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!
February 26, 2015 By This Vegan Girl
I used to make a non-vegan version of this back in college. My old roommate, Petito, introduced it to me. He was one of those people who didn’t cook often, but when he did, it was surprisingly magical. By the way, we call him by his last name, for those of you who are curious. Doesn’t this sound like a recipe that a guy named Petito would show you?
After veganism, I thought I had said goodbye to the delicious Petito tomato recipe. But then, out of the woodworks of Pinterest, I saw something I had never seen before: Vegan Pizza Margherita from the incredibly talented duo over at My Wife Makes. I saw clumps of ooey gooey mozzarella, and I needed to find out what in all the heck it was about. It turns out that they modified the cheese recipe from Vedged Out’s Vegan Margherita Pizzas with Homemade Moxarella Cheese. Thank you to all the gifted chefs who taught me how to make mozzarella cheese happen in my life again. (Click the pictures below to see the original recipe.)
I modified the moxarella cheese, too. I’m a nutritional yeast freak. Picture Tony Montana surrounded by cocaine, except replace it with nutritional yeast. That’s me. Therefore, I added a few more tablespoons of it than My Wife Makes did.
Enjoy this beautiful side item, vegheads!
Tomato Moxarella Melts
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Yield: side item for 2-4 people
For the Moxarella Cheese:
- 1/4 cup raw cashews (soaked in water for several hours and then drained IF you don’t have a high powered blender)
- 1 cup hot water
- 2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon tapioca starch
- 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil (optional)
- 1 small garlic clove, minced
- 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 4 tablespoons nutritional yeast
All Other Ingredients:
- 3 or 4 “globe” tomatoes, each sliced into 4 pieces (firm, yet slight give when squeezed)
- balsamic vinegar
- garlic salt
- coconut sugar
- grape seed oil
- 2 tablespoons fresh oregano, minced (garnish)
- 1/4 cup fresh basil (garnish)
Step 1: Prepare tomato slices for the oven.
Cut each tomato into 4 vertical slices. If you want to pile on the moxarella cheese, use 3 tomatoes (shown in pictures). However, if you’re making this dish for 4 people, I suggest using 4 tomatoes, using less moxarella cheese per slice.
Spread the tomatoes on a greased baking sheet and begin to decorate with vinegar, garlic salt, coconut sugar, and grape seed oil.
You’ll notice that I didn’t measure out amounts for the balsamic vinegar, garlic salt, coconut sugar, and grape seed oil. Drizzle the grape seed oil on all slices. If you must know an exact amount of balsamic vinegar, I suggest 1/4 teaspoon per slice. As far as the garlic salt and coconut sugar go, just grab a pinch and conservatively sprinkle a bit of it on each individual slice. Set aside.
Step 2: Create moxarella cheese.
The moxarella cheese is high maintenance and needy, so it requires your full attention. That’s why the tomatoes must sit and be patient during this process.
Start by placing cashews in a blender. I have a 600-watt blender (NutriBullet), and it can grind the cashews to a pulp. If you have this kind of power or more, skip the soaking process and just grind the cashews alone first. After that, throw all the other ingredients in the blender and mix.
Place the liquid in a small saucepan on the stove at medium high heat. Stir constantly for about 4 minutes. Once you see clumps start to form, reduce your heat to medium and continue stirring for another 2-3 minutes. Once your liquid transforms into a solid, stringy clump, remove from heat.
Now, take a tablespoon and spoon out clumps of cheese onto your tomatoes. If there are any mistakes (maybe cheese dripping off the side of a tomato), no need to worry! You can fix mistakes by simply picking up the cheese and placing it back onto the tomato. It’s fool proof!
Step 3: Bake and prep.
With your oven set to 350ºF / 176ºC, place your tomatoes in the oven for 20 minutes. You’ll notice that this is mostly for your tomatoes to roast, as the cheese doesn’t go through many changes during this period.
When the 20 minutes are up, crank up the oven to 500ºF / 260ºC and put a timer on for 3 minutes. This will help your cheese brown juuuust a little. Keep in mind that I live in Florida, where 3 minutes is perfect for my subtropical sea-level climate. If you live in a different climate, I suggest you keep an eye on it. Three minutes might be too long for someone, say, in the mountains.
Step 4: Garnish and serve.
When the tomatoes are fresh out of the oven, place them on a serving dish and sprinkle the oregano on top. As far as the basil leaves go, I like to put several smaller leaves on top of each tomato. For larger leaves, you may have to cut them into quarters with your fingers.
If you have balsamic glaze, feel free to drizzle that shit all over these babies. I’m regretting that I didn’t do that for my pictures. Damn. Maybe later.
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August 18, 2014 By This Vegan Girl
I’ll admit that I never cared about making this soup until I had an intense craving of grilled cheese sandwiches, which I made here (vegan and gluten-free, y’all!). With my mind now on grilled cheese sandwiches, my next thought was, “How am I going to pull off making my own tomato soup?” Honestly, HOW on EARTH can you make grilled cheese sandwiches without the tomato soup?
The tomato soup is the elegant hero here. Without it, what would we have? Just cheese and bread? Horrible. Homemade tomato soup gives class and nourishment to an otherwise disgustingly boring, nutrition-lacking meal.
Oh, this soup makes my heart sing. The basil really gives the soup a superior taste. Dipping my grilled cheese into this soup and placing it in my mouth might have been the highlight of my week. The best part is that most of these ingredients are ones you probably already have in your kitchen! Woo hoo!
Tomato Basil Soup
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Yield: 3-4 cups of soup
For the oven:
- 4 Roma tomatoes, sliced
- 2 tbs grape seed oil
- 2 tbs balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 tsp garlic salt
- 1/4 tsp coconut sugar
For the stove:
- 1 heaping cup grape tomatoes
- 1/4 cup onion, chopped
- 1 tsp coconut oil
- 4 cups vegetable stock
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 heaping tablespoons basil, minced
Step 1: Prepare the tomatoes for the oven.
Preheat the oven to 400º. Slice the tomatoes, leaving the stem part out. I cut mine out, as shown below:
Grease your baking sheet and place the tomatoes on the sheet. Pour/season the tomatoes with the grape seed oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic salt, and coconut sugar.
Place the tomatoes in the oven for 30 minutes. They’ll be nice and roasted by the time they’re done, and your house will smell AMAZING.
Step 2: Cook your stove-top ingredients.
Start off your frying pan with coconut oil with your chopped onion and grape tomatoes on medium heat. There’s no need to cut your grape tomatoes, as they will burst with flavor as soon as they food processed. Cook for about 5-7 minutes, when the onions are sweating and the tomatoes are slightly browned. Throw in the minced garlic cloves and cook for an additional minute. YUM!
After that, pour in the vegetable stock*, stir with a ladle, and let it sit on medium-low heat until the roasted tomatoes are done.
*NOTE: For those of you who use bouillon instead of stock (as I did), I used 4 cups of water for 2 teaspoons of vegetable bouillon. In a separate pot, I mixed the two ingredients and brought the mixture to a boil. After that, I poured the broth into the frying pan with the tomatoes and onions. Done!
Step 3: Combine the roasted tomatoes and stove-top ingredients in a food processor.
When the roasted tomatoes are finished, it’s time to turn all these ingredients into soup!
Dump the stove top ingredients and the roasted tomatoes in the food processor and mix it up! My food processor isn’t the greatest, so my soup was slightly chunky. You know what, though? I ended up liking it that way.
Once all the ingredients are mixed, place the soup back on the stove on low heat and take a deep breath: the hard part is over!
Step 4: Add fresh basil and serve.
Cooked basil sucks, which is why the last-minute addition is the way basil needs to be served.
Mince your basil as much as possible, making sure you can gather two heaping tablespoons of the yummy stuff. Do not skip this crucial ingredient! Put the tablespoons of basil in the big pot, give it a big mix, and serve!
Remember, don’t forget to pair the soup with my gluten-free vegan Grilled Cheese Sandwiches. I’m telling you, these two make the perfect pair.
If you try making this soup, don’t forget to take a picture of it, post it on Instagram, and use the hashtag #thisvegangirl so I can see it. I’d love to see how you present your grilled cheese and tomato soup. Speaking of Instagram, follow me! I post my day-to-day meals, if anyone gives a crap. I’m also on Facebook, too. Thanks for all your support!