We all scream for ice cream.

Ice Cream

It has been a funny old summer here in Melbourne…nothing new about that I suppose!  We’ve swung between ridiculous heat and very mild weather – hovering around 20C on some days, which feels freezing at this time of year.  But on those days the heat really starts ramping up, my thoughts naturally start turning to creating sweet and frosty treats.

I am a bit of a sucker for ice cream…I think it really is my great weakness when it comes to sweets.  I could eat it all day long!  I can tolerate dairy in small amounts, so if I grab some gelato from the divine place literally around the corner from my house, i’m generally fine.  However, if I have a tub in the fridge and my willpower fails me, I end up feeling quite unwell as a result of the dairy overload.

That’s why it’s great to have a few fabulous and easy dairy free ice cream recipes up your sleeve…this one is so simple to make and tastes incredible.  It gets its beautiful green colour from avocado – and I promise you that you can’t even taste it.  It does however lend a lovely rich creaminess to this treat, along with adding plenty of healthy fats, and vitamins C and B6, as well as magnesium.  Which practically makes this ice cream a health food!

I used an ice cream maker for this recipe (best investment I ever made) but you can definitely make this without one – i’ll pop those instructions in the notes section below.

Dairy Free Avocado & Lime Ice Cream

Ingredients

  • 1 can of full cream coconut milk, refrigerated
  • Flesh of 2 ripe avocados
  • 1/2 cup of fresh lime juice
  • 1 cup of pure maple syrup or agave
  • 1/4 cup water

Method

  1. Put all the ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
  2. Pour mixture into an ice cream maker and churn until your machine lets you know its ready.
  3. You can either serve this immediately – it will have a soft-serve like texture – or freeze it for a firmer texture.  I served mine with toasted shredded coconut and cacao nibs – so delicious 🙂

Notes

  • If you don’t have an ice cream maker, you can pour this into a container (a loaf tin is good because the cold will conduct quicker than through porcelain or glass) and freeze until you see ice crystals start to form around the edges.  Once that happens, take it out and give it a good stir, then pop it back into the freezer until completely hard (or to whatever your desired consistency is).
  • Before juicing my limes, I always get the zest off as this is too good to waste!  This can be frozen in a small snaplock bag, or a container with a tight lid, for later use – such as in my Best Fruit Salad in the World 🙂

 

The Sunday Muse, February 7

Swear and Swear Alike.

Well i’ve really ripped some emotional strips off myself these past couple of weeks, so I think i’m going to cut myself a break and keep this week’s Sunday Muse a bit shorter and less introspective.  Which is probably a bit of a relief for all of us! 😉

If you’ve been following along, you’ll know that i’m currently on the hunt for a new job – just some part time or temp work to keep things going while i’m building up the freelancing stuff, and also studying at uni.  This has meant the majority of the past week has been spent going to and fro between recruitment agency meetings and job interviews, which has been just a tiny bit exhausting after being mistress of my own rather flexible schedule for so long.

I won’t blame the exhaustion for my performance during one particular interview however.

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Never enough banana bread.

BB Slice

Oh happy days!  And i’m not just talking about this delicious banana bread, though that is reason enough to be happy, that’s for sure…no, i’m talking about my brand new internet connection, which is finally allowing me to work at better than dial up speeds for the first time in nearly three years!  I haven’t been able to post all week because of this, so I have a big backlog of lovely recipes for you…and I can finally post them without my connection dropping out every minute.  Good times.

So, banana bread – this is the second version I promised you guys a while ago.  The first version I posted is a bit more rustic – this second version is a bit more cakey and slightly more cafe-like, I guess…but like the first one, it too is bloody delicious.  This recipe makes a generous loaf – I usually slice it up and put it in the freezer, separating each piece with some greaseproof or baking paper, so you can grab a bit as needed.  Great for a little weekend treat 🙂

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The Sunday Muse, January 31

We of the Never Never.

A few years ago, shortly after my Dad had died, my Mum moved to Melbourne to be closer to family.  One day, we were on our way to the city to meet some friends. As we walked up to the tram stop near to where she was staying at the time, out of the blue, and apropos of no conversation we’d ever had, she offered to help me out financially to have a baby.

I was…speechless. And she was tearful as the words tumbled out. She had always thought i’d be such a great mother, she said, and she didn’t want me to miss out on that. She had a little money put by from Dad’s estate and she wanted me to help me out in any way possible, if that’s what I wanted.

We stood in that street in Northcote, both of us welling up with tears, and all sorts of emotions we could barely find the words for, let alone express, seeped into the air around us.

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Tofu tacos.

Tacos 3

I mentioned when I posted my Tasty Baked Tofu recipe ealier this week that I was planning to test out using it for a meat-free taco.  Well, the results are in and it was a success!  So much so, i’m writing this at 9:30am and i’m already salivating over them…is it a thing to have tacos for breakfast?  If not, maybe it should be 😉

This is so easy i’m not even sure it constitutes a separate recipe, but i’ll write up what I did for those of you who want a bit of a guide.

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Veggie bonanza.

Veggie Bonanza

Some nights, it’s all about the veggies for dinner – pictured above is a beautiful farro & pomegranate salad, grilled baby zucchinis, stuffed zucchini flowers with tarragon, garlic green beans, roasted pumpkin with cumin, and roasted mushrooms with goats cheese & thyme.  Soooooo delicous!

The zucchinis, zucchini flowers, green beans, garlic and herbs were all from my garden…so glad to see my efforts showing up on my dinner plate at long last.  It’s making all the hard graft so satisfying.

This is also a perfect illustration of my pathalogical inability to cook for one…I just can’t do it!  Well at least I have leftovers for lunch today…and who doesn’t love leftovers.

As Julia Child might say…Bon Appetit!

 

Tasty baked tofu.

Tofu 1

I’ve been a bit ambivalent about meat lately…like most things, I go through stages with it, but right now it’s just not really on my culinary radar.  I’m still having the occasional bit of fish, and a slice of bacon every now and then (because, well…bacon), but for the most part i’m happy with a predominantly plant-based diet.

I spent most of my 20s eating either a pescatarian or vegetarian diet, and even a couple of years as a strict vegan…I guess you could say that these were my ‘formative cooking years’, so my diet mostly came of age foccused on plant foods.  As a consequence, I had a steep learning curve figuring out how to cook meat in my 30s!

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The Sunday Muse, January 24

Food, Money and Love

This week i’ve been thinking about how my compost worms used to be the best fed worms in Melbourne. Perhaps Australia.

I’m going somewhere with this, I promise…just stay with me.

When I was working a regular, 9-5 job, getting paid on a fortnightly basis, my life and spending habits revolved around that schedule…everything was arranged to be paid, bought or spent within that two week period, and it would all re-set and start again once the next fortnightly pay cycle came around.

I never really questioned whether I needed to spend money on this schedule…I just did. You get paid, you buy stuff. I don’t mean going out and buying all manner of unnecessary crap like some teenager with a credit card – for the most part anyway (ask me about my eBay/op shopping addiction some other time) – I mean regular stuff like groceries and things for the garden, and clothing and toiletries whenever the need arose. But the point was, when it came to buying all these things, I was on a treadmill of spending…I just did it because i’d been paid, and because it was part of my fortnightly routine.

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Magical carrots.

Carrot Tart

Carrots are pretty amazing little nutritional powerhouses.  Packed with beta-carotene (which gives them their vibrant orange colour), they’re fantastically antioxidant, and have a list of health benefits as long as your arm.  In western herbal tradition, carrots have been variously used as a treatment for night blindness, whooping cough, and cancerous tumours – to name but a few things – and researchers are now isolating various compounds in them that have indeed proven to be beneficial for some of the many ailments they’ve been used to treat over hundreds, if not thousands, of years.  I love it when science catches up with folklore 🙂

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Gluten free pastry.

Pastry Case 2

I think for anyone relatively new to the gluten free world, the thought of making pastry becomes filled with a certain dread…so many recipes, so little success.  Just like GF bread recipes, there are many out there that claim to be ‘the best ever’ and i’m certain some of them must be great, but sometimes it tires me looking at all the steps involved, and all the arcane ingredients I must source in order to make it.

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