August 01, 2016

Strawberry ice cream (sweetened with dates)



I've been having so much fun with my ice cream maker ever since we were reunited after seven long years apart. I still can't believe it's been seven years.



Making ice cream is not only easy, the end result of having a big container of it in the freezer is kind of nice. Although I loved the mango ginger ice cream I made last time, I was craving strawberry, and kind of curious if the texture would still work without the mangoes. Yes, it does. In the freezer, the ice cream stayed the consistency of soft serve for a number of hours. Much to my surprise, it took about eight hours for it to reach a firm scooping consistency. That's about the same as for the mango, and I don't know if it's because of my freezer, or if that's normal. Of course, you can eat the ice cream before it gets to the firm stage — nothing wrong with soft serve. Though, unless you have a soft serve dispenser, it's easier to eat with a spoon than in a cone! And once the ice cream gets really hard, you have to let it sit on the counter for about five to 10 minutes before it gets soft enough to scoop. I find that to be also true for ice cream I buy at the store.


Strawberry ice cream sweetened with dates
  • 1 cup raw cashews (soaked 4 hours or overnight, and drained)
  • 1-1/2 cups cold, unsweetened rice milk (plus 1/4 cup extra if needed)
  • rounded 1/2 cup medjool dates, pitted and packed very tightly
  • 1 very ripe banana (at least 1 cup of slices)
  • 2 cups frozen strawberries plus generous 1/2 cup extra
  • 2 teapoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup of vegan dark chocolate chips (optional)
  1. Add the dates to the rice milk and leave in the refrigerator at least one hour or overnight.
  2. Place cashews, rice milk with dates, banana, 2 cups strawberries and vanilla into the jar of a high speed blender. Blend until the mix is totally creamy and smooth. If the mixture is too thick to blend, you may have to add up to an extra 1/4 cup of rice milk. Leave the additional half cup of frozen berries out to defrost slightly while you prepare the blender mix.
  3. Thinly slice the slightly defrosted strawberries and stir into the blended mix. Work quickly to keep everything as cold as possible. If you are using chocolate chips, add them now.
  4. Freeze in an ice cream machine according to the manufacturer's directions.
  5. Enjoy! 
Notes: After I added the chocolate chips, I was kind of sorry because I liked the ice cream so much without them. If you really want them, go ahead and add them, but next time I make strawberry ice cream, I'm just going to add extra sliced frozen strawberries instead of the chips. Maybe.

Update: slightly revised recipe — even more delicious
 Strawberry ice cream sweetened with dates
  • 1 heaped cup raw cashews (soaked 4 hours or overnight, and drained)
  • 1-1/2 cups cold, unsweetened rice milk (plus 1/4 cup extra only if needed)
  • rounded 1/2 cup medjool dates, pitted and packed very tightly
  • 2 very ripe, cold bananas
  • 1-1/2 cups frozen strawberries plus generous 1/2 cup extra
  • 1/2 cup frozen mango
  • 2 teapoons pure vanilla extract
  1. Add the dates to the rice milk and leave in the refrigerator at least one hour or overnight.
  2. Leave the additional half cup of frozen berries out to defrost slightly while you prepare the blender mix for step 2 so they defrost slightly.
  3. Place cashews, rice milk with dates, banana, 1-1/2 cups strawberries, 1/2 cup mango and vanilla into the jar of a high speed blender. Blend until the mix is totally creamy and smooth. If the mixture is too thick to blend, you may have to add up to an extra 1/4 cup of rice milk.
  4. Thinly slice the slightly defrosted strawberries and stir into the blended mix. Work quickly to keep everything as cold as possible.
  5. Freeze in an ice cream machine according to the manufacturer's directions.
  6. Enjoy! 

No oil fries in the convection oven


    To follow up on an earlier post mentioning air fryers and convection ovens,* we tried making oil-free oven fries in our oven on the convection setting, and it worked great! My husband made them, tossing them with a little soup stock instead of oil. They came out crispy on the outside and tender on the inside, and were delicious. The temperature was set at 425˚F and the fries were cooked for about 35 minutes. My husband thinks that's how long he cooked them. To be continued ... The air fryer is weighing on my mind, especially when I don't want to run the oven for a small batch, or heat up the kitchen. BUT. I don't want to add another appliance to my kitchen!

    * Here's what I said in my last post on the subject of air fryers: " I've recently become aware of something called an air fryer, that fries foods with little or no oil. I read about it here on JL's blog. After doing some additional research and reading, I've learned that a convection oven, because it cooks with hot, moving air, can possibly accomplish the same thing. It so happens that my oven has a button to turn it into a convection oven, and I tried it out for the first time on the polenta I made to accompany the chili. I placed the polenta squares on a parchment-paper-lined cookie sheet and baked them in my convection oven, turning them over once during the baking. They turned out crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. I intend to experiment more with using the convection oven to roast veggies, tofu, potatoes, burgers, etc. If I don't 'have to' buy another kitchen appliance for my already crowded little kitchen, all the better. We'll see. The air fryer sounds pretty great."

    8 comments:

    1. Love that it's date sweetened! At first, I thought the chocolate chips were chunks of cherries, I bet that would work too. :-) The fries look great baked convection style! I'm still curious about the air fryer too.

      ReplyDelete
      Replies
      1. Cherries are one of the ingredients on my list of ice cream flavors to try — as in cherry vanilla. Or chocolate cherry. I blame JL and Julie for my fixation on the air fryer. Also the fb group, power to the veg.

        Delete
    2. One day I will have to get myself an icecream maker! At the moment I go without or borrow my mum's, but they are such great fun! I love the sound of the strawberry sweetened with dates - yum.

      ReplyDelete
      Replies
      1. Borrowing one is a great idea — it doesn't take up space in the kitchen when you're done with it. I bought both of mine at garage sales (gave one to a friend) and just recently my son said he sold his fancy electric one at his garage sale because he and my daughter-in-law never used it. I'm glad I didn't know about that or I might have it in MY kitchen.

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    3. That ice cream looks great! You're going to convince me to start buying dates in bulk now, since I love the idea of a "healthier" daily scoop. Yes, daily, and that's why I'd much prefer some lower sugar options on the menu. ;)

      ReplyDelete
      Replies
      1. You've got it exactly right. The ice cream is for me! Everyone else has loved it, too, but it's for me. I don't love ultra rich, ultra sweet foods — especially as everyday fare. If I were to make ice cream for company I thought might prefer richer and sweeter treats, I'd up the cashews and dates! Maybe even add a little sugar.

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    4. The colour of the ice cream is so beautiful, and I could be quite won over to sweetening with dates. I've used them with baked goods and they worked really well, so I can totally see that they'd work equally well in ice cream. I'm also impressed with the oil free fries - it's a revelation!

      ReplyDelete
      Replies
      1. I haven't tried dates with baked goods, yet, but I plan to. Maybe I'll use date sugar, though I'll keep using dates in ice cream because date sugar is more expensive.

        The potatoes were a revelation to us, too! Can't wait to have them again.

        Delete

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