Lots of Good EATS

June 12, 2018
This is about...
Vegan Strawberry “ICE CREAM”---YUM!
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        SPRING NEVER HAPPENED IN WOODSTOCK. We went from a freezing cold winter to a sizzling hot summer to a in a heartbeat. LAST WEEK I WANTED BEEF STEW, TODAY IT’S A WAFFLE CONE filled with cappucino kahlua crunch. When the heat’s on, I can justify indulging in an ice cream sundae or cone every once in awhile. BUT NOT ALL THE TIME!
        So, this “ice cream” “churned” from frozen strawberries and coconut cream covers all the bases WITHOUT A LOT OF THE GUILT after that last lick. And, this is the big news, NO ICE CREAM MACHINE IS REQUIRED! I have one, but it’s under a bunch of stuff in my cellar, and frankly I always forget to freeze the canister the night before. If I’ve gotta wait around for that scoop a whole 24 hours, you’ve lost me.
        This is super easy to make, BUT THERE ARE A FEW TRICKS AND TOOLS YOU WILL NEED TO USE. A food processor or high speed blender is a must. Only frozen fruit will do—you can freeze your own, or use store bought. And, you have to chill the can of coconut milk the night before. Just so I don’t have to ever think about that, I always keep a few cans in the fridge at the ready. Plus, it’s best served right away or after a quick stint in the freezer. If you let it completely freeze, you’ll need to soften it to serve and it won’t be as smooth. But it will still taste really good.
        NOW HERE’S A LITTLE COCONUT MILK LESSON. always purchase canned full fat, and organic if you can, for the best results. A can of coconut milk contains the water and the cream from the coconut. The cream rises to the top of the can if unshaken, but it’s really hard to separate the cream from the water at room temperature. But, if you put the can in the fridge overnight, the cream will rise to the top and harden, making it easy to scoop out all of the cream.
        FYI: USING COCONUT CREAM IS NOT LOW FAT, BUT IT IS A HEALTHIER FAT, WITH WAY LESS SUGAR. The frozen fruit in this “ice cream” provides most of the sweetness. And, there’s no dairy or eggs. I think IT’S A SUMMERTIME WIN! I left a lot of leeway as to how much frozen fruit to use. Use the smallest amount and it will be the creamiest. Use the largest and you’ll have more a sorbet consistency.
        This recipe can become many other flavors simply by switching out the fruit. The sweetener can be switched out too. Use honey, liquid stevia or just eliminate it altogether. If you like, you can make delicious popsicles out of any leftovers. Looks like the heat is on. And, IT’S GONNA BE A FUN SUMMER FOR FROZEN TREATS!

LESSONS Learned:
1. Get full fat unsweetened coconut milk, not lite, and not Coco Lopez. I like the organic Thai Kitchen brand. It seems to have to most coconut cream in the can.
2. Once the can is chilled overnight, the easiest way to get the cream out of the can without alot of squirting coconut water, is to remove the lid and poke a one inch hole thru the hardened cream (which will have hardened and risen to the top). Pour out the liquid, and then scoop out the cream.
3. To insure a thicker consistency, use as little liquid as possible to get it to blend. no more than 5 Tablespoons. And blend JUST until creamy to keep it as cold as possible.
4. For a quick freeze to firm it up alittle more, spread the ice cream into a glass pie plate that’s been chilled in the freezer for an hour. Freeze for 30- 60 minutes to get a thicker, scoopable consistency.
5. Any unused ice cream can be made into ice pops or stored in a freezer container. Make sure to cover the top with plastic wrap or parchment to prevent ice crystals from forming. Pops can be eaten right away, scoops will need to soften first.

Vegan Strawberry “Ice Cream”

        First choose how much fruit you want to add. 6oz. of fruit will make a creamier less sweet ice cream. 10 ounces will make a sweeter, more icy confection.
And, place a glass pie plate in the freezer to chill.

about 1 cup full fat coconut cream from 1 can of coconut milk
1 1/2 cups-2 ½ cups (6-10 ounces) frozen strawberries
1-3 Tablespoons pure maple syrup (optional)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 -5 Tablespoons coconut water, from the same can of coconut milk

Make the ice cream:
        Place a can of coconut milk in the refrigerator overnight. When ready to use, remove the top lid and the hardened cream will have risen to the top. With a knife or small spoon, cut a hole down through the cream, and pour off the coconut water into a small container. Scoop out all of the cream into a high speed blender container or bowl of a food processor. Add your chosen amount of frozen strawberries, maple syrup, the vanilla and 2 Tablespoons of the coconut water.
        For the blender, slowly increase the speed, and use the tamper to push the fruit into the blade. For the processor, use short pulses. If you are having trouble blending, add more coconut water, one tablespoon at a time. Don’t add more than the 5 Tablespoons because it will become too soft. In the blender, it should take around 30-40 seconds, and 4 sections will form. So it doesn’t melt--Don’t overblend!
        It’s best served immediately. But if it’s a little too soft, it can be chilled in the freezer for 30-45 minutes. It can also be stored in the freezer for up to 2 weeks. Cover the top with plastic wrap to keep ice crystals from forming. Re-soften before serving. The mixture can also be poured into pop molds and frozen.

Makes 4 servings.     YUM!
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