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 🙂

 

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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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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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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Noodles for dinner.

Zucchini Noodles

But not just any noodles…yes i’m finally trying out zucchini noodles, and they are GOOD.

I know the best veggie noodles are made with a spiralizer, so a while ago I bought a hand-held one on eBay…well you know that saying about ‘you get what you pay for’, it certainly proved true in this case.  My $3.47 plus free postage proved a waste of time and money because it was worse than useless, and my fancy piece of green plastic ended up in the bin, but not before mangling one of my zucchinis in the process!

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Zucchini madness.

Zucchini

I absolutely love zucchinis – they’re so versatile.  Which is a good thing too because once those babies get going in the garden, they go MAD.  This year, i’m trying to keep ontop of them, partly by making sure I pick some of them while they’re still small and attached to the flowers, and partly by remembering that if you turn your back on them for just a second, they’ll have exploded into veritable monsters before your very eyes – so once they start reaching a resonable size, I pick them there and then.

I’ve been collecting a little cache of go-to zucchini recipes over the past few years, so the backlog doesn’t get out of hand.  I think this was part of what made me wait so long to pick the beetroots last year – I simply didn’t know what to do with so many of them!  Now i’ve realised that having a few reliable, delicious recipes to hand for all the anticipated garden bounty is definitely the way to go – and this recipe for gluten free zucchini fritters is one of that collection.

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Easy iced chai.

Iced Chai 1a

I love chai tea, but it can be a time consuming process to make it properly.  And in the hot weather we’ve been having, an iced version has naturally been on my mind!  I wondered if there was an easy way to make it and have it available for on-the-spot consumption, whenever the fancy takes me, so the other night I started fiddling around with the idea of a ready-made base I could just add the final touches to.

I’m not going to pretend this recipe is rocket surgery (ha)…really it’s just cold brewed tea with sweetener, but sometimes it’s the dead simple ideas that make the most glorious experiences, right?  This recipe makes about 6-8 glasses of delicious iced chai….mmmm…I think I need one now 🙂

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