Sunday, February 27, 2011

Vanilla Scented Nut and Cacao Nib Granola

I had been hearing about cacao nibs for a long time, and always had wanted to try them.  It wasn't until recently however when the jar of deep chocolate brown bits in the bulk section was calling to me.  I opened the jar and the most wonderful dark chocolate aroma emerged.   I decided to buy some thinking if nothing else they would be good in brownies since I had seen a recipe using them in that way.  I didn't quite know what to expect as far as their taste went, considering they weren't sweetened.  I thought they might be a bit bitter, but when I tasted them they were like a deep dark nutty chocolate.  Pure bitterness, simply chocolate, and the way I like it, with very little sweetness.  I find most commercially made chocolate to be too sweet.  They were almost like little chocolate chips, just a different texture.  Which is why I thought they would be wonderful in a granola! 

I have always wanted to add chocolate chips to my granola, but I thought they would make it too sweet so the cacao nibs seemed like a perfect alternative! So I used my standard granola base, and added my favorite granola nuts.   Pecans, walnuts, and sliced almonds create the best texture in my opinion!  I also added coconut for sweetness, as well as some dried cherries since they go so well with chocolate, or cacao nibs.  I love the smell of granola baking, it smells almost like a coffeecake or something, and this batch did not dissapoint in the aroma department!  I had to sample some as soon as it was removed from the oven and was just below the burning my mouth hotness level!  It was wonderful! 

The cacao nibs were like mini chocolate chips, and the flavor was almost like a chewy granola I had eaten as a kid but way better!  The dried cherries added a nice tart sweet chewy contrast to the crunchy granola.  As all granolas are, this one is very addictive, I must warn you.  But that said, you should definately try making this especially if you would like something with a touch of chocolate without it being too sugary sweet.  It makes a wonderful mid morning or afternoon snack, but I wouldn't rule out bedtime either!  Here is the recipe if you would like to experience it for yourself!

Vanilla Scented Nut and Cacao Nib Granola
Makes about 14 cups of delicious granola

6 cups old fashioned rolled oats
2 cups walnuts
2 cups pecans
1 cup almonds
2 cups large flake coconut
3/4 cup coconut oil
3/4 cup agave nectar
3 Tbsp maple sugar
1 Tbsp sea salt
seeds of one vanilla bean
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
2 cups dried cherries
2 cups cacao nibs

Line a large baking sheet with non-stick foil, and spray with cooking spray. Preheat the oven to 350 and set rack at the medium position. In a large bowl, combine oats, walnuts, pecans, almonds, and coconut, and set aside. In another bowl, whisk together oil, agave nectar, maple sugar, sea salt, vanilla seeds, and vanilla extract until well combined, then pour over oat mixture and toss to coat until completely blended. Pour out onto prepared baking sheet, and spread out evenly. Bake for 35 minutes, stirring about every 10 minutes or so until the granola is evenly browned. Remove from oven and let cool. Stir in cherries, and cacao nibs and enjoy!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Chocolate Sapote Cake with Kumquat Orange Marmalade

I am like a kid in a candy store when I walk into the produce department.  I love walking down the rows of beautiful fruits and veggies. They inspire new dishes and baked goods, and help me decide what to make as I see what looks fresh and is in season.  I get especially excited when I come across new fruits or veggies that I haven't yet tried.  This was the cake the other day when I turned a corner and saw a basket full of round green fruit, the color of a lime but very smooth. 

It was labeled "black sapote", the "pudding fruit".  I love when they give descriptions on the produce, and this one said smooth custard like flesh with a light chocolate flavor.  It sounded delicious, and so I decided I had to buy some.  I bought one to eat, and one to create a dessert with.   When I cut the fruit open it was exactly like the description...smooth custardy flesh that almost melted in my mouth with a mild chocolate flavor.  Before I knew it the fruit was gone, and I was feeling pretty stuffed as it was pretty filling. 

It would have been delicious pureed with some cocoa powder and agave nectar to create a pudding, but I decided to puree it and incorporate it into a chocolate cake instead!  The puree looks exactly like melted chocolate, it is almost uncanny. 

A plain chocolate cake would not do however, I wanted another flavor element.  I was in a good mood, so I thought orange would be wonderful with the chocolate and tropical sapote!  When I was young my Mom told me the scent of orange is supposed to make you feel joy, and I would have to agree with her as an adult!  Chocolate and orange are even more joyful a combination. 

Somehow a few kumquats I had on my counter made their way into this cake as well, as I decided that a nice tart kumquat orange marmalade would balance out the sweetness of the cake and the frosting and add another dimension of tart flavor.  The finished cake was lovely. 

Rows of moist chocolate cake lightly scented with orange and sandwiched together with gooey fudgy frosting and tart marmalade.  It was heavenly, and I certainly had a feeling of joy as I devoured a piece.  The sapote kind of dissapeared into the cake, but it gave the cake a wonderful texture.  If you are fortunate enough to have a sapote, you should try making this cake!  If you are not, you should still try making it, just substitute mashed banana for the sapote.  If you don't want to mess with the marmalade, by all means use your favorite store bought.  So in other words, no excuses for you to not make this happy cake!  Here is the recipe:

Chocolate Sapote Cake with Kumquat Orange Marmalade
Makes 1 6 inch 4 layer cake
1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1 cup maple sugar
1 Tbsp grated orange zest
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp sea salt
3/4 cup pureed black sapote
1/4 cup coconut oil
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp orange extract
1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp orange juice
2 Tbsp lemon juice
2 cups sliced kumquats (seeds removed)
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
1/2 cup agave nectar
seeds of one vanilla bean
pinch of sea salt

1 1/2 cup agave nectar
2 Tbsp coconut oil
1 3/4 cups cocoa powder, or more if needed
3/4 tsp sea salt
1 Tbsp orange zest
2 Tbsp orange juice
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract

sliced kumquats for garnish
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and position rack in center of oven. Line two six-inch-diameter cake pans with 2-inch-high sides with parchment paper. Coat parchment paper and pan sides with nonstick spray. Whisk flour, baking soda, spices, salt, and sugar in a large bowl to blend well. Whisk sapote, oil, orange extract, vanilla extract, and orange juice together in small bowl to blend well, then whisk into the flour mixture until well blended. Whisk in lemon juice and stir quickly (pale swirls will be in the batter, which is the baking soda reacting with the lemon juice, which allows the cake to rise since there are no eggs). Transfer cake batter to prepared pan and bake cakes until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 25-30 minutes. Cool cake completely in pan on rack, about 1 hour. Cut around sides of pan to loosen. Turn cake out onto platter; peel off parchment paper. Let cool completely, then place in the fridge to chill until very cold to make slicing easier (since cakes with no eggs crumble easier). When chilled, slice cakes horizontally in half so that you have 4 layers.

To make marmalade, combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Cook until jammy, and liquid is reduced, about 15 minutes.  Let cool, and set aside.

To make frosting, beat together all ingredients in a large bowl until very fluffy and smooth, and well blended.  Add a little more cocoa powder if a stiffer consistency is desired (I usually end up doing this). To assemble cake, place a layer of cake on a plate, and spoon a heaping 1/2 cup frosting over, almost to the sides, then 1/3 of the marmalade, then top with another layer of cake and repeat with another 1/2 cup frosting and 1/2 remaining marmalade. Top with another cake layer, another frosting layer, remaining marmalade, then the top cake layer. Spread the frosting over the top and the sides of the cake, and use remaining frositng to pipe decoratively around the top edge of the cake, and around the bottom of the cake as well.  Chill the cake at least a few hours to set filling before serving.  Garnish with kumquats if desired!

*if you would like a 4 layer 9 inch cake, double this entire recipe and bake in two 9 inch cake pans.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

White Miso Ice Cream with Sesame Seed Brittle

I was watching the Cooking Channel recently and I saw a dessert that featured white miso.   It was peanut butter cookies, and they talked about them having a salty sweet dimention different than simply peanut butter could not give on its own.  To me miso is sort of salty and sweet, so I can see how it would be perfect in a dessert the way salted caramel is!  Now most people think of miso as simply being savory, but hearing about how it was used in peanut butter cookies inspired me to want to create a dessert of my own featuring miso!

  I thought it would be good in an ice cream because it was described as having almost a salted caramel flavor.  So I added a bit to a coconut ice cream base sweetened with maple, because I thought the maple would give it a nice caramelly flavor.  The ice cream base was delicious, and the finished product even better! 

It tasted like a salted caramel ice cream!  If you did a blind taste test not knowing ingredients you would have sworn it was butterscotch, or contained caramel.  I think this has got to be one of my favorite ice creams so far to date, the salty sweet caramel flavor in the smooth ice cream is simply heavenly!  I decided to make a sesame seed brittle garnish to go along with such a special ice cream and it was the perfect accompaniment!  To all of you skeptics out there try this recipe out, you will be hooked if you enjoy salted caramel!

White Miso Maple Ice Cream with Sesame Seed Brittle Garnish
Makes 4 cups

Ice Cream:
3 cups organic full fat coconut milk, chilled
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp white miso
3/4 cup maple syrup
1 tsp maple extract
1/4 tsp sea salt

Combine all ingredients except poppyseeds in a blender, 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). Once processed, mix in poppyseeds until evenly distributed.  Pour into freezable container with a lid, and place in the freezer for at least a few hours, or overnight to firm up for best results. Serve with brittle (recipe below)

1/2 cup sugar
1/4 tsp sea salt
2 Tbsp white sesame seeds, toasted
2 Tbsp black sesame seeds

Lay out a sheet of foil sprayed with non-stick spray.  Place the sugar and sea salt in a non-stick skillet over medium high heat and cook sugar, swirling the pan until melted and dissolved.  use a spoon to mix it a little once it is almost all dissolved to ensure uniform color.  Continue to heat until light caramel color, then add the sesame seeds stir in and remove from heat once it reaches medium caramel color.  Pour out onto foil and spread out.  Let cool completely then break into pieces.  Serve with ice cream, or as a garnish for another fabulous dessert!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Maple Fleur de Sel Brownie Tart

Laughter is contagious, and without it life would not be as sweet. Like the way adding a bit of sea salt to a brownie can make all the difference in it being just good or amazing! 

Today I was at work in the deli, and it was about a half hour before my long awaited break.  I was standing there chopping veg for a salad, in my own little world when suddenly I heard loud cackles of laughter from behind me.  It was my co worker who I was sure had lost it as she was standing there cracking up at what appeared to be nothing.  I asked her what was so funny and she replied "This song they are playing...what on earth are they singing?"  They play oldies at my work all day long, and often times we can't decipher the lyrics so we make up our own funny ones.  She had made up some new words to the song, and it was rather funny.  Suddenly we were all laughing and remembering all of the other wierd song lyrics we had mistaken in the past.  One example was the song "Bad Moon Rising" by Creedence Cleerwater Revival.  The Lyrics are "There's a bad moon on the rise", and we like to sing "There's a bathroom on the right... I guess other people have made the same mistake about the lyrics, but it is still pretty funny.  Today the mistaken song lyrics started off a train of laughter and songs that lasted well into the afternoon.  Needless to say, I was in a good mood when I left today!  I appriciate that I can laugh and joke around with my friends and co workers in the deli, and the way they make me smile! 

Laughter is needed, especially at work to get you through the day and make being there more pleasant.  A little goes a long way, but is needed to make life a bit sweeter.  It is not needed, but it certainly makes it better!  Kind of like fleur de sel on a brownie. 

You can make them without it, but if you add some it makes them all the more delicious.  I recently made a vegan maple fleur de sel brownie, because I was looking to healthify my original fleur de sel brownie recipe which was good, but pretty rich. 

I added the maple to be a little different, but it ended up being a delicious addition!  I baked them in a tart pan as well, because I thought a brownie tart would be beautiful!  Deep dark wedges of chocolaty goodness sprinkled with sparkly sea salt and that beautiful scalloped edge.  

 These brownies are so good, they brought a smile to my face.  Plenty decadent and rich without being unhealthy.  Here is the recipe if you would like some for yourself.  Share them with a friend and share a few smiles and will make your life sweeter!

Vegan Maple Fleur de Sel Brownie Tart
makes 16 wedges
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 Tbsp fleur de sel
1 cup coconut oil
6 oz unsweetened chocolate
1 cup maple syrup
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp maple extract
3/4 cup pureed silken tofu
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup agave nectar
1 tsp maple extract
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
a large pinch of sea salt

fleur de sel
Preheat oven to 350 degrees with the rack in the middle position. spray a 9 inch tart pan with removable bottom with non-stick spray. Whisk together flour, baking powder, soda, sea salt and set aside. In a large bowl, place chcocolate and oil. Microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring in between to melt the chocolate, until the chocolate and oil are smooth and well combined. Whisk in maple syrup, along with vanilla, maple extract and tofu, and whisk to blend until well incorporated. Whisk in vinegar until well blended and there are pale swirls throughout the batter. Pour batter into pan.  Place in the oven and bake for 20-30 minutes until set, starting to pull away from the edges of the pan and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out fairly clean. Do not overbake! Let cool in on a rack. Let set for at least an hour, then cut into wedges.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Vegan Raspberry Chipotle Brownies

I would have to disagree with whoever said diamonds are a girl's best friend.  Many times chocolate is a girl's best friend.  Afterall, you can't eat diamonds, only look at them, and if you lose them you feel really bad.  You can always get yourself some good quality chocolate for a lot cheaper. Brownies are a fabulous way to enjoy it, and so I made some yesterday because I thought they would be the perfect dessert for me to enjoy on Valentine's weekend. 

I have to say, I would be far more impressed if a guy baked me some good brownies from scratch than simply gave me some diamond earrings.  Since I don't have a guy, I have to make my own brownies. That is ok, since I like to make them a little different than the usual plain chocolate. 

This time I decided to add raspberries, thinking little red berries would be beautiful in the rich brown dough as well as add little bursts of flavor throughout.  I didn't stop at the raspberries however, I added a bit of ground chipotle powder to spice things up.  I like a little kick to my dark chocolate and am always adding ground chipotle to my hot chocolate and mousse.  Raspberries also go wonderfully with the spicy chipotle powder.  You may be skeptical about this combination, but once you try it you will love it! 

I used my vegan brownie base which is enriched with coconut oil to give it a smooth sweetness and silkiness that oil and butter do not have.  I always add a little extra sea salt to my brownies as well, because it hightens the intensity of the chocolate.  So once the batter was all mixed, and poured into the pan I enjoyed what was leftover in the bowl and on the scraper.  Afterall it is a sin to not lick the bowl, and it is part of the enjoyment of being the baker.  I have to say, the batter was really good, rich and gooey like fudge...I couldn't wait to taste the finished product!  My kitchen smelled like Willy Wonka's chocolate factory, and I wanted to dive into the warm brownies as they emerged from the oven.

I had to wait unfortunately, because I wanted to cut them into cute little hearts with a cookie cutter so they needed to cool completely.  It was hard to practice restraint, but I sped up the process by placing them in my freezer to chill quickly.  Once they were cool, there was plenty for me to enjoy, since the hearts left lots of delicious scraps of brownie just for me!  The brownies were super decadent!  The deep intense fudgy chocolate base with a hint of chipotle that was subtle at first but then had a kick of an afterburn once it melted on my tongue.  The raspberries were tart sweet red jewels of flavor a perfect match for the chocolate and chipotle! 

It was my best friend as I enjoyed it and it brought me to my happy place.  Since I didn't want to be selfish...I have since shared some with some loved ones, and they enjoyed them as well!  If you have someone special in your life, you should whip them up a batch of brownies for Valentine's day.  They will definately feel loved.  Or even better make some for yourself! 

Vegan Raspberry Chipotle Brownies
makes 24

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp ground chipotle powder
1 cup coconut oil
6 oz unsweetened chocolate
1 cup agave nectar
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup pureed silken tofu
2 Tbsp framboise
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 12 oz containers raspberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees with the rack in the middle position. Line a 9x13 inch pan with foil, and spray with non-stick spray. Whisk together flour, baking powder, soda, sea salt, and chipotle and set aside. In a large bowl, place chcocolate and oil. Microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring in between to melt the chocolate, until the chocolate and oil are smooth and well combined. Whisk in agave nectar, along with vanilla, tofu, and framboise, and whisk to blend until well incorporated. Whisk in vinegar until well blended and there are pale swirls throughout the batter. fold in raspberries until well incorporated, and pour into the prepared pan.  Place in the oven and bake for 25-35 minutes until set, starting to pull away from the edges of the pan and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out fairly clean. Do not overbake! Let cool in pan for about 10 minutes, then lift foil out by the edges and cool on a rack. Let set for at least an hour, then cut into 24 bars (or larger if you are like me).

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Vanilla Cherry Shortbread Hearts

For some reason, the flavor of cherry is associated with Valentine's day in my mind.  I think it dates back to the days when I was in gradeschool, when we would pass around those cute little valentines, with the cherry heart suckers attatched.  I would secretly hope that my little crush would give me a special valentine even though boys were supposed to be icky...I laugh at it all now, but it was a good time!  Those suckers were super sweet, and I am sure they did not include a hint of real cherry, but they were appealing as a 8 year old!  Now that I am an adult, I still have the memory of the cherry flavor and Valentine's day, but I have to say I am not a fan of artificially flavored suckers now.  Real cherries however, I enjoy! 

So when deciding what I wanted to flavor my shortbread hearts I was making with (besides just plain vanilla), cherries seemed perfect!  So I chopped up some dried cherries and added them to my dough!  It was a wonderful idea, they provided sweet tart little pops of flavor to the cookies!  Feeling a little festive and girly I added pink sugar to my cookies before baking them, as well as tinted the dough pink with some beet based food coloring. 

It made me happy to look at the cute little cookie hearts, and I know I would have loved these when I was 8, being that all things sparkly, pink and sweet were cool in my book!  If you would like some cute little cookies to make you feel happy, here is the recipe! 

Vanilla Cherry Shortbread Hearts
Makes 40

2 sticks Earth Balance vegan butter, at room temperature
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp lemon zest
seeds of one vanilla bean
6 tsp beet based red food coloring
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup maple sugar, or granulated sugar
1 cup dried cherries, chopped

pink sugar, or turbinado sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees, with the rack set in the center. Mix all shortbread ingredients together (except pink sugar) in a large bowl until well blended, then between 2 sheets of parchment paper roll out to 1/4 inch thick.  Use a small heart cookie cutter to cut out hearts, then sprinkle with pink sugar and place on a parchment lined baking sheet.  Place in the freezer to chill for 15 minutes. Remove from the freezer and bake for about 10-12 minutes until set and lightly brown. Cool on a wire rack.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Heavenly Coconut Macadamia White Chocolate Scones

My Mom was asking me yesterday if I could make her some white chocolate macadamia cookies.  She has always been a big white chocolate macadamia cookie lover, and I had to admit I hadn't made them in a while.  I am really more of a dark chocolate than white chocolate person, and as exotic as they are, I much prefer other nuts to macadamias but I thought as long as I had the ingredients I could whip up a batch of cookies.  The only problem was I was feeling lazy, and mixing the cookies, waiting for the dough to chill, and forming the dough into balls was not appealing. 

So I decided to make scones instead!  Better yet, include coconut in them!  Afterall, they would still have the same flavor, just be quicker to make.  I decided to include a little orange zest and orange flower water to give the background flavor a delicate perfumed note, and it added that something extra...that can't put your finger on it but these are heavenly! 

They came together quick, and smelled incredibly aromatic as they were baking with all the coconut, which is one of my favorite smells.  I always feel a bit happier when coconut is toasting in my oven.  We sampled them warm, and I had to admit they were awfully heavenly even if they didn't have my choice of nuts or chocolate.  My Mom had a good idea, and I was glad I listened to her this time.  She admitted that the scones were better than the cookies, so my laziness payed off as well, which was good, because that is usually not the case!  If you would like some heavenly scones for yourself, here is the recipe!  

Heavenly Coconut Macadamia White Chocolate Scones
Makes 8
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1/3 cup maple sugar, or granulated sugar
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 Tbsp orange zest
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 stick cold Earth Balance vegan butter, cut into chunks
1 cup cold full fat coconut milk (chilled in the fridge is best), mixed well
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp orange flower water
1 cup toasted chopped macadamia nuts
1 cup toasted large flake coconut
4 oz vegan white chocolate chopped
coconut milk for brushing
turbinado sugar for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 425 with the rack set at the middle position. Line a baking sheet with parchment. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, orange zest and salt. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender or 2 knives until the mixture starts to clump into pea sized pieces. In a small bowl, stir the vanilla and orangeflower water into the coconut milk. Add the milk to the dough, and stir a few times, but do not overmix. The dough should hold together when squeezed, but still be clumpy. fold in macadamias, coconut and white chocolate until evenly distributed. Place dough on a floured work surface, and shape into a 4 inch wide log. Use a bench scraper to cut into trianges. There should be about 8. Place scones on the prepared baking sheet, reshaping slightly if necessary. Brush the tops with the coconut milk, and sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Bake for about 15 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack slightly, but enjoy warm!

Monday, February 7, 2011

A Weekend of Skiing and Citrus Poppyseed Ice Cream

How often do you get to stand at the top of a snowy hill wearing spandex from head to toe and hear a cannon go off?  In a nordic ski race of course! 

It is quite the sub culture really...spectators ringing cow bells at you as you ski past in your bright spandex racing suit yelling "Hya! Hya! Hya!"  or "Hup! Hup! Hup!"  as you ski up a hill (that's right not down...because real skiers ski uphill). 

At the starting line the skiers discuss what wax they put on their skis in order to make them go the fastest, or how many layers they wore.  This weekend I participated in the City of Lakes Loppet 33k ski race in Minneapolis, and it was a wonderful experience!  I used to be big into skiing in high school, and was pretty good, but have since become more of a runner than a skier, simply skiing for fun and as an alternative workout to running.  I decided to do this race this year (my third after taking a few off), and boy did I pick a good year to do it! 

Minnesota has gotten more snow than I can ever remember falling this year.  The conditions for the race were perfect, about 30 past years there has been not enough snow or it has melted.  The course was beautiful, through the woods (with lots of hills), on the lakes and with gorgeous views of Minneapolis.  I wished I had a camera at some points...not that I would have stopped because I was not skiing super slow.  Just being out gliding over the snow was a wonderful feeling, and I felt at home. 

Of course during my race I had a lot of time to think...and of course I thought about what kind of dessert I could make that night.  I decided on a berry crisp, since I had some frozen berries, but if I made crisp, I had to make ice cream to go on top of it.  It is essential in my opinion.  So I was out skiing in the cold and thinking about ice cream...maybe I am crazy, or maybe not.  Ice cream can be for year round right?  I knew I had a bunch of citrus in on my counter so I thought Hmm...vanilla citrus ice cream?  But that wasn't exactly , so Iwhat I was looking for so decided that I needed to add poppyseeds. 

I love citrus and poppyseeds together, in muffins and cakes.  But I have never the combination in ice cream so I thought I needed to make some with it!  I used lemon and orange the juice and zest, to give it a light citrusy flavor on a coconut milk base, and added the poppyseeds.  I told my Mom what I was going to make, and she gave me a funny look.  "That sounds a little wierd, poppyseeds in ice cream."  She said.  But my reply was don't knock it 'till you try it!  Which was a smart thing to say, because it ended up being pure deliciousness!  It was so refreshing with the citrus, and the texture of the poppyseeds was wonderful!  So I sat enjoying my large portion of crisp and ice cream, which I had earned with all the skiing, and took in how heavenly it was.  My Mom has since taste tested the ice cream, and she had to admit she was wrong about the poppyseeds.  She loved it! 

Although this ice cream has citrus, which is in season right now, I would definately not limit it to this time of the year and make it year round!  I'll bet it is even more refreshing in the summer.  If you would like to experience the deliciousness of this ice cream for yourself, here is the recipe!

Citrus Poppy Seed Ice Cream
Makes 4 cups

3 cups organic full fat coconut milk, chilled
2 Tbsp organic lemon zest
1 Tbsp orange zest
2 Tbsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp orange juice
3/4 cup agave nectar
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
2 tsp lemon extract
1 tsp orange extract
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 cup black poppyseeds

Combine all ingredients except poppyseeds in a blender, 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). Once processed, mix in poppyseeds until evenly distributed.  Pour into freezable container with a lid, and place in the freezer for at least a few hours, or overnight to firm up for best results.