Dairy-free Chocolate Cinnamon Ice Cream

Me & Andrea

We had some special guests Monday night.  Andrea of Rockin’ Gluten-free and her son, whom I shall dub Darth Serious, came through town for the night.  I got to cook for them and hang out with them for several hours.  Darth Serious, if you haven’t guessed already, is also a big Star Wars fan.  He even asked me if we could play Star Wars Trivial Pursuit.  I happily said, “Yes.”  I got that game for Christmas yearsago but no one would play with me.  Even my board game loving friends wouldn’t play.  No surprise since they wouldn’t play regular Trivial Pursuit with me anymore, either.

Ready to play?

Darth Serious is very expressive.  I absolutely loved the faces he was making.  Especially when I answered a question correctly.  Andrea and I decided after he got about 4 questions in a row in which the answer was C-3PO  to tell him when he’s not sure, just answer C-3PO.  Just like in school on multiple choice tests when you guess C.  Right?  What?  You didn’t do that?  You haven’t lived.

I spent the day doing prep work little by little so I wasn’t doing everything at the last-minute and feeling rushed.  This was after revamping the menu a few times a few days before.  If you think your food allergies/intolerances are bad, Andrea has a host of them, which I knew I could handle easily, but Darth Serious is also pretty picky on top of being gluten-free and dairy-free himself.  His favorite food?  Hamburgers.

I wound up making chicken burgers since Andrea can’t have beef and used my usual recipe for beef burgers, but added a little grapeseed oil to keep the burgers from drying

Foods By George gf, df, sf, cf English Muffins. Very light and fluffy.

out while I grilled them.  I was prepared to go bunless since all the burger buns I was finding had corn in them and Andrea can’t have corn.  But, tucked away almost out of sight in the freezer at Whole Foods was some gluten-free, dairy-free, corn-free, soy-free English Muffins by Foods by George.  I was a bit worried about how thick they are, but once they are thawed out and warmed up in the oven, they are light and fluffy.  Darth Serious wasn’t too sure about the chicken burgers, but he ate it anyway and called it, “spicy.”  He also gobbled up a lot of carrot sticks on the raw veggie plate I made.  I tried to get him to try my sweet potato fries, but he kept eating up the carrots.  He finally tried one when I mentioned ice cream.  You know a kid really wants something when they’ll try something they really don’t want to try in order to get what they want.

Now, the day before, I told Andrea I was going to make Chocolate Cinnamon Ice Cream.  She wasn’t sure Darth Serious

Darth Serious likes the ice cream!

would like it, but I figured what we didn’t tell him wouldn’t hurt him.  Right?  I even kept it light on the cinnamon so you get just a hint of it.  He was halfway through his bowl when I asked him how it was.  He looked up and said dryly, “What do you think?”  He is something else!  So then I mentioned cinnamon being in it.  Bad move, Debi.  He wanted

Andrea tries some Creamy Walnut Milk

nothing to do with it after that.  He ate a few more bites and went back into the living room.  Oh well.  Andrea finished it for him!

Later on, I gave Andrea a little cordial glass of some Creamy Walnut Milk, made just like I made my Creamy Cashew Milk.  She had commented when I posted the recipe that she wanted to try it.  I happened to have more walnuts on hand so I made it with those and got the same results.  Good stuff.  Used it in my smoothie this afternoon, too.

Back to the ice cream.  My inspiration for it was the Chocolate Cinnamon Ice Cream from Bubbies back home.  They make their own ice cream and is a popular spot for the college kids and after-movie crowd.  It’s fairly close to University of Hawai`i at Manoa and next to Varsity Theater.  For several years, I lived just a block away.  One day, I was babysitting one of my cousins, Surfer Cuz.  My Uncle dropped him since it was during the day, as opposed to picking me up to babysit at their place at night.  Surfer Cuz was about 4 at the time.  It was a beautiful day and thought a nice walk down the block for ice cream would be a good idea.  We weren’t even halfway to the intersection before he was complaining about being tired.  Guess who had to carry him the rest of the way.  He’s lucky I love him.

Anyway, once we walked in the door, I could smell cinnamon.  I was so intrigued, I bypassed my usual Strawberry Cheesecake or Banana

Dairy-free Chocolate Cinnamon Ice Cream

Royale ice cream and asked to taste the Chocolate Cinnamon.  I was in love at first taste.  I tried making a dairy version of it years ago when I first bought my ice cream maker and failed miserably.   I kept meaning to try it again, but other things took priority.  Now, with not being able to do dairy, I would like to have ice cream again, but a bit healthier than the dairy-free ones at the grocery.  Not to mention, cheaper.

Darth Serious may not have liked that there is cinnamon in it, but I’m in love once again.

Dairy-free Chocolate Cinnamon Ice Cream – makes approximately 1 quart

2 cans full-fat coconut milk (I used 365 Organic Coconut Milk)

6 tablespoons raw cacao powder

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 cup pure maple syrup

Chill your coconut milk in the can for at least 6 hours.  Prepare your ice cream maker according to your manufacturer’s directions.  Add all ingredients in a blender and blend well.  At least 3 minutes.  Pour mixture into your ice cream maker and run your ice cream maker at least 2o minutes before covering and transferring to the freezer.   Allow to freeze about 6 hours.

This post is linked to Wellness Weekend at Diet, Dessert and Dogs

Adopt-A-Gluten-Free-Blogger: Gluten-Free Gigi

Naked Berry Spread on Pancakes

Have you met Gigi, yet?  We met through Brittany Angell (mastermind of Real Sustenance) several months ago and the food wavelength we share is amazing.  It’s really funny how I’ll be thinking about making something and then she goes and posts something similar.  Well, that means I really have to make what I was thinking, right?  Right.  My Lemony Slaw was one such dish.  We both love simple and she really masters simplicity.  As I declared on Twitter, Gigi is a genius.  Just call her Genius Gigi.

I think this adoption is the most I ever made from one blogger.  It was everything I kept telling myself I have to try and just never got around to it.

Last week Saturday Chaz was in Illinois for his Japanese Tea Ceremony class and I happened to open at work that day instead of close.  I came home and washed berries I bought earlier that week for my Berry Beet-O-Full Juice and still had plenty left.  I left them to dry while I soaked in a bubble bath.   I made Gigi’s Naked Berry Bread Spreadwith those berries – blackberries, strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries.  Her recipe states it’s best if the berries have never been refrigerated, but these were and I was just trying to use them up before they went bad.  The beauty of the spread is that it

Kale Chips with Rosemary & Sea Salt

is just the berries.  Nothing else.  No added sugar or sweetener.   I had to try it right after making and wound up toasting an Udi’s hot dog bun.  Yes, a hot dog bun.  Chaz ate all the hot dogs without the buns so I was just trying to use up the buns.  The spread was incredible.  I immediately decided the spread needed pancakes.  So, the next morning I made pancakes from Elana’s Pantry and topped them with the spread.  I sat outside on the lanai with my book and a cup of coffee.  Best lazy breakfast I’ve had in a long time.

I’ve been wanting to make kale chips for a while.  Especially after seeing a small amount on sale at Whole Foods for $7 and some change.  Ridiculous!  My best friend, Stick, makes them and we discussed her method along with getting a dehydrator.  I would love a dehydrator, but another small kitchen appliance is not in the cards for me right now after having to replace my crock pot.  Lo and behold, Gigi made Kale Chips with Rosemary and Sea Salt that were savory and easy.  Meaning, I didn’t really have to think about it.  I made about double the recipe and it was hard not to eat them all in one sitting.  Yay for healthy snacks!

If you follow Gigi, you know she’s been playing with avocados and using them in baked goods and raw foods.  I decided to

Choco-AVO-late Brownie with Raw Nut-Free Fudge as frosting

pair her Choc-AVO-late Brownies with her Raw Nut-Free Fudge.  I fixed the fudge while the brownies were cooling and then used the fudge as a “frosting” on the brownies.  I also did a sub in the brownies.  I used coconut crystals instead of sugar.  Coconut crystals made things less sweet for me, which I love.  As a whole, the brownies and fudge came out bittersweet, which is how I prefer my chocolate these days.  Chaz saw the recipe for the fudge a few days before I made it and said something like, “Avocados in fudge?”  Then he joked about what is traditionally in fudge.  To his credit, he did try the brownies and fudge, but I was at work when he did.  He didn’t care for it.  But he’s still hooked on sugar so I knew it wouldn’t be sweet enough for him.

Last but not least I made Gigi’s Tarta Marathoriza with her Basic Press-In-The-Pan Pastry.  I was in heaven while pressing in the pastry.  One of my favorite things to make before going gluten-free was quiche and pies.  I loved making the pastry crust, rolling it out and setting it in the pan.  I got that same pastry smell while pressing in Gigi’s pastry crust as I would get when rolling out gluten-full pastry.  The same.  The taste wasn’t the same, but I think that’s more due to the tapioca flour I have than the fact that it is gluten-free.  The aroma was the same though and that is what mattered.  If you’ve ever seen a conversation between me and Gigi, you know how much we love coconut creamer.  I use it for everything that calls for heavy cream.  Everything.  The Tarta Marathoriza was like having real quiche again.  I’ve had crustless quiche,

Tarta Marathoriza

but to me, crustless quiche is just a frittata.  Quiche is all about a flaky crust for me.  No offense to anyone out there who makes crustless quiche!  I know several of you do and I’ve made them, they are wonderful, but just not quiche to me.  This was quiche.  In fact, I want to make her pastry crust again and change up the ingredients for more quiche!

Yes, Gigi is a GENIUS!

Juice It Up

Wake Up!

I have been doing more juicing lately.  Not only have I been craving juice, it just seems like a great idea with the changing of the seasons.  Spring and Summer just seem to scream for juices.  Light and refreshing.  Energizing.  Nutrient rich.  Sometimes it’s great to drink your fruits and vegetables rather than chew them one by one.

That said, I always have my juice as part of a meal and not as the meal or snack itself.  You lose a lot of fiber from the produce.  The fiber in your meal/snack helps keep the sugars in the juice from going straight to your bloodstream.  Generally, I like my juice with breakfast.  It helps me load up on the natural vitamins I need for my day.  The right combination can help you wake up better than caffeine.  Carrot Apple Juice anyone?

I have 3 juice recipes to share with you.  One that I love for helping me wake up, another that is just completely refreshing and reminiscent of Summer, and the last will help boost your iron levels.

Wake Up Juice

3 apples (I use any type of red apples)

2 carrots

2 cups of grapes.

Place produce in the feeding tube and juice.

Summertime

Summer Lovin’ Juice

1/2 cucumber

2 – 3 cups honeydew melon

Place produce in the feeding tube and juice

Berry Beet-O-Full Juice

4-5 strawberries

1/2 cup black berries

1/2 cup raspberries

1/4 cup blueberries

1 small beet

2 oranges

Berry Beet-O-Full

Place produce in the feeding tube and juice.  This juice is a bit thicker than the others.  The Vitamin C in the oranges helps the body absorb the iron from the beets.  The berries also add some Vitamin C, but tons of antioxidants, as well.

Add a slice of two of ginger with the fruits and veggies for an added zing!