And still more figs……

Fig ice pops

We’re still buried under a pile of figs here at the ol’ homestead and I’ll admit I’m a little (a lot) tired of them. That being said, this weeks recipe is super simple and takes maybe 5 minutes to put together and doesn’t require a lot of ingredients. Which is exactly what my tired brain and body need after a super exhausting week at work. So I’ll get right too it.

Fig and Brown Sugar Ice Pops

  • 5-10 ripe figs, cut into 1/4 ” wide sliced
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 can coconut milk

Soak ice pop sticks in water and set aside. Add a couple of slices of fig to each ice pop mold and set mold aside. Place all the remaining ingredients into a blender and and blend for about 30 seconds until all the ingredients are well combined. Pour mixture into ice pop molds insert soaked sticks, seal molds and place in freezer for at least 6 hours to set. Enjoy.

See, I told you it was easy and quick.

Superfood Smoothie Buddha Bowl Thingies

Orange and White fruits accent this blue spirulina and nice cream smoothie bowl

 

Some of you may be aware that I am allergic to melons and strawberries. They’re easy enough to avoid but it means that getting a smoothie bowl at someplace like Jamba Juice or Nekter is out of the question. So I make them at home. This week I’ll share 3 smoothie bowl recipes so you can make your own at home.

A really good blender or food processor is a must for these recipes. I try to keep a good supply of mangos, dragonfruit, berries and bananas up in the freezer. As well as steel cut oats and coconut milk in the pantry and Greek style yogurt in the fridge, I frequently use these to make overnight oatmeal so they’re super handy to have on hand and perfect for smoothie bowls. Things like chia seeds, nuts, puffed rice and shredded coconut are also nice to keep around to add texture and extra fiber to the smoothie bowls. There are also any number of protein powders and supplements out there that you can also add if you choose. I’ve used blue spirulina, butterfly pea powder, matcha powder, and pea protein powder, but they aren’t necessary and I use them more for color than for their nutritional properties.

Butteryfly Pea Powder blueberries and Blackberries give this smoothie bowl is purple color

Butterfly Pea Oat Bowl

1/2 cup steel cut oats

1/2 frozen banana chopped

1 tsp butterfly pea powder

1/2 cup coconut milk

1/2 cup greek yogurt

1/4 cup frozen blueberries

Toss everything into a food processor or blender and blend until smooth.

 

PInk pitaya, dried cherries and raspberries give this bowl its pinkish hue.

Very Berry Dairy Free Smoothie Bowl

1/2 cup coconut milk

4 or 5 coconut milk ice cubes

1/2 cup steel cut oats

3 TBS freeze dried cherries

1/4 cup frozen raspberries

1/2 cup frozen pink pitaya/dragonfruit

1 frozen banana chopped

Combine all the ingredients except the coconut milk into the blender, slowly add in the coconut milk to get the blender going. Bend until smooth.

 

Frozen Bananas and coconut milk make up the base for this smoothie bowl.

Nice Cream Smoothie Bowl

4 frozen bananas chopped

1/4 tsp blue spirulina powder (optional)

1/4 cup coconut milk

2 tsp honey or agave syrup.

Blend until its the texture of soft-serve ice cream and serve

 

Enjoy and as always let me know how you liked these recipes

By Popular Demand

Piña Colada Ice Pops

A few months back I took an impromptu and wholly unscientific survey of roughly 80 or so people (mostly my co-workers) asking what their favorite flavor of Ice Pop/Paleta was. Coconut was the winner by an overwhelming margin. Second was Cherry Pineapple which according to my co-workers was a common treat from the ice cream man after school. What surprised me though was that Arroz Con Leche or Horchata was also very popular.

So by popular demand, this week I’ll share my recipe for Coconut, Pina Colada and Arroz Con Leche Ice Pops. To make this weeks recipes you will  need either re-useable ice pop molds or you can get single use zip top ice pop pouches from Amazon. Here is the link to the brand I use.

Coconut

2 15 ounce cans coconut milk

1 can Creme de Coco

½ cup shredded coconut

½ tsp coconut extract

¼ tsp each ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, ground allspice and ground clove.

Blend all the ingredients in a blender until smooth, pour into molds and freeze for at least 8 hours.

Piña Colada Ice Pops

Pina Colada

1 15 ounce can coconut milk

1 Ripe Pineapple peeled, cored and cut into chunks

1 can Creme de Coco

½ tsp coconut extract

Combine all ingredients in the carafe of a blender, blend on high until smooth. Pour mixture into molds and freeze for at least 8 hours.

Arroz Con Leche Ice Pops

Arroz con Leche/Horchata

2 cups cooked rice*

1 15 ounce can coconut milk

pinch of salt

1 12 ounce can evaporated milk

1 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp vanilla paste

½ tsp each ground clove, ground allspice, ground nutmeg

Yep, you guessed it combine all the ingredients into the blender and blend until well combined but not completely smooth. You’ll want to retain some of the grains of rice for texture. Pour into molds and freeze

* I suggest using left over rice, but if you do decide to make a fresh batch of rice for this make sure its at least room temperature but ideally cold.

 

That’s it simple easy kid friendly. Enjoy

It’s National Ice Cream Day….maybe

Homemade coconut milk based Raspberry, French Vanilla and Double Chocolate ice cream. In a triple sunday with blackberry syrup, mango syrup and marshmallow syrup and of course with a cherry on top

Depending on the website you’re looking at, today is National Ice Cream Day. It may also be this coming Sunday. But no matter which calendar you choose to follow, I’ve got you covered with ice cream recipes this week. You can also check out this link to see all my frozen treat recipes.  All of this weeks recipes will be coconut milk based and use sweetened condensed milk as the sweetener. You will need an ice cream maker. I’m aware that there are several recipes out there that don’t require an ice cream maker, I’ve not tried to make these without one so I don’t know how well they’d work without one. If you try it, let me know how it turns out.

So first up is classic French Vanilla

French Vanilla Ice Cream

  • 2 13.5 oz cans coconut milk
  • 1 13.5 oz can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1TBS Vanilla paste

Combine all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl and mix with a whisk or a electric mixer until all the ingredients are well combined. Chill ice cream base in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours. Churn according to you ice cream machines directions. Place churned ice cream into airtight containers and place in the freezer to harden for at least 4 hours but best to make a day ahead. Yield 1 quart of ice cream.

Chocolate Mint Ice Cream

  • 20 mint candies like Andes mints coarsely chopped
  • ½ tsp peppermint oil
  • ½ can of sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 13.5 oz can coconut milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla paste
  • Green Food Coloring (optional)

Combine, coconut milk, sweetened condensed milk, vanilla paste and peppermint oil (and green food coloring if you want that green color) in a large bowl and mix until thoroughly combined. Chill ice cream base in the fridge for at least 4 hours. Churn according to you ice cream machines directions. Once the ice cream has churned, mix in the chopped up mints. Place churned ice cream into airtight containers and place in the freezer to harden for at least 4 hours but best to make a day ahead. Yield 1 pint

Raspberry ice cream all dressed up with mango syrup, blackberry syrup, whipped cream, fruity cereal and a cherry on top

Raspberry Ice Cream

  • ½ cup freeze dried raspberries
  • 1 tsp vanilla paste
  • 1 13.5 oz can coconut milk
  • ½ can sweetened condensed milk

Place all the ingredients in a blender and blend until the raspberries have ben completely broken down. Chill ice cream base in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours. Churn according to you ice cream machines directions. Place churned ice cream into airtight containers and place in the freezer to harden for at least 4 hours but best to make a day ahead. Yield 1 pint

The Ultimate Chocolate Sundae

Double Chocolate Malted Milk Ball, Cookies n Marshmallows

  • 2 13.5 oz cans of coconut milk (divided)
  • 1 13.5 oz can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 TBS cocoa powder
  • 3 oz extra dark chocolate chopped
  • 1 TBS vanilla paste
  • 1 tsp ground coffee
  • 3 TBS malted milk powder
  • ¼ cup crushed malted milk malls
  • ¼ cup mini marshmallows
  • ¼ cup chocolate wafer cookies chopped
  • 3 oz of chocolate coarsely chopped (which ever kind you prefer)
  • pinch of salt

Pour one can of coconut milk into a microwave safe bowl and heat at 50% until it just starts to bubble. Place 3 oz of the extra dark chocolate into a large mixing bowl and pour the warm coconut milk over the chocolate and whisk until the chocolate is completely melted. Add in the remaining can of coconut milk, sweetened condensed milk, cocoa, vanilla paste, milk powder and coffee. Stir until well combined and then chill in the fridge for a few hours. Churn according to manufacturer’s directions for you ice cream machine. Toward the final 5 minutes of churning add in the the malted milk balls, marshmallows, cookies, salt and the remaining chocolate. Place ice cream base in airtight containers and let chill overnight.

 

 

 

 

 

Sweet ‘n Spicy Way to Beat the Summer Heat

Chamoy, chili and mangoes make for a refreshing way to beat the heat.

I’ve mentioned in the past that our kitchen gets super hot in the summertime so I tend to do a lot of grilling and ice cream making and not a lot of baking. As a result, I’ve been making quite a lot of ice pops lately (and thanks you to my co-workers that have been taste testing these recipes over the past few weeks.). I’m also working on a way to boozify my piña colada and sweet lime ginger mint lemongrass ice pop. Though preliminary spherification tests did not fair well. Anyway…this week ice pop recipe is Chili Mango with Homemade Chamoy. a.k.a. mangonada or chamango. What’s chamoy you may ask? Well its a spicy, sweet and sour condiment that’s frequently served with fruit and is really popular down here in Southern California.

Chamoy

  • 2 dried ancho chilies (seeded, stemmed and cut into strips)
  • 1 dried pasilla peppers (seeded, stemmed, and cut into strips)
  • 2 cups boiled water (divided)
  • juice of 2 limes
  • 1 TBS chili powder
  • 1 TBS Tajin
  • ½ cup orange marmelade
  • ¾ cup apricot jam

Place the dried chilies into a medium sized bowl and cover with 1 cup of boiling water. Let sit until soften (about 30 minutes). Drain the chilies and place the chilies into a blender along with all the other ingredients. Blend all the ingredients until smooth. Run through a find sieve to remove any large pieces and then store in a squeeze bottle and set aside to cool to room temperature. You can adjust the amount and type of chilies to your preference.

 

Ice Pop molds of mangonada paletas waiting to be placed in the freezer to freeze over night.

Mangonada Paletas/Ice Pops

  • 2 large ripe mangoes diced or 3 cups of frozen mango slices (reserve some of the pieces to place in the bottom of the ice pop mold
  • 1 11.5 oz can of mango nectar (such as Jumex or Kerns)
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • ½ tsp Tajin
  • ½ tsp chili powder
  • agave syrup or sugar to taste*

Combine all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

Assembly

  • soak ice pop sticks in warm water
  • squirt chamoy on sides and bottom of ice pop molds
  • place a few pieces of mango into the bottom of the ice pop molds
  • fill molds with mango purée
  • insert sticks
  • freeze for at least 5 hours or overnight
  • Enjoy!

 

*depending on how ripe and sweet the mangoes are you may not need to add extra sweetener

Just in time….

We’re expecting our first heat wave of the summer this week so it seems like a good time to share one of those iced treat recipes I promised (warned about) a few weeks back. We hosted a bbq last weekend and one of the guests graciously brought us a huge bag of sweet limes from their tree. So I thought It’d be a good time to make some Lime Paletas or Ice Pops/Popsicles but with a Southeast Asian spin using lemongrass, mint and ginger. The easiest way to get all those flavors in there is by making an infused simple syrup.

I peeled and juiced all the limes and I was able to yield about a 1 1/2 cups of sweet lime juice. Simple syrup is pretty easy to make, its just equal parts sugar and water and heated until the sugar is dissolved then cooled down to room temperature or chilled depending on how you’re going to use it.  In this case I added a hefty chunk of smashed ginger and about 2 TBS of crushed lemongrass to give it that Southeast Asian vibe. I let the syrup cool to room temperature then strained it and let it cool further in the fridge. This will help the ice pops to freeze faster.

Once the lemongrass and ginger simple syrup was chilled, I got out the trusty ol’ blender and blended 1 1/2 cups of lime juice with 2 cups of the lemongrass ginger simple syrup, Then I tossed in 1/2 cup of fresh mint and blended until the mint was finely chopped. I poured the mixture into silicone molds then left to freeze for at least 5 hours.

I didn’t have good luck with the silicone molds and found that the ice pops get stuck even after running a little warm water on the outside of the mold. My suggestion is to use the zip top style ice pop bags, I got the ones I used on Amazon. If you don’t have molds or these fancy little bags, just freeze them mixture in ice cube trays. Hmm, if you pour a little rum over them you’d have an amazing little mojito…just sayin’

That’s it, I hope this helps you beat the summer heat…

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups sweet lime juice
  • 1/2 cup fresh mint
  • 3 TBS crushed ginger
  • 2 TBS crushed lemongrass
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups granulated sugar

I Scream You Scream – Riff Off Edition

Cherry Chocolate Sundae with chocolate sauce and my homemade interpretation of Ben & Jerry’s Cherry Garcia Ice Cream.

You may have been able to figure out that I’m a bit of a food nerd, so one of the things I like to do to keep my mind occupied (especially at work when I’m frequently doing repetitive/tedious tasks) is deconstruct recipes in my head. Mostly to try to figure out a way to make a well known recipe using equipment/ingredients I have at home or to be able to sub in and out ingredients because of allergy and intolerance issues.

I’ve posted in the past about using coconut milk as a substitute for heavy whipping cream in ice cream recipes (you can see other ice cream related posts here) to reduce the amount of total lactose. This week’s recipe uses that same 1 to 1 whipping cream to coconut milk substitution. While this recipe is lactose free, because I use sweetened condensed milk for the sweetener, it should be a little more gut friendly than traditional ice cream.

Out of all my attempts to make home-made versions of recipes, I think this one comes the closest to matching the original. Give it a try and let me know how you like it.

Cherry Chocolate Ice Cream

Yield: 1 quart

Base:

2 cans full fat coconut milk

1 can sweetened condenses milk

pinch of salt

1/2 tsp food grade cherry oil* or 1 tsp cherry extract

1 tsp vanilla paste

Mix – ins:

⅓ cup coarsely chopped extra dark chocolate

1/4 cup chopped premium maraschino/cocktail cherries (Luxardo, Woodford Reserve or similar)

¼ cup chopped candied cherries (great way to use them up if you have leftovers from holiday baking)

In a large mixing bowl, combine the ingredients for the ice cream base and stir until everything is well mixed, Pour into your ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer’s directions. Towards the end of the churn time, add the chocolate and cherries into the base and let churn for a few more minutes to allow the chocolate and cherries to distribute through out the ice cream.

If you like your ice cream super soft you can eat it immediately, otherwise package ice cream into freezer safe containers and let chill for a minimum of 4 hours or overnight. This will allow the ice cream to harden.

*note: Food grade oils are better than extracts for using in ice cream, they are more intensely flavored and the oils stand up to freezing better than water and alcohol based extracts. You can find them online or at specialty cake decorating/candy making shops.  LorAnn is the most common brand.The typical substitution of essential oil to extract is ¼ tsp essential oil to 1 tsp extract.

 

Coconut Matcha Ice Cream

Coconut Matcha Ice Cream with fresh plums and blueberries

Its been fairly hot and humid (I know that’s relative) the past few days here in Southern California. So there’s been a lot of ice cream making going on. This time around I made Coconut Matcha Ice Cream and played with combining matcha and another one of my favorite flavors, ube. This is pretty straight forward, I used 1 can of full fat coconut milk, ¼ cup sweetened condensed milk, a teaspoon of vanilla extract for the base and added 2 heaping tablespoons of finely ground matcha powder. I whisked it all together until the matcha powder was incorporated and most of the larger clumps had been worked out. Then I chilled the base for a couple of hours before I churned in the machine for 25 minutes. Yield 1 pt/16oz of ice cream

Now for me the real fun came with different ideas for how to serve the ice cream. So I decided to make ice cream sandwiches. I’ve been on an ube (a vibrantly purple Filipino sweet potato that’s all the rage in these parts) kick for a while. So I hit up my local Red Ribbon (a Filipino bakery chain) and picked up some ube mamon, which is a Chinese style sponge cake. I sliced the ube mamon in half, then I formed 2 scoops of the coconut matcha ice cream into a disk and coated the sides with crushed Froot Loops and coated the sides of the ice cream disk and placed the disk onto the one of the slices of ube mamon and then topped that with the other slice. This is what the final one looked like (there were a few fails which are up on my Instagram)

Spongy ube mamon from Red Ribbon Bakeshop is paired with coconut matcha ice cream that’s been coated with crushed Froot Loops.

Stay tuned, figs are coming into season and our trees have tons of fruit….

Ube love

 

Ube Ice Cream with Mango Coulis and garnished with Fruity Pebbles cereal, whipped cream and lychee, mango and coconut flavored jellies.

What the heck is ube? Well, ube is an extremely bright purple sweet potato that’s widely used in Filipino cuisine, it’s an extremely popular flavor for desserts. It’s often confused for taro but they are in fact entirely different. I love it, not only for its sweet taste, but also the intense vibrancy of the color makes for really colorful and striking photos. Today was National Ice Cream Day (I’m not sure who got to decide that) in the States. To celebrate, I made Ube Ice cream (I also made Coconut Matcha Ice cream which I’ll post another time). Here’s the recipe:

Ube Ice Cream

4 cups heavy whipping cream

1 cup ube jam such as ube halaya

½ cup sweetened condensed milk

1 tsp ube extract*

Whisk all the ingredients together until they ube jam and sweetened condensed milk are thoroughly incorporated then chill the mixture for at least 2 hours. Churn in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturers directions. Then place ice cream into freezer safe container and freeze. I usually try to let this freeze over night. Then serve.

 

*Ube extract is both ube flavoring as well as food coloring. I get mine from my local Filipino grocery store (shout out to Island Pacific in Bixby Knolls). You can order it online through Amazon.

Here’s a bonus video showing what happens to the ice cream base when I add the ube extract.

6 Second Heath Bar Crunch Ice Cream

Me and dairy don’t get along too well so I’ve been looking for alternatives to using milk and cream in recipes. This recipe evolved as part of my effort to reduce the amount of dairy that I consume yet still be able to enjoy the occasional bowl of ice cream.

Ice cream has a very specific texture and mouth feel. The challenge with milk alternatives like soy milk, rice milk and almond milk is that they have too much water by volume. This causes large ice crystals to form during the churning and chilling process which makes gritty ice cream.

I’ve found that coconut milk is a good compromise that doesn’t sacrifice the texture of the ice cream. When coupled with flavorful ingredients like caramel and salt the slight coconut taste becomes more subtle.

Coconut milk isn’t particularly more healthful than heavy cream, it has only slightly less fat than heavy cream and double the carbs. So this substitution is strictly to reduce the total amount of dairy used in an ice cream recipe.

This recipe is a good base for other ice cream recipes. If you substitute sweetened condensed milk for the dulce de leche, you’ve got a sweet cream base. The sweet cream base can be used to start just about any flavor of ice cream simply by adding your favorite fruits and candies.

4 Heath Bars crumbled or
¼ cup heath toffee bits from the baking aisle
1 13.5oz. can coconut milk
1 can of dulce de leche (usually found on the ethnic food aisle)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp salt
½ & ½ enough so the total liquid for the recipe is 1 qt

In a large mixing bowl, combine the coconut milk, dulce de leche, salt, vanilla and ½ & ½. Stir until the all the ingredients are well incorporated. Pour into ice cream maker and churn according to the instructions of your particular make and model ice cream machine. Add the candy bits toward the end of the churning process. This will keep them from getting broken up too much and get them integrated in to the ice cream before it hardens too much. If you like softer ice cream, you can eat it right away, but its better when its had a chance to ripen in the freezer for at least 4 hours. Makes 1 Qt.

Heath Bar Crunch Ice Cream with crumbled toffee and Twix

Heath Bar Crunch Ice Cream with crumbled toffee and Twix