Vanilla

Dairy and Nut Free Ice Cream

IMG_6212 I love ice cream, I mean who doesn't?! The only problem is that immediately after I have eaten it I get an upset stomach, this is probably because my body just doesn't digest milk, it's been that way since I was little. However I used to ignore this and eat ice cream, well...because it's just so good! But as I have become more in tune with my body over the past couple of years, I really do notice how it reacts to different foods, especially dairy. So I started off my dairy free ice cream endeavour by making frozen banana ice cream, which quite simply is blending up frozen ripe bananas and adding the topping of choice, mine would always be cinnamon and cacao nibs. It's delicious and easy to make but I was not quite satisfied, it lacks the creamy consistency. Then I experimented with making nut based ice cream, which was also really yummy but my husband wasn't convinced, and I wanted to try and make something for people with nut allergies.

So after a lot a of research and experimenting, I bring you the dairy and nut (and ice cream maker) free ice cream! It's rich and creamy, the perfect alternative to normal ice cream, husband approved (he went for seconds), and you don't need any fancy equipment to make it! It requires some pre planning, which is just putting a can of coconut milk in the fridge over night and peeling some ripe bananas and placing them in the freezer for a couple of hours. It is a great base so you can add cacao powder, fresh berries or just keep it plain and simple. I served some on top of spiced poached plums last night and it was divine. So let your imagination run free and the little child in you will be very happy, I promise!

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Ingredients (serves 8) 

1 can full fat coconut milk (the only added ingredient on the list should be water, no other nasties!) 3 ripe bananas (frozen) 1 vanilla pod / 1 teaspoon pure vanilla powder Optional : Goji berries (1/4 cup)

Extra ingredients

Coconut sugar / maple syrup / honey Cacao powder Fresh mint Cacao nibs

Equipment

Food Processor / blender Tupperware / Glass Pyrex container / I use this

Method:

Place the can of coconut milk in the fridge over night, or for at least 6 hours. When ready, turn the can upside down and open, you should have thick creamy coconut milk, scoop the contents into the food processor / blender. (At this point you will feel an urge to eat the solidified coconut milk straight out of the can, please try to control yourself!)

Add the bananas to the food processor / blender and combine, depending on your machine this should take around 5 mins to get a smooth consistency.

Meanwhile cut the vanilla pod lengthways and scoop out the seeds and add to the food processor / blender. This is the point to add in any other ingredients you want. I didn't add any sweetener to mine as I thought the bananas made it sweet enough for my palette but if you want it sweeter, add some coconut sugar, maple syrup or honey.

Then give it one final whizz in the food processor to combine all the ingredients (about a minute or so).

Pour the ingredients into the container and place in the freezer for 2 - 3 hours, at least.

Remove the ice cream from the freezer about 10 - 15 minutes before serving so that it is easy to scoop up.

Then add your favourite topping, or serve plain, and most importantly enjoy!

Raw Chocolate Madness Pt. 2

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So I know it has been a while since my last post...I was hoping to post part 2 of my raw chocolate experience quite soon after the 1st part as I made them both on the same day. However I got caught up with work and then went on holiday for a month, then I got back, had a serious case of the holiday blues and dived head-first into crazy working hours.

Anyhoo now I am back in the swing of things I am finally ready to put up the second part of my experiment, this time using cacao butter instead of coconut oil. I made this version into more of a healthy chocolate finger-esque bar, you can use a mould to achieve any shape you want, so it's fun to play around with. I had an Ikea silicone ice cube tray on hand and decided to use that. Alternatively you can line a glass oven dish with parchment paper, or basically anything that is flat and has sides which can contain the liquid chocolate mixture!

P.S.Using cacao butter definitely takes raw chocolate taste up to the heavens, but if it's not easy to get a hold of coconut oil is a pretty good replacement.

This recipe is inspired the one on Eleanor's amazingly beautiful blog, Earthsprout.

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Ingredients

1/3 cup cacao butter

1/2 cup raw cacao powder

3 tablespoon coconut sugar

1 1/2 teaspoon maca powder

1/4 teaspoon vanilla powder

himalayan pink salt / sea salt

Crushed pistachio nuts (optional)

Method

Melt the cacao butter in a metal or ceramic bowl over a pot of hot water, making sure that the bottom of the bowl doesn't touch the water.

Once melted remove from heat and sift the cacao powder, coconut sugar, maca powder and vanilla powder over the melter cacao butter and whisk together to combine. Then add a pinch of salt, this will enhance the sweet tones, and whisk away again, making sure all ingredients are well combined.

Pour out the mixture into the mould you are using, if you aren't using a silicone mould make sure to line with parchment paper. Sprinkle some crushed pistachio nuts on top, or whatever else you fancy, and pop in the freezer for 10 - 15 minutes.

Enjoy!

Freshly Squeezed Almond Milk

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almond milk

From a young age I couldn't digest milk very well, therefore I tried to avoid it as much as possible. I then started substituting it with soy milk and soon found out that most soy products are genetically modified, have a lot of artificial sweeteners and preservatives added to them. I then became familiar with almond, rice and hemp milk and started buying those instead.

A couple years ago I had some friends over for brunch and was testing out some packaged hemp milk for the first time, as were most of my guests we started talking about crazy it is that hemp seeds, almonds or rice are made into something that resembles milk. My friend Tana explained that it's actually really easy to make it at home, and so that evening I went in search of recipes and was shocked at just how easy it really was! Better yet it's much healthier than what you find in the shop because it doesn't have preservatives or any other nasty ingredients added to it, and you can make whatever flavour you like.

I normally add a bit of vanilla powder, in the photo above I decided to add cacao & lucuma powder to one and vanilla & maple syrup to the other, they both turned out really good!

If you have a nut allergy just substitute the almonds with cooked brown rice or shelled hemp seeds.

Ingredients (make about 1 litre)

1 cup raw almonds 1 litre water (about 4 cups)

Additonal ingredients cacao powder (1-2 tablespoons per litre) lucuma powder (1-2 tablespoon per litre) vanilla powder (approx. 1/4 teaspoon per litre) honey/maple syrup (1 - 2 tablespoons per litre) rose water (1 tablespoon per litre)

Equipment  Nut milk bag (I have this one, its easy to clean and I've used it plenty of times over the past 4 years and it's only just stared to fall apart) OR a fine cheesecloth High speed blender Medium sized bowl 1 litre glass jar/ bottle with lid

Method

Cover and soak the almonds in a bowl of water overnight or for at least 6 hours. Once soaked, drain and thoroughly rinse the almonds. Place in a blender with 1 litre filtered water and blend for about 2-3 minutes, you want the almonds to be as fine as possible. Place the nut milk bag or cheesecloth over a bowl and carefully pour the almond milk over the cloth, making sure it is secure. Then hold the sides of the nut milk bag/cheesecloth and twist the top closed, then press and squeeze the pulp with your hands trying to get as much of the almond milk out as possible. (I like to save the almond pulp to make almond flour or amazeballs out of it) If you're adding any of the optional ingredients, rinse out the blender, pour the milk back in, add the ingredients and pulse for 10-15 seconds. Then pour into the jar or bottle,  and place in the fridge to chill.

Enjoy!

*This will stay good for about 2-3 days.

**The milk may separate but just give it a good shake and it will go back to normal.

Coconut Sugar Ricciarelli Cookies

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The first time I tried Ricciarelli was a couple of weeks ago at a friends house and it was love at first bite! When I found out that they were homemade, gluten free and easy to make I had to have the recipe, so he wrote the steps down on my phone and I've been waiting for a chance to make these ever since. They are crunchy with a divine chewy centre.

I decided to alter the recipe to make it ever so slightly healthy as it calls for quite a lot of sugar. So my version uses homemade coconut icing sugar instead of shop bought icing sugar. Coconut sugar has a much lower glycemic index than regular sugar because in contains inulin which apparently slows down the absorption of sugar into the blood, though this doesn't mean that it is ok to have it all the time as it is still sugar!

Coconut Icing Sugar Recipe - inspired by this

coconut icing sugar

5 cups coconut sugar 2 tablespoons arrowroot powder or cornstarch (I used arrowroot powder)

Put the arrowroot or cornstarch in a blender or food processor for about a minute or until the sugar grinds down to a powdery consistency. Keep the lid on the blender/food processor until it settles or your kitchen will be covered in powder. **This will make more than the required amount of sugar needed for the recipe so you will have some left over to use later on.**

Ingredients (makes approx. 20)

250 grams ground almonds 250 grams coconut icing sugar / regular icing sugar 1/2 teaspoon baking powder 2 organic free range egg whites 1 teaspoon vanilla extract / 1 vanilla pod

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Mix all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. In a separate bowl whisk together the egg whites until they are semi-solid. Add the vanilla to the dry ingredients. With a metal spoon fold the egg whites into the dry ingredients until you get a sticky even texture. Scoop a walnut sized piece of dough and roll it into a ball then gently flatten it in your hands, place on a lined baking tray and shape into a diamond shape. Continue until you run out of dough. Sprinkle them with a bit of icing sugar and pop them in the over for 10 - 12 minutes. Once they are done take them out the oven and leave on the baking tray to cool. If you try to pick them up too soon they will fall apart and not set properly. (I can assure you that this is the hardest part of the recipe). And finally...enjoy!