This is a day you wouldn’t want to miss out on celebrating, afterall how many “leaping” days do you see roll around the calendar once a year? Whether it’s a family tradition that you follow or just an excuse to try some quirky exciting food, February 29 is your one chance to live as though there’s no tomorrow. We wouldn’t want you to go too over the top though. So here are our top picks to leap into your next Leap Day celebration!
1. Pitaya (Dragon Fruit) Bowl
Frozen pitaya or dragon fruit pulp is the perfect dish to kick start your day on an oh-so-yummy and an oh-so-healthy note! With its low sugar content, it’s subtly sweet, which leaves room for the mix-ins and the toppings like fresh fruit, nuts and seeds to add that extra flavor to it. If you’d like to switch some fruits in the recipe, feel free to swap them out with mango, pineapple or pomegranate seeds.
Oh and how can we forget about the magical ingredient! Yes,that would be maca root. This magical element is known for its rich contents of vitamins and iron and is said to fight depression and alleviating stress. Ahem… Ahem…. And the best part is – it’s an aphrodisiac. So who knows, you might just get to enjoy your breakfast even more!
- Two 3½-ounce packets frozen unsweetened pitaya purée
- ½ cup raw coconut water
- 1 date, pitted
- 1 tablespoon goji berries, plus more to garnish
- 1 teaspoon maca powder
- 1 banana, sliced into rounds
- ¼ cup blueberries
- 2 tablespoons hemp seed hearts (substitute with chopped almonds)
- ¾ teaspoon chia seeds
- 1 teaspoon honey (optional)
- In the base of a blender, add the pitaya pureé, coconut water, date, goji berries and maca powder. Blend until the mixture becomes a smooth, thick and creamy pureé. If you prefer a looser consistency, add more coconut water.
- Transfer the pureé to a serving bowl and top with the banana slices, blueberries, hemp seeds, chia seeds and a few goji berries. Drizzle with honey, if using, and serve.
We hope you get a chance to enjoy this delicious breakfast in the morning. Moving on, now you have lunch to look forward to! So here is our pick for the same!
2. Toad In The Hole
Apart from being a very far-fetched pun; toad:frog:leap…. This dish is actually a traditional English dish of sausages cooked in Yorkshire pudding batter. This version replaces the butter with olive oil to give it a healthy twist and adds grainy mustard and onion quarters to the batter.
- 8 chicken or turkey sausage links (about 1 lb. total)
- 2 onions, quartered
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ⅔ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons grainy mustard
- 1 ¼ cups low-fat milk
- Preheat the oven to 475º F. Place sausages and onions in a 9×13’’ baking dish and toss with oil. Bake until lightly browned, turning once, about 10 minutes.
- While sausages are baking, whisk flour and salt in a large bowl. Whisk together eggs, mustard and milk in a large measuring cup, add to flour mixture; whisk until smooth.
- Carefully pour batter into the baking dish with sausages and continue to bake until puffed and golden, about 30 minutes longer. Let stand 5 minutes and serve.
Leap day is often called “The Ultimate Cheat Day” so here is your chance to shine with our cheesy yummy pick for a leap day snack!
3. The Four-Cheese Macaroni
There’s just something so magical about that mac and cheese. The texture, the taste and the richness, just everything together… blended in with the aroma of herbs and cheese. Isn’t it the yummiest food ever? So here is a recipe that will become your ultimate cheat day snack.
This super-creamy, super-yummy recipe involves a blend of four types of cheese that results in the softest, smoothest, creamiest texture ever!
- 1 ½ ounces all-purpose flour (about 1/3 cup)
- 2 ⅔ cups 1% low-fat milk
- 2 ounces shredded Fontina cheese (about 1/2 cup)
- 2 ounces grated Parmesan cheese (about 1/2 cup)
- 2 ounces shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese (about 1/2 cup)
- 3 ounces light processed cheese (such as light Velveeta)
- 6 cups cooked elbow macaroni (about 3 uncooked)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Cooking spray
- ⅓ cup crushed melba toasts (about 12 pieces)
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- Preheat the oven to 375° F.
- Weigh or lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Place flour in a large saucepan. Gradually add milk, stirring with a whisk until blended. Cook over medium heat until thick (about 8 minutes), stirring constantly with a whisk. Remove from heat; let stand for 4 minutes or until the sauce cools to 155° F. Add cheeses, and stir until the cheeses melt. Stir in cooked macaroni, salt, and black pepper.
- Spoon mixture into a 2-quart glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray. Combine crushed toasts, oil, and garlic in a small bowl; stir until well blended. Sprinkle over macaroni mixture. Bake at 375° F for 30 minutes or until bubbly.
All this food must have made you thirsty. So here is our pick that will perfectly sweep you off your feet!
4. The Red Wedding Drink
The name is intriguing, isn’t it? It has been a tradition for women to propose on Leap Day. Even if you aren’t planning to propose on the day itself, it’s not that bad a way to drop a hint, is it? So here is a yummy, flirtatious drink for you!
For The Red Wedding Ice Cubes:
- 3 cups boiling water
- ¼ cup loose-leaf hibiscus tea
- ½ cup brewed English breakfast tea
- 6 thyme sprigs
- ¼ teaspoon orange blossom water
- ¾ cup Demerara sugar
- ¾ cup ginger ale, preferably Blenheim
For The Cocktail:
- Orange peel
- ½ ounce Averna
- 2 ounces aged bourbon, preferably Elijah Craig 12-Year-Old Bourbon
- 3 Red Wedding ice cubes (recipe above)
- Make the ice cubes: In a large heatproof bowl, combine the water, hibiscus tea, English breakfast tea, thyme and orange blossom water and let steep for 5 minutes. Add the sugar and stir until dissolved. Add the ginger ale, then strain through a fine mesh strainer into a pitcher. Pour into one-inch square ice cube molds and freeze until solid.
- Make the cocktail: In a double old fashioned glass, muddle the orange peel with the Averna. Add bourbon and stir briefly, then add ice cubes and stir until just chilled, about 20 seconds. Serve immediately.
Related: Crowd Favorite Spring Cocktails
So these are our picks for your next Leap Day celebration. We hope you loved this article and are sure that you’re not going to wait another four years to try them out again!