Friday, July 15, 2016

Fleur de Sel Caramel Ice Cream

Our vegan voyage is going quite well and we've found loads of brands that are commercially prepared.  Don't get me wrong - I love, LOVE, So Delicious.  But, we have a big family and often have to buy three pints to get a serving for each of us.  

Speaking of So Delicious, I am eternally grateful for everyone who voted and "liked" my pin.  I was the grand prize winner, but it was each of you who really won.  I wish I could bring every one of you a three bite hot cross bun!  

The grand prize was a $500 gift card to Williams Sonoma and the first thing I added to my cart was an ice cream maker.  I was doubtful sure I could create a reasonable substitute for a commercial pint.  A few trials, and errors later, we have a winner!

I've mentioned before my obsession with caramel, right?  Even greater than that is my obsession with fleur de sel caramel.  The salt makes the sweet that much sweeter.  The sweet is taken down by the salt. The burnt sugary contrast to them both.  It's a harmony of perfection!

And so, I give to you, the most affordable, easy, decadent, even healthy non-dairy ice cream I've ever made!  May it make your summer evenings a little cooler.

2 cans of light coconut milk 
3/4 C sugar
1 TBSP vanilla
1 tsp of sea salt

Combine all ingredients until sugar is dissolved.  

Refrigerate overnight or for several hours (the colder you get the mixture, the creamier the end result will be).

Freeze in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer's directions.

ButterBeer Buddies!

I wanted to make a treat for a new grad this weekend who loves all things Harry Potter.  Coincidentally, it's gluten free and dairy free, so it needed to be preserved for posterity and shared with all of you!

First, let me say that LorAnn flavoring oils are gluten free and come in a huge variety of flavors.  I tried a couple out to get the right mix for this recipe. The right flavor ended up being their Butterscotch oil.

This isn't even really a recipe, it's so easy. I based the concept on Muddy Buddies (aka Puppy Chow) and went from there.  A friend clued me in to a white chocolate coating that is accidentally vegan. It's from a small company in Wisconsin. But any white "bark" will work if you don't have food allergies.

ButterBeer Buddies
1 box of rice chex
1 lb of white chocolate 
1/4 C shortening (I use Spectrum organic)
1 tsp of LorAnn butterscotch flavoring oil
3 rolls of butter rum life savers
3 cups of powdered sugar

Break the white chocolate up and microwave in intervals until smooth, stirring every 30 seconds.
Mix in the shortening and add 1 tsp of flavoring oil. Stir until smooth.

While the chocolate is melting, break up the life savers in a blender or food processor until they are the size of nerds or sprinkles.  Toss them into the powdered sugar.

Pour the melted chocolate mix over a box of cereal and stir to combine.

Fill a quart ziplock with the powdered sugar and life savers mix, add cereal, and shake until coated.


Gluten-Free, Oil-Free, Egg-Free, Dairy-Free, Vegan, Pumpkin Muffins

For years, I had a bit of a pumpkin muffin reputation.  Once autumn rolled around, I would get multiple requests for The pumpkin muffin recipe.

You can still find that on this blog.  Worry not, old friends.

But over the years, we've cut out a few things from our lives, namely dairy, soy, eggs, and gluten.  We also avoid refined oils now.  (Besides, most vegetable oil is loaded in GMOs.)

But enough about me - let's talk MUFFINS!

I knew that there had to be a way to replace the egg and oil.  I tried applesauce, which is okay - but it gives baked goods that spongey texture that kind of bounces back and is hard to bite through.  (I have kids with sensory issues here, bear with me.)

I tried a combination of nut butter and applesauce and it was okay - but still had a lot of fat.

I tried ground flax slurries in place of the egg and what a disaster!  It was like biting into a glue ball.  Yuck.  Definitely did NOT do The pumpkin muffin recipe justice.

And then I started working in the kitchen again with something new: So Delicious greek style yogurt.

The heavens parted and a choir of angels sang (that's for you, Dannielle).

I had tried it in cupcakes recently, for which it worked, and in a gooey butter cake (St. Louisans) and it flopped.

But, I had to try it again.  Guess what?  SUCCESS.

I'm finally proud enough of this one that I think it takes the place of The recipe.

I hope you all enjoy it as much as we do.

2.5 cups sugar 
2 tablespoon baking powder
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground or freshly grated nutmeg
1 can pumpkin
1 cup of So Delicious almond milk (original or vanilla)
1 individual size container of So Delicious vanilla almond milk greek style yogurt 

Mix well, until all ingredients are incorporated.

Stir in 2 cups of semisweet/dark chocolate chips

Bake at 400° for 18-20 min