Coconut Vanilla Ice Cream

2015-05-04 08.09.28

The weather is getting disturbingly summery already. Not to fear: Coconut vanilla ice cream is here. This recipe makes a lush ice cream. It has a strong vanilla flavor with a bit of coconut. Enjoy between graham crackers, if you’d like, as pictured. Or as part of an ice cream cake, or with some caramel syrup on top, or…oh dear. I might have to get another bowl now!

Ingredients

One can of coconut milk (~2 cups or 400 ml)
¼ cup (70g) agave nectar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tablespoon vodka
⅛ tsp salt
Optional: scraped vanilla bean

Directions

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Chill the mixture in your freezer for 20 minutes (or 1 hour in fridge). Churn in your ice-cream maker until smooth and creamy (about 20 minutes).

Note: Guar gum may be substituted for the vodka as an emulsifier. The vodka simply keeps the ice cream from setting up.

Makes several servings; the entire batch is around 900 calories.

I have several experiments in mind for this treat. I’d like to try adding a few drops of peppermint extract. Or perhaps blend it with white chocolate chips. I was honestly surprised at how good they were between two graham cracker halves (we bought S’more supplies, minus the chocolate, naturally, but didn’t make them).

What flavor suggestions do you have? I haven’t found a low oxalate version of butter pecan yet, but I find myself really liking this ice cream, dare I say, better!

Sumptuous Sauteed Apples with Sunbutter and Coconut Milk

I’m totally stealing that thing restaurants do, where the dish that sounds super fancy is basically just a list of the ingredients. I’ve adapted this dessert from a popular paleo dish called apple pie nachos. But I just couldn’t call my version by that name. It’s nothing like apple pie OR nachos, both of which have their own amazing properties.

So what IS this dessert like? It’s a little creamy, sweet without being overpowering, and perfect for a party.

Ingredients
2 apples, cored and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons coconut oil
2 tablespoons sunbutter
1 half stopper of liquid stevia [or 2 tablespoons raw honey]
2 tablespoons canned coconut milk
3 tablespoons pumpkin seeds, shelled
2 tablespoons raisins
2 tablespoons golden raisins
1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
Splash of cinnamon extract
pinch of sea salt

Directions

Pull out a large skillet and place under medium heat. Add your coconut oil to the pan and let it get very hot.

Now add your apples and pumpkin seeds to it. Use a spatula or spoon to move the apples around to help cook on both sides and not burn. Cook for about 3-4 minutes. Add the coconut milk, sunbutter, stevia and raisins and mix the ingredients to let the flavors meld. Let cook for another 2-3 minutes. Add the cinnamon extract, salt, and ground flaxseed on top and mix thoroughly.
Serve warm; enjoy.

Adapted from: http://paleomg.com/superbowl-snacks-apple-pie-nachos/

Pumpkin Parfait

wine_parfait

½ cup plain, low fat yogurt
2/3 cup blueberries
½ cup canned or fresh pumpkin puree
2 tsp. vanilla extract, separated
Optional: two teaspoons honey or molasses or ¼ dropper of liquid stevia, blended into the yogurt or pumpkin

Measure out your yogurt and pumpkin into separate containers. Blend them each with a teaspoon of vanilla extract. Alternate spoonfuls of yogurt, pumpkin, and blueberries in a wine glass or other clear glass. Serve immediately.

Fall is finally here! While the live oaks keep their color, the sweet gum trees and a few others have started to turn gorgeous. The wind is getting brisk…and I’ve been working on recipes like apple topping and mulled apple cider. Pumpkins are showing up in the supermarkets more frequently. You no longer get strange looks if you ask where the canned pumpkin is. I just had to make something pumpkin-y.

Pumpkin and parfaits were meant to be. The vanilla extract adds a sweetness and depth of flavor to both the yogurt and the pumpkin. Layered between lashings of blueberries, I found this sweet enough by itself. Feel free to add other flavors—cinnamon or cinnamon extract would be lovely, nutmeg, maybe even a hint of ginger or cardamom. If you enjoy grains, you could toast up some oats and sprinkle them on top. I would recommend eating such a creation quickly—the yogurt will get the oats soggy if you let it sit. As it stands, whether you use frozen or fresh blueberries, you can eat this immediately or prepare it the night before. Do expect a little purple effect if you use frozen blueberries overnight.

I like to serve mine in a wine glass, and you could very easily double the recipe.

Each serving has approximately 165 calories, 20 grams of sugar (mostly from the yogurt and blueberries), and 8 grams of protein.

Watermelon Popsicles

popsicle

4-5 cups of seedless watermelon chunks, separated
one tablespoon of agave nectar

Place the first half of the watermelon chunks into a blender. Tamp the chunks down with a spoon so they are closer to the blades of the blender. Get a medium-sized bowl ready. Using a fine mesh strainer, pour the watermelon juice into the bowl. Use a spoon to push down any pulp into the bowl; throw away the seeds.
Take the second half of the watermelon chunks and blend them. Strain the juice and seeds into the same bowl. Then, pour the entire bowl of juice back into the blender. Add one tablespoon of agave nectar. Blend until combined.

Pour the juice into your popsicle mold. Freeze until solid, preferably overnight. Ice cube trays or Dixie cups with popsicle sticks make good improvised molds.

I admit, it’s a little late in the season to be posting popsicle recipes. But these are so easy and refreshing. Here in the South, there are going to be several weeks yet of warm weather, perfect for enjoying these on the porch. They are sweet, and a little drippy, and darn near perfect. What sweet, cold things do you find refreshing?

It’s kind of funny…I used to basically eat close to half a box of Popsicles in one go, before I started this journey. One just wouldn’t satisfy whatever craving I had. Now, I can happily gnaw one of these, emphasis on one. I hope they bring you a similar sense of satisfaction.

Also, the Dixie cup popsicles are insanely cute. I have a recipe for blueberry creamsicles I’ll have to share soon, and the sticks stand up straighter. The watermelon mixture is basically juice, so it’s hard to get them to stand upright. They look like little drunken desserts.