Real Faux Ice Cream
After last week's ode to full-on fat ice cream, I heard from several readers who expressed interest in lower-cal, even dairy-free options that would make slurping possible for all of us. In the days since, I have discovered, that in the world of frozen treats, there seems to be something for everyone.
Please note that although I'm sharing how-to details below, I have not yet tested the strength of these recipes (a project before next week's frozen feature). If you get to the homework assignment before I do, please share your experiences in the comments area below!
Door Number One: DIY Froz-Fruit, No Ice Cream Maker
Sally Schneider, in her "A New Way to Cook," a huge volume devoted to healthy eating, suggests freezing fruit - berries, peaches, mangoes, papayas, pears -- freezing it until solid and then pureeing for a crystallized, sorbet effect. For creamier results, Schneider suggests adding a small amount of unsweetened coconut milk.
4 cups ripe, fragrant fruit (peeled, seeded or cored and cut into ½-inch chunks)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon or lime juice
1 tablespoon honey or sugar (vegans, you could omit)
Options: 1-2 teaspoons rum, Grand Marnier, framboise, kirsch
½ cup unsweetened coconut milk
In a bowl, combine fruit, citrus juice and sweetener (if using). Let sit at room temperature until fruit has released its juices, about 1 hour.
Pour fruit mixture onto a rimmed baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap and freeze until solid, about 2 hours.
Break up fruit with a large spoon and transfer to a food processor. Pulse until fruit has reduced to the texture of crystalline meal, stopping to scrape down the sides. Add liquor and/or coconut milk (if using) and blend until creamy.
Serve immediately, or freeze in airtight container for up to 1 hour.
I also like Schneider's idea of freezing ripe bananas, pureeing them with coconut milk, sugar, lime juice and rum, then freezing for 30 minutes for tropical results.
Door Number Two: Milk-Facsimile IC in a Machine
In "Vegan Planet," author Robin Robertson dishes up ice cream made from soy or rice milk. Without the binding action of eggs, you will need arrowroot for the recipe below.
Dairy-Free Double-Chocolate Ice Cream
4 cups cold soy milk or rice milk
2 tablespoons arrowroot
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
¾ cup sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
½ cup vegan dairy-free chocolate or carob chips
Combine ¼ cup of the milk and the arrowroot. Blend well and set aside. Place remaining 3 ¾ cups in a saucepan over medium heat. Add cocoa powder and sugar, and bring up to a simmer, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Add arrowroot mixture, stirring constantly until mixture thickens and starts to bubble, about 5 minutes. Do not allow to boil.
Remove from heat and add vanilla. Pour into a bowl and chill in an ice bath. Refrigerate until chilled, then freeze in ice cream maker according to manufacturer's directions, adding chips at that time.
Makes 1 quart.
Door Number Three: "Raw" IC in a Machine
Even raw foodies, who won't eat anything above 118 degrees, can get in on the ice cream action, with an uncooked "custard" of raw cashews, coconut meat and coconut butter, sweetened with agave nectar. This recipe comes from "Raw Food Real World" by Matthew Kenney and Sarma Melngailis:
Vanilla Ice Cream
2 cups raw cashews, soaked 4 hours
2 cups coconut meat
1 cup water
1 cup agave nectar
¼ cup coconut butter
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
½ vanilla bean
½ teaspoon salt
Puree all ingredients in a high-speed blender or food processor until completely smooth. Chill thoroughly and then freeze in ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions.
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