Tag Archives: frozen

Unbelieveably Easy Fresh Fig and Almond Ice Cream

16 Aug

This ice cream is amazingly simple to make and it’s vegan, gluten-free, sugar-free and guilt-free. It also tastes lovely. Don’t believe me? Just try it and see. You’re going to love me for this, I promise.

As you probably know I have a huge bag of fresh figs in my freezer (thanks Leigh) and am desperately trying to use them up. The thing is they don’t seem to be going down.  I’ve made Fig Chutney, Fig Jam, Fig Muffins, Fig Granola Crumble, and just recently Fig & Feta Sambouseks.

While I was out walking this morning with the dog, taking pictures of  figs, I felt something crunching under my feet. I  looked down and saw that I was walking over almonds (not Driving Over Lemons).  In the tree above my head I saw that the almond kernels are now hatching out of their furry jackets and falling to the ground.

I picked up as many as I could carry and took them home. The thing is I don’t have any nutcrackers but they look great in the pictures. I must buy some nutcrackers though.

Anyway, back to the ice cream. I’ve seen a few recipes recently for an ice cream made just using frozen bananas. You just freeze them and then whiz them in a blender, that’s it. So I threw a couple of bananas that were going a bit brown into the freezer.

The next day when I went to retrieve them I realised that it was going to be impossible to peel the things because the skins were frozen solid. I’m such an idiot, you are supposed to peel and chop them up first!

Thankfully I found Sawsan’s recipe which explained this in detail so I tried again (with different bananas). I added some coconut milk to get it going, grated coconut and lime zest too. You can eat it like a slushy straight away or freeze it for a few hours to firm it up.

While I was looking in the freezer I saw the huge bag of figs and wondered if it would work with them just as well. So I tried them, and it did. I used low-fat coconut milk and ground almonds for creaminess and vanilla extract for a little sweetness.  I’m sure Greek yoghurt would be lovely in this too if you didn’t want to use coconut milk.

So there it is. A simple ice cream made without an ice cream maker or all that tedious stirring every hour. Just use frozen fruit and blend it with coconut milk or yoghurt and add any other flavourings you like.

Fresh Fig and Almond Ice Cream Recipe

Makes about 1/2 litre, easily doubled, vegan, gluten-free

  • 8 fresh figs (frozen for 24 hours before using)
  • about 200 ml (1/2 tin), low-fat coconut milk, shake the tin before opening
  • 55 gr (1/2 cup) ground almonds
  • a few drops of almond extract (optional)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • flaked almonds, toasted in a dry pan for garnish

Take the figs out of the freezer, quarter them and put them in a blender or food processor with the rest of the ingredients. Pulse to get it going then blend until well mixed and smooth. Taste, if you want it sweeter add some honey.

Eat straight away if you can’t wait or pour into an ice cream tub and freeze for a couple of hours or more until firm. That’s it. How easy is that?

Serve sprinkled with the toasted flaked almonds.

The possibilities are endless. I want to try mango and banana next time with coconut milk. If you want to add some texture with nuts or broken up cookies, (I’m thinking crushed Amaretti biscuits) stir them through after you’ve blended then freeze as usual.

Just remember to peel and chop the bananas, if using, before you freeze them…..

Things That made Me Smile Today……………..

We picked up our new cushions at the weekend for the banquette seat on our terrace.

I’m really pleased with them. The guy that made them has done a fantastic job.

I’m thinking “Ralph Lauren in Provence”….

I just wish it would cool down a bit so I could sit outside and enjoy them!

A Watermelon Martini Granita for a Mysterious Friend

20 Jul

I’ve been watching these watermelons grow from a distance. Every morning I walk past them with the dog and look down on them. I walk on the road that goes around the top of the field, and have been taking photos from there but I wasn’t happy with them, they were too far away. I wanted to get closer so I had to scramble down quite a steep bank and quickly take some shots before anyone saw me and thought I was stealing.

Don’t you think they look strange just lying there, on the ground?

Kind of like stray, abandoned footballs, hidden in the long grass of your neighbour’s garden, that you are too afraid to ask for back.

The first thing that I think of when I see watermelon is a cocktail we used to serve at the restaurant called a Watermelon Martini. It was a beautiful pale pink colour (there was a lot of vodka in it) and it was served in a martini glass with a pink straw.

A proper girl’s drink, or so I thought.

This pretty pink drink became “The Usual” of one of our best customers who soon became a friend. I can’t mention his name (yes it’s a he) because he might have to kill me.

No seriously, he would have to kill me.

Let’s just say, he works away a lot. I don’t know what he does or where he does it. What I do know is that when he comes home he likes a nice cocktail.

 A nice pink, girly cocktail.

Now this guy is big. As in big, strong and slightly intimidating (if you don’t know him). He has a dangerous job and you’d definitely want him on your side in a fight.

To see him sitting at my bar with a baby pink martini cocktail in his (very large) hands would always completely crack me up. It still does now, and I miss it.

 So, for old times sake, you know who you are. This one’s for you. xx

I wanted to make a granita because Sawsan from Chef in Diguise and Tiffany from Como Water keep tempting me with them.  Tiffany also gave me the idea for the sugar-coated mint leaves as a garnish. The bouganvilla is from our roof terrace and is just the perfect colour to go with this.

Watermelon Martini Granita Recipe

Makes about a litre tub, 4-6 martini size glasses.

Adapted from Como Water & Alcoholic Drink Recipes

  • about 600 gr cubed watermelon, without rind
  • 2 tsp fresh lime/lemon juice
  • 55 gr (1/4 cup) caster sugar
  • 55 ml (1/4 cup) vodka, or more to taste
  • fresh mint leaves
  • sugar
  • a wedge of watermelon to decorate the glass

Remove as many seeds from the watermelon as possible, cut into cubes and put in a food proccessor or bowl with the lime/lemon juice and sugar and blend well until smooth.

Strain the puree through a sieve into a shallow pyrex dish or metal tin. Press the pulp through the sieve with a spatula to squeeze as much juice out as possible. Mix the vodka into the juice and taste. Add more vodka , sugar or lime juice to taste.

Freeze for about an hour until the edges start to freeze. Fold the frozen bits into the middle with a fork. Do this every half an hour for about 4 hours. (I know it sounds time consuming, but it’s so worth it, and you don’t have to sit there waiting for it, just set the timer and get on with something else).

Meanwhile make the sugar-coated mint leaves. Tip some sugar onto a small plate, wash the mint leaves then dip the top side into the sugar. Put these on plate and freeze.

The granita mixture is ready when it forms ice crystals. Rake it with the fork and serve in chilled glasses garnished with the sugar-coated mint leaves and a wedge of watermelon.

Salud!

Things that made me smile today……..

 

Our hibiscus plants in full bloom….

With a watermelon martini granita in one hand and an hibiscus flower behind my ear, the world is a happy place!

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