Vancouver, in case you haven’t noticed, it’s July already, and you’ve barely made your way out of the high-teens. I’m ready for warmer temperatures! I’m ready to shed the big duvet at night! I’ve got a craving for Mint Chocolate Ice Cream and want to eat it without wearing a toque! Okay, so I’m exaggerating on that last point. But, seriously, I’m ready for summer to start, who isn’t? Perhaps, by simply making summer food, Mother Nature will get herself back on track 🙂
Last weekend, the temperature just scraped over 20°C, and we felt like we’d won the weather lottery – sad, but true! What a difference a year makes; this time last year, Level-4 water bans were in effect, forest fires were blazing around the province, and the temperatures hovered consistently at a humid 30°C for most of the summer. This year? We’re lucky if we get two days in a row without rain, and the temps have made me wonder if we’re actually approaching the middle of July!
Not to fear, I’ve decided to enjoy this homemade ice cream, regardless of weather. And you know what? It makes it feel like it’s almost summer 🙂
For this batch, I’m going the raw, vegan route again but instead of a frozen banana base, like my ice cream recipes last year; this year I’m trying out the coconut-milk base and I think it’s even better!
Can you believe that the super green colour is completely natural, with no weird food colouring additives at all? The secret to the super green colour is spirulina! If you’ve never heard of spirulina, don’t worry, we hadn’t either until last year. It’s actually an algae, hence the green colour, and it’s extremely good for you, rich in protein, vitamins B and iron. It also acts as an antioxidant, has anti-inflammatory properties and may be helpful in repairing muscles after a good workout, which is why we started trying it a few years ago.
I don’t know if you can ever find a more convincing argument to eat ice cream in order to help your body recover from exercise! You can thank me later… after you eat a bowl or two of ice cream 🙂
Now make this ice cream, and bring on summer!
- 1 can full-fat coconut milk, chilled in the fridge
- 1 cup raw cashews, soaked in water for at least 4 hours
- ¼ cup tighly-packed fresh mint leaves
- 1 - 2 tsp pure peppermint extract
- 2 - 3 tbsp pure maple syrup
- 1 - 2 tsp spirulina powder (optional)
- ½ cup dark chocolate chunks
- Soak the cashews in water for at least 4 hours, until they soften. Drain the water and rinse thoroughly before blending.
- In a high-speed blender, like a Blend Tec, blend together the drained cashews, coconut milk, mint leaves, peppermint extract, maple syrup and spirulina. Blend until very well combined and smooth, up to 5 or 6 minutes.
- Taste the mixture and add more maple syrup and peppermint extract, depending on your tastes.
- Pour the ice cream mixture into a metal loaf pan, stir in the chocolate chunks and place the pan in the freezer. Every 30 minutes, take the ice cream out and stir it around, moving the frozen bits from the edge of the pan into the middle. After 2 or 3 hours of this, your ice cream should be frozen nicely and combined.
- Scoop into bowls or cones to serve.