Summer Icy Treats

Three summer icy treats from Icy, Creamy, Healthy, Sweet by Christine Chitnis. Published by Roost Books and used with permission.
July 04, 2016

Instructions

STRAWBERRY CHEESECAKE ICE CREAM

Makes 1 pint

This pretty pink ice tastes like a rich slice of strawberry cheesecake. If you’d prefer to use dairy cream cheese, omit the arrowroot starch, which does not react well with dairy products.

2⁄3 cups full fat coconut milk (from one 13.5 ounce can), divided

1 tablespoon arrowroot starch

2 cups hulled and chopped strawberries

1 tablespoon coconut oil

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ cup maple syrup

1⁄3 cup vegan cream cheese, softened

1 cup Cashew Cream (see recipe below)

½ cup graham cracker crumbs, homemade or store-bought


Pour 2 tablespoons of the coconut milk into a small bowl, add the arrowroot starch, and whisk until dissolved.

In a medium saucepan, combine the strawberries, coconut oil, salt, and maple syrup. Place over medium heat, bring to a simmer, and cook, stirring gently, until the strawberries begin breaking down, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove the pan from heat and mix in the arrowroot slurry and the remaining coconut milk.

In a blender, combine the strawberry mixture, vegan cream cheese, and cashew cream and blend until smooth. Pour the mixture into a bowl, cover, and place in the fridge for a few hours to chill thoroughly.

Add the graham cracker crumbs to the ice cream base and freeze in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. You can eat the ice cream right away for a softer version, or freeze it for about 2 hours for a firmer consistency.


Cashew Cream from Whole Foods Market

1¼ cup raw cashews

2 tablespoons honey

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Pinch fine sea salt

Place cashews in a bowl and cover with warm water. Let sit for two hours to soften. Drain soaked cashews and discard liquid. Place cashews, ¾ cup water, honey, vanilla and salt in a blender and purée until smooth. Refrigerate in an airtight container up to 3 days.

MEXICAN CHOCOLATE FUDGE POPS

Makes 6 pops

While traditional fudge pops are extremely tasty, I find them a bit lacking given their single flavor profile. By adding a bit of cinnamon and cayenne pepper, these fudgy pops pack a whole lot of punch and offer a more complex, layered flavor experience, at once creamy and chocolaty, while still delivering a spicy heat. However, if you are serving these pops to young children, you might choose to skip the cayenne.

One 13.5-ounce can full-fat coconut milk

5 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

4 tablespoons honey

½ avocado

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon ground cayenne

¼ teaspoon salt


In a small saucepan, combine the coconut milk, cocoa powder, and honey. Place over medium-low heat and stir gently until the cocoa powder and honey are completely incorporated. Remove from the heat.

Pour the mixture into a blender, add the avocado, vanilla, cinnamon, cayenne, and salt and blend until smooth. Pour the liquid into the pop molds, insert sticks, and freeze until hardened, at least 3 to 4 hours.

FROZEN YOGURT BARK

Makes 10 to 15 pieces of bark

This bark is a take on traditional chocolate bark, and it works perfectly as a fun-size frozen treat. The yogurt base is simple — plain whole milk yogurt sweetened with a bit of honey and a dash of vanilla extract — and from there this recipe is open for experimentation. You can simply throw in a couple cups of berries or chopped peaches, or you can get fancy, combining fruits, even adding nuts, chocolate chips, or seeds for crunch. Just be sure the mixture is spreadable — that’s the key!

2 cups plain whole milk yogurt

1/3 cup honey

½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

¼ teaspoon salt

2 cups fruit of your choice (such as blueberries, strawberries, cherries, raspberries, chopped peaches)


In a large bowl, whisk together the yogurt, honey, vanilla, and salt.

If the fruit you’re using is large and has pits or stems (such as strawberries, cherries, or peaches), prepare the fruit by pitting/hulling/peeling and roughly chopping it. Raspberries and blueberries can be used whole. Gently stir the fruit into the yogurt mixture until just combined.

Pour the yogurt onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, using a spatula to spread it out smoothly and evenly. Give the fruit a bit of a press with the spatula to even out the surface. Freeze the baking sheet overnight and, when ready to serve, cut or break the sheet of yogurt into pieces. Store the yogurt bark in a lidded freezer-safe glass container with the layers of bark separated by parchment paper in the freezer for up to 2 weeks.

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