Coconut Ice Cream

Coconut Ice Cream

Making ice cream has always been one of my favourite things to do in the kitchen. It also holds a special place in my memory – when I was 15 a family friend tasted my chocolate ice cream and was so impressed she suggested that I go to chef school! It hadn’t even occurred to me, so that experience was what inspired me to attend chef school.

When I started cutting out dairy and refined sugar I knew that ice cream would be first on my list of things to reinvent. This ice cream is a perfect replacement for traditional vanilla ice cream. It can be eaten on its own or served with something like my Raw Chocolate Tart. It can also be used as a base for other flavours. Omit the coconut flakes and try adding cacao nibs and a few drops of peppermint essential oil, fresh raspberries, or finely chopped dates and nuts. The options are endless – use your imagination!

Ingredients (makes about 600ml)

400ml coconut cream
45ml organic virgin coconut oil
a pinch of Oryx Desert Salt
a pinch of vanilla powder
1/4 tsp stevia leaf powder
45ml raw honey
2 egg yolks
1 whole egg
1/2 cup organic coconut flakes

Method

Place the coconut cream, coconut oil, salt, vanilla, stevia, honey and egg into a high speed blender and blend for about 4 or 5 minutes, until the mixture has heated through, thereby cooking the egg.

If you don’t have a high speed blender, simply blend the mixture until smooth or even use a whisk to combine. Then transfer to a saucepan on a very gentle heat. Stir continuously to prevent the egg from scrambling. There should be steam coming off the custard but it must never boil. To check if the egg is cooked, dip the back of a spoon into the custard and then draw a line across the back of the spoon with your finger. Hold it horizontally and if the custard doesn’t drip it is cooked. With experience you can also taste when it is done. Traditionally ice cream was made with raw egg, so as long as you have good hygiene practices in the kitchen it’s not paramount that the egg be fully cooked. However, cooking the egg does thicken the custard thereby giving a creamier texture to the ice cream.

Place the coconut flakes in a frying pan and lightly toast them over a medium heat. Keep your eye on it and toss regularly as it can burn quite quickly. Turn out onto a chopping board and use a knife to chop into smaller pieces. Add to the custard.

If you have an ice cream machine, simply pour the custard into your prepared machine and churn until done, then transfer to a suitable container and store in a freezer.

If you don’t have an ice cream machine, pour the custard into a sealable container and place in the freezer. Use a whisk to stir the mixture every 20 to 30 minutes. By breaking up the ice crystals regularly as it freezes you achieve a smoother texture. You should do this for at least 2 – 3 hours, until the mixture starts to freeze into a smooth ice cream. At this point you can just leave it in the freezer to freeze completely.

Remember to remove the ice cream from the freezer 5 – 10 minutes before serving, to allow it to soften.

Health & happiness!

Love,
Raine

Paleo Brownies

Paleo Brownies

These brownies are gluten- and grain-free, and by using stevia and only a small amount of honey to sweeten they are very low in carbs too. The use of almonds, flax, egg and avo means that they’re a decent source of protein; and the coconut oil, along with the flax, is great for controlling cholesterol. A truly guilt-free treat!

Ingredients

65g raw cacao paste
80g organic virgin coconut oil
60ml raw almond butter
60ml raw honey
2 eggs
1/2 cup ripe avo
2 tsp vanilla extract or 1 tsp vanilla powder
1 cup ground almonds
60ml ground flax seed
1 tsp stevia powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
a pinch of Oryx Desert Salt
1 tsp aluminium-free baking powder
1/4 cup chopped raw pecan nuts

Method

Preheat the oven to 180C and grease a square baking dish with coconut oil.

Place the cacao paste, coconut oil, almond butter and honey in a glass or steel bowl which can fit over a saucepan. Fill the saucepan with water and bring to a simmer. Place the bowl over the saucepan, gently melting the ingredients.

Mash the avo with a fork until smooth. Whisk the egg and vanilla, and combine with the avo. Set aside.

Combine the ground almonds, ground flax, stevia, cinnamon, salt and baking powder. Set aside.

Once the chocolate mixture is completely melted and whisked together, slowly pour it into the egg mixture whilst whisking vigorously, to prevent the heat from scrambling the egg. Stir in the dry ingredients and the chopped pecans.

Spread the batter into the baking dish and bake for about 20 – 25 minutes. Allow to cool before cutting into squares.

Health & happiness!

Love,
Raine

Homemade Coconut Yoghurt

Coconut Yoghurt

When I first started cutting out dairy, yoghurt was the hardest thing to give up… in fact I didn’t think I’d ever be able to do it! I’ve spent a lot of time working on my coconut yoghurt recipe and have finally come up with the perfect one. I normally make my own coconut milk from fresh coconut but you can also use an organic tinned coconut milk or cream. No dairy, sugar, artificial colours or flavours, but still thick, creamy and delicious 🙂 Need I say more?

Ingredients

160g fresh mature coconut flesh
350ml hot water (or replace the coconut and water with 420ml organic coconut milk or cream)
1/3 tsp agar agar powder (flakes require different measurements so make sure you are using powder)
1/4 tsp himalayan salt
1/4 tsp organic stevia leaf powder or 1 tbsp organic maple or raw honey
20ml baobab powder
1 tbsp of a high quality liquid probiotic, or the contents of 2 probiotic capsules
A glass jar, a piece of netting or breathable cloth, and an elastic

A note on making yoghurt

Two things are very important when making yoghurt: Firstly, the quality of the probiotic you use and secondly, hygiene. If you do not have a good quality probiotic it will not culture into yoghurt and you will merely have a nice tasting coconut cream. On the other hand, if you don’t sterilise the glass jar and wash your hands properly, you may end up culturing other bacteria. This won’t taste good and may even make you sick!

I’ve tried a few different probiotics and have found the best result with a liquid probiotic. I use Sambiotica or Nature’s Choice Ultimate Probiotic, available at Dischem.  Alternatively you can use Biogen Pre- & Probiotic capsules also available at Dischem. If you’re not in South Africa, you may need to experiment a bit to find the one that works best.

Probiotic Probiotic2 Probiotic3

Method

Firstly make sure you have a sterilised glass jar for fermenting the yoghurt. The easiest is to put it in a dishwasher, otherwise you can boil it for 2 minutes. Turn it upside down on a rack to dry. Also make sure that your hands are thoroughly clean!

Blend the coconut and hot water for 30 to 60 seconds in a high speed blender and then strain through a nut milk bag or muslin. Place the resulting cream in a saucepan. Sprinkle the agar over the cream and use a whisk to thoroughly combine. Bring up to a gentle simmer, and simmer for 3 minutes exactly. Agar needs to be heated to activate it, but over heating will destroy it and it will not thicken. Remove from the heat.

Once the coconut cream has cooled down to body temperature, whisk in the remaining ingredients. If you add the probiotic while it is too hot, you will kill the cultures. Remember that bacteria are living things so treat them as such… they like to be warm and fed 🙂 Cover the jar with a cloth that breathes and use an elastic to secure it.

Coconut Yoghurt 2

Leave the jar in a warm place for about 24 hours. If it is particularly hot, 18 hours may be enough. If it’s very cold, gently warm your oven, turn it OFF and then place the jar inside. After a day the cream will have cultured into yoghurt and you can refrigerate it. In the fridge it may culture and thicken further. You should eat it within about a 10 days, if it lasts that long!

Health & happiness.

Love,
Raine

Choc-Chip Sweet Potato Cookies

Sweet Potato Choc Chip Cookies 1

If you’ve read my Joburg recommendations in the “Two Kitchens Loves” page, you’ll know that I am a big fan of the Organic Emporium in Bryanston. It has replaced regular supermarkets for my day-to-day grocery shopping. The owner, Debbie, is so passionate about the work she does, it’s hard not to get caught up in her enthusiasm!

Last week I was in the store and Debbie asked me to come up with a recipe for Wensleydale’s new organic Sweet Potato Flour. I made these gluten, sugar and dairy-free choc-chip cookies. They’ve been really popular with everyone’s who’s taste-tested them for me!

Sweet potatoes are naturally gluten-free and low-GI so the flour makes a great substitute for regular wheat flour. It is quite granular, so it gives the cookies a chunky texture. If you’d prefer a smoother texture you can grind the flour more finely in a blender. In the first batch I used a combination of honey and coconut sugar to sweeten; and in the second batch I replaced the coconut sugar with organic stevia leaf powder. Both worked equally well, so it’s just a matter of preference. If you’re watching calories I would recommend using the stevia.

Ingredients (makes about 20 cookies)

1/4 cup organic virgin coconut oil
1/4 cup organic coconut sugar OR 1/2 tsp organic stevia leaf powder
2 tbsp raw honey
2 tbsp nut butter (peanut, almond, cashew etc)
2 farm-raised eggs
1/4 tsp organic vanilla powder OR 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp himalayan salt
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 ripe banana, finely mashed with a fork
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup rolled oats
75g Gayleen’s Decadence Raw Chocolate Baking Slab, available at the Organic Emporium
1 1/2 cup Wensleydale’s Sweet Potato Flour, available at the Organic Emporium

Method

Preheat the oven to 180 C.

Make sure that the raw chocolate is cold from the fridge. Chop it up into small pieces for your “chocolate chips” and then return to the fridge. If left at room temperature it may start to melt.

Beat together the oil, coconut sugar or stevia, honey and nut butter. Add the eggs and beat well. Stir in the vanilla, salt, bicarb, banana and water. Add the oats and chocolate chips. Now stir in the sweet potato flour. You will notice that the flour is very “thirsty” and the dough will thicken quite quickly. Stir well so that there are no dry lumps of flour.

Line a large baking tray with silicone mats or baking paper. Place a heaped tablespoon of dough onto the tray and spread out into a neat circle, about 1.5cm thick. You can wet your fingers to prevent the dough from sticking to them. Repeat till all the dough is used up. The cookies will not spread during baking, so you can place them quite close together.

Bake for 15 – 20 minutes, until slightly golden and firm to the touch. Allow to cool completely before storing in an airtight container.

Health & happiness!

Love,
Raine