Vegan mayan and honey lavendar coconut milk "ice creams"
Real friends don't keep secrets. Scratch that. They do. EVERYONE has secrets worth keeping. But real friend secrets are grounded in kindness, or else they don't matter. Really good friends sometimes surprise each other by keeping the same secret, and when the secret's out it's just funny.
Melissa M and I talked about using culinary lavender (a new ingredient to both of us) to make honey lavender ice cream. We salivated and swooned over the idea of it, brainstormed a string of deliciousness we could possibly pair it with. We talked and talked and talked about it, and never actually made it. Something always got in the way, mostly related to mutual indecisiveness and scheduling conflicts.
By the time we finally got around to slating an ice-cream making date, I'd been experimentally mostly dairy free for awhile. I didn't tell Melissa, though...I felt guilty (silly but true). The morning we'd set to meet, Melissa hesitantly texted saying she'd been trying to go dairy free, could we come up with something else to make...
Dave and I discovered Luna and Larry's Coconut Bliss this year, and wow! No better word...it's bliss. In addition to heavenly quality product, this is one really cool company that values sustainability, health, and humanity. They use all certified organic, fair trade, kosher ingredients, promote bike transport, use eco-friendly printing, the list goes on. (And by the way, I wish there were a need to insert a disclaimer here...if only I were getting paid in Coconut Bliss for an endorsement!) Anyway, knowing how amazing coconut milk ice cream could be, we decided to try making our own.
We made two kinds--Vegan Mayan from Food Swoon, which we made exactly as the recipe states; and honey lavender, adapted from Molly Moon's Homemade Ice Cream: Sweet Seasonal Recipes for Ice Creams, Sorbets, and Toppings Made with Local Ingredients. SO EASY and SO GOOD, both of them! No eggs, few steps, lower sugar, no hassle. Well, maybe a little, minimal, barely can be called hassle...but a little effort makes for a bonus default means of keeping indulgence low.
You wouldn't eat them together, but in their way these two flavors complement each other--if they were characters they's be the opposites attracting in a romantic comedy, or at least friends. The rich chocolate Mayan is elevated from great to grand with a little but beautifully calculated kick from cayenne pepper. The creamy honey lavender has this light and lovely perfume about it that carries with it the idea of a sophisticated garden party. Adding up costs, I have to admit there are minimal to zero savings to be had in making these recipes versus purchasing a pint. But the process was fun, and the flavors are unique. Plus, there's that soft-serve, beautiful texture you get to taste straight from the ice cream maker and says, happy summer.
- 2 14-ounce refrigerated cans coconut milk (full fat for optimal creaminess)
- 1/2 cup agave or honey
- 2/3 cup cocoa powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
- Pinch salt
Using a blender, add together the cans of chilled coconut milk and agave until fully incorporated. Next add the cocoa powder, cinnamon, cayenne, and salt. Blend until thoroughly mixed.
Transfer the mixture to your ice cream machine, and churn according to the manufacturers manual.
If you desire a firmer consistency, place in container in freezer for an hour or so, and serve with toasted coconut.
Honey Lavender Coconut Milk "Ice Cream" (adapted from Molly Moon's Homemade Honey Lavender Ice Cream)
- 3 cups whole fat coconut milk
- 1 Tablespoon of Culinary Lavender Buds
- 1/2 cup of honey
- 1/4 cup of sugar
Crush the lavender buds with a mortar and pestle.
Add the coconut milk, crushed lavender, honey and sugar to a saucepan. Stir on medium heat until honey and sugar have dissolved. Continue stirring slowly until mixture begins to simmer. (Make sure not to bring to a boil.)
Remove from the heat, cover the saucepan and let sit for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes is over, let chill in refrigerator.
When ready, pour ice cream mixture into the ice cream maker and mix following manufacturers instructions.
When approximately soft serve consistency, place ice cream into airtight container and place in freezer to harden.
*Now, in another sort of self-indulgence--just a quick personal note, a sort of journal conversation pretending those I'm talking to/about are actually reading this. It's not a test, by the way, but a thank you. (If a tree falls in the forest, does it make a sound? Yes! And quiet thank yous send good wishes.) I can't tell you how many times I've become close to really good girlfriends, the kind you trust unwaveringly over miles and time, and then they move. Actually, it's not sooo often, but more than I wish, and you know who you are (Mary, Kirsten, Emilee, Kelly, and...). I think it's mostly coincidence, but I wonder how much closeness is sometimes owing in part to the sense of impending change. It breaks down barriers, maybe, releases any sense of intimidation or competitiveness, because what is there to lose? We all have our walls, and I know I have mine. I let self-consciousness, ego and fear of being judged be the guide more than I'd like (Kat, I'm getting better at this, in part thanks to you "introducing" me to Glennon!). Melissa, I so much admire how you never do this. You're open and genuine and fearless. You're generously accepting of others while preserving your own values and ideals. You tell people you like them, and point out the things you see them doing well. I hope I've done the same...I think you're awesome, and am in awe of all the many things you do so well! We're going to miss you guys, and can't wait for you to move back! :)