Sunday, August 13, 2017

Blackberry Basil Coconut Ice Cream

Yessss, it's another vegan ice cream experiment!  Over the weekend, I was inspired by the plump gorgeous blackberries at the farmer's market and the strong aroma of fresh basil. My husband has been loving basil this season almost as much as me :) so it's also motivating to use it in just about every dish ;) 
Yes even in ice cream. Somehow that flavor of basil, almost liquorice-like, that adds just the right match to the sweet-tart of berries. I have added it to berry crisps before but to the coconut cream ice cream it is just about the perfect subtle touch. I didn't even add the leaves into the blend... just let them soak and simmer into the coconut milk before it's blended. Sooooo good!!! Be inspired by fresh colorful amazing food and let yourself be nourished and ENJOY!
Blackberry Basil Coconut Ice Cream Recipe
{gluten, dairy, egg, soy, nut, and seed-free}

2 cans of coconut cream (14 ounce cans, just scrap out the cream and discard/reuse water)
1 TB of tapioca starch
1 lemon squeezed
1/2 cup of maple syrup
1/4 cup of coconut palm sugar
pinch of sea salt
1 handful of fresh basil tied with twine

1 pint of fresh blackberries

In a saucepan, put the coconut milk cream on low heat and let it get soft and liquid. Then sprinkle in the tapioca flour and put in the rest of the ingredients. Keep the basil in the twine because it is just soaking in the cream and not being blended in. In a seperate saucepan, cook and mash blackberries until soft and juicy. Then pour over a micro-sieve and use all of the flesh and juices but omit the blackberries seeds to have a creamier ice cream finish. If you liek the texture of seeds then just add the berries right into the milk mixture. 

Take out the basil and cool down the coconut milk mixture and then add to the high powered blender with the berry mix and blend on high until creamy and smooth. Then pour into a container to cool down more if it is still warm, and if you need to refrigerate for a while that's fine. When room temp or cooled down, add to a ice cream maker and let it do it's job for 20 minutes or so and then spread into a container to sit in the freezer for 1 hour or more. Then you can pull out and use a regular ice cream scoop to serve up perfectly. Serve with fresh fruit or with or however you like ice cream best!

If you have not invested in the Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker- then you might want to in time for this summer. I got this as a birthday gift last year and have enjoyed using it. The instructions before you make the ice cream is to deep freeze the mixture container. It must be super cold! Then once you do that you can hook up the container and follow the instructions- which for this ice cream includes just pouring in the mixture while it has already started spinning. This will take anywhere from 20-30 minutes to thicken up the ice cream. It is like soft serve and ready to top or eat, but if you want a more scoop-able ice cream then let the machine run for the allotted time and then pour into a container and put in the freezer and within 30 minutes it will be a perfect scoop!

ENJOY and much love as always xoxo

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Refrigerator Dill Pickles

This is a little nugget of a recipe I have been making for a few years now. It isn't rocket science, and there are many easy peasy recipes for this out there in world wide web land and Pinterest... buuuutttt, I thought I would share my version anyways because I use a few substituted ingredients to help with yeast overgrowth in the gut.
This is the recipe I was inspired by years ago...
Shannon Martin's Recipe

I switch out white sugar and white vinegar for coconut palm sugar and apple cider vinegar. It's minor but for me and how I am conscience of the over use of vinegar in dressings and such. I always choose apple cider vinegar over any edible vinegar because I have found it to be not as aggravating to candida and high histamine issues I have had over the years. But I guess this is no surprise I use these ingredients in all my baking and they are staples in my pantry.
A wonderful gift in August in the large amounts of fresh fruit, veggies and herbs you can find at your local farmer's market, backyard or road side stands. I bought the above produce at my local farmer's market for a whopping total of TWO dollars. I am sure you could even find it cheaper or maybe you have a garden or access to a friends or family member's garden too. These are so easy and cheap to find right now. So basically you can make this whole quart of pickles for around 2 dollars- what a fun fresh bargain to enjoy this season!
Steph's Version of Refrigerator Dill Pickle Recipe
{gluten, dairy, egg, soy, nut, seed and refined-sugars-free}

2 TB of coconut palm sugar
1 TB of sea salt
1 ts. of whole black peppercorns
1/2 ts. of dry mustard powder (or whole seeds)
4 fresh garlic cloves chopped
1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar
3 cups of pure water
1 handful of fresh dill roughly chopped
1 quart small cucumbers

In a quart sized Ball jar put in the coconut palm sugar, salt, pepper, mustard, chopped garlic and vinegar and fresh dill. Stir if need be so that the sugar and salt dissolve into the vinegar. Then wash and slice up the cucs and layer them in the jar. When up to the top, stop and fill with pure water to cover all of the cucs. I usually give a little shake to let the fluids evenly cover all through the jar. Screw on a top and put in the fridge. I think they taste best after 24 hours and then you can keep them in the fridge for up to two weeks for best tastes in my opinion.

Hope you are enjoying the fresh summer produce from your garden and markets. Much love to you as always and let's enjoy these last few weeks of summer shall we?!? xoxo

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Zucchini Chocolate Chip Muffins

Every year when zucchini is fresh and coming up abundantly I seem to remember again how much I love chocolate and zucchini together. It always turns out so moist and rich and chewy and wonderful.  So today when I woke up early ready to bake up a treat for my kiddos and some friends- it was this combo on my mind (and stomach!)
These minis could be a dessert, a treat, a snack...OR...breakfast ;) I am calling these little babies MUFFINS instead of CAKES because that is just what they are of course.  Topped with a little sprinkle of mini chocolate chips :) So call them what you will, I decided to call them muffins because they are hearty and wonderful and full of goodness. The chocolate is just the disguise...and it sure is a trickster to mask a vegetable-filled muffin.
Zucchini Chococolate Chip Muffin Recipe
{gluten, dairy, egg, nut, seed, soy and refined-sugar-free}

1 1/3 cup of fresh ground certified GF oat flour
2/3 cup of white rice flour
1/4 cup of tapioca flour
1/4 cup of coconut flour
1/2 cup of cocoa/cacao powder
2 ts. of baking powder (corn-free Hain brand)
1 ts. of baking soda
1 ts. of sea salt
1 ts. of ground cinnamon
3/4 cup of coconut palm sugar

2/3 cup of coconut milk beverage (or other plant milk)
1/3 cup of apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup of maple syrup
1-2 TB of molasses
1/2 cup of date puree paste
1/2 cup of soft melted coconut oil (or avocado oil)
1 1/2 cup of freshly shredded/grated zucchini

1 cup of mini-dairy-free chocolate chips (ENJOY LIFE brand)

In a large bowl, whisk all the dry ingredients together first, then add in all the wet and whisk together well. I grate 1 large or 2 small zucchini right before I add it to the bowl so it is super fresh and if it is super wet you can squeeze out some of the excess water. I lastly fold in the chocolate chips and then even save a little sprinkle of chips to top the unbaked muffins for the added touch of chocolate goodness. I made these as mini muffins so the recipe made a ton...36 minis. But you can make about 18 large mufins too. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 22 minutes until stiff and baked all the way through for the mini muffins and you may need to bake closer to 30 minutes for the larger regular sized muffins. Pull from oven and let cool for at least 15 minutes before you eat just so to don't burn your taste buds. You're gunna want to keep those safe ;)

I hope you give these sweet muffins a try. A special treat this time of year with zucchini coming up in droves and you're struggling to come up with ways to use it all. Seriously friend- this is a muffin to make... so stop now and make these and your day will be complete. Share with friends and bring joy- you won't regret it.

Much love to you as always xoxo