Thursday, August 2, 2018

Mylking It More

As I said in Mylking It, mylks, or simply "milks" if you're not an asshole, are a great way to set the foundation for healthier eating whether mixed in with your coffee, smoothies or... ice cream! During several summers in high school, I craved ice cream on the daily. And for some reason, this summer, I've been craving ice cream the same way I did back in the day. However, I live in a place that's not quite urbane enough to offer hip dairy bars or suburban enough to offer old-timey ones. To some extent, I'm pretty much left with the McDonald's drive-thru. However, as these ice cream cravings are now occurring in an older version of myself, I'm luckily armed with a few recipes for vegan ice creams which can put the mylks made to good use.

Like the pretty homogeneous process for making milks, vegan ice cream has a pretty standard base of frozen bananas, a milk of choice, some salt and coconut oil (I've also used some nut butters) which go into a blender before adding any additional flavors. However, the difficulty with keeping it vegan is that when it comes to said add-ins, options like peanut butter cups go out the window and fruits pretty much take center stage. So the issue in this matter is pairing said fruit with the type of nut that makes the milk that will make it all taste great. After some experimentation, I think I've settled on a few fool-proof combos which lie below. Enjoy!

Cherry-Almond: I started off with almond milk in Milking It to keep things alphabetically appropriate and I start with a cherry-almond combination here because it seems to be the most popular fruit-nut combo out there. My father loves ice cream and he seems to like cherries so we'll call it a vegan ode to my vegetarian father. Cool. To make said ice cream, begin with the base above, using 3 frozen bananas (sliced), 1 cup almond milk, 1 pinch of salt and 1/4 cup coconut oil. Add 3/4 cups of pitted cheeries and about and 2 tsp. almond extract. Blend and freeze for several hours in a Tupperware container or loaf pan lined with parchment paper.

Ready to man-go.

Mango-Coconut: When doing a little research for this post, I noticed that mangoes where on sale. So while it offered some financial ease, it also presented the challenge of a pleasant pairing as the acidity of mango seemed to go with fuck all in the nut department. But, after a stroll down several aisles, I noticed that a (literally) big nut that I never thought of was the coco-nut.

As stated in Mylking It, Amanda Chantal Bacon in her Moon Juice Cookbook presents an array of mylks (as she calls them) that can serve as substitutes for the dairy variety. And while walnut, almond and oat milks are easy enough to make, her lait de cocoa was simply unmentioned because... I'm not sure if frozen coconut strips exist anywhere other than California. Buuuuut, canned coconut milk is a different story. After it appeared that I had purchased the unsweetened variety of coconut milk, I decided to add 2 teaspoons of honey for some sweetness and 3/4 of a Serrano pepper for some spice. Recipe lies below. (Note: You can buy mangoes fresh, peel and chop them and freeze them before blending or simply purchase them frozen).

*1 13 oz. can coconut milk
* 3 cups mangoes (frozen)
*3/4 of a single Serrano pepper (I kept the seeds in the pod)
* 2 tsp. honey
* pinch of salt
To make: Combine all ingredients in a blender and blitz at a high speed. Decant the mixture into a Tupperware container and freeze overnight. 

Walnut-Date: When it comes to ice cream, texture is a thing. While I'm not super picky about textures in my other foods, I hate a grainy ice cream. Where was I going with this? I don't know. But walnut milk is one of my favorites. More forgiving than almonds on the hardness scale and generally more savory in my opinion, walnuts do carry more flavor than the almond. In this sense, they're limited in what they can be paired with but the sweet date seems to go well with the meaty morsel. So, to make this combination happen, place 1 cup walnut milk (see Mylking It for the recipe itself), 1 cup pitted dates, 2 sliced and frozen bananas, a pinch of salt and 1/4 cup coconut oil in a blender. Blend on high and freeze overnight. Then enjoy.

Pistachio-Pistachio: Save the best for last they say. I have a thing with pistachios. I love them raw, I love them for making milks and I (doubly) love them in ice cream. Back before chocolate ice creams got really creative, what with adding peanut butter cups and/or the kitchen sink, pistachio and peppermint ice creams were my side pieces of the dairy world. So I figured I'd create a double-pistachio ice cream to celebrate the heyday of my youth. To make: prepare the base using...

1 and 1/4 cups pistachio milk (recipe here)
2 sliced, frozen bananas
1 cup shelled pistachios (unsalted)
 1 cup pitted Medjool dates
 1/2 tsps. almond extract
 Blend all the ingredients and transfer mixture to a loaf pan. Sprinkle chopped pistachios on top and freeeeeeeeeze, everybody clap your hands....

So there you have it. A couple of ice creams to get you through the summer. No recipe above contains cream or ice. Discuss.

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