Thyme & Vanilla Bean Ice Cream with Roasted Pecans (No-churn)

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This is a very easy ice cream recipe and the best part is that you don’t need an ice cream machine to make it. Like all ice creams it requires some waiting, but the amount of time you actually need to do something is minimal. I have a thyme plant by my kitchen window that I use very often. I just grab a pair of scissors and cut as many sprigs as I need for a recipe. I really like the flavor that it infuses in the ice cream. It’s not too strong and it goes well with vanilla. I also served the ice cream with some buckwheat-banana waffles. The recipe for the waffles is still to come.

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Ingredients:

For the ice cream:

2 cups of cream

1 can of condensed milk, 400ml

15 sprigs of thyme

1 vanilla bean or 1 tablespoon of vanilla essence

For the pecans:

100grs of pecans

1 tablespoon of butter, melted

1 tablespoon of honey

1 tablespoon of sugar

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Preheat the oven to 180C/350F.

Melt the butter with the honey in the microwave. Add the pecans and sugar. Mix well. Spread the pecans on a tray lined with parchment paper. Bake for 10 minutes. Then allow to cool before roughly chopping them.

Slice open the vanilla pod, scrape off the seeds. Place the cream, vanilla seeds, vanilla pod and thyme leaves in a pot over medium heat. Once it starts to boil, turn off the heat and cover it with a lid. Let it steep for 1 hour.

Once the hour has passed, pass the cream through a sieve. Place the cream in the fridge and let it get completely cold.  This will take a couple of hours.

Once the cream is cold, whisk it until soft peaks form. This will take about 3 minutes (I used the stand mixer).

Place the condensed milk on another bowl. Add 1/3 of the whipped cream and mix it. Then slowly fold the remaining whipped cream into the condensed milk. Once it is all mixed, add the chopped roasted pecans.

Pour the ice cream into a freezer container and smooth out the top with a spatula. Press a piece of parchment paper on the top to prevent it from forming ice crystals. Cover it well with plastic wrap or if you have a large enough Ziploc bag, just place it inside a bag. Let it freeze for at least six hours or overnight. The ice cream lasts for up to 2 weeks. But it is better to eat it within a few days from making it, as it is softer.

Mango, Passion fruit and Coconut Popsicles with Dark Chocolate & Puffed Quinoa

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This is a super easy & dairy free popsicle recipe which I created last summer but it needed a picture update so I made them again. Might be still too cold to eat frozen treats outside, but not when I am all cozy indoors.

This recipe makes 9 popsicles.

Ingredients:

For the mango/passion fruit part:

1 ½ cups of mango pieces, it can be frozen or fresh

1 tablespoon of honey

2 passion fruits

For the coconut part:

1 can of coconut milk (400ml)

4 tablespoons of honey

Juice of ½ a lime

For the chocolate shell:

100gr of dark chocolate

1 teaspoon of coconut oil

½ a cup of puffed quinoa

 

Place the mango, passion fruit and honey in a pan. Cook over medium heat for about 4 minutes while stirring, until you get a sort of compote. Then using a hand blender, blend it a bit. Just enough so there are not big chunks of mango. Transfer it to a small bowl and allow it to cool down for 15 minutes.

Blend the coconut milk, honey and lime.

Spoon a bit of the mango mixture into the popsicle molds. Add some of the coconut milk, then more of the mango mixture and finally top it with the coconut milk. Use a toothpick to swirl the mixtures together. Insert the sticks and freeze overnight.

Once the popsicles are frozen, start making the chocolate shell. Chop the dark chocolate and place it in a small microwave-safe bowl. Add the coconut oil, and melt it in the microwave for 30 second intervals at a time. Stirring in between until it is completely melted. Have the quinoa ready on a plate. Cover a large plate or tray with plastic film.

Remove the popsicles from the freezer. Pour some warm water over them so you can detach them from the molds. I used silicone molds this time which are super easy to detach, so no hot water needed. Using a spoon, just drizzle some of the chocolate shell over on popsicle and then quickly sprinkle some popped quinoa. The chocolate will harden quickly so you have to be fast (do only one at a time). Place the popsicle on the plate with plastic film. Repeat for all. You can eat them right away. If you want to keep them in the freezer, wrap them individually in plastic film or a Ziploc bag.

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Piña Colada Ice Pops

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Piña coladas are the epitome of a beach holiday. Since I won’t be at the beach for this heatwave, at least I can cool down by eating these frozen treats. Forecast for this Saturday is 36 degrees celsius and even though I am always wishing for warmer weather, that’s a bit too much. I’m keeping it very short today, so I can run some errands. Since I do them by bike, I need to start early before this heat gets so strong that biking becomes a full workout activity.

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This recipe makes 9 ice pops.

Ingredients:

250gr of frozen pineapple (or fresh)

165ml of coconut cream

2 shots of rum

½ cup of sparkling water

2 tablespoons of agave syrup

16 cherries, pitted and halved

 

Place all of the ingredients in the blender, except for the cherries. Blend until smooth.

Place a few of the halved cherries inside the ice pop molds, and then pour the piña colada evenly. Insert the sticks and freeze overnight.

If you don’t have ice pop molds, just use small espresso cups and insert a wooden stick in the middle.

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Crème de Papaya

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This is a super quick Brazilian dessert. I first had it about 10 years ago at a Brazilian churrascaria while on holiday in Miami.  It is papaya blended with vanilla ice cream and served with some crème de cassis. If you want it non-alcoholic, you can use cassis syrup instead. I have been seeing a lot of papaya at my local market and this dessert popped back into my head. It’s a great treat for summer. To make it just a bit lighter; I used frozen yogurt and vanilla bean instead of vanilla ice cream.

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This recipe serves 2.

Ingredients:

3 cups of fresh papaya

2 cups of frozen yogurt

¼ cup of milk

1 vanilla bean or 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence

2 shots of crème de cassis

 

Place the papaya, frozen yogurt, milk and vanilla in the blender and blend until smooth. Serve a shot of crème de cassis on each glass and then pour the crème de papaya over it.