Monday, March 11, 2013

Mysterious Mint Ice Cream

With St. Patty's day around the corner, a green dessert is only fitting. The other day I made some delicious vegan mint chip ice cream that contains two secret ingredients... any guesses? I posted the above pic on facebook and twitter for people to guess and win a copy of one of my dessert ebooks. Lots of great answers but no one guessed right.

I'll give you a 2 hints: It's NOT what you're probably guessing - the typical avocado based cream, nor is it spinach or spirulina that gives the green color.

This ice cream is a bit on the crazy side because it's low sugar free and packed with vegetables! As I said in my latest post featuring sugar free coconut butter treats, I've been laying low with sweets these days in favor of higher protein and fat foods - and lots of veggies. I love faux mashed potatoes - pureed cooked cauliflower, a spoonful of cream cheese or coconut oil, salt and pepper. And I adore a puree of cauliflower and broccoli together too. So creamy and delicious. I got to thinking that this would make a great base for pudding or ice cream - afterall they have a neutral flavor once cooked.

So, yes, this mint ice cream is made with broccoli and cauliflower! It is rich and creamy without any nuts, it's full of fiber, and low in sugar because I only used stevia to sweeten the first batch. I added a bit of coconut nectar to the second batch so you have a choice.

Mint Chip Ice Cream

It's crazy to think about the quantity of veggies in this ice cream - and because it's pureed, the amount is even more concentrated. Note - if you like really sweet things, you may want to add some extra coconut nectar and try using actual dark chocolate chips instead of the nibs which are bitter. Out of the 3 people I served this to, one thought it needed actual chocolate chips, one thought it was ok, and the other thought it was terrible, lol. BUT because I've been eating such low sugar treats lately, it tastes sweet to me.

1 1/2 cups coconut milk (full fat)
1 cup + 4 tablespoons broccoli or cauliflower puree*
20 drops stevia OR 2 1/2 tablespoons coconut nectar + 10 drops stevia
10 drops peppermint essential oil**
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons melted coconut butter
1/4 cup cacao nibs or mini dark chocolate chips

Blend all but the coconut butter and cacao nibs in a blender until smooth.
Add the butter and blend to incorporate.
Chill in the fridge until cold.
Process in an ice cream machine according to manufacturers instructions. Add nibs near the end of churning.
Return to the freezer briefly before eating.

*Steam or boil broccoli and cauliflower until soft. Drain. Puree until smooth in food processor or blender. Make lots and eat the remaining puree!

**Use a quality one. I used Young Living and only needed 10 drops.

For other green desserts check out:

Part of Wellness Weekend

Thursday, March 7, 2013

5 Ingredient Crackers - grain free

In the past few months I've experimented with lots of grain free cracker recipes. They make such a great snack especially when topped mashed avocado, dips, or almond butter. I also enjoy them crunched up on top of a salad. I've tried crackers with nuts, without nuts, ones with cheese, and ones without but still taste cheesey. I've made crackers with veggies. Both baked and dehydrated. Fortunately all the crackers I've made have been edible and eaten by J and I. I can't stand to throw out food but I will do it if necessary. Sometimes I've written the recipe down, othertimes I haven't. And sometimes I get confused in the middle of trying to write down my ingredient quantities as I go along.

Today I have one of my cracker creations to share with you (and more to come soon)!

Sesame Nut Crackers

I absolutely love these crackers. They're only 5 ingredients, plus a bit of water to hold them together and SO easy to make. They're crunchy and thin and hold up really well for dips. Originally I made these with half almonds and half sunflower seeds so feel free to try that.

1 cup blanched almond flour
4 tablespoons sesame seeds
4 tablespoons psyllium
2 tablespoons coconut flour
1/4 teaspoon himalayan salt
4-5 tablespoons water

Preheat oven to 350F.
Stir together all the dry ingredients in a bowl or food processor (I find that the food processor mixes in the water better than just mixing in a bowl).
Add the water starting with 4 tablespoons (add other tbs if needed). Stir until the water is fully incorporated.
Form the dough into a ball and roll thin with a rolling pin in between 2 sheets parchment paper (or plastic wrap). The dough will crack a bit, simply press back together with your fingers and continue rolling.
Transfer the parchment paper to a baking sheet. Score into squares.
Bake for 7-10 minutes depending on how thin you rolled them. They will turn golden brown.
As they cool they will get really crunchy.

On another quick note, the winner of the Arbonne sea salt scrub didn't get back to me so I had to pick a new winner (random number generator). Cee, you're the winner! I will be emailing you today.

Shared at Wellness Weekend, Healthy Vegan Friday, Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Thai Green Curry and Giveaway Winner

First! The winner of the Arbonne sea salt scrub is Holli Rosdail. Congrats! Please leave a comment below with your email address within 24 hours to get your prize or another person will be chosen.

I absolutely love thai green curry. It's creamy, flavorful, warm, and filling. Oh and so healthy! A few years ago I started making a thai recipe from a cookbook that a friend gave me called Rebar. Each time I put my own variation on it depending on what I'm in the mood for or have on hand. Sometimes I add sweet potatoes. I've made it with tofu (first marinated in tamari and sesame oil), and lately I've made it with chicken or beef. Swap out any of the veggies I've called for.

Thai Green Curry

1 eggplant, peeled and diced + coconut oil
1/2 teaspoon coconut oil
1 medium onion
4 tablespoons green curry paste
1 can coconut milk
1/4 cup water
1 zucchini, diced
1 red pepper, diced
1 1/2 cups sliced or quartered mushrooms
Cubed, cooked protein of choice (tofu marinated in tamari is delish!)
2-3 tablespoons tamari
3 tablespoons fish sauce or more tamari


Fresh basil, mint, and/or cilantro
Fresh lime juice
peanuts or cashews, chopped

Heat a few spoonfuls of coconut oil in a large frying pan and cook the eggplant with a few generous pinches of salt over medium/high heat until golden and cooked through. (Note: eggplant sucks up oil like a sponge so use enough and add a little water part way through. Salt is all necessary with eggplant).
Transfer to a bowl.
Heat the coconut oil in a large pot on medium heat. Add the onion and cook a few minutes. 
Add the curry paste and slowly whisk in the coconut milk. 
Turn up the heat and add the veggies, tamari, and fish sauce. Simmer until the veggies are cooked to the doneness of preference.
Stir in the cooked eggplant and protein.

Yumm, crunchy cashews on top at always a must!

Have you ever made a thai curry? I hope you try this one!

Shared at Wellness Weekend, Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays