Sunday, November 29, 2009

Three new recipes in one day!!! Coconut cream cheese!

Actually it has to do with deciding to stop dairy for a bit. We've gotten very used to having raw, cultured creamy goodness in our day and I just have to experiment a bit to find something as good.

So, our other option is coconut kefir, basically strained into cream cheese. It's quite good, a bit sweeter than cream and tangy. I'd like it a bit tangier, I guess. but it's surprisingly tasty. We'll give it a try tomorrow.

I keep forgetting: Cranberry Relish (Raw, cultured)

This was the highlight of our Thanksgiving table for me, mainly because it was on my mind for weeks and when I finally put it together, it was incredibly slapdash. Speaking of which, I'd better type fast before I forget what went into this thing. ( slapdashy that I never even took a'll just have to take my word for it.) It was super-good! Sweet and tart, with a bit of autumn spice and a nice kick. It also had an almost carbonated fizz to it...kind of like the best punch. (No alcohol, of course! Just kefir-y goodness.) It was also sort of like charoset, and, actually, could be modified for Passover, come to think of it.

Raw Cranberry Relish

1 box (pint) raw fresh cranberries
1 pear, peeled, cored
1 sweet apple, peeled, cored (please note that I wound up adding a bit more fruit midway, so you might need to add as you go for taste)
1/2 cup raisins (to taste)

Blend the above together in a blender or food processor until fruit mixes, but stays a bit crunchy and slightly defined. I looked for the cranberries to start looking moist and as if it was starting to sink into the sweeter fruit.

Add to taste:
about 2 tsp lemon juice (this was the point that I had to sweeten it a bit with more fruit)

Add and blend:
2 crushed cloves
1 large pinch cinnamon

Add and blend slightly:
1/4-1/2 cup crispy pecans (you can also crumble or chop the nuts and hand-mix)

Carefully blend or hand mix into the fruit:
1/4 cup coconut milk kefir (or any non-dairy kefir, actually)

Pour the mixture into a canning jar and loosely fasten the lid. Put up for about 3 days. I thought it was done when it tasted slightly fizzy.

Super-yum. We just finished it tonight.

Farmers' Market Booty = Raspberry Banana Nut Pudding!

Thanksgiving is over and our traditional post-holiday duck soup is simmering in the crock pot. We decided that it was time to buy some more produce today and stock up on meat again for the next week or two. We stopped at the Civic Center farmers' market and found, amazingly, 3 big boxes of raspberries for about $7. I mean, big. And they're organic! I couldn't resist. $7 is actually a chunk of change when it comes to produce, but that's some berry booty we're talking about. We also found some interesting lemons and limes. The lemons are called "sweet lemons" and are meant to be eaten like oranges. The limes were almost like lemons, sharp, bright and seedy, but somehow different tasting and very pleasant.

So I got it and all our other purchases home and set about thinking of a good use for 3 big boxes or raspberries. There's eating, of course, and I'm sure Little Moo could put away a box quite happily, but that still leaves two. Besides, it would be wimpy to let such a great creative moment go to waste.

We're also taking a break from dairy at the moment (again - time for a change) so the creaminess had to come from elsewhere. No flour, of course. I'd like to eat it, too.

Here's what happened:

Raspberry Banana Nut Pudding


1 big box (probably a pint or so) raspberries
about 1/2 cup crispy cashews
1/4 cup raisins
3 tbs coconut milk kefir
1 ripe banana
2 rounded tbs coconut butter
juice of 1/4 lemon or sweet lime.
2 tbs gelatin
1/8 c hot water

Blend the raspberries, cashews, raisins, kefir, banana, lemon or lime juice and coconut butter well in a blender. In a small bowl, dissolve the gelatin in the hot water, then add this to the blender and also blend well.

Pour into custard cups or ramekins. Before serving, top with more raspberries and (Little Moo's request) a few raisins.

You will notice that the photo up top shows Little Moo shoveling it in. That's because, although I asked her to smile, she refused to be interrupted. I thought that spoke well of the pudding. :)

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Persimmon Paradise Ice Cream (non-dairy!)

This is a coconut milk-based ice cream, made without eggs or dairy that's sort of a dress rehearsal for Thanksgiving. I couldn't believe just how good it was right out of the ice cream maker - we'll see what it's like set and frozen tomorrow. Little Moo licked the spoon for about 10 minutes when we scooped it out to put away. It's got lots of nice fall flavors and is a pretty orangey-tan color. It would be nice topped with seasonal fruits - more persimmons, 2 colors of sliced grapes, a slice of pear or apple, maybe. Nuts would be tasty and pretty, too.

The problem I was trying to solve was that grainy watery texture that coconut milk ice cream often has. The key to the texture and richness was adding raw virgin coconut oil to the mixture as well as coconut milk kefir and regular coconut milk. The oil, which is solid below about 76 degrees F, keeps it creamy. It would also be good with just kefir, I'd think. Tangier. For a milder version, maybe just the milk.

Persimmon Paradise Ice Cream

2 fuyu persimmons, quartered and peeled (hachiya would also be fine)
1 can coconut milk, preferably organic, definitely full-fat
2 heaping ts raw, unrefined coconut oil
2 ts non-alcohol vanilla extract
2 pinches ground nutmeg
about 1/8 ts ground cinnamon
about 1/3 c dark raisins
1 cup coconut milk kefir
optional: 3 drops liquid stevia if it's not sweet enough

Put everything in a blender. Blend well. Pour into ice cream maker. Process according to the instructions for your particular churn. Scoop...enjoy! Store leftovers in the freezer for later (if there's anything left!).