Thursday, June 23, 2011

It's so Ice to See You! Vegan Ice Cream Recipe

    Yes! It is officially summer! I completely love the warmer months. We have no air conditioning here, but maaaan - I'd much rather be too hot than too cold! Wintertime has it's perks (comfort food!) but I would not sneer at a chance of perpetual summer. Once it began to warm up at last the plants in the garden immediately started to grow in earnest. I planted some sweet basil expressly for mucho pesto this year. I can't wait for the cherries!

    And what better way to compliment summer than fresh, delicious ice cream? I am a total ice cream fiend (pretty sure it runs in the family) but because of this diet and before that just a general trying-to-avoid-cow-stuffs thing, I really haven't been able to indulge in the greatest treat on the planet recently.

    Well, all that's changed now... :) For those of you avoiding The Moo, or those with some spare fruit, or time, or really just anybody who loves sunshine and happiness (aka ice cream), this is for you! (I noticed my diet has been very slow deteriorating - I don't have the discipline to say no to sugar for this long. Maybe I should be upset, but I'm not!)

    Notes at the end.

Vegan Blueberry Ice Cream
If I knew how much it made... Enough to serve 4 people comfortably - including seconds!

2-4 c fruit (2 c blueberries for me*)
1-3 c milk (1 c soy, 1/2 c coconut cream*)
1/2-3/4 c sugar
1 tsp vanilla
(other extracts or flavoring like rum, lemon, etc. would be great!*)

    1. In a saucepan, heat fruit, sugar and milk until sugar dissolves (should take less than 5 minutes).

    2. With a hand- or regular blender, blend together until mostly smooth. Mix in the vanilla and other flavorings. If you wish to have distinguishable pieces of fruit, mix them in at this point.

    3. Place in the fridge for 1-2 hours, or until the mixture is cool.

    4. Use your ice cream maker as per manufacturer's instructions. Or if you don't have one, try this dude's method.

    5. Homemade ice cream is best eaten that same day. After the ice cream maker produces a soft serve consistency, you can allow the ice cream to solidify a bit more in the freezer for about 30 minutes, then it's a good idea to eat it up*.

    *You can sieve out the skins, but I would suggest leaving them babies in; the skins have all the good stuff.

    *Hemp milk is very creamy stuff and makes great ice cream if you have it. Mine had a bit of a smoothie-like texture, which was good but not the consistency I wanted. Next time I'll use more milk.

    *I slightly curdled my milk on accident by adding lemon juice to the hot liquid... Consequently, the exact same way I make paneer. My head is full of air. I don't know how to add the lemon juice to the mixture without curdling it, but uh... Don't do what I did! Still tasted good, but I was a little concerned how things would turn out.

    *These pictures were taken the second day. My ice cream (I guess partially due to its not-very-creamy nature) did not scoop very well, as you can see. Needs more milk! I think.

    This ice cream was very simple to make and utterly delightful. It was extremely well received around here!


Saturday, June 18, 2011

Going Eggless

    Finally, it's starting to feel like summer! I whipped up some delectable blueberry ice cream to celebrate, which I will gladly share with you soon. But first! we have other matters to discuss.

    My posts have been rather thin on the ground this month. I've hardly been eating foods worth mentioning (salad with black beans for like a week, anyone?) and then I was feeling preeetty bad... Though I know it's only temporary, doing this diet has been really difficult! I think I've rarely been so distressed. Take away my food and I'm an emotional wreck (not to say that this isn't normal even with the food)! I'm liable to break down and cry at the mere thought of tomato sauce.

    At any rate, I've added corn and soy back in without incident. I used to dislike soy milk in my cereal; I never thought I would be so happy to taste it again! I find more and more that with food, I need to stop expecting it to taste like something else and just enjoy what it is! Lamb, and gluten free bread, and non-dairy milks are so much better when I do.

    I've been feeling much better since adding those two things, though. In fact, I've been feeling almost good - not a word I'm accustomed to applying to myself these days. I say almost since things still aren't peachy-keen, but I haven't had a really bad night in over a week! However, I do believe I'm in for another decline. Trouble is a-brewin'...

    I added eggs back in at the beginning of this week. When I add a food I try to eat it 3 times that day and then I wait a week for any symptoms to occur. That's the amount of time it takes for gluten to kick in and destroy my guts, but when I eat the gluten I know immediately. My stomach starts gurgling and churning - it isn't wholly uncomfortable, but it's definitely weird.

    At the first bite of egg in my pineapple fried rice (which, by the way, was made with the correct spices this time and tasted completely divine) I knew that there was going to be a few hiccups at Central Control. Everything got all unsettled and antsy and if you INSIST on a space station analogy, I imagine the gurgling was my stomach saying, "Uh, Huston...? We have a problem." And it's been repeating that phrase over and over and over, for about 5 days now.

    Curses! My delicious eggs! It's always the stuff I love the most... Why you gotta hurt me, Eggy? I'm actually not fussed about getting rid of them in baking since there's plenty of great substitutes, but I am totally devastated about no boiled eggs. NOOOO, no more adorable hard boiled egg faces! No more tamagoyaki. No more sunny-side up's with hash browns!

    Well, I'll survive, probably.


I guess this is our last goodbye
And you don't care so I won't cry
But you'll be sorry when I'm dead
And all this guilt will be on your head...

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Boring Talking

    I'm starting to notice a trend for this blog... I feel I post up more failures than successes, or at least the failures are a lot more memorable. But what can I say? Most of what I do is poorly planned!

    At any rate, here's some more news of something that hasn't worked: my diet. After 3 weeks, when I was wanting to begin adding foods back in, I noticed that nothing had made any improvement whatsoever. Quite the opposite, in fact; I've felt really bad. Not to mention that I've been outrageously unhappy for about 2 weeks, which is unusual. I can't understand this, seeing as I've been eating far better, with more fruits and vegetables, than I ever have in my whole life. There's only two explanations I can come up with: either I'm having difficulties with one of the few foods I'm still eating, or my troubles are not food related.

    I both hope and dread that the latter is true. If it isn't food related I can eat whatever I want! But then again, if it isn't food related, what the deuce is it? Food related is (highly) regrettable but manageable. Non-food related has the potential to be quite serious, and mysterious (HEH) since no doctor to date has had the faintest idea about what's going on with my insides. It's a real bummer.

    I decided to start adding foods back in despite the fact that I still feel terrible. Removing things didn't help, so I'd rather eat tasties and be miserable than miserable and without tasties. I reintroduced corn and I don't think I had any negative reactions to it. It's so hard to tell, though. Pretty sure I didn't. However, I did eat a little Mexican food and my body strongly protested that! I've eaten at this same place many times - sometimes I feel perfect afterwards, sometimes I feel a little bad... This was in a category of its own. I suppose I shouldn't eat there... Oh well.

    On Monday I'll try soy. Oh, and others have been cooking for me more than I have for myself lately, so no pictures. The few things I've made have been nothing to write home about.