Tag Archives: almond

Vegan Chocolate Coconut Almond Ice Cream

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Recently, we discovered that our son has become lactose intolerant. This is not really a surprise, as I’ve had this condition since my early twenties and it runs in my family. Lactose intolerance isn’t the same as an allergy – we just don’t produce enough lactase, the enzyme which breaks down lactose found in milk. An easy way around it if we still want to eat things with milk and cream in it is to take a lactase pill at the same time.

Another way is to just substitute non-dairy items into our diet. I love coconut milk and almond milk and often drink that instead. And we both drink lactose free milk.

My son also loves the flavor of coffee and he really wanted to make a coffee flavored ice cream. We decided on mocha, since I didn’t want to go overboard with the coffee flavor — even decaf. And we both wanted to add almonds and chocolate chips, because – why not!?

I based this recipe on a vegan one from thekitchn.com and altered it. To flavor it, I used Trader Joe’s Sipping cocoa, but I’m sure other cocoas would work. This is a seasonal item that we always buy and stock up on in the winter. It has a wonderful chocolate flavor and is not too sweet.

The result is a delicious, dairy-free dessert which is not too sweet, but very creamy and rich. The chopped almonds and chocolate chip add another layer of crunchy texture. Next time we make it, we want to add mini marshmallows and make it a Mocha Rocky Road number!

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Vegan Mocha Coconut Almond Ice Cream

2 14 oz. cans full fat coconut milk

1/4 cup agave syrup

3 tablespoons Trader Joe’s Sipping Cocoa or other cocoa mix

1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder

1 tablespoon decaf instant coffee

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup chopped roasted salted almonds

1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

  1. Shake the cans of coconut milk very well. Measure out 1/2 cup of the coconut milk and set aside.
  2. Heat the rest of the coconut milk, agave, instant coffee, and cocoas in a medium saucepan on the stove. Whisk constantly until completely dissolved, about 2 minutes.
  3. Add cornstarch to remaining coconut milk and whisk until fully incorporated. Add to saucepan and cook stirring constantly for about 6-8 minutes until mixture is thickened. It should to thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Add vanilla extract.
  4. Remove from heat and transfer to a large bowl. Cover with saran wrap, pressing to surface of chocolate so that a skin doesn’t form. Chill over night.
  5. Churn mixture in an ice cream machine according to manufacturer’s directions until you have a soft ice cream texture. Stir in chopped almonds and chocolate chips.
  6. Transfer to a freezing container and freeze for several hours to harden and serve.

Makes about one pint

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Filed under Children, Desserts

Coconut Chocolate Chia Pudding and Almond Chia Pudding

Coconut Chocolate Chia Pudding

Coconut Chocolate Chia Pudding


This is my newest obsession:  Instant Chia Puddings!  I have seen chia puddings all over the web, and this Vanilla Chia Seed Parfait with Fresh Berries and Tsubuan (Japanese Red Beans) made by my friend, Judy, at Bebe Love Okazu really stands out.  I haven’t made it yet because I need to go to a special store to get the red beans, but it looks amazing.

While shopping at our local Trader Joe’s recently, I was compelled to buy a bag of chia seeds on display strategically near the cashier stands.

chia bag

On the bag, there was a recipe for a simple pudding:  Chia seeds, milk, and agave syrup.   I thought it would be fun to make a coconut chocolate one since I had a lot of lite coconut cubes in the freezer (for my morning Coconut Chocolate Spinach Smoothies).  I defrosted two cubes in the microwave and added a tablespoon of chia seeds, cocoa powder, stevia, vanilla and a pinch of instant coffee (to bring out the chocolate flavor).

 

 

chia in cup

I don’t know if it’s because I used coconut milk or because when I defrosted it in the microwave, it was slightly warm, but the chia pudding set in literally 2 minutes!

chocolate chia

Right after mixing….

Coconut Chocolate Chia Pudding

Coconut Chocolate Chia Pudding

…and two minutes later!

 

I loved it so much, I started making them every afternoon for a snack.  The texture is similar to a rice pudding.  The chewiness reminds me of tapioca pearls in bubble tea.  And I love the coconut chocolate flavors.

Then, I thought I would experiment a bit and try making it with regular milk (I use Lactaid) and almond extract.

The consistency was a lot thinner:

almond chia

This one took a lot longer to set — about three hours (which is what it says it will take on the bag).  The texture is lighter and less dense than the one made with coconut milk.  But it is equally delicious!

almond chia set


There are so many health benefits to eating chia because they are high in protein, fiber and omega-3s as well as other nutrients.  So if you want to try something different and a lot healthier, try making some chia seed pudding!

 

Note:  I’m happy to make my single servings of chia pudding, because it is so easy to make, and I prefer to eat it the day I make them.  But the recipes I have here can easily be doubled and quadrupled to make 2 – 4 servings.

Coconut Chocolate Chia Pudding

1 tablespoon chia seeds (15 g)

1/4 cup coconut milk

1/4 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon cocoa powder

stevia or other sweetener of choice

pinch of instant coffee (I like decaf VIA from Starbucks)

1 teaspoon dried coconut

Serves 1

1.  Mix all ingredients together.
2.  Chill until set.  EAT!

 

Almond Chia Pudding

1 tablespoon chia seeds (15 g)

1/4 cup milk

1/4 teaspoon almond extract

stevia or other sweetener of choice

Serves 1

1.  Mix all ingredients together.

2.  Chill until set — about 3-4 hours.  EAT!

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Filed under Desserts, Gluten Free, Vegetarian

Visit to Oregon and Almond Plantain Bread

plantain bread 2

I’m still obsessed with plantain bread and playing with different flavors.  I tried adding some sweetener as well as almond extract, and I love how it cut the tanginess of the plantains.  The almonds on top added crunch.  I brought some of this Plantain Almond Bread on a visit out west to dad’s farm in Oregon last week. My brother (who traveled from Illinois and met me at Portland Airport) and I ended up eating it all on the shuttle on the way to Corvalis….! I did make a couple of mini loaves during our visit though to make up for it. 🙂 dad and sherry's farm My dad and his wife, Sherry, live on a beautiful mountain in between Corvalis and the coast. They have a farm with alpacas, sheep, chickens, and Guinea Fowl.

Ruben, one of the alpacas

Ruben, one of the alpacas

My dad made this chicken tractor out of light weight materials.  There are wheels on it, so you can move it around from place to place for fresh grass.

My dad made this chicken tractor (a mobile chicken coop) out of light weight materials. There are wheels on it, so you can move it around from place to place for fresh grass.

My dad has a great workshop in a big barn. He is an amazing builder, craftsman, and artisan.

In his barn/workshop looking down from the loft.

In his barn/workshop looking down from the loft.

An owl lives in the barn as you can see from these owl pellets!

An owl lives in the barn as you can see from these owl pellets!

In addition to various structures he’s built around the farm and inside the log cabin, he makes all kinds of cool decorative things. These gorgeous sonorous Japanese gongs are made from recycled oxygen tanks. dad's gong His newest pursuit is sculpting figures which Sherry dresses and which can also serve as more pleasing looking scarecrows.

This yoga lady lives in the vegetable garden.

This yoga lady lives in the vegetable garden.

Looking at these gorgeous chard plants shows that she is doing her job well!

Looking at these gorgeous chard plants tells us that she is doing her job well!

It is so peaceful and quiet there…

This is where I did morning stretching -- on the cabin porch overlooking the field.

This is where I did morning stretching — on the cabin porch overlooking the field.

We had a wonderful time catching up and visiting.

On our walk with our walking sticks.

Sherry, Dad, and my brother on our walk with our walking sticks.

Apple picking bounty from their apple trees

Apple picking bounty from their apple trees

We even made little trips to the surrounding area.

Me and Sherry in Newport, OR

Me and Sherry in Newport, OR

Sea lions napping near the pier

Sea lions napping near the pier

We also had the opportunity to visit their neighbors’ farm and workshop up the road.They make beautiful candles out of beeswax, like this dragon candle I brought back for Jamie and one shaped like a knot. dragon candle They smell fragrantly of honey. But we don’t want to burn these, as they are beautiful pieces of art!

To see more of their unique and beautiful products, visit their site here. We also tasted some  of their fresh honeycomb filled with sweet Oregon honey. honey comb All in all, our trip to Oregon was an inspiring, memorable, and awesome!

Sherry took this of us right before we said our good-byes at the shuttle stop in Corvalis.

Sherry took this of us right before we said our good-byes at the shuttle stop in Corvalis.

Thank you for such a wonderful visit, Dad and Sherry! I can’t wait to see you again soon, next time with Denis and Jamie!

Slice of bread with a bit of Bertie and Marshall's honey.

Slice of bread with a bit of Oregon honey.

Almond Plantain Bread

Non-stick spray 1 ripe plantain, cut into slices

2 eggs 2 teaspoons brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

1 tablespoon sliced almonds

1.  Preheat oven to 350 F.  Line a mini loaf pan with parchment paper on the bottom.  Spray with non-stick spray.  Set aside.

2.  Blend plantain, eggs, sugar, and almond extract in a blender until smooth (you could also use a food processor, but process plantains until smooth first).

3.  Pour batter into prepared loaf pan.  Sprinkle top with sliced almonds.

4.  Bake in oven for about 35-45 minutes (checking at the 30 minute mark).  When a tooth pick or skewer comes out clean and the inside of the loaf looks like it is completely dry it is done.  Cool on rack for a few minutes.  Then run a knife around the edge, and remove loaf to rack to cool completely.

Top of loaf -- so yummy!

Top of loaf — so yummy!

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Filed under Desserts, Eggs, Snack, Travel, Vegetarian