Cacao Banana Ice Cream (Now with Nibs!)

Thursday, March 12th, 2015

2015-03-01 - Cacao Banana Ice Cream - 0001 [flickr]

Last week I received a packet of sample goodies from Kazu; nestled among the quinoa, matcha powder, and goldenberries were cacao powder and cacao nibs. As usual, when faced with food items for review, I went with my first instinct: make ice cream! I even happened to have a few quarts of sliced bananas in the freezer, just waiting on me; serendipity, anyone?

So what’s the diff between cocoa and cacao powder, you might be wondering? While both begin life in the pods of the Theobroma cacao plant, the difference lies in the processing: cocoa beans are roasted before being cracked, deshelled, and ground into a powder, while cacao beans are not. (The shells, by the by, are where we get nibs.) Cacao is raw; cocoa is not. It may also contain more antioxidants than its processed counterpart.

Neither cacao nor cocoa should be confused with carob, which comes from an altogether different plant (the carob tree) and is the only one of the three that’s suitable for canines. Both cacao and cocoa contain theobromine, which is toxic to dogs.

Since cacao and cocoa powder can be used almost interchangeably, the recipe was a no-brainer. I only used 3 tablespoons of cacao, but feel free to increase it to a full quarter cup if you’d like a stronger flavor. And as long as you omit the sugar and soy milk (hopefully you’ll need neither – ’tis the goal with banana ice cream, after all), this recipe is suitable for those on a raw food diet.

Bon appétit!

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Cashew Cappuccino Nanaimo Bar Chunk Ice Cream

Wednesday, February 25th, 2015

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Like many of my recipes (especially ice cream recipes – though usually banana-based), this one was borne of a desire to clear out the fridge/freezer. (Spring cleaning, it’s about that time!) I had about a quarter of the messed-up Cashew Cappuccino Nanaimo Bar I made (or tried to make, rather) for Christmas sitting in the freezer, and I decided what better way to finish it off than mixed with ice cream? You can’t go wrong with ice cream. It’s just not possible.

So basically I just chopped the leftovers up and stirred stirred them into a batch of vanilla ice cream post-processing: easy peasy! You can do this with pretty much any baked good you’ve accidentally-on-purpose made a little too much of: cookie batter, cupcakes, granola bars, truffles, you name it.

While certain layers caught my attention more than others (namely the cashew cream and chocolate topping), the finished ice cream proved tasty enough that I’m thinking about turning these flavors into their own honest-to-goodness ice cream, no nanaimo bar required.

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Kelly’s (Formerly) Super-Secret, Slow-Simmered, Slightly Sweet and Very Savory Pasta Sauce

Friday, February 20th, 2015

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Back when I published my review of The Oh She Glows cookbook last March, I may or may not have bragged about my super-awesome, oh-so-secret, perfected after years of slow-simmering and taste-testing, epically awesome pasta sauce from scratch. The internet may or may not have begged me to publish said recipe. Okay, so several people requested it.

Since it’s something I usually whip up on the fly, I wanted to actually make a batch, writing down the steps as I went, rather than guessing at the amounts of ingredients and such. Fast-forward eleven months and I’m just now getting to it.

It’s been the perfect storm of events conspiring against me: for one, I just haven’t been eating pasta as much. And when I do make sauce from scratch, it’s the frozen tomatoes in the fridge that get the first priority, ingredients-wise; problem is, they’ve already been run through the food processor, cooked and seasoned, such that they’d totally throw off the recipe. Also, the recent preponderance of cookbook reviews means I haven’t had as much time for original experimentation.

And then there’s Peedee, aka cancer boy: diagnosed with lung cancer last March; chest cut open and tumor (seemingly successfully) removed in April; and now, after nine months of screening, with x-rays in three-month intervals, it seems the cancer’s back. He started chemo yesterday (which, at the time of this writing, is actually still several days away; ’tis the magic of the queue! Insert a quick wish for minimal side effects here.) So yeah, it’s been a pretty hectic year.

Okay! I didn’t mean to go so dark there! Let’s talk pasta sauce, shall we?

So the key to me dream pasta sauce is three-fold. First, simmer, simmer, simmer! This sauce takes at least two hours to make, preferably more. The longer you can keep it on the stove top, the richer and more nuanced the taste. This definitely isn’t a weeknight/work night meal dealio.

Secondly: don’t be stingy with the sundried tomatoes, roasted red peppers, Kalamata olives, garlic, basil, and/or oregano (those last two should always appear in a 3-to-1 ratio, by the way). These bad girls make the sauce.

Last but not least: conduct plenty of taste testing along the way. Re-season as necessary. Love your pasta sauce, and it will love you back.

Wait! I lied. There’s a fourth rule that I just realized should be a bona fide rule, on account of it’s uber-important: you simply MUST add the red peppers in two batches. The original ones cook so long that they break down a little and become one with the sauce, whereas the second batch stays nice and chunky and results in tiny explosions of sweet, tangy, and occasionally charred flavor. So, so good. My mouth is watering as I write this.

SO. In summary: no two of my sauces are exactly alike, but what follows is my best stab at a standard recipe. Enjoy!

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Matcha Cookies!

Saturday, February 7th, 2015

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I needed to think of something to make other than green tea ice cream to test this new brand of matcha I received for review, so I had pretty much the best idea ever: Matcha Cookies! Or St. Patty’s Day Snickerdoodles, if you prefer.

The recipe is modeled on the Snickerdoodle cookies in The Vegan Cookie Connoisseur. You can find the recipe after the jump, but basically I just swapped out the cinnamon flavoring for matcha powder (two tablespoons, to be exact).

I was a little stumped on the coating – Snickerdoodles are rolled in cinnamon sugar prior to baking – but I decided to use almond flour in place of cinnamon, because I love the pairing of almond with green tea. White on green lacks the visual punch of brown on white, but it’s pretty tasty nonetheless – and that’s what really counts, yeah?

If you don’t have any almond flour, just use plain sugar instead! Or reduce the vanilla to 1/2 teaspoon and add a teaspoon of almond extract to get your fix.

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Kahlua Ice Cream

Saturday, December 6th, 2014

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I eat so much ice cream, y’all, that’s it’s difficult to come up with new flavors to try! This one was inspired by the Irish Cream recipe in The Vegan Scoop, which turned my attention toward the liquor cabinet, and the many wonderful boozy flavors I’ve yet to experiment with. I know that ice cream’s kind of out this season, but methinks this would make an excellent dessert for a vegan Christmas/New Year’s bash. And yes, Kahlua is vegan!

Kahlua Ice Cream

(Makes a little under a quart of ice cream.)

Ingredients

2 cups soy creamer, plain or vanilla
1 cup soy milk, plain or vanilla, divided
3 tablespoons arrowroot powder
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup Kahlua + extra to taste (I used 1/4 cup + 1 teaspoon)

Directions

1. In a small mug, combine 1/4 cup of the soy milk with the arrowroot powder. Whisk well and set aside.

2. In a medium saucepan, combine the soy creamer, remaining soy milk, sugar, and 1/4 cup Kahlua. Heat on medium-high, whisking constantly, until the mixture begins to boil. Remove from heat and add the arrowroot slurry immediately, whisking well. This should cause the milk to thicken noticeably. Taste the batter and add extra Kahlua to taste.

3. Cover and transfer to a fridge to chill for six to eight hours or, better yet, overnight.

4. To make the ice cream, process the batter according to your ice cream machine’s directions. Enjoy immediately as soft serve or transfer to the freezer for a firmer dessert.

2014-11-23 - Kahlua Ice Cream - 0006 [flickr]

Chocolate Cherry Chunk Ice Cream

Sunday, November 23rd, 2014

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This flavor was inspired by Purely Decadent’s Cherry Nirvana flavor which, according to the internets, has been discontinued. (Boo!) Not that it much matters to me; while Kansas City is home to a surprising number of health food stores (Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, Green Acres, to name a few), their selection of vegan foods is uniformly sucky. Just before Halloween Shane trekked down to Overland Park in search of So Delicious’s holiday-flavored ice cream pops (Pumpkin Spice and Candy Corn), and he came home empty-handed. Also MIA: Amy’s Daiya Cheese Pizzas; Nayonaise; and Tofurky frozen pockets. WTF!

/ rant.

Anyway, this Chocolate Cherry Chunk Ice Cream is in Cherry Nirvana’s ballpark, but I came up just short of nailing it. The cherry flavor isn’t quite the same, possibly because So Delicious uses a higher-quality cherry extract than I. But the chocolate-covered cherry bits are gangbusters! Pro tip: you may want to make extra for snacking.

The frozen ice cream proved difficult to scoop, but that was totally on account of the frozen bits of chocolatey goodness; the ice cream itself is smooth and creamy. For easier scooping, you can set the chocolate cherries aside and sprinkle them atop the ice cream just prior to serving. Either way. Awesome.

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Roasted Butternut Squash & Pesto Pizza

Sunday, November 2nd, 2014

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C’mon, admit it: you KNEW this was coming. Every time I find myself with an abundance of produce, I invariably figure out a way to put it on a pizza (P.I.Z.Z.A.).

Before trying my hand at a butternut squash pizza, I did a little googling to see what others have done; this is kind of a mashup of some of the ideas I found. The roasted squash was heavily influenced by the Fall Harvest Butternut Squash with Almond-Pecan Parmesan from The Oh She Glows Cookbook – and the Farfalle with Zucchini, Mint, and Almonds from Vegan Italiano provided the inspiration for the pesto recipe, which is much more moist than usual. The liquidy pesto is insurance against the oven, which always dries my pesto pizzas out more than a little bit.

The result is hella tasty, and definitely one of my best uses of butternut squash to date.

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Peach Green Tea Ice Cream

Thursday, October 30th, 2014

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One of my all-time favorite flavors of green tea (second only to *maybe* jasmine) is peach. Recently it occurred to me that I’ve yet to make peach green tea ice cream, an oversight I took to rectifying immediately. Luckily, it was pretty simple: just process some canned peaches and syrup into a slurry and use it in place of the soy milk. Peach Green Tea Ice Cream in a jiff!

If this was the beginning of summer, I might have used fresh roasted peaches in place of the canned stuff. Sadly, it is not. (Sob. Snow is just around the corner, y’all! Get me some sun lamps stat!) But feel free to use ’em if you’ve got ’em!

Also, 1 1/4 cups (or 1 cup post-processing) is about six slices shy of a full 15 ounce can. I was tempted to use the whole shebang, but worried that it’d be too much batter for my one-quart machine to handle. It can be hard to tell, since some batter expands more than others when frozen. As it turns out, it fit with very little room to spare. If your bowl is larger than mine, go ahead and use the full can. Or don’t! The leftover slices taste amazing when served alongside the finished product.

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Mac & Cheese & Butternut Squash

Tuesday, October 7th, 2014

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So this past VeganMoFo I bookmarked a ton of recipes to try – but unlike years gone by, I actually did it! And in a timely manner! Yay me!

Necessity was the deciding factor here, as I had a ton of butternut squash from my garden that needed to be eaten stat. When I saw House Vegan’s Baked Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese, I knew it was meant to be. Her recipe was in turn inspired by the Butternut Squash Mac ‘n Cheeze at Oh She Glows; after comparing and contrasting the two, I ended up doing a sort of mashup, with roasted (vs. steamed) squash like in the original (fewer dishes, yo!), but baked with a panko topping similar to House Vegan’s version.

I also doubled the because hey, I am a growing girl and need my carbs!

But not the pasta! I only increased that by a cup, for extra-awesome creamy cheesiness. I think it turned out to be a pretty killer pasta-to-cheese ratio in the end. But you can go with a full four cups of pasta if you’d rather! Be your own decider person.

While it’s not as amazing as the processed, junky stuff, the butternut squash cheese sauce is still hella tasty, and makes for a rather satisfying macaroni and cheese. And the parmesan topping? Out of this world. Just be sure you supervise it during the broiling phase, lest you come dangerously close to charring it like I did. Learn from my mistakes!

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Carbs & Rec: Salad & Other Disgusting Things

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014

Carbs & Rec - Double Bacon Cheeseburger Salad (0002)

SALAD. If there’s a food more universally reviled in Pawnee, I’d be hard-pressed to name it. (Dog laxative waffles, maybe?) From the manliest of meat-eaters to even those government employees who ought to know better, the cast of Parks & Rec never misses a moment to hate on leafy green meals.

First, we have the usual suspect: Ron Swanson, who refuses to eat the food that his food eats.

Chris: Ron, do you like some salad?
Ron: (giggling) Since I am a rabbit, no I do not.
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Mac & Cheese Monday: Deep Dish Mac & Cheese Pizza

Monday, September 22nd, 2014

You guys, this scene made me so happy – the reference is so random and unexpected, plus PIZZA. And not just any pizza; MAC & CHEESE PIZZA!

Leslie and Ben are officially my people.

Let’s see it again, in gif form:

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Yup, I kinda sorta do.

So there was no doubt that I’d have to make a mac & cheese pizza this mofo.

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Carbs & Rec: French Fry Pizza-That-Is-Harder-To-Eat With a Side of Ranch Dressing

Friday, September 12th, 2014

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Carbs & Rec - French Fry Calzones With Ranch (0017)

Ben Wyatt and calzones. If there’s one ship I ship harder than Leslie and waffles, this would be it. (I’m totes playing it cool here. BEN + CALZONES 5EVAH!)

Calzones first make a cameo in the episode “Ron & Tammy: Part Two.” In a last-ditch effort to make the Harvest Fest happen, the Parks & Rec crew resort to bribery a la a pizza party in order to convince the police department to provide free security for the event. Ben suggests calzones, thus leading to a running gag about calzones being disgusting and pointless (the worst food ever invented!), much to his chagrin. (Quoth the Police Chief: “What the hell is wrong with this guy?”)

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Kiss Me Organics Matcha Review – and a Vegan Green Tea Ice Cream Recipe!

Saturday, August 9th, 2014

Green Tea Ice Cream, Anyone?

five out of five stars

(Full disclosure: I received a free product in exchange for an honest review.)

I love green tea, but due to its cost, I primarily use matcha powder for cooking and baking (ice cream and pastries, mostly). The matcha sold by Kiss Me Organics is comparable to other brands of matcha I’ve tried, with a vibrant green color; a fine, powdery consistency that’s not terribly difficult to whisk into liquids; and a rich taste that’s impossible to describe, except to say that it tastes like a good cup of plain green tea. The day I received my order, I whipped up a quart of green tea ice cream (recipe below); I was impressed with the smooth consistency and complex taste imparted by the matcha powder.

If you’re new to matcha, you can use it to flavor a variety of baked goods: add to your favorite vanilla cupcake mix, buttercream recipe, or even just mix a bit with powdered sugar and soy milk to make icing. There’s an excellent recipe for Green Tea Cupcakes on the Post Punk Kitchen (Google “Green Tea Cupcakes With Almond Flowers”), as well as a Matcha Truffles recipe from My Whole Food Life that I’ve been meaning to try. And don’t even get me started on Soy Division’s Matcha Glazed Vanilla Bean Donuts with Matcha Cream Filling!

The matcha comes packaged in a resealable pouch, which is rather handy, but I had a hard time getting it open (the top tears off well above the zipper; I had to trim the top of the bag a little bit at the time to avoid damaging the packaging). To be fair, matcha powder is inherently messy, and I’ve never been a fan of the various modes of packaging devised by manufacturers. This is at least preferable to some of the roll-up bags I’ve wrestled with in the past. (Matcha on all the kitchen things!)

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Rosemary Strawberry Banana Ice Cream

Saturday, July 26th, 2014

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This recipe came about because I needed to use up some ripening strawberries stat, and I wanted to try something other than plain old strawberry-banana. The rosemary certainly makes for an interested addition – it gives the ice cream more of a savory feel – but I’m not sure it’s my absolute favorite. I guess I’m just more of a strawberry shortcake kind of girl, you know?

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Strawberry Rosemary Banana Ice Cream

(Makes just under one quart of ice cream.)

Ingredients

3 cups strawberries, diced
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice

3-4 overripe bananas, peeled, sliced and frozen
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary (or several sprigs fresh rosemary) + extra to taste
sugar to taste (optional)
a splash of non-dairy milk or creamer, if needed

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Chocolate Almond Crunch Ice Cream

Saturday, July 19th, 2014

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I fucking love almonds. If you fucking love almonds too, this just might be the recipe for you.

Creamy, almond-flavored ice cream laced with delicious chunks of chocolate-covered toasted almonds; is there anything else to say? I didn’t think so.

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Chocolate Almond Crunch Ice Cream

Ingredients

(for the ice cream batter)
2 cups soy creamer, plain or vanilla
1 cup almond or soy milk, plain or vanilla, divided
2 tablespoons arrowroot powder
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract

(for the chocolate almonds)

3/4 cup almonds, toasted
3/4 cup chocolate chips
1 teaspoon coconut oil

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Fennel Banana Ice Cream

Saturday, July 12th, 2014

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I’ve wanted to try fennel ice cream for what feels like forever now, but somehow it always got pushed to the bottom of the list. When I found myself with an overripe bunch of bananas, I decided to finally give it a try. I was a little nervous about how the fennel would taste when paired with bananas (the flavor of which can sometimes be overwhelming in banana-based ice cream recipes), but a quick Google search turned up dozens of fennel-seasoned banana desserts, so I figured it was a safe bet.

The result is tasty enough; the fennel lends the bananas a sweet, licorice-like flavor that’s really quite refreshing. Still, it does compete a bit with the bananas for top billing. I really have got to try it in a more traditional, soy milk-based ice cream.

The little orange chunks are dates, which I added for extra sweetness (and I’m not gonna lie, fiber!); these are optional, but make an already healthy frozen dessert even more nutritious!

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Fennel Banana Ice Cream

(Makes just under one quart of ice cream.)

Ingredients

4-5 overripe bananas, peeled, sliced and frozen
1 teaspoon ground, dried fennel + extra to taste (I used 1 3/4 teaspoons, all told)
4 dates (optional)
sugar to taste (optional)
a splash of non-dairy milk or creamer, if needed

Directions

1. Put the bananas and dates in the food processor and pulse until smoothly blended. Most likely you’ll need to stir them by hand several times, as the frozen banana chunks tend to gather and become “stuck” on one side of the bowl. If necessary, add a splash of non-dairy milk or creamer to get things moving!

Alternately, you can allow the bananas to defrost on the counter top for 30 to 60 minutes beforehand, so that they’re easier to work with. Before putting them in the food processor, break them up into smaller chunks with a butter knife.

Note: Since introducing extra liquids (such as non-dairy milk) into the mix results in a slightly icier finished product, I prefer defrosting to non-dairy milk. If you’re in a hurry, pop the bananas in the microwave for 20 to 45 seconds instead.

2. If the bananas aren’t sweet enough for your taste (sometimes this happens if you freeze them before they’re sufficiently ripe), add a bit of sugar to taste. Any sugar works fine – white, brown, etc. – but I find that powdered sugar results in a smoother blend.

3. Add one teaspoon fennel and process. Same the batter and add additional fennel to taste.

4. Transfer the ice cream to an airtight container. Enjoy immediately as soft serve, or pop the ice cream in the freezer for an hour+ for a firmer dessert. Store any leftovers in the freezer in an airtight container. If the frozen banana ice cream proves too hard to scoop, microwave it for ten seconds to help loosen it up (or let the container sit on the counter for ten to thirty minutes prior to eating, depending on room temp).

Maple & Candied Pecan Ice Cream

Saturday, June 7th, 2014

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Maple ice cream: because sometimes you just gotta have pancakes for dessert. The candied pecans are based on a recipe from Donna Klein’s The Chinese Vegan Kitchen (Chinese Sweet Walnuts) – and, while delicious, they are totally optional. For a slightly healthier dessert, swap ’em out for toasted pecans.

2014-05-15 - Maple & Candied Pecan IC - 0011 [flickr]

Maple & Candied Pecan Ice Cream

Ingredients

(for the ice cream batter)
2 cups soy creamer
1 cup soy milk, divided
2 tablespoons arrowroot powder
1/2 cup maple syrup
3/4 teaspoon Mapeline or maple extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

(for the candied pecans)
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 tablespoon water
1 1/2 cups pecan halves, roughly chopped into bite-sized pieces
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Directions

1. In a small mug, combine 1/4 cup of the soy milk with the arrowroot powder. Whisk well and set aside.

2. In a medium saucepan, combine the soy creamer, remaining soy milk, and maple syrup; mix well. Heat on medium-high, whisking constantly, until the mixture begins to boil. Remove from heat and add the arrowroot slurry immediately, whisking well. This should cause the milk to thicken noticeably. Add the maple and vanilla extracts and mix well.

3. Cover and transfer to a fridge to chill for six to eight hours or, better yet, overnight.

4. Next, make the candied pecans! Preheat the oven to 250F. In a medium bowl, combine the maple syrup and water; add the pecans ad stir well to coat. In a small bowl, mix the sugars and cinnamon; combine with the pecans and mix until evenly coated. Place the nuts onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, spreading them out so that they’re in a single layer. Bake at 250F for about 45 minutes (or until the nuts are toasted), stirring every 15 minutes. When done, allow to cool on the countertop. Transfer the nuts to a Tupperware container, breaking each nut apart as you do. Store in the fridge until ready for use.

5. To make the ice cream, process the batter according to your ice cream machine’s directions. Add the one cup of the pecans about seven minutes into the cycle – before the ice cream is done freezing, but after it’s thick enough that the pecans won’t fall to the bottom. Store the remaining pecans in the fridge for use as a topping.

6. Enjoy immediately or pop it in the freezer for a firmer dessert!

2014-05-15 - Maple & Candied Pecan IC - 0006 [flickr]

Butternut Squash Banana Ice Cream

Saturday, May 31st, 2014

2014-05-13 - Butternut Squash Ice Cream - 0007 [flickr]

So here’s the deal: I bought a butternut squash a few weeks ago and then completely forgot why. I assumed it was for a specific recipe, but I’ve combed through my cookbook pile and I’ll be damned if I can find it. So into the ice cream it goes!

This recipe’s a lot like the Sweet Potato Soft Serve I made last year, only with butternut squash in place of sweet potatoes! (Next up: Spaghetti Squash. I kid, I kid.)

2014-05-13 - Butternut Squash Ice Cream - 0012 [flickr]

Butternut Squash Banana Ice Cream

(Makes just under one quart of ice cream.)

Ingredients

2 cups roasted butternut squash (about 1/3 of a squash)
4-5 overripe bananas, peeled, sliced and frozen
sugar to taste (optional)
a splash of non-dairy milk or creamer, if needed
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Directions

1. To roast the squash, cut it in half lengthwise. Place it on a large baking sheet, flesh-side up, and bake at 400F for about 30 minutes, or until the insides are soft and tender. Set aside and allow to cool.

2. When cooled, peel the skin off the squash and dice into 1/2″ pieces. Put two cups of diced squash in a food processor and pulse until smoothly blended. Add a little soy milk if necessary.

3. Next, add the bananas and pulse until smoothly blended. Most likely you’ll need to stir them by hand several times, as the frozen chunks tend to gather and become “stuck” on one side of the bowl.

Alternately, you can allow the bananas to defrost on the counter top for 30 to 60 minutes beforehand, so that they’re easier to work with. Before putting them in the food processor, break them up into smaller chunks with a butter knife.

Note: Since introducing extra liquids (such as non-dairy milk) into the mix results in a slightly icier finished product, I prefer defrosting to non-dairy milk. If you’re in a hurry, pop the bananas in the microwave for 20 to 45 seconds instead.

4. If the bananas aren’t sweet enough for your taste (sometimes this happens if you freeze them before they’re sufficiently ripe), add a bit of sugar to taste. Any sugar works fine – white, brown, etc. – but I find that powdered sugar results in a smoother blend.

5. Add the cinnamon and pulse until blended.

6. Transfer the ice cream to an airtight container. Enjoy immediately as soft serve, or pop the ice cream in the freezer for an hour+ for a firmer dessert. Store any leftovers in the freezer in an airtight container. If the frozen banana ice cream proves too hard to scoop, microwave it for ten seconds to help loosen it up (or let the container sit on the counter for ten to thirty minutes prior to eating, depending on room temp).

 

P.S. I just so happened to photograph this ice cream during the dogs’ post-lunch bathroom break, and this happened:

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2014-05-13 - Butternut Squash Ice Cream - 0003 [flickr]

“It’s mine, you understand? Mine! All mine! Get back in there! Down, down, down! Go, go, go! Mine, mine, mine! Mwa-ha-ha-ha!”

Chocolate Coconut Crunch Ice Cream

Saturday, May 24th, 2014

2014-05-13 - Chocolate Coconut Crunch - 0001 [flickr]

This recipe has a kind of funny backstory: I tried to whip up some coconut milk whipped cream, but didn’t realize that I had to separate the solids from the liquids first. Basically I ended up with grainy (because it was still chill) coconut milk. And because that was my last can of coconut milk, I had to put ice cream on my apple pie instead. So sad, right?

Anyway, this is a coconut milk-based chocolate ice cream with a coconut-chocolate bark. The trick is to break up the bark into super-tiny pieces so you don’t break a tooth on it once it’s frozen (says the girl with all the crowns). Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

P.S. Is this an adorable ice cream dish or what? Goodwill, people!. Good. Will.

2014-05-13 - Chocolate Coconut Crunch - 0004 [flickr]

Chocolate Coconut Crunch Ice Cream

Ingredients

1 15 ounce can (1 1/2 cups) coconut milk
1 cup soy milk, divided
2 tablespoons arrowroot powder
1/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa powder

1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup shredded coconut + extra as needed

Directions

1. In a small mug, combine 1/4 cup of the soy milk with the arrowroot powder. Whisk well and set aside.

2. In a medium saucepan, combine the coconut milk, remaining soy milk, sugar, and coconut powder; mix well. Heat on medium-high, whisking constantly, until the mixture begins to boil. Remove from heat and add the arrowroot slurry immediately, whisking well. This should cause the milk to thicken noticeably.

3. Cover and transfer to a fridge to chill for six to eight hours or, better yet, overnight.

4. Next, make the “crunch”! Place the chocolate chips in a glass bowl. Cook for 90 seconds in the microwave, pausing to stir the chocolate every 30 seconds. When done, spoon the chocolate out on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, spreading it as thin as possible. Sprinkle the coconut shreds on top, pressing down gently with a spatula or spoon. Put the baking sheet in a freezer to chill for about an hour. When cold and hard, break the sheet of chocolate into bite-sized pieces using your hands or a knife. Store in a sealed container in the fridge or freezer until ready for use.

5. To make the ice cream, process the batter according to your ice cream machine’s directions. You can add the chocolate chunks to the batter prior putting it in the ice cream machine, if that’s easier for you, or as you dispense (or scoop) the frozen ice cream from the machine. Depending on how chunky you like your ice cream, you may have a handful of chocolate-coconut bark left over; these are great on a sundae, or just for snacking!

6. Enjoy immediately or pop it in the freezer for a firmer dessert!

2014-05-13 - Chocolate Coconut Crunch - 0008 [flickr]

Vanilla Blueberry Swirl Ice Cream

Saturday, May 17th, 2014

2014-05-08 - Vanilla Blueberry Swirl - 0006 [flickr]

The freezer cases at Whole Foods, Green Acres, and Price Chopper are so cluttered with non-vegan desserts (not to mention three kinds of chocolate-covered frozen bananas! three! that’s valuable real estate you’re wasting, businesses!) that I’ve pretty much given up on buying anything other than chocolate and vanilla ice cream at the store. If I want a more exciting or unusual flavor, I’ve got to make it my own bad self. So you know what that means, folks! Saturday ice cream blogging is back on! (I usually posted my ice cream recipes on Saturday, right? I forget.)

This one’s a simple vanilla blueberry swirl, inspired by the Purely Decadent Blueberry Cheesecake flavor. (But sadly minus the cheesecake. I’m working on it though!) Pretty tasty, although next time I think I’ll blend the blueberries for a smoother ice cream. (See the variation under Step #4.)

(More below the fold…)