinegar brought out the sweetness of the
strawberries and the onions, while the heat of the jalapenos mixed very well
with the sweet flavor of the honey to bring about an explosion of festive flavor.
As a night cap we had the always popular Aronia Coconut Ice
Cream and a refreshing cooler of Aronia Berry Lemonade. The Aronia Lemonade is
best if prepared with Meyer Lemons, however natural lemonade from any fresh
market will do nicely as well. The Aronia Lemonade is an easy drink to prepare
and perfect for any warm summer night on the deck gazing up at the stars and
having a lighthearted conversation with good friends.
Start to finish, the entire meal was a fairly easy, quick
production and spared me quite a bit of time in the hot kitchen. The meal was
heavy on nutrition coupled with natural antioxidants and went over very well
with each of my guests. The greatest compliment came at the end of the evening
when I was asked for the recipes. Naturally, I always enjoy sharing in the vein
of spreading health and wellness through the “power of purple”, and I’ve also included
the recipes elsewhere on this website for you to enjoy as well. Check ‘em out
and let us know what you think.
In the meantime, bon appétit.