Summer Bites: Avocado Soup and Coconut Snowballs from Healthy Living Market and Cafe

summerbitesI'm a recipe girl, I need suggestions and instructions to come up with something interesting and to get out of a rut, and these two recipes from Shannon Beckwith, the Learning Center Coordinator at Healthy Living Market and Cafe in Saratoga Springs are perfect for hot and muggy summer days.

Chilled Spicy Avocado and Cucumber Soup

Two 12-ounce cucumbers—peeled, seeded and chopped 2 Hass avocados, coarsely chopped 2 teaspoons Thai green curry paste 2 teaspoons finely grated lime zest 1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped or to taste (can easily leave out or adjust for little ones) 1- 13-ounce can unsweetened coconut milk 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice Salt and Pepper- to taste 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes, for garnish 10 cilantro sprigs, for garnish

In a food processor, puree the cucumbers until smooth. Add the avocados, curry paste, lime zest and chile. Process until blended. Add 3 1/2 cups of water, the coconut milk and lime juice and process until smooth. Transfer the soup to a large bowl and season with salt. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a skillet, toast the coconut over low heat, stirring a few times, until lightly browned and crisp, 3 minutes. Let cool. Ladle the soup into small bowls or cups, garnish with the toasted coconut flakes and cilantro sprigs and serve.

coconut

Coconut Snowballs

Makes 12 balls

1 3/4 cups unsweetened shredded coconut, divided 2 teaspoons melted coconut oil 3 tablespoons maple syrup 2 tablespoons unsweetened coconut milk 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/8 teaspoon sea salt

Place 1 cup of shredded coconut in a food processor along with the coconut oil. Process on high speed, scraping down the sides periodically, until it reaches a paste-like consistency. (It does not have to be completely smooth like butter; some coconut texture is good.)

Add the maple syrup, coconut milk, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt and process until well combined. Add 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons of shredded coconut and pulse until just combined.

Shape the mixture into 12 (1-inch) balls and coat with the remaining shredded coconut. Refrigerate for at least an hour and up to 5 days. Bring to room temperature before eating.

Shannon also gave us a great recipe for kids that can carry through perfectly to fit into school lunches come fall as well, click here for the "frushi" recipe and my piece on the 5 or Less Lunchbox Project in the Summer Issue of Mamatoga Magazine.

Looking to pick up some new skills in the kitchen this summer? Click here for the Learning Center schedule, they have some really great classes lined up for preschoolers on up to grown ups, stuff for the whole family and also some great "Ladies Night Out" classes too. Stay tuned for some more summer recipes from Shannon, and you can pick up all the ingredients for both recipes right at Healthy Living Market and Cafe! xoxo