Saturday, July 31, 2010

Arabian Dream Ice Cream...



I love beautifully colored ice creams...I was always a fan of sorbets when I was young because of simply that...but this weekend I was craving a more vanilla or spiced ice cream over a fruity one.  Which is exactly why I thought it would be wonderful to use a bit of saffron in ice cream to give it a vibrant color and subtle flavor without being fruity.  I steeped the saffron in some coconut milk, chilled it and added a bit of rosewater and vanilla...heavenly flavors on their own, even better in an ice cream I discovered.  This one was non-dairy, since I had no heavy cream and have been favoring coconut milk in ice cream bases as of lately.  All the better, since coconut loves saffron!  I chose honey as a sweetener, because I don't normally use white sugar in ice cream anyhow, and I thought I would keep going with the exotic theme I had going here...some spiced nuts would be nice in the ice cream as well I decided!  So I took a mixture of walnuts, cashews, pistachios, and almonds and spiced them up with a bit of honey!  What was the ice cream like when I dove in?  Like an arabian dream...creamy silky smooth saffron scented ice cream with light notes of vanilla and rosewater with gooey clusters of nuts tasting like spiced baklava filling...pure heaven!  I couldn't just eat a small batch of this one.  Before I knew it half the container was gone! 

Coconut Saffron Ice Cream with Spiced Honey Nuts

3 cups organic full fat coconut milk, chilled
1/2 tsp saffron
3/4 cup honey
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp rosewater
1/2 tsp sea salt

Nuts:
1/2 cup cashews, toasted
1/2 cup pistachios, toasted
1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted
1 Tbsp granulated sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cardamom
3/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp chipotle
3/4 tsp sea salt
2 Tbsp Honey Bourbon
3/4 cup honey

Heat 1/2 cup coconut oil to boiling, add the saffron, and let steep then chill until very cold.  Combine saffron coconut milk, remaining coconut milk and all ingredients in a food processor, and process until well blended. Pour the mixture into an ice cream maker and process according to package directions (mine takes about an hour, and is still a little soupy like the consistency of a malt, but firms up in the freezer later). Meanwhile, combine nuts, spices, sea salt, bourbon and honey in a food processor, and pulse until coarsely ground, but still chunky.  When ice cream is done freezing, pour half the ice cream into a container, and drop Tbsp sized chunks of the nut mixture on top of it until half is used.  Pour remaining ice cream over, and drop remaining nuts over.  place in the freezer for at least a few hours, or overnight to firm up for best results. Makes about 4 cups of delicious ice cream!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Coconut Avocado Lime Ice Cream




Creamy, silky, dreamy...that is what would describe my latest experiment in ice cream, Coconut Avocado Lime.  Even better?  It is non-dairy!  It is not hard to figure out why though when you combine the silky rice avocado with creamy sweet coconut milk it would create such a heavenly end product!  I was skeptical about this ice cream when I started making it, wondering how the avocado would freeze, and if it would give the frozen treat an off flavor, but it did neither of the two!  The avocado flavor is barely detectable, what shines through is the coconut and vanilla that I added to the base as well as a hint of lime, but not overpowering.  I chose to sweeten this ice cream with agave, because it is rather neutral, as well as kind to the blood sugar, and does a wonderful job of sweetening.  If you want a delicious frozen ice cream treat you can feel good about eating, whip up a batch of this! 

Coconut Avocado Lime Ice Cream

2 3/4 cups organic full fat coconut milk
3/4 cup agave nectar
juice and zest of two limes
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
seeds of one vanilla bean
1/2 tsp sea salt
2 large ripe avocados, diced

Combine all ingredients in a food processor, and process until well blended. Pour the mixture into an ice cream maker and process according to package directions (mine takes about an hour, and is still a little soupy like the consistency of a malt, but firms up in the freezer later). When ice cream is done freezing, place in the freezer for at least a few hours, or overnight to firm up for best results. Makes about 4 cups of delicious ice cream!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Heavenly Stuffed Peaches



Sometimes when it comes to dessert, simplest is best...especially when you are in a hurry!  I had some nice ripe peaches, which would have been perfectly good as they were...but I eat a lot of them that way already, so I wanted something a bit more decadent.  Peaches are wonderful roasted, since it intensifies their sweet flavor, so I thought why not stuff some roasted peaches?  I chose a heavenly combo for stuffing the peaches...toasted pine nuts and coconut with a bit of honey and vanilla.  They were very fragrant while baking, and the scent was pure heaven, which is why I call them "heavenly".  I finished the finished peaches with a little honey and lavander, since lavander loves peaches and honey!  The peaches were scrumptious!  The soft sweet peaches with the buttery pine nuts, and toasty crumchy coconut was a nice contrast, and satisfied every one of my cravings!  Try these out if you are looking for a quick summer dessert!  Although I say that the recipe serves four, it is more like two if you are a fruit lover like me! 


Heavenly Stuffed Summer Peaches
Serves 4

2 large peaches, halved, and 1 Tbsp scooped out of the middle of each
coconut oil, warmed until liquid

Filling:
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
1/4 cup toasted coconut
1/4 cup honey
1/4 tsp sea salt
seeds of one vanilla bean
1 tsp vanilla extract

honey
lavender flowers
mint leaves

Preheat oven to 475 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with foil, and spray with non-stick spray.  place peaches on sheet, and drizzle with coconut oil.  Roast for 15 min. until softened.  Meanwhile, mix filling ingredients together and set aside until peaches are ready for stuffing.  When peaches have roasted 15 minutes, fill with filling, lower oven temp to 350 and bake 10 more minutes.  Let cool slightly, then to serve, place on a plate, drizzle with a little more honey, sprinkle with lavender flowers, and scatter mint around.  Serve warm, or at room temperature.