The Ultimate Most Perfect, Inexpensive, Quick Vegan Ice Cream Base Recipe; Scoops From The Freezer Like A Dream. Life Will Never Be The Same! Aah!

What a time to be alive.

This is my gift to the people. It feels like the pinnacle of my contribution to veganism. I take full credit for the modification of other vegan ice cream recipes into an incredibly simple, quick, cheap recipe – with no fancy ingredients – that scoops directly from the freezer with the perfect softness.

Right now I only recommend this one particular brand of coconut cream, but it’s the ubiquitous Woolworths Homebrand Coconut Cream found in Countdown supermarkets for $1.20 per tin.

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INGREDIENTS:

1/2 cup sugar (I prefer coconut sugar)
1/4 cup maple syrup (I use the inexpensive imitation stuff)
2 tins Woolworths Homebrand Coconut Cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt

INSTRUCTIONS:

Ensure your ice cream maker bowl has been frozen for at least 24 hours.

Put all ingredients into a pan and stir over a low head until sugar has dissolved – no need to boil. Place mixture in freezer or fridge until very cold.

Once cold assemble ice cream maker and pour mixture into bowl. Churn until very thick. Return churned ice cream to freezer and freeze. You should be able to eat this as ice cream after it’s been frozen for around 1 and a half hours.

Makes 850ish mLs.

This is absolutely as delicious as the fancy brands that are around $8 for 400mLs.

This is the vanilla recipe and it operates as a base, flavour this any way you damn well please.

***

NOTE:  If you are a rebel and a troublemaker with no regard for potential waste you can trial other cheaper brands of coconut cream. You’re a braver kind than me. Let me know how you go. One of the most important thing to avoid is the formation of oil on top of your mixture. If oil forms it will destroy your batch. Watch out for that with other brands. If oil forms, remove as much as you can. You may also use coconut sugar and agave to make it low GI. Experiment with Stevia and Erythritol; the world is yours.

Epic vegan butter

toast

This is a recipe adapted from Mattie’s outstanding butter recipe at VeganBaking: http://www.veganbaking.net/recipes/fats/vegan-butters/vegan-butter.

First, please go read Mattie’s original recipe–it explains what the ingredients do, and why it’s important to be quite precise with the measurements and the ingredients. What I like about Mattie’s approach is that he replicates the fat/water/solids content of butter to give it butter-like qualities as well as buttery taste.

This is where I come in. I found the ratios in that recipe were not quite the same as butter, so I wondered how much closer I could get. After making a recipe with the exact ratios found in butter, I made a few adjustments for taste and found it was very close to a great quality butter. My recipe makes up the solids by  adding cashews to the soy milk in the original recipe. This increases the solids content without increasing the water ratio.

I mentioned precision above. The best thing you can do is have a good set of digital scales that can measure to 0.1 gram (TradeMe sellers often have ones that will do up to 2kg by 0.1g for $20). This gets you accuracy and repeatability. I’ll give the exact weights below, but also measurement approximations.

One last thing: this butter needs to live in the fridge. It’s more spreadable straight from the fridge than butter is, but it separates much more easily as it warms up, because it is less complex than butter. Butter has a hundred components that melt at different temperatures. Because of this, it gradually softens across a wide temperature range. This recipe has only three – water, coconut oil, and rice bran oil – and although it has an emulsifier and a stabiliser in it, it will still separate when not chilled for an hour or two.

KNIFE

Ingredients 

Exact weights Approximate measures
62 grams soy milk ¼ cup soy milk
14.5 grams, cashews, soaked 12 whole cashews, soaked
68 grams rice bran oil 1/3 cup rice bran oil
210 grams refined coconut oil 1 cup of refined coconut oil
2.8 grams coconut vinegar ½ tsp coconut vinegar
2.8 grams apple cider vinegar ½ tsp apple cider vinegar
3 grams salt ½ to ¾ tsp salt
9 grams liquid lecithin 2 tsp liquid lecithin
2.3 grams xanthan gum ½ tsp xanthan gum
Pinch of turmeric Pinch of turmeric

Method

1) Soak cashews for 3 hours. Dry off, and set aside.

2) Add soy milk and vinegars to a glass. Let it curdle.

3) Microwave or otherwise warm the coconut oil until just melted.

4) Add all of the remaining ingredients (except turmeric) to the coconut oil. If you have digital scales, just use ‘tare’ in between weighings and you can easily add all of your remaining ingredients accurately.

5) Pour the oil mixture in a blender and add the cashews and soy milk/vinegar mixture. Be sure to use a rubber spatula transfer everything.

6) Blend for several minutes on a high speed until everything is completely smooth, even and light.

7) If you want a yellow colour, progressively add tiny pinches of turmeric and blend until you hit your desired tint.

8) Pour into a container, and freeze until completely solid. Remove, and refrigerate.

Creamy Mushrooms with Kale and Sunflower Seeds

Yum, yum, yum!

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Really simple:

INGREDIENTS

Oil
300g chopped mushrooms
1-1.5 cups soy milk
Salt
70g sunflower seeds
A bunch of kale

INSTRUCTIONS

You know I’m one to throw things together so these instructions are a bit casual! Fry mushrooms in oil, add sunflower seeds and soy milk and simmer, you’ll want to simmer this until the sauce reduces and is creamy. By that time the sunflower seeds ought to have softened and fattened. Salt generously to taste. I don’t use cornflower to thicken – you might want to – but I prefer to reduce. When thick and almost done, stir through kale and keep on heat until light green, you don’t want to blast the heck out of the kale, it should just be cooked until it softens. Serve with pepper, salad and roast vegetables!

Don’t Underestimate This Basic Bowl; Hummus & Sauerkraut Become BFFs

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Hummus, sauerkraut, pumpkin seeds, carrot, green beans and cucumber.

Sauerkraut is epic with Hummus.

Sauerkraut is basically Hummus’ life partner; they were just meant to be together and even though they are both awesome alone neither of them are quite as awesome alone as they are together. Once you enjoy them together you’ll never want to eat ‘just hummus’ or ‘just sauerkraut’ alone again. I don’t know where I’m going with this but you should probably try this basic bowl because it’s clearly more delicious than you expect.

Blissful Bowl

I like making up little bowls of joy. This is paradise food. <3

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~ A base of ultra-firm tofu, cubed and fried, at the end add soy sauce to the pan and fry until this dries on the tofu.
~ Iceberg lettuce
~ Half an avocado
~ Alfalfa sprouts
~ Baby tomato
~ Pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
~ Sauerkraut
~ Tahini sauce
~ Drizzle of balsamic

Raw Pesto ‘Pasta’ with a Side of Baby Tomatoes, Avocado and Alfalfa Sprouts

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This yumness  is pretty self explanatory, but those are spiralised zucchini/courgette ‘noodles’ with a heavy serving of raw pesto and a side of avocado, baby tomato and alfalfa.

To make pesto blend:

2 large handfuls dry basil leaves (must be dry)
1 generous dash of oil
60-75g cashews
generously salt to taste

:)  <3

It’s A Frisky Summer; Mango, Watermelon, Tofu Salad!

So, so simple and pretty!

This adorable salad is just fried, diced tofu, diced watermelon, diced mango, diced cucumber, on a bed of salad with a side of balsamic. Balsamic vinegar isn’t absolutely necessary as the juicy fruit acts as a lovely dressing. An alternative dressing is to blend tahini and mango with a dash of water and drizzle it atop. Salt if you please!

Yummy!
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Roast n’ Raw New Year’s Brunch

I have some treasured friends visiting from Ireland. They’re not vegan and I was going to take them out to my favourite raw cafe but I was running low on funds and I still wanted to impress them so I came up with this; it is inspired by delicious festival food. Serve with a balsamic vinegar and tahini sauce.

Roast: Oil, carrot, beetroot, green beans, broccoli, 2 vegan sausages (cubed), olives, falafel, mixed herbs, tamari roasted nuts and seeds (pumpkin, sunflower, sesame blend). You can put this into the oven with falafel stacked on top of the vegetables and it only needs to be turned once, then roast until the vegetables still have a lil’ crunch to them.

Salad: Oiled kale, alfalfa sprouts, raisins, avocado, tomato.

Slaw: Grated cucumber and sauerkraut.

Dessert: Fresh cherries.

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Ultimate Savoury Mince/Stew Recipe

When I was a child I was ultra-fussy.

My Mum will attest, I ate three things and refused all else; mince, chocolate pudding and Marmite on toast. Farm life was amazing for me and the flavours of the food made by Nana and Mum have remained important to me despite being vegan; the flavours were savoury, mustardy, yeasty, sweet and chocolatey and the fruit was always intensely flavoured and fresh from my grandparent’s orchard. This stew is really child-friendly, it managed to satisfy me as one of the fussiest eaters in existence along with my own fussy kid!

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The mince my Mum made was so delicious that I regularly crave it even now, and there’s a reason.

Mum had been slipping something into it – Worcestershire Sauce or ‘worsheshhtehshesshterrshrrresauce” as I like to call it. Now that stuff isn’t usually vegan because it typically contains anchovies, however Pams in New Zealand make a Classic Worcester Sauce and it’s totally authentic tasting (water, treacle, colour, spices, salt).

The gravy of this stew is simply 1-1.5 tins of tomatoes, 3 tablespoons of Worcester Sauce and a generous helping of salt.

I don’t need to thicken it I just cook the stew until it reduces over head until it is covered in a thick gravy. The resultant stew is lovely served on toast with tomato sauce. You can use those ingredients to make an addictive gravy that works on everything. Usually you’ll saute onion and then you can use lentils, red kidney beans, TVP, tofu, sunflower seeds, or a combination of any of those as the protein base and then add any veggies you like, potato, carrot, peas, kumara, broccoli, mushrooms, kale, capsicum – whatever – add the tomatoes, stir in lots of salt and simmer until you get something beautiful.

Here’s the recipe for this batch. I didn’t have any capsicum but I definitely recommend adding it in if you have some, I’m not usually a fan but the combination of even a slither of capsicum (red bell pepper) with Worcester is… perfect. Also, don’t forget to finish with pepper and tomato sauce. Trust me, this is a classic, full-bodied savoury stew.

INGREDIENTS

1 dash of oil
1/2 an onion, chopped
4 large mushrooms, chopped
1 large kale leaf, stalk removed, kale chopped
1 potato, diced
1 tin drained brown lentils
200g of crumbled tofu
1-1.5 tins of diced tomatoes
3 tablespoons of Pams Classic Worcester Sauce
generous amount of salt
generous amount of pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

Saute the onions in a dash of oil until clear. Add in mushrooms, Kale and cook through, add in potato, lentils, tofu, tinned tomatoes and Worcester Sauce. Salt generously, stir and simmer on low until potato is cooked through and sauce has reduced. If heat is too high and sauce reduces before the potato is cooked, add a little extra water. Serve on toast, with salt and pepper and a drizzle of tomato sauce.

Beautiful, Sweet, Low Calorie, Vegan Banana-Coconut Cake

I wasn’t going to blog this, but then I did the math and for such a tasty, pretty cake with each slice (makes 16 slices) being around 127 calories I figure someone might be interested in it! According to Google the average piece of chocolate cake is around 350 calories without frosting – yes, Google has this information!

I have found the best sweet result comes from combining sugar and sugar replacer, and in my humble opinion the best sugar replacers for taste are Nativa (which is a blend of Erythritol and Stevia) and coconut sugar. In this cake I’ve used 2 tablespoons of coconut sugar and 20g of Nativa.

If you really want you can blend a little Nativa with cocoa and make a delicious low-calorie chocolate sauce to go on each slice. I highly recommend that if you feel you don’t mind another 3.2 cals. ;)

OK, without further ado…

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INGREDIENTS

4 ripe bananas, mashed
1 & 3/4 cups flour
1 & 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 teaspoon salt
20g Nativa granulated sweetener (Erythritol and Stevia)
1 tablespoon coconut sugar
30g raisins (2 small boxes)
1/4 cup oil
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla

Topping

2 tablespoons of desiccated coconut
1 tablespoon of coconut sugar

INSTRUCTIONS

Mash bananas. Add all dry ingredients including raisins. Add all wet ingredients. Mix and pour into a cake tin. Sprinkle blended topping ingredients. Bake. Bring out of the oven when springy to touch and a knife pulls out clean.

<3 You know, I’m not a bad baker if I do say so myself <3

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