When Rob’s parents came over for the barbecue, they helped out by bringing some marinaded meat for the grill. They also gifted us with some fresh, sweet corn on the cob for lunch and peaches for the smoothies. And as a bonus, mini cucumbers from their garden, new potatoes, apples and kohlrabi! And broccolini! These days, there is nothing better than fresh Ontario corn and peaches. The peaches were delectable as I have been snacking on them for breakfast all week.
I also made this stovetop simmered peach and blueberry dish with cardamom, courtesy of My New Roots. It reminded me of the baked rhubarb and apple dish I made with earl Grey tea, cardamom and orange last year, which was one of my favourite desserts. Instead of turning on your oven, though, you simmer peaches and blueberries with cardamom, vanilla and cloves for a warm, almost sultry combination. The level of sweetness will depend on your peaches, so add the maple syrup to taste.
To contrast with the warmness of the fruit, it is nice to pair with something cool. Pick your favourite – yogurt, ice cream, or in my case: banana soft-serve ice cream.
I still marvel at the simplicity of banana soft-serve ice cream and figure I should share the recipe/method for those who have yet to be introduced. Basically, you take a few just-ripe bananas, slice them and freeze them in a single layer. When you want your ice cream, take them out of the freezer, plop them into your food processor and whiz away. Your bananas will go from hard to a thick cream and if you keep going for a few minutes, eventually you get silky smooth ice cream with a hint of banana flavour. This trick also works with other frozen fruit – I’ve done mango and papaya, but banana remains my favourite. I only caution you not to let your fruit thaw first because then it won’t work!
I love desserts that can double as breakfasts. The fruits also worked well overtop my morning oatmeal. I have been going through Bob’s Red Mill steel-cut oats, and found they made much more firmer oatmeal than I was used to. Ricki’s idea to pan-fry the oatmeal sounded ideal. I took leftover oatmeal, cut in large slabs, and fried them with a touch of oil in a non-stick frypan. The outsides were nicely seared with a warm, oozy interior.
Thankfully, my pantry-substitute, Better Bulk, has steel cut oats that give me silky smooth morning oats.
Peaches and Blueberries with Banana Soft-Serve Ice Cream
Adapted from My New Roots
4-5 ripe peaches
1/2 cup wild blueberries (optional, I think next time I would leave them out)
1/2 cup water
2 Tbsp pure maple syrup
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
2 whole cloves
1/2 vanilla bean, seeds scraped (reserve empty bean pod)
pinch sea salt
2 just-ripe bananas, sliced and frozen
1. Wash and pit the peaches, then slice into wedges.
2. Add the peaches and remaining ingredients (including the empty vanilla bean pod) to a saucepan, bring to a boil, reduce to simmer on low for about 20 minutes.
3. Let peach mixture cool slightly.
4. Just prior to eating, take the frozen banana, and whip until smooth in food processor (this may take 3-4 minutes, and test the ability of your food processor).
5. Ladle peaches into bowls and add a scoop of your banana ice cream (or your ice cream of choice). Serve immediately.