Out this month, Mariana Velasquez
developed recipes for the London-based Snog
and their new healthy treats cookbook
. The recipes are all based around organic fat free yogurt and gluten-free products, so they're all very healthy. And yet still manage to be delicious, and completely original. I would normally be skeptical but if you just look at the list of ingredients she put into each treat - it's hard to imagine something like that going wrong. To wit:
Fresh blackberries, tangy lemon and the sweetness of agave nectar combine for this lovely lickable lolly treat
175g fresh blackberries
4 tbsp agave nectar
1 tsp finely grated lemon zest
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
4 tbsp agave nectar
25g good-quality cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
You will need an 8x75g capacity ice lolly/popsicle mould or similar and 8 wooden sticks.
Put the blackberries, agave nectar, lemon zest and lemon juice into a food processor.
Add 180ml of cold water and purée. Pour the mixture into the moulds, filling halfway. Freeze.
Put the agave nectar, cocoa and vanilla in a small saucepan over a medium heat. Add 180ml of cold water and bring to the boil, whisking. Remove from the heat, cool, then chill.
Remove the pops from the freezer, spoon the chocolate on top of the blackberry mixture and return to the freezer.
After 30 minutes insert a wooden stick into each.
Return to the freezer until completely frozen.
Lemon grass and Thai basil bring a whiff of the Orient to this cooling and refreshing yoghurt smoothie. Delicious
Makes 1.4 litres
4 thin lemongrass stalks, washed and roughly chopped
180ml agave nectar
570g plain Greek yoghurt (0% fat)
180ml organic low-fat milk
½ tsp finely grated lime zest
2 tbsp fresh lime juice
2 tbsp thinly shredded fresh purple Thai basil (or ordinary basil if unavailable)
Put the lemongrass and agave nectar in a small saucepan set over a medium/high heat. Bring to the boil and cook for three to four minutes, until the mixture becomes bubbly white.
Remove from the heat and allow to sit for a further five minutes so the lemongrass taste infuses the agave nectar. Strain through a sieve to remove the lemongrass and set the nectar aside. Allow to cool completely.
Put the yoghurt, milk, lime zest and lime juice into a large bowl and stir to combine. Pour in the lemongrass-scented agave nectar and add the basil. Stir well. Refrigerate the mixture until very cold. Transfer to the bowl of an ice-cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer’s directions until creamy and smooth. If you do not have an ice-cream maker, pour the mixture into a freezer-proof container, cover and place in the freezer. After about 45 minutes check the mixture.
As it starts to freeze around the edges beat vigorously with a fork, whisk, electric hand mixer or spatula to break up the ice crystals. Repeat periodically until the mixture is frozen, which will take two to three hours. Serve in scoops.
Read more about the cookbook here