June 17, 2013
So, where have I been for the past week?
Mars. I’ve been wallowing in piles of schoolwork…or procrastinating on it. I’m currently plowing through my remaining days of freshman year—which means next week will consist almost entirely of final exams.
In preparation for these thrilling tests, my teachers have decided to administer a variety of ADDITIONAL quizzes and assignments. My second-to-last week of school has been my most stressful, unfortunately.
Thankfully, my awesome friends were there to help me through. Over ice cream and blondies, we laughed, predicted our futures via MASH, and determined who would get each senior superlative. Nothing could cure my stress better.
If you have something tension-inducing coming up in your life, whether work, school, or family-related, I highly encourage you to partake in the same delicious endeavors.
Let’s start off with the ice cream. It’s actually very easy to make…it just takes a while. I promise you it’s worth it!
You have two options when making the ice cream: you can make your own nut milk, or you could purchase it from the store. It takes longer if you make it yourself, but it doesn’t include any added carrageenan, sugar, or chemicals. If you use store-bought milk, you’ll save a day, but you might be getting some unwanted additives in your ice cream. Your choice.
If you’re going the DIY-route, soak 1/2 cup of cashews in about a cup of water overnight or for at least 12 hours. This process will not only soften the cashews, but also allow for phytic acid to be neutralized.
What’s phytic acid? I’m no nutritionist (yet)…but here’s a great article informing you all about what it is, what it does, and why you should avoid it. Long story short, it prevents minerals from being absorbed properly.
Once the cashews are nice and soft, strain them and put them in a blender with 2 cups of water. DO NOT reuse the soaking water! Blend until no nut particles remain and the mixture takes on the appearance and consistency of milk, about 4 to 5 minutes.
You can also use almonds or even hazelnuts instead of the cashews, but you’ll have to press the milk through a strainer or cheesecloth before you use it. With cashew milk, there’s no need! It’s ready to go as soon as it’s blended.
Now, it’s officially ice cream-making time. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and pour 1 cup of shredded, unsweetened coconut onto a baking sheet.
Bake until golden brown and fragrant, about 6 to 8 minutes. Give it a stir once or twice to make sure browning is even.
Meanwhile, in a saucepan, heat 2 14-ounce cans of full-fat coconut milk and 1 cup of either the prepared cashew milk OR your choice of nut milk over medium-low heat. Once it just starts to bubble, remove it from the stove top and pour in the toasted coconut. Put a lid on the saucepan and let it steep for at least an hour, preferably two.
Pour the ice cream base through a strainer and squeeze the milk-infused coconut to get as much liquid out as possible.
In another saucepan, heat 4 whisked egg yolks and 1/2 cup of raw coconut nectar OR raw honey over medium heat until warm to the touch, about 5 minutes. Then, slowly whisk in the ice cream base, using a ladle to do a little bit at a time.
Keep whisking the mixture until the back of a spoon wipes clean, like this…
Once you obtain a clean streak, turn off the heat and stir in 3 tablespoons of arrowroot powder and 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract. Transfer the mixture to an airtight plastic container and refrigerate overnight to cool down.
To ice-creamify it, simply pour all of the ingredients into an ice cream machine and follow the manufacturer’s instructions to process. Five minutes before you think the ice cream is done (it should be thick, but still a tad liquid-y to the touch), pour in 1/3 cup of mini chocolate chips…if you want.
Scoop the ice cream into a large glass dish and freeze overnight to get a true “ice cream” texture. You could eat it right out of the machine, too, but I like my ice cream more on the solid side.
Let defrost at room temperature for 15 minutes before digging in. This will ensure you have a creamy, not icy texture.
To go with the ice cream, I made blondies, one of my favorite childhood desserts. They’re a breeze to make, too!
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, the magic baking number of awesome. Line an 8 x 8 baking pan with tinfoil and grease well with some ghee or coconut oil.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together 6 tablespoons of melted ghee and 1/3 cup of coconut sugar until well-combined, about 3 minutes. Feel free to replace some or all of the ghee with coconut oil; the blondies will just have a less buttery taste as a result.
To the ghee and sugar, add 1 whisked egg, 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract, 1/2 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar, and 6-8 drops of liquid stevia, if you want it sweeter. Keep mixing for another minute or two.
To the wet ingredients, add 1 1/2 cups of blanched almond flour, 1 tablespoon of coconut flour, 1 teaspoon of baking soda, and a good pinch of salt. Mix until no clumps of flour remain, about 3 to 4 minutes.
With a spatula, stir in 1/3 cup of mini chocolate chips. You could also add shredded coconut, chopped nuts, or a handful or two of dried fruit, too!
Spread the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick comes out clean in the center, about 25 to 30 minutes depending on whether your oven runs hot or cold. Let cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then lift up using the tinfoil along the sides. Peel it off, then slice yourself up some bars.
Nom nom nom.
So close to freedom I can LITERALLY TASTE IT!!!
What do you do to relieve stress? Leave me a comment on Facebook and let me know!