Monthly Archives: December 2011

Cold, Frosty Goodness: Cocoanut Milk Ice Cream

Breyers Triple Chocolate with Chocolate Sauce, Chocolate Chips, Cocoanut, and a Maraschino Cherry. Heavenly.

Yeah, yeah, I know it’s December, and nobody wants to think about cold, frosty goodness in December. Except for me. And since it’s my blog, and I know there’s at least one of my followers who lives where December is in summertime, I will talk about cold, frosty goodness anyway.

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I like ice cream. My earliest ice cream memories date to 1990, when we discovered a flavour at Albertsons, I believe, called French Cream Almondine. It became a staple at our house until it vanished from the store freezers forever a few months later. I can still taste it, though, in my mind’s mouth.

There's nothing like a fantastic homemade Cold Stone wannabe.

Over time I got to be a bit more of an ice cream snob, preferring Breyers over the other brands. Anything that could possibly be nicknamed Death By Chocolate was my favourite. Anything minty was my favourite. Or full of nuts. Okay, so anything not coffee-flavoured was my favourite.

Still pretty newly married at this point.

(This is me at the Hershey Chocolate Factory. I was having a wonderful time, in case you couldn’t tell. It was Edy’s ice cream, I believe: mint chocolate chip. AND MY HUSBAND BOUGHT IT FOR ME.)

I love visiting my in-laws.

I don’t really get ice cream very often these days, because it’s dairy, and therefore I generally choose to neither ask nor expect my husband to buy it for me except on rare occasions, such as at the Hershey Chocolate Factory. I have gotten to a point where I don’t care as much, although I still thoroughly enjoy it as an At the In-Laws’ treat.

Going in for the kill

Because when we visit my in-laws, I eat ice cream. Sometimes too much, admittedly. (This was Dreyer’s Slow Churned Cookies ‘n’ Cream, I think.)

So, here was the conundrum. How could one continue to enjoy cold, frosty goodness while still abstaining from dairy? Sure, there are soy and rice and cocoanut ice cream substitutes out there, and many of them are quite tasty. However, the price tags are not so tasty.

This recipe is from a friend. To be perfectly honest, I’ve not ever actually made it myself, but I’ve eaten it at her house many times, so I know it works and is good. Here goes.

Cocoanut Ice Cream

1 can cocoanut milk

1 cup water

1/2 c raw cashew nuts

1/2 c pitted dates

1/2 c honey or agave

2 tsp vanilla

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp guar or xanthan gum (optional)

1 tray ice cubes

Blend all ingredients, except the ice cubes, until very smooth. This may take up to 2 minutes. There should be no grittiness when a drop is felt between your thumb and finger.

Add the ice cubes and blend until smooth. This will aid the chilling time. Add water as needed to make 5 cups total mixture.

Pour into an ice cream maker and freeze according to your directions, OR (if you have no ice cream maker) pour into a shallow pan and freeze, stirring every 15 minutes until the consistency of soft serve ice cream.

Categories: dessert, recipes, soy-free, vegan | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Bacon Crumbles

Cooking bacon crumbles

Bacon has a cult following. It’s kind of weird, but tremendously amusing. I myself have at least two friends who are bacon-obsessed, and I at one time was quite bacon-obsessed as well. Now while with the passage of time nothing could induce me to actually consume animal-derived bacon, I still have warm, fuzzy, fond, salty, savoury, crispy, delicious memories that float to my mind’s nose every time I hear the word BACON.

So, I mentioned Frontier Organic Bac’uns at one point in a past post. They are good. Delicious, in fact. But they can get kind of spendy if you eat tons of them, so here’s a recipe if you want to make bacon bits yourself. It’s great on baked potatoes, or on split pea soup (which is what I’m making at the time I’m writing this!), or just… straight out of the pan. Any way you use bacon bits you can use these.

"Bacon" Crumbles Closeup

1/2 c vital wheat gluten

2 T nutritional yeast

1 tsp pure maple syrup

2 T soy sauce (if you’re allergic to soy, try Maggi)

1 tsp Liquid Smoke

1 tsp ketchup

1 T oil

2 T water

Combine the gluten flour and nutritional yeast in a bowl. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Crumble with your finger tips and then fry over medium heat in a little oil until browned.

I fried them a little bit and then crumbled them into smaller crumbles (closer to regular bacon bit size) and fried them a little more. You can have them as big or small as you like. If you leave them big, just cook them longer or you’ll have kind of gooey “bacon”, and BACON SHOULD NOT BE GOOEY.

Categories: nut-free, recipes, vegan | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Everything But the Kitchen Sink Cookies

These are from an Amish magazine we read years ago when I was growing up. It was a family favourite for a long time and while I don’t make them as often now, they bring back flavourful memories. They were originally called just “Everything Cookies”, but my dad changed it to its more exciting name.

Everything but the Kitchen Sink Cookies!

1 c margarine
1 c brown sugar
1 c sugar
1 egg (or equivalent egg replacer of choice)
1 tsp cream of tartar
1 c oats
1 c cocoanut
1 c veggie oil
2 tsp vanilla
3 c flour
1 tsp salt
1 c cripy rice cereal
2 c chocolate chips

Mix in order given. Drop on cookie sheet. Bake at 350 until lightly browned.

Now, wasn’t that easy?

Categories: dessert, recipes, vegan | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Granola Recipe Template

Granola

Golden, crunchy goodness.

I just love granola. Especially I love chunky, nutty granola with raisins in it. While I’m still working on finding THE perfect granola recipe that fulfills all my wildest granola fantasies, here’s a basic granola recipe that I’ve found to be foolproof and delicious. You can eat it with any type of milk (almond milk is my favourite). Or, something my husband likes to do is just stir in applesauce and no milk, which is also very tasty.

7 c oats
1 c wheat germ
1 1/2 c cocoanut
1/2-1 c white flour (optional; use if you want it to clump)

1/2 c agave or honey
3/4 c melted butter, margarine, or olive oil (can use half applesauce)

1/2 c nuts, chopped
1 c sunflower seeds (or to taste)

1 c dried fruit, chopped up if it is not already small (like raisins)

Mix well, starting with all the dry ingredients. When they are combined, add the agave/oil. If it is too dry, add a little water as needed.

Now, here’s where most recipes will tell you to put the mixture on cookie sheets, and here’s where I say DON’T put the mixture on cookie sheets. Unless you want burned granola. Here’s what you do: you take two 13×9 pans, split the granola mixture evenly between them, and pack it down.

Bake at 275 for 20 minutes. Take out the pans, stir the contents up, and return to the oven for another 20 minutes. When that time is up, stir in your nuts and sunflower seeds and return to the oven for as long as it takes to finish cooking. You’ll know it’s done when it’s quite dry to the touch, but not petrified.

Once it’s done baking, stir in whatever dried fruit you have chosen to add. Let it sit out to cool completely, stirring occasionally to expedite the process. Put it into a tightly sealing container of some kind to store it.

NOTE: I don’t store it in the freezer/fridge because it goes so fast around here. If you think it might last a month or more at your house, fridge might be a good idea so the nuts don’t go bad before you eat it.

And, here’s a bonus recipe. Using the recipe above, I tweaked a few things and came up with….

Pumpkin Granola

PUMPKIN GRANOLA!!!

You use:

The same first 4 ingredients PLUS 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon

Reduce oil to 1/3 cup and add 1 cup pureed pumpkin. Instead of agave, use molasses.

Walnuts or pecans for the nuts

Raisins for the fruit (if fruit is desired)

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You want another one?

CINNAMON RAISIN GRANOLA

The same first 4 ingredients PLUS 1 Tbsp cinnamon

1 c molasses or other sweetener

1 c Walnuts for nuts (skip the sunflower seeds)

1/2 c flaxseed

And, of course, raisins.
Have fun playing with granola and let me know if you come up with any tasty combos of your own!

Categories: breakfast, recipes, soy-free, vegan | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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