Vanilla Almond (Chickpea) Ice Cream

Its Hot.

Yeah. This was at 7:00 pm. It had really been 107° earlier that day.

Plus our AC broke. It was 90° inside of my house. With fans on.

I wanted something cold. I had a bunch of chickpeas in the fridge, and an itch to *finally* use the ice cream maker we bought a few years back, so I figured, if beans can make cookies, blondies, pies, and dip, why can’t they make ice cream too?

I couldn’t find any recipes for chickpea ice cream online, so I said to myself,  “EXPERIMENT TIME!!!!!”

I’m pretty proud of myself.

Vanilla Almond (Chickpea) Ice Cream

Vegan, gluten, oil, and sugar free. 

  • 2 C. chickpeas, shelled (its worth it, trust me)
  • 1/2 C. date paste*
  • 3/4 tsp uncut stevia, or to taste
  • 2 C. unsweetened vanilla almond milk (more if needed)
  • 1/4 C. almond butter
  • 1 1/2 Tbs. vanilla extract
  • 3/4 tsp almond extract
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 Tbs shredded coconut (optional, but gives buttery taste)
 Make sure your chickpeas have been drained and rinsed well. If you shell them (and you should), rinse them again after shelling to get all the beany flavor out. Put all ingredients in a Vitamix and blend well (you can use a food processor too, but I tried it and ended up switching to the Vitamix because it was a lot smoother). If it gets warm from blending, stick it in the fridge until it has cooled off. Transfer mixture to an ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Eat immediately or transfer to a freezer-safe container and keep in freezer until ready for ice cream.
* For the date paste I soaked about 7-10 dates overnight in a big cup of water in the fridge. The next day I processed them with a little of the soaking liquid, adding more liquid until I liked the consistency. It made about a cup.
This ice cream would be even creamier if you used coconut milk, but I haven’t tried it, and you might lose some of the almond flavor.
I can’t wait to experiment with other flavors!! Note: I now understand the ice cream maker and we are never using store-bought ice cream again. ever.
This is also totally healthy. And full of protein. You could eat it for breakfast. In fact, I think I will. On top of strawberry shortcake pancakes. Cake and ice cream for brekkie?? Hey why not!!
mmmm…..enjoy!
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Drumroll puh-leeeaasseee….

The 4th of July.

It brings up images of fireworks, BBQs, red, white and blue everything…oh yeah and independence too (cuz thats totally an image right?).

A reminder of things that are truly American. Like apple pie and baseball. And ice cream cones. Drumstick ice cream cones. Oh America, how my childhood memories are full of your individually wrapped, processed, chocolate coated treats…

(Is it bad that it when I tried to sing the National Anthem, all I could think of was “oohhhh Caaa-na-daa”?  20 minutes later I remembered our words…)

I guess being a vegan (esp in California) is somewhat taboo for the 4th of July. No BBQ, no fireworks (fire hazard cuz here we all be feelin hot hot hot)  no ice-cream, especially no Drumsticks.

But there are always veggie burgers, and wimpy, in the street fireworks, and non dairy ice cream. But still no Drumsticks.

Or so you would think…

Vegan Drumsticks

makes 12. gluten and dairy free. Not healthy though 😉

What you need:

  • 1 Package of gluten free sugar cones (don’t have to be GF, Keebler and Joy brands are vegan too)
  • 2 quarts of vanilla non-dairy ice cream (or your favorite flavor)
  • 2 packages vegan chocolate chips (guittard have a good flavor for this, and melt very smoothly)
  • toppings like sprinkles, nuts, mini chocolate chips, coarse sea salt, crushed pretzels or grahm crackers, etc.

Begin by pouring about half a bag of chocolate chips into a microwave safe bowl, to melt them (2 minutes on 50% power, stir, then 30 secs @ 50% until melted).

In each cone, spoon some melted chocolate into the bottom of the cone (the fudgybestpart bottom of drumsticks), then lightly but thouroughly coat the inside of the cone (I used a baby spoon. this keeps the cone from getting soggy).

Put into fridge for 10-15 minutes, until solid.

Take one quart of ice cream and soften it in the microwave for a few seconds. Not melted, but easy to work with and smush down. Using a small spoon, stuff each cone with ice cream until its flat on top (don’t make the dome on top yet).

I put each cone in the freezer as I went, so they wouldn’t get melty. Freeze for 45 minutes (or while you go to the gym and eat dinner, really the freezing time is a minimum)

mmmmm….ice cream….

 

 

 

 

 

One at a time, take a cone out of the freezer, use an ice-cream scoop to scoop a dome on top of each cone and a knife to smooth out the sides and make it even with the cone.

 

 

 

 

 

Put each cone back in the freezer as you go. I used a shoebox that I punched holes into to keep the cones up right and away from each other. Freeze for at least an hour, or over-night (you want these things solid)

When they ae ready, prepare your toppings. Put everything into small bowls for dippage.

Melt more chocolate chips, half-bag at a time. Just like when you topped the cones with ice-cream, do this step one at a time and stick back into freezer immediately. Taking one cone, swirl it into the bowl of melted chocolate, coating all sides of the top.

Dip into topping of choice (I used mini choc. chips, toasted almonds, and sprinkles). and put back into freezer. repeat until all are done, and freeze until solid, keep frozen until serving time.

These are definetly not my usual, healthy treats.

But they are delicious.

 mmmmm……I love holidays

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So do 10 out of 10 vegans:)

Happy Fourth of July!!!

Go-To Green Smoothie

Last year, my mom splurged and bought a Vita-Mix.

A red Vita-Mix (to match our kitchen)

With both a big and a small pitcher.

We were so excited!!! But now what?

We’ve made banana ice cream, vegan fondue, watermelon margaritas (virgin for me), and smoothies.

I know people call them green monsters, but I call it a smoothie. Thats because our first attempts were real monsters (shudder). Purply-brown, bitter, over sweet, sometimes they even tasted like tomato soup (not bad, unless its supposed to be a smoothie) you name it. Turned us off of green smoothies for a while. But this year, something changed, we figured out how to balance flavors nicely, and make a smoothie that was refreshing, alkalizing, energizing, and get this: GREEN!!!

This is our favorite, sure we make little changes here and there, it comes out different sometimes. Its not the only smoothie we make, but it is what we call the usual (or the youge(?), more often)

Go-To Green Smoothie

makes 2 large or 3 medium smoothies

  • 1 C. coconut water
  • 1 apple
  • 1/2 of a lemon (w/o peel)
  • 3 stalks of celery
  • 1/4-1/2 of a cucumber
  • 1-inch nub of fresh ginger (peeled)
  • handful of fresh parsley
  • 2-4 large handfuls of spinach (or kale, but you taste the kale)

Stick it all in a blender in that order (roughly), blend it up, pour, and enjoy!

Play around with the amount of ginger, and different fruits. One version we also like is with celery, lime, red and green apple, ginger, and spinach (sometimes we add PB2 and it tastes almost like thai:)

Warning: This smoothie is mostly veggies (ie my stepdad hates it, he says it tastes too green), and is not for the veggie faint of heart. A good way to get your green smoothie taste buds goin is to start with mostly fruit and a little green (I make my stapdad a smoothie with some frozen and some fresh banana, and strawberries, with just one handful of spinach), and slowly adding more green and less fruit. Once you are there, this is delicious and refreshing, trust me🙂

Cinnamon Banana Almond Bars

I’m going camping tomorrow!!!! We are bringing my best friend along (and a seperate tent so my parents don’t have to listen to “whisper whisper whisper *hehehe* whisper whisper *giggle giggle*” all night long;)

So I was thinking, what should I do to get ready???

 Pack???

Nah. I have all day.

Go grocery shopping for what we need?

If only I could drive, because my mom is busy doing something, and does not want to leave yet.

Maybe I should finally start on my summer homework for two of the five AP classes I’m taking come August…

Hahaha nope!! what am I?? A nerd???……Yeah don’t answer that.

I know! How about I make some snacks??

Okay!! But what???

Granola Bars.

Healthy granola bars.

Yes Please!

Cinnamon Banana Almond Bars

vegan, gluten-free, low sugar, oil free, low fat

  • 1 C. rolled oats
  • 3 T. oat flour
  • 1/4 C. brown rice crispies (i used chocolate ones, what we had on hand)
  • 1/4 t. sea salt
  • 1/4 t. baking soda
  • healthy shake of cinnamon (or two…)
  • 2 T. almond butter
  • 1 T. coconut nectar
  • 2 T. mashed banana
  • 1 packet of stevia

optional add ins: chopped almonds, dried banana, other dried fruit, chocolate chips, nuts, etc.

Preheat oven to 350. line a baking dish with parchment paper. combine dry ingredients in a medium bowl. in a small bowl, combine wet  ingredients and stevia. mix wet into dry until all of the dry is coated. press mixture into baking dish, hard, and shaped into a relativly even (in thickness) rectangle. Bake for 18-20 minutes, let cool another 20 before cutting into bars.

Snacks are covered. Now what?? Pack?

Nah, I don’t think my dog will let me. Besides,  I’ve still got all day…

Peanut Butter Swirl [black bean] Brownies

See, I can never just follow a recipe…

I always look at it, go mmm that looks really good, I wonder how it would be if I (insert 10,000 substitutions and additions here). Sometimes it turns out great, sometimes not so great. Usually the not so great is at least good enough to just slap a different name on it and call it good though (ie when over spread sugar cookies become ‘sugar cookie crumble ice cream topping’).



And then, there are times (such as this) when I start out following a recipe, then mix it with another, completely different one and blow everyones mind…and then i still change it, based on what sounds good.

But what I love is when I take a recipe and tweak it just enough to make it both my own and completely wholesome but still tasty (and safe) for everyone to eat. No need to thank me, the “ohmigawdthisisamazing:D:D:D” will do.

Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Swirl [black bean] Brownies

vegan, sugar free, low fat, high protein

(inspired by Lindsay’s Black Bean Brownies and Katie’s Genius Blondies)

For the brownies:

  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 C. dates, pitted
  • 1 banana
  • 1/4 C. + 2 T. unsweetened cocoa (i like Hershey’s special dark)
  • 2 T. unsweetened Carob powder
  • 1 T. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 C. old fashioned oats
  • almond milk, as needed
  • stevia (or other sweetner) as needed

Pre-heat oven to 350° F. Lightly spray a 13×9 inch pan, set aside. In a food processor, process the dates to a paste, adding almond milk as you go a little at a time until you get a smooth consistensy (dont add much, you dont want it over-liquidy). Add all ingredients (except oats and stevia) to food processor and blend until smooth, scraping sides down as neccessary. Taste, and adjust sweetness and consistensy as you like (with milk and stevia), then add oats and pulse them until mixed. Spread your batter into the pan and set aside. Don’t forget to eat any and all extra batter from food processor (so you can check for poison 😉

for the peanut butter blondie swirl:

  • 1 can garbanzo or cannellini beans, drained and rinsed.
  • 1/2 – 3/4 C dates
  • 1/4 C nut butter (i used almond, because my mom can’t have peanut oil, but regular peanut butter is highly recommended) or 2 T. nut butter + 2 T. canned pumpkin or cooked sweet potato
  • 1/4 C. PB2 or peanut flour, or to taste (helps with PB flavor if not using real PB)
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste or extract
  • 1 tsp peanut butter extract (or to taste)
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • pinch sea salt (i like pink sea salt, because its more ‘buttery’)
  • 1-2 T. ground flax plus 1-2 T. oats
  • 1/3 C. chocolate or carob chips (i used 1/2 and 1/2)
  • stevia or other sweetner, to taste
  • almond milk, as needed

Follow same proceedure as for the brownies, (you know, except for the oven-heating and pan-greasing), pulsing in chocolate chips at end so they are mixed in but not chopped up). Scoop the batter on top of the brownie batter, spread it out lightly, and then swirl them together (or if you fail at swirling, like i did this time, just mix it together in the pan and call it good). If you want, sprinkle the top with crushed pretzels (like I did), more chocolate chips, peanut butter chips (if you’re not vegan), or anything really, get creative! (a drizzle of caramel sauce would also be good, or peanut butter, or…..see what i told you?!?!)

Bake for 30 minutes, or until a tooth pick comes out clean (or until your mom freaks out “it smells like burning” and your like “It didn’t burn!!!!! just the stuff on the sides got crispy!!”). ignore the fact that you just have to wait until they come out of the oven to get a good picture…

Allow to cool completely before cutting into squares…

or eat ooey gooey from the oven. I wont judge:)

Yum. That was good.

Options:

  • make it cookie dough-swirled brownies by ommitting PB2 and peanut extract, and using almond or cashew butter in the blondie batter (this is what we did the first time)
  • use above cookie dough option, but add coconut and a little butter extract, plus sprinkles to make it cake-batter swirled brownies. Also, add extra sprinkles. You can never have enough sprinkles.
  • make a grahm cracker crust, put chocolate chips in the brownie layer, and add extra vanilla and marshmallows to the cookie dough blondies to make smores flavor. top with marshmallow cream, chocolate sauce, and crushed grahm cracker for a really decadent treat
  • play around with different extracts and ideas of your own until you come up with completely different (and amazing) recipes all your own!

I’ve learned that it is perfectly fine to take a recipe and make it your own, experimenting is always the best part of any baking experience (besides licking the bowl). Just make sure your oven is always clean. If not, it might set on fire during preheating, forcing you to make cookies in muffin liners in the toaster. been there. done that.

But thats another story for another time…

Banana Bread and a greeting:)

Hey! Welcome to the first official post of Life Hands you Limes! I figured we would just go ahead and get started here with the first recipe! Whaddya say hmmm?

I say that we had a rather large bunch of ripe bananas on the counter, but already had too many in the freezer. what does that mean? BANANA BREAD TIME!! (more specifically vegan, (almost) sugar free, (almost) fat free, carob chip banana bread). Its good for your health, but more importantly your soul (and sanity)

lets get started!

Good For Your Soul Banana Bread 

(adapted from CCK’s Polka Dot Banana Bread )

  • 2 C. whole spelt flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/3 C. almond milk (I use unsweetend vanilla)
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 1/2 C. date paste* (instructions below)
  • 1 and 1/2 T lemon juice
  • 1 stevia packet
  • 1 C pureed banana (in food processor) plus 1 C. mashed banana (measure after mashing)
  • 1 Tbs ground flax seed
  • 1/4 C (or more) plus 1-2 T. carob chips (optional if you want completely sugar and fat free)

*to make cheaters date paste, I put 5-7 medjool dates in a mug with a good amount of water, annd microwaved it for about 2 minutes, let i sit till I remembered i needed to use it. I take the soft dates and puree them in the food processor, adding a little of the soaking water 1 spoonful at a time till I got a good consistensy close to that of agave/maple syrup. not too liquidy, but not to sticky either. i like it juuuusssstt right haha

Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly spray a loaf pan. In a large bowl, mix dry ingredients (except choc chips). In a seperate bowl, mix the wet ingredients and the flax together until well combined, and then add this to the dry mixture. combine,  but do not overmix. whateve you do. please. Now add 1/4 C of carob chips (or chocolate, whichever, we were out of chocolate) and just make sure its all good and even. Put your batter in the loaf pan, spread it out evenly, and top it with the last tablespoon or so of chips, until its pretty:).

Proceed to clean every baking tool by way of licking.

(Sophie is mad. No banana bread for her on top of her cone collar??? im getting shunned)

Bake for around 50 minutes, until it looks golden and smells like heaven. Once done, let it cool for at least 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

Yum.

So here’s to a great start! I’ve got high hopes for this blog, I hope you join me:)

And remember, when life hands you limes, rearrange the letters and SMILE!!!