After reading through the comments on yesterday’s SOS Challenge reveal post (this month’s ingredient is MINT and Kim and I can’t wait to see what y’all cook up with it!), I realized I may have sounded perhaps a wee bit whiney about everything that’s going on in my life right now. I certainly didn’t mean to imply that I was on the precipice of a nervous breakdown (well, no more than usual, anyway) 😉
It’s true, I’ve got a lot going on right now. But of course, I am also fully aware that it’s (mostly) of my own doing, too, as I keep adding more and more activities to my schedule. Like so many women out there (and let’s face it, this is primarily a problem for women), I must learn to say “no” more often. For my own physical and mental health. For peace of mind. For the others I care about in my life (because what good will I be to them if I’m a babbling puddle of melting goo?).
(“Um, Mum, sorry to have to break it to you, but you have no trouble saying “NO!” to us. None whatsoever. And anyway, what’s so wrong about gently picking that leftover chocolate cupcake out of the garbage? You and Dad weren’t going to eat it.”)
In fact, my overflowing schedule was actually pivotal in this month’s choice of SOS ingredient; requesting mint-based recipes was really a selfish choice on my part. After considering the overflowing patch of mint at the side of our house, I decided that I needed some creative inspiration to find recipes that would use it up. And so, I’m counting on all of you to save me by providing a huge array of awesome recipes! So settle back, settle into your chef persona and start creating–use fresh, dried, or mint extract–your choice!
In the meantime, here’s my mint ice cream recipe, as promised. This is something I created so that those of us on the ACD (or with dairy, egg, gluten or sugar dietary restrictions) can enjoy ice cream in the summer, too. Imagine: no more silent (or, in my case, not so silent) suffering while your honey and friends gobble up the “real” thing! This verseion is easy and, if you’ve got a food processor, really quick, too. The texture is silken smooth, creamy, and has just the right kick of mint.
So go ahead–it’s real ice cream, and you can enjoy yourself with a clear conscience. Now, if only I could clear my schedule as well.
Easy Mint Carob (or Chocolate) Chip Ice Cream (suitable for ACD Stage 2 and beyond)
This ice cream is easy to make, rich, creamy and perfect for the abundance of summer mint. It was a huge hit with the HH, my friends and the ebook testers.
1 large ripe pear (6.5 oz or 190g), cored (peel if desired—not necessary)
About 1/3 cup (80 ml) avocado purée (from one small to medium just-ripe avocado)
45-70 fresh mint leaves (depending on the size of leaves and your taste)
20-30 drops plain or vanilla stevia liquid, to your taste
1 tsp (5 ml) pure vanilla extract
1 can (400 ml or 14 oz) full-fat organic coconut milk (I use Native Forest)
1/2 cup (120 ml) unsweetened plain or vanilla soy or almond milk
1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) pure mint extract, optional (but it really brings out the flavor)
Pinch fine sea salt
1/2 cup (120 ml) unsweetened carob or chocolate chips (1 Tbsp/15 ml per serving)
Line an 8” (20 cm) square pan with two pieces of waxed paper, overlapping paper in either direction to cover all sides of the pan; or place 10 silicon muffin cups in a muffin tin; or set out three silicon ice-cube trays.
Place all ingredients except carob chips in a high-powered blender and blend until perfectly smooth. Pour into the pan, muffin cups or ice cube trays and freeze until firm. Pop the mixture out of the muffin cups or ice cube trays and place in a clean food-grade plastic bag in the freezer until ready to use. If using the square pan, remove from pan by flipping out onto a cutting board as soon as the mixture is frozen solid, about 4 hours, and peeling off the waxed paper. Cut into 8-10 equal squares; place squares in a plastic bag in the freezer until ready to use.
To make the ice cream, remove the desired servings from the freezer bag (one muffin cup per serving, or 4 ice cubes, or one square from the square pan) and place in the bowl of a food processor. Process until the mixture resembles the texture of bread crumbs, then scrape down sides and continue to process just until it begins to form a ball. Using a rubber spatula, spread out the mixture in the processor bowl to cover the bottom; sprinkle with the reserved carob chips (enough for the number of servings selected). Replace the processor cover and pulse 5-10 times, just enough to break up most of the chips and distribute them through the mixture. Scoop into bowls and eat immediately. Makes 8 servings.
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