Sunday, April 28, 2013

What's Been Happening Lately + ICE CREAM SANDWICHES!

Hey everyone!! I'm super duper excited to share this post, because the ice cream sandwiches (especially that icecream!!) I made the other day are just too delicious to keep to myself!

But first, a recap of a couple things that have been happening lately, plus what I've been eating. Just for fun. 

Well, firstly, I sang in my VERY FIRST opera duet and trio ever!! I was so nervous! Shaking, trembling, and swallowing a lot - good thing it was part of my character anyway (I was Gretel from Hansel and Gretel, and she was supposed to look very scared). After the show, everyone told me and my duet and trio buddies that we did very well, so I'm very thankful to God for that. The other singers in this opera gala concert did such a fantastic job, and I felt very honored to listen to their beautiful singing.

Next up, before I talk about food again, guess who decided to make her home in the short little tree from my front yard?

Yes! A mother finch laid four little finch eggs smaller than my thumb!
Ok, now for the eats:

This was my pre-opera performance lunch - at this point I was already getting a bit nervous

Backtracking a bit: delicious banana berry bowl I made for breakfast the other day

Another lovely pic of my berry bowl. Just one frozen and one fresh banana, and a half cup of frozen blueberries
My latest obsession has been carrot noodles and my grandma's pasta sauce. YUM! 


Well, that, my friends, is my latest recipe that incorporates creamy coconut, fresh strawberries, and some oat flour:

I have decided to call it....

Strawberries and Coconut Cream Ice Cream Sandwiches with Raw Oatmeal Cookies

This is a picture of them chillin' like villains in the freezer. ;)

The cookie base is pretty darn simple, and makes about 30 mini cookies (perhaps more if you roll thinner). Beware, the dough can get sticky! Wetting your fingers helps a lot!

Mostly Raw Oatmeal Cookies

* 1/2 cup almonds
* 1/2 cup oat flour
* 1/2 cup raisins
* 1 Tbsp. coconut palm sugar
* 2 tiny strawberries
* 1/2 tsp. coconut butter (perhaps optional, but adds great flavor)
* pinch or two of salt
* pinch cinnamon
1) Combine cookie ingredients in food processor until they have mixed well and reach cookie-dough consistency (if almond pieces/crumbs are still visible, this is good!!).
2) With roller and some parchment/wax paper, roll out the dough very thin. 
3) Use your favorite mini cookie cutters and carefully lift your lovely little creations to a refrigerator-friendly container, plate, etc.

~ ~ ~ ~

Now for my favorite part: the ice cream!!! Ok, seriously guys, this ice cream is so good that you don't even need the cookies - in fact, the ice cream is truly what makes these raw ice cream sandwiches over the top delicious! Oh, and if you are making the whole ice cream sandwich recipe, there will be leftover ice cream anyway (like 1/4-1/2 cup leftover. WIN!). OH, one more thing: You do not need an icecream maker to make this. Just a strong Vitamix (or blendtec) Blender, or even a food processor!

It has a creamy strawberry coconut flavor, and yet an icy sorbet consistency. Oh, man, it's just too good!!!

Strawberries and Coconut Cream Ice Cream

* meat of one young Thai coconut
* 1 cup young Thai coconut water
* 4 strawberries
* 2 heaping Tbsp. coconut butter *
* 4-5 Tbsp. coconut palm sugar
* 2 drops stevia (optional, but recommended)
* thumb size piece of beet (for color)
* pinch salt (optional)
1) In your Vitamix, Blendtec, or food processor, combine all ingredients until there are no chunks of anything and the mixture is perfectly creamy and delicious. 
2) Pour in a freezer-safe tupperware and freeze for 6-8 hours or overnight.
3) Take out of freezer and break into chunks. Blend in Vitamix or food processor until creamy like ice cream!
4) EAT! Oops! I mean, um, you can actually make ice cream sandwiches out of them.
5) And if you decide to follow the latter suggestion, drop a dallop of icecream on a cookie, and place another cookie on top. Do this with all of the cookies, and then freeze for 4-5 hours or overnight (overnight is best!).

If your curious about opening a young thai coconut **, here's what I do:

You don't have to do this step, but it just makes it a bit faster for the meat cleaver to pierce through the coconut shell.

After this, I take the coconut outside and start hacking out a circle shape at the top of the coconut (beware: MESSY!). Make sure your hand is away from that meat cleaver!!!!!

Once coconut is opened, you will see soft, white (sometimes light purple) flesh and beautiful, sweet coconut water.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Anyway, I hope you guys thoroughly enjoy this recipe. The idea was inspired by a Chilean cookie I tried last summer. It had a base of oats and strawberries, and was crunchy and delicious. Obviously my ice cream sandwiches are nothing close to crunchy, but they sure do remind me of those sweet strawberry oat "galletas". 

See you soon - Expect more VEGGIE recipes to pop up on the blog - I'm finally becoming as addicted to vegetables as I am to fruits. Yum yum yum. 

Peace, love................. and strawberries.

~ Natalyn

* Fragrant Vanilla Cake has an awesome how-to for homemade coconut butter (this is what I used):

** I recommend you check Youtube for videos on how to open a young coconut, as my mini tutorial was not very detailed and probably not the best or safest way to open the young coconut.

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