July 25, 2015 By This Vegan Girl
This is the final installment of the National Ice Cream Month trilogy. I’ve saved the best for last. This ice cream is perfect for summer when these juicy blues are in season. It’s the perfect balance of sweetness and tartness that can be enjoyed by the young and old alike.
By eating blueberries, you can gain a lot of possible health benefits:
- Maintaining healthy bones
- Lowering blood pressure
- Managing diabetes
- Warding off heart disease
- Preventing cancer
- Improving mental health
- Healthy digestion
- Weight loss and satiety
- Fighting wrinkles
Now, eating this blueberry cheesecake ice cream won’t prevent diabetes, but it will keep your spirit young! A little bit of coconut-based ice cream now and then won’t hurt you.
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Blueberry Cheesecake Ice Cream
Yield: 6 cups
Churn Time: 30 minutes
Freeze: 6 hours
For the Cheesecake Ice Cream:
- two cans of coconut milk, using the coconut cream only
- 1/3 cup raw sugar or coconut sugar
- 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
For the Blueberry Swirl:
- 2 cups blueberries, fresh or thawed
- 3 tablespoons raw sugar or coconut sugar
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
Step 1: Prepare the swirl on the stove.
Place all the blueberry swirl ingredients (blueberries, sugar, and lemon juice) in a pan on the stove. Mix ingredients and set the heat to medium. Stir occasionally.
Your blueberries are going to begin to burst from the heat, which is desired. You’ll know your blueberry swirl is finished when your blueberries are sitting in their own simmering juices. This process should take around 10 minutes.
Place the blueberries in the fridge for an hour to cool.
Step 2: Blend the ice cream ingredients.
In a can of coconut milk, you’re likely to find that the coconut cream and the coconut water have separated. This is a good thing for you. For the best results, only use the coconut cream in your ice cream. Using the coconut water in your ice cream will make the ice cream more icy, and we’re going for a creamy consistency. You can save the coconut water for later use in smoothies, in another recipe, or to drink on its own.
Blend all of the ingredients together in a blender.
Step 3: Churn the ice cream.
I have a stand mixer with an ice cream bowl attachment. If you don’t know what any of that means, click here and here. Make sure that you have frozen your bowl overnight before use. Pour the ice cream in the ice cream bowl and immediately begin to churn on the lowest setting for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, the consistency should be that of frozen yogurt.
If you don’t have a device to churn your ice cream, you’re going to have to do it yourself. Churning helps to create air bubbles in your mixture, which prevents the water from becoming blocks of ice in your ice cream. Here are a couple ideas you can try:
- Pour the liquid in ice cube trays, cover with plastic wrap, and freeze. After 45 minutes, take out the ice cube trays, add the blueberries, mix around each cube with a fork, and place it back in the freezer. Do this process 3-4 times every 45 minutes (minus the blueberry part). Freeze for 4 hours. When you’re ready for ice cream, take out the amount of cubes you want, place in a blender or food processor, and blend all the cubes together to form your ice cream portion. (Note: this method will leave you with blue ice cream, not swirls.)
- Pour the liquid in a large container, cover with a top or plastic wrap, and freeze. After 45 minutes, take out the container, mix around vigorously with a fork, spoon, or electric hand mixer, add the blueberries and mix gently, and place it back in the freezer. Do this process 3-4 times every 45 minutes (minus the blueberry part). Freeze for 4-6 hours.
Step 4: Mix in the blueberry swirl and freeze for 6 hours.
I use a large glass tupperware container with a top for my ice cream. After churning, pour the ice cream into your tupperware container.
It’s time to mix in the blueberry swirl. The key here is that you don’t fully incorporate the ice cream and the blueberry juice. In order to produce swirls, keep the mixing at a minimum. If you mix too much, you’ll have blue ice cream (which isn’t terrible, but the swirls are so cool looking). Try to get the swirl throughout the thick cheesecake mixture.
Place your container in the freezer for at least 6 hours.
Step 4: Scoop and eat!
You might find that your ice cream needs to thaw. If this is the case, I’ll place the ice cream in the microwave for 15 seconds at a time to soften it to the perfect scooping consistency. (You might need to microwave it at 15 seconds twice, depending on how cold you keep your freezer).
If you tried it and liked it, tag me on social media. Also, add me!
July 14, 2014 By This Vegan Girl
I have been more active on the This Vegan Girl account on Instagram recently.
Being on IG, I had no problem finding people to follow. Gorgeous photos, vibrant colors, exotic fruit, and ideas made to inspire filled my feed.
There was one recipe that seemed to be appearing time and time again: the smoothie bowl. In Buddha bowls or mason jars, these bowls were fruity, colorful, and versatile. The term “nana ice cream” also became a new word in my vocabulary.
I decided to try it myself. Not only was it incredibly easy, but the results have been superb time and time again. It is a fabulous breakfast or snack that can fill you up with healthy, wholesome ingredients.
The main things you’ll need to make Nana Ice Cream, or the base of any smoothie bowl, must contain the following:
- frozen banana
- non-dairy milk (I use coconut milk, as it is thick and sweet)
- a blender/food processor
I bought three bunches of bananas, sliced them, placed them in a plastic storage ziplock bag, and put the bag in the freezer. Do this the day or night before you intend to make your smoothie bowl. These bananas will definitely be gone in the next week or so.
When you’re ready to make the smoothie bowl, place 2-3 handfuls of frozen banana in your food processor. Fill with milk near the top of the fruit, almost covering the top frozen banana (but not quite). Mix and serve. It’s that simple.
Of course, there are so many ways to get creative with it. Here is one of my favorite smoothie bowls to make.
Almond Butter Smoothie Bowl
Prep Time: 5-10 minutes
Yield: as little, or as much, as you need
Base: (to go in the food processor)
- frozen banana
- frozen dark leafy greens
- coconut milk
- 2 tbs almond butter
- a splash of vanilla
- flax seed (optional)
- hemp hearts
- chia seed
STEP 1: Gather your base ingredients and place them in your food processor or blender.
The day before, I cut up frozen banana and placed them in the freezer in a plastic ziplock storage bag.
As far as the frozen dark leafy greens go, I make my own plastic ziplock storage bag containing a medley of my three favorites: kale, spinach, and swiss chard.
When placing the items in the food processor, put in all ingredients except the coconut milk. You want to pour in the milk last in order to fill in gaps and see exactly how much you need. The milk should be filled near the top of the pile, but don’t have it cover the ingredients. You want enough milk so the contents will stir, but you don’t want so much that you’ll be left with watery soup. You’ll want it to be the consistency of frozen yogurt (or frozen yogurt juuuust as its starting to melt).
STEP 2: Pour the base into a bowl.
I usually end up putting the bowl in the freezer as I prepare the toppings. This keeps the base cold, along with the bowl.
Or, you guys could be professional chefs and have everything ready before you begin. Whatever, all you organized people out there. Again, I’m the epitome of amateur hour.
STEP 3: Prepare the toppings.
I have all my seeds and nuts in mason jars. I’ll set them out in a row, kind of like an assembly line.
In this case, I needed to cut the strawberries. I sliced up a handful.
STEP 4: DECORATE!
This is the fun part!
Remove your smoothie bowl from the freezer. Stir it up before dressing it up, as the top and edges may be slightly solid from being in the freezer. After that, have fun!
Matt likes to just sprinkle and pile his toppings in no particular order or fashion. I, on the other hand, treat each bowl like a blank canvas. I try to make each bowl a different work of art.
To check out all of my smoothie bowl art, go to my Instagram account. Don’t forget to add me while you’re there. I’m trying to update the blog once per week, but I upload something on IG almost every day.
June 10, 2014 By This Vegan Girl
For a teacher, summer vacation is a time of pure bliss.
Now that I have my mornings available, I am switching my mundane breakfast routine. No longer do I need to resort to a quick bowl of cereal while standing up. Now, I have the time to get creative with breakfast (and sit down while eating it).
Looking for something new, I found this on Pinterest:
The idea is ingenious, but instant pancake mix? Ugh. So much no is happening here. I know, no one likes the judge-y vegan girl, but come on. The ingredient list is so nast. And no, it’s not perfect for kids.
Needless to say, it was a recipe that was easy to top.
I used a tried-and-true GF pancake recipe with this creation, and it came out great. GF pancakes are a lot heavier, so these pancake bites aren’t as airy as “normal” pancakes are. However, they still stay intact, and will deliciously fill up your belly.
I love this recipe because it’s so versatile! Pancake bites are perfect for any breakfast situation, whether it be on-the-go, a cool breakfast side, a bake sale item, or a trendy item for brunch entertaining. It’s also versatile in the way that there are so many different items you can throw in. Fruit, chocolate chips, spices… the possibilities are endless!
It’s summer, so it’s berry season! I tried four different fruits to see which pancake bite was the yummiest. Scroll to the bottom to see the winner! LET THE HUNGER GAMES BEGIN!
Gluten-Free Pancake Bites
Prep Time: 15-20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes per batch
Yield: 50+ mini muffins
- 1 1/2 cup sorghum flour
- 1/4 cup teff flour
- 1/2 cup potato starch
- 1/4 cup tapioca starch
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp xanthan gum
- 1/3 cup coconut oil
- 1 1/2 cup nondairy milk mixed with 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar (I used coconut milk, which made the mix sweet and thick)
- 1 1/2 cup warm water
- But honestly… do what you want!
STEP 1: Mix your nondairy milk with the apple cider vinegar.
Guess what? You don’t need butter to create buttermilk! I love this part. It’s very science-y!
STEP 2: Add the buttermilk, oil, and warm water into a mixing bowl.
STEP 3: Whisk the dry ingredients together.
Do this in a separate bowl.
STEP 5: Combine the wet and dry ingredients.
Slowly add your dry ingredients to your wet ingredients until full incorporated.
STEP 6: Pour the batter into the mini muffin pan.
Use a tablespoon to scoop the batter into a mini muffin pan. Fill up the batter 3/4 full.
STEP 7: Add in your add-ins!
Push them down into the batter. I put my four contenders in their own rows.
Bake your pancake babies in the oven at 350° for 15 minutes, or until your pancakes are golden brown.
So, which one was the winner?
Actually, they were all delicious, but think I’m going to have it to give it to Strawberry. Despite being the least aesthetically-pleasing bite, the juices leaked into the batter during bake time, making it irresistible. I think that fruit was in its peak ripeness compared to the others, which also tipped the scales in its favor. They were all fantastic, though. Great work out there, fruits.
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