Gluten Free, Dessert

MAPLE PECAN CRUNCH ICE CREAM

Maple Pecan Crunch Ice Cream - Chocolate Shards - Sprouted Kitchen

I took the base of my ice cream maker out of the freezer because it was taking up too much real estate only to put it right back in. I love ice cream but don't make it that often. I'm really not very good at it and a pint of something is always on sale at the market to completely validate not going through the hassle. I wish I were the person whose affection for ice cream sprang up in the warm summer months but I don't discriminate based on weather. I love it, always. But now that our nearly two-year-old sees and wants every treat we reach for, I thought it was appropriate to try this coconut and cashew based recipe sweetened exclusively with maple. I've also gotten better at stashing cookies out of sight. I've made fully coconut milk-based ice creams before but adding the cashew cream was a really nice touch; breaking up the coconut milk flavor while still being super creamy. The thing is, sure it tastes different, but it is creamy and sweet with crunchy bits and a scoop with a sprinkle of granola on top is just the thing. 

Maple Pecan Crunch Ice Cream - Ingredients - Sprouted Kitchen

MAPLE PECAN CRUNCH ICE CREAM // Makes one pint

Recipe barely adapted from Icy Creamy Healthy Sweet by Christine Chitnis

As it goes with dairy free ice cream, the result is a little more icy than the real stuff. After it's completely frozen, let it sit for 10 minutes before scooping.
Note that the cashew cream requires starting a step the evening prior. 

3/4 cup real maple syrup, divided
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup pecan pieces
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 cup full fat coconut milk, divided
1 Tbsp arrowroot starch or cornstarch
1 cup cashew cream*
seeds of half a vanilla bean, optional
2 ounces dark chocolate, well chopped

In a cast iron pan over medium heat, warm 1/4 cup of the maple syrup and vanilla until thin. Add the pecans, sea salt and cinnamon and stir to coat. Transfer to parchment to cool completely. 

Mix the arrowroot or cornstarch in a large bowl with 2 Tbsp. of the coconut milk to dissolve. Once dissolved, stir in the remaining coconut milk, remaining 1/2 cup maple syrup, cashew cream and vanilla beans if using. Put the mixture in the fridge to chill for a couple hours. 

Churn the ice cream according to your machines instructions. In the last couple minutes, add in the mapled pecans and chocolate. Freeze for a couple hours to get a firmer, scoopable state. 

* To make cashew cream, soak 1 cup cashew nuts, covered, overnight in cold water. The next day, drain and rinse well. Blend the nuts in a high powered blender for a couple minutes with a fresh cup of cold water until completely smooth. You can adjust the amount of water for how thick you want it, for an ice cream base, you need it pretty thick. 

Maple Pecan Crunch Ice Cream - Sprouted Kitchen

Entrée, Gluten Free, Spring

COLD SESAME CUCUMBER NOODLES

cold sesame cucumber noodles

The postpartum appetite is a moody one. With a super frequent nursing schedule, I was eating like a high school athlete, except not exercising at all, just, you know, keeping someone alive with the food my body is making. Then it slowly starts to balance itself out and my portions have become more reasonable and I just recently hit the phase where I'd like to be eating a more wholesome diet than I was getting away with while grasping for energy and sustenance all day. My grandma told me that you crave sugar when you're tired and I'm not sure how factual that is but it felt very true to me. I still need a lot of food, but I'm trying to clean it up as of late. And it's Spring! How appropriate. Fresh things abound. I mean, look at that beautiful pea pod above. So Jeanine's book came in the mail at just the right time because her whole schtick is colorful and fresh and simple. I made her cold noodle salad for lunch with some crispy tofu bits on top but you could leave those out or add any protein of your choice really. It came together in 20ish minutes and I would guess you have most of these items on hand. It's an everyone sort of salad - open to adaptations, saves well to pack for lunch, crunchy and light but still filling. So good. 

cold sesame cucumber noodles
cold sesame cucumber noodles

COLD SESAME CUCUMBER NOODLES

Adapted from the Love and Lemons Cookbook by Jeanine Donofrio

Soba noodles can come in a wheat blend or a full buckwheat version, which would make them completely gluten free. The former are a little easier to work with, the later more appropriate for those with dietary restrictions. I like my noodles with LOTS of vegetables, like more salad with noodles in it, so I personally could have gone for two cucumbers but the original calls for one. I use this julienne peeler. 

1/4 cup rice vinegar
1.5 Tbsp. low sodium tamari
1 Tbsp. toasted sesame oil
1 Tbsp. creamy peanut butter
2 garlic cloves, minced or grated
2 tsp. grated ginger
3 chopped scallions
12 ounces soba noodles
1 large cucumber, julienned
two large handfuls blanched snap peas

for garnish
sauteed tofu cubes
roughly chopped mint and cilantro
avocado
sesame seeds

cold sesame cucumber noodles

In a large bowl, whisk together the rice vinegar, tamari, oil, peanut butter, garlic, and ginger. Stir in the scallions. 

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Prepare the noodles according to instructions, cooking until al dente. Drain, then run the noodles until cold water until chilled. Mix the noodles into the large bowl of dressing. Add the cucumbers and snap peas and stir. Add your tofu and lots of herbs and then chill in the fridge for an hour before serving. Garnish with avocado and sesame seeds as desired. 

cold sesame cucumber noodles

PEANUT BUTTER CEREAL BALLS

She’ll be 87 next month. She was an only child of parents from the Great Depression so she has an impressive collection of every take-out tupperware, yogurt and soup containers she uses and hides cash in envelopes in secret drawers. Or most recently, the freezer. She was also a young mother of three kids very close in age so she has opinions and perspective on mothering that she doesn’t waver from. She is both private and loquacious in a way I can’t quite describe but she makes friends wherever she goes and is so, so beautiful. I spent half the day with my grandma last week as she has been going through some unfortunate health stuff with her eye and needed company. She didn’t ask, it was by my moms suggestion actually, and I regret it’d taken me so long to just be with her. Not a holiday, or quick passing through, but to just sit in a big comfy chair in a room full of sewing knick knacks and memories and chat. We stared at Cleo for awhile, I made her scrambled eggs in salted butter and we talked about each member of the family and made sense of what they’re up to and their respective personalities. She may be a bit of a know-it-all but she takes so much in. Perhaps that comes with years of watching. It had been so long since I didn’t feel like I should being doing something or completing a task but being there, I really couldn’t. All she wants is quality time. When I left, she hugged and kissed me three of four times and thanked me for cooking for her. Cooking for her!?! Scrambled eggs felt so trite. But the scary thing about watching someone who has cared so much for you, get older, is that the roles shift ever so delicately you hardly notice. It’s like a tide changing or plants growing, you don’t see it all at once but at a point it strikes you that things are different. She still tells me to sing to calm my babies down and hems my little boys shorts, but needs to hold my hand when she comes downstairs or read her the fine print. There is this gradual giving back that feels so natural but stops you. How we all need each other. It’s sort of magical. 

I dropped off a bag of snacks for her and it got me on a kick of other nibbles. I made her some granola bars which led to these - something richer and more chocolatey but not totally junky. The boys and I polished these off before I could get some over to her but there will be more. They are crunchy but still candy like. I note in the recipe but it’s worth saying here that they are delicate. They need to be kept in the fridge to hold shape but that didn’t seem to slow us down. 

Peanut Butter Cereal Balls . Sprouted Kitchen
Peanut Butter Cereal Balls . Sprouted Kitchen

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cereal Bites // Makes 20

I used the new Kashi GOLEAN Vanilla Pepita Clusters for this specific batch.  It has great ingredients like yellow peas and red beans that add protein and fiber. You can find brown rice syrup at health food stores or online. Almond butter or sunflower butter may be used as an alternative nut butter with a slightly less distinctive taste. 

1/2 cup brown rice syrup
1/2 cup salted peanut butter
1 Tbsp. coconut oil
pinch of sea salt
2 Tbsp. cocoa powder
2 1/2 cups Kashi GoLEAN Vanilla Pepita cereal, or something similar
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

3 ounces dark chocolate
flaky sea salt, for garnish

Peanut Butter Cereal Balls . Sprouted Kitchen

In a small saucepan, heat the brown rice syrup, peanut butter and coconut oil to combine. Once warm, add the salt and cocoa powder and stir to mix. 

In a large mixing bowl, combine the peanut butter mixture with the cereal and stir to mix. Add the chocolate chips and mix again. 

Line a small tray with parchment paper. Rub your hands with a bit of coconut oil and form balls with about 2 Tbsp. of the cereal mixture until it is all gone. They are delicate, be patient. Line them up on the tray and chill the balls for 45 minutes to firm up. They are best stored chilled to hold shape. 

Melt the dark chocolate in a bowl over a pot of simmering water. When the balls are firm, drizzle the chocolate over the balls and sprinkle them with flaky sea salt. Chill again for the chocolate to set and enjoy.

This post is created in partnership with Kashi. Recipe and opinions are my own.

PB Cereal Balls . Sprouted Kitchen
PB Cereal Balls . Sprouted Kitchen