Friday, July 13, 2018

Salted Caramel Cashew Ice Cream



With summer heat waves in full force across the country, ice cream has been on my mind. But let's face it, probably not the best treat to be indulging in every day, which is roughly how often we seemed to be consuming it. So I decided to go searching for a healthier version that I could feel good about serving my family. A simple search found that I was not alone.

The key to these cashew based ice creams is the dates. Not only do they deliver a caramely sweetness, but they keep the ice cream silky in texture, as opposed to solely sweetening with syrup or honey, which yields an icier result.


The ingredient list is simple, there is no churning or ice cream machine involved, and you'll have healthy ice cream to enjoy directly out of the freezer. If you do not have a high powered blender, such as a Vitamix and Blendtec, I would recommend soaking the cashews and pitted dates for several hours in the milk, to soften them up enough to blend smoothly. 

The cinnamon packs a punch- you can take it down a notch by halving the amount if you prefer. The flaky sea salt is also optional. I love it, but my three year old is less sure, so know your audience. 



Finally, this is not the kind of ice cream you want sitting around for too long in your freezer, I find that after a few days it starts to loose some of it's silky texture. Best made in small batches and enjoyed often.

Salted Caramel Cashew Ice Cream

Inspired by Blissful Basil

Ingredients

1 1/4 cups unsweetened plant-based milk
1 cup pitted and packed soft, sticky medjool dates (about 12 dates)
3/4 cup raw cashews (heaping)
2 tbs. maple syrup
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. fine-grain sea salt
1/8 tsp. flaky salt for top

Directions

Place all ingredients except for the flaky salt in a high-speed blender and process until very smooth, scraping down sides as needed. Pour into a parchment paper lined dish and sprinkle with flaky salt. Freeze until hard, at least 6 hours. In the first few days, this scoops beautifully right out of the freezer. If it lasts more than a few days, let sit for a few minutes before serving.


Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Curry Almond Burgers



A few weeks ago I served these burgers as part of my Prepared Meal Service, and so many people requested the recipe that I immediately added this blog post to my to-do list. And it's happening!

They can come together fairly quickly, especially if you prep the rice and carrots in advance, so that they are cooked, cooled and ready. It is also a great project to make with kids- can you guess who shaped which burgers below? My two year old was excited to help, and ate an entire burger once they cooled. Undeniable bonus of letting them get their hands dirty (and they were, as well as turmeric stained!)


For a full meal, you can serve these with roasted veggies on the side. For a lighter one, you can use the burgers to top a salad and forgo the bun altogether. 


Curry Almond Burgers

Serves 8

Ingredients

1 cup short grain brown rice
2 medium carrots, chopped (about 1 cup)
2 cups water or stock

2 garlic cloves
3/4 cup raw almonds
1/4 cup toasted sunflower seeds
1 tbs. ground flax seed
1 tbs. curry powder
1 tbs. tamari
2 tbs. tahini
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
1- 1.5 tsp. salt, to taste

To serve: burger buns, avocado, sprouts, ketchup or favorite spread

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Place rice, chopped carrots and water in a small pot with a tight fitting lid. Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat to a simmer and cook, covered, for 35 minutes. Let cool.

Meanwhile, mince garlic cloves in food processor. Add almonds and sunflower seeds and grind until they are the texture of gravel. Add remaining ingredients, including rice and carrots and process until fairly smooth (small chunks are fine). Taste, and add additional 1/2 tsp. of salt if desired.

Shape into 8 patties and place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, rotate, and continue to bake for another 10 minutes.

To serve, place on top of toasted buns, spread with your favorite schmeer, and top with avocado and sprouts.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Silky Pumpkin Soup


I ended up with an aging population of pie pumpkins in my possession a few weeks ago, from a farmer who was about to jet and didn't want his stock to go to waste. We're talking 60 pounds worth. The wrinkles were already forming, so I decided to roast now and freeze later.

And thus my "add pumpkin to everything" adventures began. So far I have made Crustless Pumpkin Pie, Indian Pumpkin and Split Pea Curry, Pumpkin Risotto and Spiced Pumpkin Donuts. Today we are going down the sweet-meets-savory route with a Silky Pumpkin Soup, perfect for this winter wonderland kind of day. Slightly reminiscent of pumpkin pie, while keeping it dinner table appropriate.


If you are curious about how to roast and freeze your own pie pumpkins, it's quite simple. Split pumpkins in half, remove seeds, rub with oil and roast at 375 degrees, cut side down on a baking sheet, for 30-45 minutes, until very soft. Let cool, remove flesh from the shells with a large spoon, measure and place in freezer bags, labeled with the amount inside. I did mostly 4-8 cups increments. Stack the freezer bags flat and let them freeze that way, for organizational convenience. 


Silky Pumpkin Soup
Serves 4-6

Ingredients

1 tbs. coconut oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp. fresh ginger, minced
3 cups of roasted pumpkin
1 cup coconut milk
1.5 cups water or vegetable broth
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
1-3 tbs. of maple syrup, to taste
1 tsp. salt
black pepper or chili flakes to taste
Optional garnish: a sprinkle of garam masala

Directions

Heat coconut oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Add onions and sauté until translucent. Add garlic and ginger and continue to sauté for one more minute. Stir in pumpkin, coconut milk and water/broth, as well as cinnamon and nutmeg. Bring to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes. Add maple syrup and salt and puree with an immersion blender until smooth. Taste, and add additional syrup and/or salt to taste, as well as black pepper or chili flakes. The amount of syrup needed will depend on the natural sweetness of the pumpkins you used.

Garnish with a sprinkle of garam masala, a warming Indian spice blend, if desired.