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homemade ice cream

homemade ice cream

The adventure with black raspberries yielded us not only a ton of yummy goodness to eat straight from the basket, but also some new summer treats to indulge in. There is a unique taste to black raspberries that I fell in love with yesterday, an earthy flavor that is distinct from any other berry out there. The boys were intent in turning the fruit into popsicles, I was excited for the first jam of the season (how is that possible?), and I was pretty sure that Landon wanted nothing more than his first ice cream cone.

The nice thing about picking a lot of berries? We all got exactly what we wanted.

The ice pops were the first recipe we came up with, and they were also the first gone from the fridge. Avocado, raw chocolate, yogurt and berries combined for a thick treat that was perfect as the warmest weather of the afternoon descended. I have to admit that I have not made a ton of popsicles this year, but I do enjoy the smiles that they bring my kiddos. A sprinkler and a good ice pop seem to make every hot day more bearable, and certainly encompass what I hope they remember from the lazy days of the season.

I have been using avocado more and more in recipes these days, thanks to Heather’s e-courses. I am finding that although the boys do not enjoy them straight up, avocados are the perfect sweet treat to thicken up many a recipe. I also love the fact that their taste is almost unrecognizable when mixed with other ingredients, making them a healthy and appealing alternative.

These are a very thick pop, and a perfect mid-day pick me up snack for child and adult alike. You can substitute almost any fruit in place of the black raspberries, and simply enjoy whatever is in season.

Black Raspberry, Raw Chocolate and Yogurt Popsicles

Print Recipe

1 cup plain coconut milk yogurt (almond, greek or plain yogurt can be used as well)
1 cup black raspberries
1 tbsp honey
1 avocado
2 tbsp. raw cocoa powder

Place all of your ingredients into a high powered blender or food processor, and process until smooth. Pour into ice pop molds, leaving a 1/2″ of space to the rim. Freeze for at least 4 hours, or overnight.

When one goes berry picking, the first inclination is always to make jam. I love jam. I am one of those crazy people who would eat it by the spoonful if allowed. I am also, however, one who hates store bought jam of any kind. I mark my calendar for the few short weeks that certain berries and fruits are available here in the Rockies, and I savor the hours spent putting by rustic fruits for the coming cold months ahead. One of the best parts about making jam is finding unique flavors to spice things up a bit, and give a classic recipe a new twist.

This year it was basil. I am going to be dead honest here, Joel and I are the only ones to taste this recipe, so if you make it, please let me know what you think. The combination of raspberries, basil, and orange zest was light and perfect for a plain piece of toast or some gluten free flat bread with brie. A small amount of herbs in jam can go a long way, and can help to bring a savory aspect to the inherent sweetness of jams.

Black Raspberry and Basil Jam

Print Recipe

4 cups of black raspberries, rinsed and dried.
3/4 cups honey
Zest of one orange
2 tbsp fresh orange juice
2 tsp pectin (optional)
3 tbsp. basil, chopped fine

Place your berries in a pot (preferably one that is non-reactive). Mash the berries gently with a potato masher, or the back of a spoon. I like a chunkier jam, but you can always mash them all the way down if you prefer).
Add the honey, orange zest, and orange juice and allow to come to boil over medium heat. Once the jam has cooked to a boil that can not be stirred down, you can add pectin if you choose. This was my first time using pectin for jam, and I liked the results. However, I rarely find it to be necessary, and it can easily be omitted. Cook for another 5 minutes, then turn heat off, and stir in the basil. Can according to your preferred method.

I am not a huge ice cream lover, I wasn’t growing up, and I have never acquired much of a taste for it. My boys, however, take right after their father, and they would sell me out for a good cup of peanut butter and chocolate swirl.

Of course, being both gluten and (mainly) dairy free doesn’t always lend itself to finding the best ice cream in the stores. A few years back I bought an ice cream maker for a cookbook I was working on, and in recent months I have brought it out with more frequency. I wasn’t sure where to start with alternatives to milk and cream, but I came across a recipe that I fell in love with for the boys that uses almost no sweetener (I omit it completely), and that has the addition of bananas to thicken it up. The only ingredient that I added was 1 cup of black raspberries, and Landon got the chance to taste test his very first ice cream cone. ┬áJacob and I stumbled upon GF sugar cones for the first time last week, and you would have thought that we had found the Ancient Mysteries. To say we were excited was a drastic understatement.

The berries have now been eaten, jammed, frozen, stirred, mashed and enjoyed. This is going to be a very good summer indeed.