Tag Archives: avocado

Stop what you’re doing and make avocado coconut chocolate chip ice cream

22 Aug

I was in the middle of writing a blog post about the apple-blueberry-yogurt pie I made for the fourth of July, but then I tasted this ice cream that I just finished and changed my mind.  It’s SO GOOD.  The light avocado flavor plus the coconut milk and a teensy bit of lime and salt just make the creamiest indulgence.  This still has cream in it, but could be done vegan (just use more coconut milk).  I’m in love with this ice cream.  And also, I’m in love with ice cream (I didn’t bring the ice cream maker with me to Boston, but since coming back I’ve made strawberry ice cream and strawberry-lime-mint sorbet which were both also awesome and I’ll put the recipes at the bottom of this post).

If I used maple syrup or agave or something instead of sugar, this would be paleo, right?  It’s my husband’s birthday on Sunday and I want to make him something as good as the cake I made two years ago.  I’ve been going through a big carb phase for the past seven months, so this would be a thank-you to him for putting up with all the pasta/bread/not-paleo-at-all stuff we’ve been eating.  And what would be better than an avocado coconut ice cream cake with an almond-chocolate base?  I’ll update if I do that!

Incidentally, let me brag about him for a second: he’s currently in the woods in Oregon, running in one of the world’s largest relay races from Mount Hood to the coast.  I’m currently sitting at home with a bowl of ice cream and a laptop.  This is exactly what I imagine we look like right now:

I've never been in an eating contest.  I'm more of an amateur-portion person- you can tell from this picture (because it's not in PRO-portion)

I’ve never been in a competitive eating contest. I’m more of an amateur-portion person- you can tell from this picture (both because of the size of the bowl, and because it’s not in PRO-portion)

Anyways.  I picked up five small avocados for a dollar at the amazing produce shop down the street earlier this week, and I set them in a basket with some bananas waiting for them to ripen.  The problem with buying five avocados at once when it’s just you at home is you have to use them all at once, or you’ll have overripe ferment-y ones (remember the raw avocado pie from last summer?).  So I thought of ice cream or massive smoothies- avocado is definitely for sweets in Vietnam, with avocado smoothies being a huge thing (blend an avocado with ice and sweetened condensed milk.  Drink.)  I also didn’t have any milk at home, but I did have two limes and a can of coconut milk.  Also some friends brought me chocolate with coconut in it.  So that’s what happened!

Lately I've been very clumsy and stubbing my toe a lot.  This makes me mix up things- am I an avocado for this ice cream, or an AdVOCAte?  Stubbing my toe made me lose the extra 'o' (and also made me anagram)

Lately I’ve been very clumsy and stubbing my toe a lot. This makes me mix up things- am I an avocado for this ice cream, or an AdVOCAte? Stubbing my toe made me lose the extra ‘o’ (and also made me anagram)

Non-custard ice creams are so easy- just put everything in a blender.  Plop your avocado pieces in (I cut avocados in half, then use a spoon to scoop out the flesh), some sugar, some cream, the juice of two limes, and a can of coconut milk.  Blend.

Ah, the admirable avocado (certainly not PIT(i)ful in this picture)

Ah, the admirable avocado (certainly not PIT(i)ful in this picture)

She's been in some complicated relationships-it's still hard for the coconut milk to open up.

She’s been in some complicated relationships-it’s still hard for the coconut milk to open up.

She's just sick of all the li(m)es, but realizes that we all li(m)e sometimes to make life a little smoother (or perhaps more zesty- have i mentioned you look REALLY good in that?)

She’s just sick of all the li(m)es, but realizes that we all li(m)e sometimes to make life a little smoother (or perhaps more zesty- have i mentioned you look REALLY good in that?)

Blend that up til smooth, then toss it in the fridge while you go do other things.  Also, cut up a chocolate bar into little chunks.

We could try to be honest all the time, but everyone has a DARK side- and BARing all might not be a great idea

We could try to be honest all the time, but everyone has a DARK side- and BARing all might not be a great idea

People will CHOC up outcomes to what yOu say- so there's no need to explain you're LATE because you want to spend less time with them.  Just blame traffic- a little li(m)e won't hurt anyone.

People will CHOC up outcomes to what yOu say- so there’s no need to explain you’re LATE because you want to spend less time with them. Just blame traffic- a little li(m)e won’t hurt anyone.

This was my first time leaving the mixture in the blender instead of transferring to a bowl.  It makes SO MUCH MORE SENSE because then you don’t splash all over when you pour the cream into the ice cream maker.

I'm not advocating lying all the time, but hey, any PO(u)Rt in a storm!

I’m not advocating lying all the time, but hey, any PO(u)Rt in a storm!

Note: DON’T put the chocolate chips, nuts, mix-ins, whatever in when you first pour in the mix.  Wait until it’s about the thickness of greek yogurt so that the chips get evenly distributed.

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Avocado coconut chocolate-chip ice cream (vegan, paleo options available)- adapted from David Lebovitz, who adapted it from this awesome looking cookbook Absolutely Avocados.  Makes about 1 quart.

1 can coconut milk

3-4 small avocados or 2 big avocados

3/4 c sugar (or agave syrup/other sweetener for paleo)

2 limes

1/2 c cream (or more coconut milk)

pinch of salt

chocolate (I used a 3 oz bar of dark chocolate with coconut in it)

Blend all ingredients except chocolate together.  Chill in a fridge for at least 20 minutes.  Start your ice cream maker and throw in the blender-ful of stuff.  Chop chocolate into small chips, and add in about 10 minutes into churning process.  Enjoy!

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Bonus recipe: Strawberry-lime-mint sorbet, adapted from the Cuisinart recipe book that came with my ice cream maker

Note: While for ice cream I just throw the sugar in, by now I’ve decided that simple syrup is the way to go with sorbets.  Otherwise you’ll get grains of sugar ruining the smoothness of the sorbet

1 c water

1 c sugar

1 bunch mint leaves (I took them from my garden so I don’t know how many there were.  Maybe 15)

3 limes

2 c strawberries (one pint according to this helpful website)

pinch of salt

Bring the sugar and water to a boil to make a simple syrup.  Let it boil while stirring for a minute, then turn off the heat.  Throw in the mint.

Meanwhile, cut up and measure your strawberries.  Blend them with the juice and zest of the limes and the salt.  Discard the mint.  Add about 1/4 c of the simple syrup to your berry blend, and blend.  Taste.  This is probably too sour.  Add more syrup 1/4 c at a time until the mixture is a little bit sweeter than you’d like.  Chill in the fridge, clean up, and throw in the ice cream maker.  Yum!

I used my leftover mint simple syrup (I had about 1/4 c) in a strawberry iced green tea.  Delicious.

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Raw vegan key lime pie, or on failure, part II

4 Aug

My friend pointed out a while back that raw recipes really shouldn’t count as baking.  This surprises me because she was there when I made the turducken and it was 84 degrees outside my house and hotter inside when the oven was on.  You guys, it’s August in Chicago.  I’m not turning on the oven and if I could I would just have gazpacho and salad for all my meals.So!  Key lime pie!  I’ve never made it and I’ve only had it once before.  This is more of an avocado-lime pie (it doesn’t even use the key ingredient of key lime pie).  Whenever I don’t feel like schlepping over to the gym I do a few pilates youtube videos from Cassey Ho, and today two days ago I accidentally clicked on one of her food videos instead of the ab video I wanted.  So I thought I’d try it out, with a few modifications.  Also, since I’m not that experienced with making raw food (the brownies were my first time), I didn’t realize you’re supposed to soak the cashews overnight.  Thank  you, internet, for telling me what I could do instead!

OK so raw recipes?  You really have to plan them ahead.  This is not my forte, if you couldn’t tell from the way I throw things together for baking.  So this post and pie turned from baking to failure.  I think it’s a sign.  Within a year after I graduated from college, several people and an animal close to me all died (separately), and someone told me that it seemed like the universe was trying to tell me something.  Since then I’ve focused more time on things I love (this blog, the people dear to me, traveling, reading) and less time on other stuff (stressing about how little work I’m getting done in grad school or what I’ll do with my life/future).  Similarly, this is the FIRST TIME I have ever had to throw out something I made because it was so bad.  I think I’m telling me (through my willful negligence of the recipe and thoughtfulness) that I shouldn’t become a raw foodist.  I’m OK with that, given the first sentence in this post.

Previous paragraph aside, I want to emphasize that failure is not a sign that you should give up, but a sign that you should learn.  There’s no way to learn without failure, and since I’m in the business of learning, I’m pretty much destined to fail.  Over and over again.  And in the face of much, much failure, and very few milestones (none for the next few years, and then I’ll suddenly have a dissertation), it will seem easier to quit and switch to something else than keep going.  But this connects back to that other life lesson I had from all the deaths- do what you love.  This is what I love, so I’ll do it, and keep accumulating failures on my path to success.  This is true for anyone who is ambitious, because anyone ambitious should have learning be a major part of their life.

So things I learned from this poison pie:

  • Make sure your avocados are ripe.  Generally I throw avocados in a paper bag with some bread to get them to ripen faster.   Below I’ll tell you how I poisoned us with the avocado.
  • Read your recipe ahead of time.  Apparently you’re supposed to soak cashews overnight for cashew cream.  I asked the internet and did the quick soak method for the cashews (you bring them to a boil, then cover and let them steam for an hour) but I don’t think it turned out as well (also I didn’t wait for the full hour).
  • Follow directions exactly.   I don’t think this can be on my list because I didn’t learn it, in the face of much evidence.  Man I’m like a climate change denialist in this aspect of my life.  Luckily it doesn’t affect anyone but me (and whomever I’m feeding).
  • My blender sucks.  Use the food processor or immersion blender instead.
  • DON’T POISON YOURSELF.  I mean it’s not like we all died or anything because I’m writing this to you.  I cut open the avocados and realized they were not ripe, so I put them in a plastic bag (this was the big problem) and closed it and left it out.  A day later it was full of gases from the avocado respiring, and the fats in the avocado had gone rancid (I think, I’m not sure).  I didn’t notice until much later, after making and tasting the pie.

Crust: Food process all your stuff!  I used walnuts, dates, coconut, and almond.  Then press it into a pie pan.

I was driving my date nuts with talk of my interests.  I don't see what's wrong with cocoa and walls.

I was driving my date nuts with talk of my interests. I don’t see what’s wrong with cocoa and walls.

This is a little crazy: apparently almonds aren't nuts!

This is a little crazy: apparently almonds aren’t nuts!

Of coarse, the internet could've told you that (besides this blog)

Of coarse, the internet could’ve told you that (besides this blog)

And you probably weren't whirr-ied about it anyway.

And you probably weren’t whirr-ied about it anyway.

But if you were, just apply a little pressure and everything will be fine

But if you were, just apply a little pressure and everything will be fine

Then throw that crust in the freezer.  I actually kept my crust after throwing out the rest of the pie because it was so tasty!  And I think this pie would be yummy if you didn’t use rancid, unripe avocados.

Next you take your soaked overnight cashews and drain them.   I meant you throw your cashews in a pot with some water, bring it to a boil, turn off the heat and let it steam for an hour (so cover it and don’t peek!)  Then blend those cashews up into cashew cream.

I'm a pot!  I'm holding cashews!  The kettle is super black right now!

I’m a pot! I’m holding cashews! The kettle is super black right now!

cASHEWS!  (bless you!)

cASHEWS! (bless you!)

Next add your avocado, zest and juice of two limes, and whatever else (I did honey and vanilla).  Blend that up!
If you squeezed lime juice in your eyes you'd probably be temporarily blinded.  Maybe that's the source of the exclamation "blimey!"

If you squeezed lime juice in your eyes you’d probably be temporarily blinded. Maybe that’s the source of the exclamation “blimey!”

If two limes from the same tree grated against each other, would that be incest? (inzest)

If two limes from the same tree grated against each other, would that be incest? (inzest)

Deep into the belly of the beast (The Blender)

Deep into the belly of the beast (The Blender)

If your blender isn’t stupid, you’ll have a beautiful, fluffy lightly green cream filling that you can spread on your crust and chuck in the fridge.  Top with some additional lime and shredded coconut.

Covering up the crust's indecency with some PASTE-ies

Covering up the crust’s indecency with some PASTE-ies

P1000955

But really I think this pie would be great without rancid avocado.  I’ll probably make the non-raw, non-vegan version first, but if I make this again I’ll let you know!

Raw vegan key lime pie (inspired by blogilates)

Crust:

1 c walnuts

1/2 c almonds

1/2 c shredded coconut

8-10 dates (about a cup)

Use a food processor to grind up the nuts, then add the other ingredients and process until fine and crumbly.  Use your clean hands to press into a pie pan, then throw in the freezer.

Filling:

2 avocados

2 limes, zested and juiced

1 c cashews, soaked overnight

1 tsp vanilla

2 TB raw honey

optional: more shredded coconut

First blend or food process the cashews until very fine.  Then add the other ingredients and blend until smooth.  Spread over crust, top with shredded coconut and/or more lime, and chill in freezer.

HEALTHIEST vegan chocolate chip cranberry cookies

30 Jun

I was feeling sort of heavy and rained on yesterday (we had a DELICIOUS apple fritter from glazed and infused at lunch) and I felt like a) baking (b/c of rain) and b) something healthy (because of heavy).  So I wrangled up my ingredients and took an extremely loose interpretation of a recipe I found on the internet for these incredible cookies.  I love them, partly because there’s only 1/4 c of brown sugar in them.  I think you could sub anything for the flour, especially coconut flour (use 1 c instead of 1.5) or whole wheat + oat bran.

If I dance around and put everything on the counter in a rhythm, it's like everything is going to the kitchen sync

If I dance around and put everything on the counter in a rhythm, it’s like everything is going to the kitchen sync

So what did I do for “healthy” cookies?  I threw in an avocado and a banana instead of butter/oil and more sugar.

First, your flax gel- as usual, 1 TB ground flaxseed to 2 TB water, let set.

I'm imagining a vegan cooking show counterpart to the star of Argo, Ben Afflax

I’m imagining a vegan cooking show counterpart to the star of Argo, Ben Afflax

Most cookie recipes start with creaming the butter and sugar together.  So for us, we’re going to use a fork and mash the avocado and banana together, and add a little bit of brown sugar (really not that necessary, could sub half as much maple syrup or honey).

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This is Avocado-ive of earlier scenes involving mashing things

This is Avocado-ive of earlier scenes involving mashing things

You want to mash until there’s no big chunks: some little chunks are fine.  Don’t forget your splash of vanilla.  You can wait a few more minutes and do the dry before mixing in the flax gel, or just do it now.  No big deal!

For the dry, whisk together your oats, flour, ground flax seed, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice (yum!).  I never include salt in cookies, oh well.  Often recipes say sift together, I don’t have a sifter, but for anyone who does, you just mix the other things and then stir in the oats.

I am such a spice girl

All you need is positivity…I am such a spice girl

Then mix those dry ingredients in with your wet.

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ACTION SHOT!  My brother's giving me a camera for my birthday because I'm so frustrated with this phone.

ACTION SHOT! My brother’s giving me a camera for my birthday because I’m so frustrated with this phone.

Since ‘one banana’ and ‘half a large avocado’ are variable measures, this batter will be somewhere between perfect and very very wet.  So just add in more flour a tablespoon at a time until it feels like wet cookie batter (I ended up using just under a cup and a quarter).  Then put in all your goodies: I did more cranberries, fewer chocolate chips because I ran out, and a bunch of walnuts.

These goodies are driving me up the wall/nuts!

These goodies are driving me up the wall/nuts!

These babies don’t spread out much so you can easily fit a dozen tablespoon scoops of cookie on a sheet.  Partway through cooking (or before you put em in the oven) use a fork to flatten them a bit.

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Speaking of would-be celebrity chef names, how great would Cookeane be? I guess maybe they exist, just somewhere only they know

You can’t really tell when they’re done- just until it smells really good in your kitchen!  I took about 13 minutes and checked at 9.

2013-06-12_22-36-30_624 2013-06-12_21-37-03_349

Vegan cranberry chocolate chip cookies (adapted very loosely from this recipe on allrecipes)

Ingredients:

1 medium banana

1 large avocado (you won’t use all of it)

3 TB ground flaxseed, divided

1 tsp vanilla

1/4 c brown sugar

1 1/2 c flour (or any substitute)

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

1/2 c oats

1/2 c dried cranberries

1/2 c chocolate chips

1/2 c walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Mix 1 TB flaxseed with 2 TB warm water, set aside.

Mash entire banana with slices of avocado until you have about 1 cup (I used 3/4 of a medium avocado).

Mix in the brown sugar, flaxseed mix, and vanilla.

Separately, mix 1 c flour, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, and oats.

Add wet ingredients to dry, mix.  If too wet (likely) add flour 1 TB at a time until it seems like wet cookie dough (but not pancake batter/muffin batter).

Mix in chocolate chips, cranberries, walnuts, whatever else you want (sunflower seeds?)

Drop by tablespoonfuls on cookie sheet, slightly flatten with a fork, and bake for 9-14 minutes or until it smells good and edges are lightly browned.

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