This week has been nuts. Completely and utterly nuts. For starters, my brother was in town last weekend for pride. Along with my sister, we spent Saturday – Tuesday laughing our heads off, catching a Cyndi Lauper show, staying out late, and generally having a blast. It was so so good, but flattened me for the rest of the week. On top of that, it’s been 42 degrees or warmer here every day. And I started a new full-time job.
So, I ask for your forgiveness. The food dehydrator has not been made. But that hasn’t meant a lack of projects in my life. To the contrary, this week has been unexpectedly full of DIY goodness, with four other projects that are somewhere in the hat coming to fruition. Like home-made iced chai tea and vegan ice cream to combat the heat. Or leading an eco-crafts session for a bunch of kids at a farmers market today (4 hours, 100 necklaces and 50 pairs of recycled material earrings later, I was barely standing). Or receiving the starter for Amish Friendship Bread, which is currently on Day 7 of its fermentation process.
So instead, the dehydrator has been moved to this week, and in the meantime, I’ll be posting the how to’s for the four aforementioned projects. I hope, my dear friends, that this will suffice.
Without further ado, I give you Blueberry Lavender Vegan Ice Cream …
I first came across jae steele when I volunteered with the organic food co-op at McGill. We sold jae’s little recipe zines, and after making her tahini dressing, I was sold. Since then, I’ve bought every recipe book jae has written. While I’m not longer vegan, her recipes are a regular in my kitchen, and are a great way to help others discover that (gasp!) vegan food can be really ridiculously tasty.
Last month, I attended the launch of jae’s latest recipe book, Ripe from Around Here. One of the first things that caught my eye while flipping through the pages was a photo of the most beautiful looking lavender coloured ice cream. “Homemade ice cream?” I thought to myself. “Vegan, lavendar, homemade ice cream?!” Clearly I was going to have to try this, and this week was the lucky week.
2 1/4 cups organic blueberries (available now at a farmers market near you… if you live in toronto at least!)
1 1/2 cups cold water
2/3 cup agave nectar
2-3 Tbsp fresh lavender flowers (again, for those in Toronto, hit up the Dufferin Grove Farmers Market for these!)
1 400mL can coconut milk
2 Tbsp coconut oil
1. If you don’t have an ice cream maker, throw a big tupperware in the freezer.
2. Combine 1 c. of the blueberries, water, sweetener and lavender in a food processor. Process for 1 minute until very smooth.
3. With the processor still running, pour in coconut milk and oil in a steady stream.
4. Turn the processor off, and add the rest of the blueberries.
5. If you’ve got an ice cream maker, follow its instructions and use it. I don’t. So instead, I chilled a big tupperware container (see #1) in advance, and put the mixture in it. Then I stuck it in the freezer. The idea with making ice cream is that you don’t want crystals to form, and instead want a smooth and creamy texture. In order to achieve this, take your mixture out every 30-40 minutes and give it a really good stir. Get your best arm strength in there, and really just give’r. It was 6 hours before my batch set.
This was my first time experimenting with vegan ice cream, made sans ice cream maker. Because of the lack of cream, getting a good texture was pretty tricky. Jae suggests that for a creamier product, you can substitute the water with additional coconut milk. This may well help things set better.
In any case, texture aside, this scrumptious dessert has helped get me through a week’s worth of heat. And the lesson? Lavender tastes exactly like it smells…