I am a big ice cream fan. When I had to give up dairy, the first thing I did was find good soy ice cream. However, all frozen desserts seem to have sugar in them, so I've been feeling very deprived. I love the "mouth feel" of ice cream, or soy frozen desserts--cold, rich, creamy, perfect for hot weather. Summer used to equal evening trips to Dairy Queen.
Last week I was grumping around the kitchen in the evening, looking for a snack. A few days before I had tossed a ripe banana in the freezer (I forget where I read about doing that--someone somewhere suggested putting ripe bananas in the freezer, and then running warm water over the skin and peeling it and using it for a smoothie) and I decided I would try out the unsweetened coconut milk that had been on sale and make myself a smoothie. After about 10 minutes of searching for my blender (every single part was in a different area of our apartment, go figure) I pulled out the banana. It doesn't exactly peel--the outer layer of skin comes off and then you have to scrape off the inner layer. That got tossed in the blender, along with frozen blueberries and the coconut milk. IT WAS DELICIOUS. Mmm mmm! The frozen fruit allows you not to put any ice in it, which keeps the flavor rich and creamy. (Also, much to my husband's chagrin, we never have ice cubes in the house.) I have never tried coconut milk before, but it is great in a recipe. It doesn't have that...interesting...aftertaste that soy milk does, and is richer than rice milk. (I have yet to try almond milk.) Since it is pretty much all saturated fat (good saturated fat, but saturated fat nonetheless) it's quite filling and definitely gives you that "mouth feel" of ice cream. And it was really pretty. I should've taken a picture of it. My boys refused to try it, which was fine, because more for me! I've made it again twice, once with another frozen banana and once with a fresh banana. You really need a frozen banana to achieve the texture and frostiness, and you also need to make sure your frozen banana was super ripe before popping it in the freezer. This makes it more sweet. Hmm. I wonder what would happen if I froze the coconut milk into ice cubes?
Tomorrow night I'm going to make Alicia's favorite cupcakes from The Kind Diet. I was pumped when I found this recipe because it's almost exactly the same as my recipe for my son's favorite vegan cupcakes, except it uses agave nectar instead of sugar, and the the frosting doesn't use any powdered sugar. I have also discovered, through reading fabulous vegan baking blogs, that you need to use whole wheat pastry flour in cupcakes or muffins instead of regular whole wheat, because the regular whole wheat makes your baked goods too heavy. We'll have to see if it works (I had to search all over for whole wheat pastry flour and finally found a teeny bag at Whole Foods). We're taking the cupcakes to my best friend's 30th birthday party--should be a fun time!