English summer…where are you? Today I’ve had my heating on in the morning and sun cream on in the afternoon. It’s so mixed. But I guess if you’re British like me, you’re probably more than used to this season blending stuff. Despite the shifts from hot to cold, and back to cold again – it is June (yay) and we’ve been busy making ice cream. The children have already had their fair share of Mr Whippie’s from the ice cream vans, and although I do enjoy a lick of theirs, I’d still rather enjoy something a little less dairy, sugar (and guilt) laden. We’ve enjoyed a couple of great homemade healthy ice creams this week, and I wanted to share them with you.
The first is a beautifully easy rhubarb and vanilla ice cream. Made in the blender and frozen without the need for churning.
You will need to soak 300g cashew nuts in water, overnight. You can also prepare in advance by gently stewing 1lb of fresh rhubarb in a heavy based pan, along with half a cup of water, 1 teaspoon of vanilla bean paste & 2 tablespoons of maple syrup. Cook gently until the rhubarb is soft, but not mushy – and leave to cool. Rinse the soaked cashews with fresh water and place them in a blender or food processor with half a cup of water, 150ml of maple syrup, 4 ripe bananas and a pinch of salt. Blend until completely smooth. Then fold the cashew mixture into the stewed rhuabrb. Check for sweetness (and add more maple syrup if you prefer) then pop the mixture into a tupperware and place into the freezer to set. We’ve been eating ours with pecan nuts and extra maple syrup. Just remember to take it out of the freezer well over an hour before you need it.
If you follow me on instagram you’ll know I’ve been raving about Sarah Britton‘s new cookery book (and her blog), ‘my new roots’. I couldn’t resist making these mint choc chip ice cream sandwiches – they look so pretty – and taste like peppermint perfection.
You’ll have to buy my new roots to get the full recipe for this yummy ice cream (and many more things). Or you could try Detoxinista’s recipe for avocado mint ice cream, which is very similar (and online). For the chocolates – I made cashew nut chocolate raw cookies, which I often make for the boys to go with ice cream or yoghurt. They are so simple to make. Place 50ml maple syrup, 4 tablespoons of coconut oil, 4 tablespoons of cacao powder and a pinch of salt in a saucepan and melt together over a low heat. Once melted and combined, whisk in 2 tablespoons of cashew nut (or peanut butter). Spoons blobs (about one tablespoon) onto baking paper and spread using the back of a spoon, to make thin discs. Set in the fridge and use to construct your raw ice cream sandwiches (with cacao nib sprinkles if you so desire). So good, and worth the effort I promise. You can always make up the sandwiches and pop them back in the freezer for a quick ready made treat. [eating one as I type]
Sweet treats are a must for me, I have to say. I’ve missed out on enjoying ice cream since I cut back on dairy and sugar – so it’s been a bit of a revelation for me to find and create recipes that are not only delicious, but good for you too. If you’re craving more ideas for guilt-free frozens, you might like to try my trio of summer popsicles from last year, this recipe for the easiest mango & banana ice cream or to check out this vegan chunky monkey ice cream (and brilliant health food blog).