While packing, and pretty much anytime, I love having music on. And now that I am home and up early in the morning I love catching the 9 at 9 from BOB FM. Every morning they feature a year, say 1978, and play the top 9 songs of that said year. Pretty cool. I hear something familiar and right away in my mind I go back to something that occurred in my life. Roller skating parties, summer road trips, my first apartment, an old boyfriend (they played some Ace of Base, um hello, I know). I have a strong connection to not only food, but music. And just this week The New York Times Dining & Wine section published an article about chefs and music in the kitchen. Apparently the two go hand in hand according to some chefs, not all. I like tunes in the cocina but nothing too wild or too loud otherwise I can't hear my frijoles boiling over.
So back to memories and being a kid in the summer. I think of ice cream. And not just any ice cream, but strawberry ice cream. I love it. All chunky and sweet and tart at the same time. Well, just a few weeks ago I wrapped up a baking and pastry series with my students and we made a few batches of a vegan version of the classic treat. I know, I know I still get a lot of slack from my Chicago readers. They are not all too hip on the vegan shift. Sorry, but you know who you are. I assure them it's not the culinary apocalypse. I still in my "flexitarian" ways enjoy fresh dairy from time to time. However, I have made big changes in not only how I eat but the way I cook and teach and the ingredients I incorporate. So, yes I have swapped out eggs for flax seeds in my muffins, ditched the heavy cream and brought in almond milk for custards and just last night I made chocolate pudding with chia seeds (recipe shared next time). I find that there is still a ton of resistance from people about making conscious choices in our diets and lifestyles. I hope to be a good example that it's not like I'm completely jumping ship, but rather putting on floaters and treading the kind waters gently. Small changes can make a big difference. So, for those that turn their noses up to non dairy frozen treats I say nay. Try this recipe for a strawberry-almond gelato and get back to me when you're done licking the bowl. Oh and here's a little tune for my fellow '80's kids. Crank it while your frozen treat churns away. Enjoy!
Vegan Strawberry Almond Gelato
Makes 1 quart
2 cups strawberries, hulled and roughly chopped
½ cup light agave
1 tablespoon water
1 ½ cups unsweetened almond milk
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons arrowroot starch
2 tablespoons whole almonds, toasted and chopped
1. Heat 1 ½ cups strawberries in a small pot with the agave and water. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 3 minutes.
2. Remove from the heat and let cool and then puree in a blender. You can cool the strawberries in a bowl set on top of another bowl of ice water to speed things up.
3. Mix ½ cup almond milk with the arrowroot starch and set aside.
4. Heat the remainder of the almond milk plus the vanilla in a medium pot until simmering and then add in the starch infused almond milk. Stir on low heat while whisking for five minutes to thicken.
5. Strain almond milk to remove lumps and then let mixture cool to room temperature.
6. Mix into pureed strawberries and then set in the refrigerator until cold (about a half hour). Add in the remaining ½ cup of strawberries and almonds to the milk mixture.
7. Place mixture in your prepared ice-cream maker and let it run for 20 minutes. Transfer ice cream into a container until ready for use.
|Strawberry Gelato made with Almond Milk|