5 Ways to Banish the Winter Blues in the Kitchen
The cold got you down? Slip into a spring break state of mind with tropical flair at home, from a tuna poke recipe to luau-ready drinkware.
1. Indulge in exotic dragon fruit.
This unique, dazzling tropical cactus fruit—also known as pitaya—has juicy, seeded flesh that’s sweet and mild, like a cross between kiwi and pear, with a touch of earthiness. Here’s what you need to know:
+ HOW TO BUY Find dragon fruit with exotic fruit at supermarkets or at Asian or Latin markets. Choose unbruised fruit with smooth red skin and green tips on the scales.
+ HOW TO STORE Keep at room temperature. The red skin deepens in color as it ripens. Ripe dragon fruit yields slightly to pressure.
+ HOW TO EAT Slice in half to reveal white or pink flesh inside, which is studded with edible black seeds. Pare away skin or scoop the flesh out with a spoon. You can cut it up and put it into salads, use as a yogurt topping, or mix into a smoothie with strawberries, pineapple, and bananas.
2. Try Some Hawaiian tuna poke.
The tuna and avocado make this dish a potassium powerhouse. You can find fresh or frozen wakame seaweed on Amazon or at most Asian markets. You can also use fresh or frozen premixed seaweed salad. Serve the poke atop brown rice, if you like.
View Recipe: Tuna Poke with Mango and Avocado
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3. Go bananas with these retro-chic island-style table linens.
Amp up the island vibe of your party spread with this old-school tablecloth (from $32). It’s made of resilient and stain-resistant oilcloth, which makes for easy cleaning with just a sponge. And the bold fruit-and-floral patterns can warm up a room all winter long. Available in square and rectangle sizes.
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4. Whip up fruity cocktails by the pitcherful with Breville’s newest juicer.
Tropical drinks need fresh fruit juice, and lots of it. Breville’s latest and greatest juicer, the Juice Fountain old XL ($350), delivers up to 70 ounces of fresh juice five times faster than cold-press machines. This model raises juice temperature less than 2°F, so heat won’t kill the nutrients or mute the flavor. Its high-powered yet surprisingly quiet motor churns out vibrant juice for huge batches of festive beverages. And fruit is just the beginning: Squeeze the goodness out of all sorts of fresh produce, from rhubarb stalks to leafy greens.
5. Sip in style with tropical beverage gear.
Red plastic cups were fine for college parties, but now that you’re adulting, it’s time to bring a little panache to that piña colada.
Patio Party Coasters
Rosanna’s porcelain drink rests ($48/set of 4) set the mood for a backyard tiki party or living room limbo. They’re labeled with tropical drink names in fonts with retro-chic flair.
Royal Hawaiian Pineapple Tumbler
This sculpted metal cup ($37 for two) looks cool, and copper keeps drinks ice-cold. Bonus: The top becomes a drink stand either way you turn it.
Cocktail Parasol Drink Umbrellas
No tropical tipple is complete without that most garish garnish, the drink umbrella (calling it a parasol does not make it tasteful). The box of 188 ($6) should last a few luaus.
This article originally appeared on Cookinglight.com