Thursday, July 18, 2013

Vegan Treats and Delicious Non-Dairy Ice Creams

One of the things I love about summer is how things slow down and are more relaxed.  I enjoy day trips to quaint towns, strolls in the cool of the evening after a scorching hot day, wearing flip flops and cheating on my diet with some ice cream twirls.  Yes, I do cheat!  When I first started on my journey towards vegan foods, I would cheat with real ice cream.  I think if I were to cheat with dairy ice cream today, it would probably hit my gut like a ton of bricks.  I can't cheat with dairy anymore.  The cleaner your body gets, the more it reacts to foods that aren't healthful.  So now I cheat with non-dairy ice cream.  To those of you who think that non-dairy ice cream has got to be gross, I must beg to differ!  You probably have not tried the good stuff yet!  There is a great vegan dessert shop in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, called Vegan Treats.  If you ever head to Bethlehem for Musikfest or what have you, you must stop by and pay this little shop a visit!  They have wonderful ice cream as well as a slew of other kinds of desserts.  Pure vegan decadence!  (Sugar is never healthful, but hey, I believe in a little room for treats every now and then.)

Their wall of fame

Me and my kids

I recently attended a dinner and the cook was so gracious in preparing dishes I could eat.  The gluten free, vegan combination can be a bear to deal with when I go out.  It can get a little depressing for me when everyone else is eating all this great food that I cannot indulge in. (It's the gluten foods I miss.  I had to choose between arthritis or gluten free diet.  I chose a gluten free diet.) The cook, understanding my plight, prepared foods just for me.  One of the things he set out was vegan ice cream.  I absolutely raved about it and all the people at our table had to try my ice cream.  I should have kept my mouth shut!  They ate their dairy ice cream and then they cleaned up on all the non-dairy ice cream.  Smart move, Missy!  Anyhow the company that makes it is called Wayfare.  It's so creamy and delicious!  I'll be driving out to Hagerstown, MD.  which is a good fifty minutes from where I live, to pick up mine.  (I noticed MOM's organic market in Frederick and Rockville carry some of their products, but not their ice cream)  This company is fairly new and not available in many places.  I'm going to ask my health food store to carry it.  Check here for their store locator.

Vermont Maple is incredibly delicious!

Other brands that I like are Trader Joe's Soy Creamy "Cherry Chocolate Chip."  I also like Tofutti brand ice creams.

Kimberly Snyder recently posted on great non-dairy easy to make sorbets.  I printed out the recipes and my daughter made a couple of them.  Really good, easy to-prepare healthful alternatives!

Here is a blog post on 29 non dairy ice cream recipes.

Lastly, a friend of mine, Nancy Meissner, made some vegan ice cream for me and my family.  So delicious and creamy.  Here's the recipe:

3 cups cooked brown jasmine rice
1/2 tsp Celtic sea salt (I use pink Himalayan)
2/3 cup maple syrup
1/3  to 1/2 cup honey
2 cans coconut milk
1/2 cup silk soy milk
5 cups blueberries or fruit of choice
* All ingredients should be at room temperature before preparing.
* Nancy said she reduced rice content to 2 1/2 cups and liked it. 

Blend rice to soy milk in a high powered blender.  Add honey, maple syrup, coconut milk and salt.  Fold in berries or fruit.  Place in ice cream maker and follow machine directives.  She used an electric White Mountain ice cream maker.  Gotta get me one of those!

Here's a carob or chocolate variation on the same recipe:

3 cups cooked jasmine rice (completely cooled to room temp.)
1/2  to 2/3 cup carob or chocolate chips, melted
1 Tbsp raw carob or cacao-cocoa powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 Tbsp almond butter
1 cup maple syrup
1/3 - 1/2 cup honey
2 cans coconut milk 
1/2 - 3/4 Tbsp Roma (coffee alternative, grain beverage)
1/2 cup silk milk blend

Blend and add to ice cream maker.

Hope you enjoy the recipes!
Have a great day!