Labor Day Roundup

Labor Day marks the end of summer, and here we are with it fast approaching. Summer has flown by, and I’m pretty ok with that. It has been hot here in the northwest, and I’m not really into heat. Fall is my favorite, at least it has been historically, I’ve never experienced a northwest fall, so I’ll let you know. Labor Day itself will be fun for us this year. My 3 year old is running her first race! She has been watching and cheering me on for the triathlons I have completed this year, and has been asking to race herself. We found an opportunity and she’s going to go for it.

I have a few suggestions for your Labor Day plans, whatever they may be.

Vegan Pasta Sauce
Vegan Pasta Sauce

If your running a race, let me suggest fueling up the night before with my loaded pasta.

 

 

 

Pacific Rim Kabobs
Pacific Rim Kabobs

If your grilling; some kabobs

 

 

 

Best Ever Rice and Beans

For a camping trip; best ever rice and beans.

 

 

 

 

Vegan Mud Pie Ice Cream
Vegan Mud Pie Ice Cream

If you’re simply celebrating the end of summer; Ice Cream 

Easy Gluten Free 2 Ingredient Frozen Yogurt (vegan or not)

Easy Gluten Free 2 Ingredient Frozen Yogurt (vegan or not)
Easy Gluten Free 2 Ingredient Frozen Yogurt (vegan or not)

My oldest daughter calls sunscreen “ice cream.” Super cute, and funny as it means I have yet to convince her that ice cream is a totally different item. I decided to make this with her to give her a small taste of what ice cream is. I usually don’t even let her have yogurt with sugar in it (she loves plain), but I made an exception here. She thought it was pretty great.

This is a super simple combination of frozen fruit and yogurt that makes a creamy, fruity, frozen concoction that fills any need for ice cream. It works with both vegan and dairy yogurt. I like to use the sweetened yogurt here, but plain would be fine if you are ok with a fairly tart yogurt. If you use sweetened yogurt and it isn’t sweet enough for you add a touch of agave or maple syrup. It will depend on how sweet the fruit is that you use. I used peaches for this batch, but pretty much any frozen fruit will work. I haven’t met one yet that doesn’t.

Happy summer!

 Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup sweetened vanilla yogurt (non-dairy is fine)
  • 2 cups chopped frozen fruit (I used peaches)
  • Optional – sweetener such as agave, honey, or maple syrup
  • Optional-Vanilla or almond extract 1/4 tsp or so

Instructions

  1. Place yogurt, then frozen fruit in a high powered blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
  2. You will need to stop several times to scrape the sides.
  3. Serve immediately. It doesn’t freeze well. You could keep it in the freezer for an hour or so, but much longer it gets very hard and doesn’t thaw consistently so it is best eaten in one sitting.

Vegan Mud Pie Ice Cream

Vegan Mud Pie Ice Cream
Vegan Mud Pie Ice Cream

Tomorrow is national ice cream day! Oh boy, what a wonderful thing to celebrate. I haven’t created any new ice cream flavors in a while so I decided to put some thought into it. Here is my creation: a creamy coffee ice cream with bits of Oreo, best served topped with hot fudge sauce and coconut whipped cream. A vegan mud pie!

My ice cream recipe is versatile and I have a post on making vegan ice cream without a recipe if you want to experiment. For this coffee base I used my whiskey cold brew, but any strong, cold coffee would work.

If this flavor isn’t your jam, check out the vanilla, peanut butter cup, Irish cream, or Mint. I do love ice cream!

 

 Ingredients

  • 1 can (13.6 oz) full fat coconut milk
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 3 TBL agave nectar
  • 3 TBL cold brew whiskey coffee, or cold coffee
  • 6 Oreos, smashed
  • pinch of salt

Instructions

  1. Blend all ingredients together briefly.
  2. Freeze in ice cream maker according to manufacturers instructions.
  3. After ice cream has been churned fold in the crushed Oreos.
  4. Scoop ice cream into freezer friendly container and freeze for at least 2 hours before serving.
  5. Top with vegan hot fudge sauce for a delightful treat.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Nice Cream (vegan, gluten free)

Chocolate Peanut Butter Vegan Ice Cream Nice Cream
Chocolate Peanut Butter Vegan Ice Cream

In the mood for a rich and decadent ice cream, but feel like you should be avoiding dairy, sugar, and really trying to eat better overall? Or, perhaps need a quick dessert for Easter? Well, here you are my friends. A delightful, quick, easy, sugar free, healthy treat that is surprisingly close to ice cream in taste and mouthfeel. It is heavy on the banana flavor, but the chocolate and peanut butter do a lovely job of complementing it and bringing out flavors one would expect.

This is nice cream is basically a smoothie and something I have considered eating for breakfast, maybe stirring it into my oatmeal. So many options for a treat made from real ingredients with no added sugar.

 Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 frozen bananas cut into 1″ chunks (about 2 cups)
  • 6 TBL full fat canned coconut milk
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • 3 TBL cocoa powder
  • 3 TBL crunchy peanut butter

Instructions

  1. Puree banana, coconut milk, vanilla, salt, and cocoa powder until smooth in a food processor or blender.
  2. Add peanut butter and pulse a few times to combine.
  3. Eat immediately, or store in the freezer for later. If storing in the freezer allow nice cream to thaw at room temperature a few minutes before serving.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day 2017!

Vegan Irish Cream Ice Cream
Vegan Irish Cream Ice Cream

Happy St. Patrick’s Day. I was thinking I would just share a few of my past St. Patrick’s Day recipes with you, and other’s that could be useful on this lovely day. A day dedicated to greed food and whiskey.

Vegan Irish Cream Ice Cream
Vegan Irish Cream Ice Cream

 

Vegan Irish Cream Ice Cream

Vegan Irish Cream

Cold Brew Coffee Whiskey 

Affogato 

Green Pancakes

Green Muffins

 

 

St. Patrick’s Day Vegan Irish Cream Ice Cream

Vegan Irish Cream Ice Cream
Vegan Irish Cream Ice Cream

St.Patrick’s Day is coming up. Usually my husband and I celebrate with a silly tradition of watching “The Boondock Saints” and drinking Guinness and my vegan version of Baileys Irish Cream. It is possible that we mix these and drink them quite fast, but I’ll never confess to such debauchery. That won’t be happening this year because I’m pregnant, again. Since I hate to miss out on tradition I just had to come up with another way to celebrate, and, of course, I had to practice and share my idea with you. Simply, it is a perfectly delicious, creamy, cool, and decedent Irish Cream Ice cream. I might have tried mine over a brownie and topped with hot fudge. Don’t blame me, blame the baby.

 Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup +1 TBL Irish whiskey
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract
  • dash of salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp brewed espresso or coffee
  • 1 TBL chocolate chips (vegan)
  • 1 can full fat coconut milk

Instructions

  1. In a small saucepan heat 1/2 cup whiskey and the brown sugar over medium/low heat until simmering, stirring frequently.
  2. Continue to simmer and stir frequently until the mixture has reduced to approximately 1/4 cup of liquid, about 10 minutes.
  3. Remove from the heat and stir in vanilla, almond, salt, coffee, and chocolate chips stirring until the chocolate is completely melted.
  4. Pour in the coconut milk. If it has separated in the can heat gently until just heated through, then stir until everything is uniformly combined with no chunks of floating coconut cream.
  5. Pour the mixture into a blender and blend until light and foamy, about 45 seconds.
  6. Freeze according to your ice cream makers instructions.

What to Eat for a Vegen Celebration of Snowy Weather

Vegan Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
Vegan Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

I know I’m a little late to the party on this, but I wanted to add my ideas for some snowy day comfort food. I would have had this out yesterday, but I was getting ready for my first real date with my husband since my daughter was born. It took a while to get ready sinceI had to take a very long nap so I could stay up past 8pm. Today I’m a little sluggish from staying out too late, and totally craving comfort food even though winter storm Jonas mostly missed us in Boston, but it did snow which is a good excuse to snuggle in and eat delicious food. So what would I eat?

Vegan Hot Chocolate
Vegan Hot Chocolate

Vegan Hot Chocolate: Absolutely a must on any snowy day. This one is rich, thick, so chocolaty you won’t believe it, and you will never go back to instant again.

 

 

Vegan Sloppy Joes
Vegan Sloppy Joes

Vegan Sloppy Joes in the Crock Pot: While you are outside playing, or shoveling off your car, you can also be making a super yummy dinner of sloppy joes.

 

 

If you have a few more minutes, or a second day because you are actually snowed in, this perfect vegan lasagna is the way to go. It is so creamy you will be sure there is cheese in it, and it will satisfy your every comfort food craving while still giving you a good serving of vegetables.

Vegan Cinnamon Rolls
Vegan Cinnamon Rolls

Planning ahead for tomorrow morning? Make these cinnamon rolls today and they will be ready for a Monday morning pick me up that will bake while you’re getting ready for work.

 

 

Vegan Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream
Vegan Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream

Maybe a little dessert? Ice cream is a perfect way to celebrate the snow. Choose one of my flavors like this vanilla with chocolate and peanut butter swirl, or create your own using my “without a recipe” guideline to vegan ice cream.

Have fun in the snow and I hope you are safe and warm.

 

Vegan Chocolate Peanut butter Cup/Swirl in Vanilla Ice Cream

Vegan Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream
Vegan Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream

I know summer is officially over, but its 70 degrees here in Cambridge, MA!! 70!! I also might have an overload of extra Halloween candy because I over-estimated how many trick or treaters I would have. This delightful ice cream celebrates the last of the summer weather, because it’s ice cream, and also uses up that extra candy.

I made this ice cream flavor for my husband. His favorite is vanilla ice cream with chocolate peanut butter cups, and chocolate and peanut butter swirl. It is hard to find in general, and impossible if you are looking for vegan ice cream. Most chocolate peanut butter ice cream has a chocolate ice cream base, this does not. Every time I make this we eat it all in way too short amount of time, then my husband will come home, look in the freezer and ask “oh, is the ice cream gone?” Always with a hopeful expression. There is nothing I can do but make more for him.

I didn’t think this was going to be the ice cream for me due to my love of extreme chocolate, but it is one of my favorites as well. It is like eating a perfectly balanced ice cream sundae without having to make one. The creamy vanilla is set off with the deep chocolate fudgy goodness, and the salty, crunchy peanut butter, YUM! This is a vegan ice cream to impress.

 Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Make vanilla ice cream and freeze for 2-4 hours, just enough so it doesn’t start to melt when you stir everything in.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the chocolate chips, milk, vanilla, and maple syrup together over low heat stirring to combine. (Or microwave for about 20 seconds, then stir together.)
  3. Place the chopped peanut butter cups in the freezer as well during this time.
  4. Once you have stirred the chocolate mixture until smooth, place it uncovered in the refrigerator to cool completely.
  5. Once the ice cream has frozen for a few hours and the chocolate sauce and peanut butter cups are chilled remove the ice cream from the freezer.
  6. Drizzle the chocolate sauce/scoop gobs of it onto the ice cream, drizzle the peanut butter, sprinkle on the peanut butter cups and fold together.
  7. Re-freeze the mixture until you are ready to serve it, but at least another hour.

 

Vegan Vanilla Ice Cream and Vegan Ice Cream Without a Recipe

Vegan Vanilla Ice Cream
Vegan Vanilla Ice Cream

I have been working super hard on developing a vegan ice cream non-recipe for you. I have eaten countess batches of ice cream, and tried several flavors (you have been privy to a few). I am now sharing the basic vanilla and giving you basics that I have learned through my experimentation. I hope you get to make a few batches before the end of summer.

 Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Combine the coconut milk and scraped vanilla pods in a small saucepan over low heat.
  2. Heat gently for about 15 minutes to steep the vanilla pods, then remove from heat and allow the milk to cool to at least room temperature.
  3. Once cool discard the vanilla pods and combine the coconut milk, beans you scraped from the vanilla pods, vanilla extract, agave nectar, and salt  and blend together briefly.
  4. Freeze in ice cream maker according to manufacturers instructions.
  5. Scoop ice cream into freezer friendly container and freeze for at least 2 hours before serving.

Discussion:

What is important for successful ice cream?

  1. Texture (the combination of several ingredients to form the perfect creamy base)
  2. Flavor (what you add to make the finished product)

How does it all work 

Texture. For the perfect creamy texture you need several things: a creamy base (full fat coconut milk), a sweet syrup (agave nectar, maple syrup, or if you must, corn syrup), and, if you like, a bit of alcohol to prevent the ice cream from freezing fully.

Ratio: I have found the ratio to be one can of coconut milk (13.66oz) I have been using Thai Kitchen Organic Coconut milk at room temperature, 3 tablespoons of agave nectar, and one tablespoon of alcohol per batch.

Blending: I like to blend the mixture before freezing as it adds air which makes a lighter, creamier, easier to scoop finished product.

Coconut milk: There are a few important things to know when using coconut milk.

  • You HAVE to use full fat. You need the fat to make the ice cream creamy, and that is what ice cream is supposed to be.
  • You also need to make sure the coconut milk is fully liquid. Many brands contain emulsifiers that keep the coconut milk from separating. If you are using an organic brand, or one that separates make sure it is fully smooth. You might need to heat it to melt an combine any solid pieces.
  • I also recommend blending everything briefly. This makes sure the solids are combined, and also give the mixture a little extra air making the final product a bit lighter and fluffier.

   Alcohol:

  • A little bit of alcohol keeps the mixture from freezing fully if it sits in the freezer overnight. You can simply omit it if you do not use alcohol, but the texture will be a bit different.
  • I like to use alcohol as the flavor, or part of the flavor in many recipes. In this recipe I used homemade vanilla extract which is simply vanilla bean pods steeped in vodka for a few months. In essence, I am using unsweetened vanilla vodka.

   Agave Nectar/Syrup/Sweetener: 

  • You need something to make everything stick together and be creamy, and also to sweeten the ice cream. I use agave nectar for this, or maple syrup if you want a maple flavor. I have read you could use corn syrup, but I haven’t tried it yet. I use 3 tablespoons per can of coconut milk. You can use more, I just don’t like it super sweet.

Flavor. Obviously flavor is important when making ice cream. This recipe is vanilla because it is basic. You can see from my mint chocolate chip and amaretto ice cream different ways to add flavor while keeping the same basic base.

Flavoring agents:

  • Cocoa powder
  • Extracts
  • Alcohol
  • Herbs and Spices
  • Tea bags
  • Candy
  • Salt
  • Chunks of stuff / add ins(chocolate chips, Oreo’s, fruit, nuts, peanut butter)

You can add flavor in a few ways; you can simply dump stuff in like the extracts and alcohol, or you can steep things in the coconut milk as you warm it gently before freezing it. The steeping method would be good for tea bags, vanilla bean pods, or something you want to melt.

You can also add things in after the ice cream has frozen in the machine, but before putting it into the freezer. You would add pieces of cookie, peanut butter, any chunks of stuff at this time. You do this so the ice cream freezes consistently in the machine. You do want to keep  in mind that even though you are adding these in at the end, they will affect the flavor.

I want to address salt for a minute. I call for a pinch of salt in all my ice cream recipes. Salt opens up your taste buds and allows the other flavors to shine. You do want to add it, but just a pinch. It shouldn’t be a flavor you can identify in the finished product.

Ice cream maker

I use a Kitchenaid attachment ice cream maker. It is the only one I have used. If you use something else I would love feedback on how they work and if you need to make adjustments to the recipe for other machines.

Vegan Amaretto Ice Cream

Vegan Amaretto Ice Cream
Vegan Amaretto Ice Cream

I’m going full speed into ice cream land. I have made ice cream several times a week for a few weeks now. It is HOT in the Northeast and ice cream is the only way to happiness right now. This is a delicious amaretto flavored vegan ice cream. For a change I decided to serve it over a toasted, buttered, toaster waffle, and topped it with chocolate sauce and finishing salt. YUM!

 Ingredients
  • 1 can (13.6oz) full fat coconut milk
  • 3 TBL agave nectar
  • 3 TBL amaretto liquor
  • 1 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • dash salt

Instructions

  1. Whisk or blend all ingredients together until smooth.
  2. Add to ice cream maker of your choice and freeze according manufactures directions.
  3. Transfer ice cream to a freezer-happy container and freeze for a minimum of 2 hours before serving for the best texture.
  4. Serve over buttered toaster waffle and topped with chocolate sauce., or just in a bowl if that’s what you have.