Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Vegan Month of Food 2015 Day 23: Autumn Equinox Eats

Day 23! Wow, this month is flying by. Today our prompt is to talk about "Autumn Equinox eats." I can do that!

Fall arrived this morning at 4:21am. At that moment, I was in a car driving the Expressway blasting towards an airport to come home. As the clock ticked past 4:20 (may I remind you how I am NOT a morning person....), I felt sadness. I loathe autumn. Well, ok, I USED to loathe autumn when I lived in the cold zone. I don't dislike it for itself, I dislike it for what comes next.... grey, cold, misery. I just don't belong in cold weather, and snow for all its momentary beauty is something I can say I truly don't miss, not at all. Where I was their world was rejoicing in mums, pumpkins, corn stalks and nonsense like that. When I touched down upon arrival up there the trees were still lush and green with just the teeniest bits of red randomly on only a few trees. By the time I left (and trust me it was a short trip) there was a lot more red tipped trees. One day brought cooler temps with northeast winds and I could smell in the air that familiar scent of fall. The skies were overcast that same day and with it came some melancholy in my soul, and the reminder that I really used to have troubles adjusting when fall hit. Thankfully that's all gone for me down here. When my plane touched down upon my return, it was a solid 88 on the mainland. Bliss, absolute bliss.

If you don't know The Vegan 8 blog you're missing out. She's an evil genius in the best way possible. It's all vegan recipes with just 8 ingredients or less. That woman is after my heart I tell you that! Never any ridiculous hard-to-source ingredients, just good food with 8 ingredients or less, simply and quickly made. She recently posted a recipe for "5 ingredient peanut butter ice cream" based on her "4 ingredient chocolate ice cream" recipe. Any time I see peanut butter anything, my interest is piqued. She has again outdone herself, and I want the world to know about Brandi and her recipes. After the video you'll find the recipe, and a link to her blog. My autumn equinox eats comply for sure with what may be a "traditional" food (sweet potatoes), but heck it's still ice cream weather in my 'hood. so I won't even begin to talk about silly things like stuffed squash, cranberry rice or pumpkin lattes. You do not need an ice cream maker for this recipe either. Lastly, if you have a peanut allergy, use sunbutter, problem solved. This is good, REAL good, TOO good if you know what I mean. I made this before I left on my trip, basically a hit and run if you will.... if this was in the house while I was around, well, let's just say it would've been a duel to the death between me and the other happy vegan.

Link to The Vegan 8 Blog:

Here's the recipe. Brace yourselves, this is divine perfection.

Peanut Butter Sweet Potato Ice Cream
Serves: 4 cups
  • ½ cup cooked, mashed sweet potato
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter, with no additives (I used Santa Cruz organic, only has added salt)
  • ½ cup + 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 can "lite" canned coconut milk (or you can sub with another creamy milk like cashew or soy, the creamier, the better the results. You will need 1¾ cups plant milk)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt (only if your peanut butter doesn't have any added already)
  • Optional, but recommended! Bittersweet Chocolate Peanut Butter Sauce
  • Note: If you choose to make the Bittersweet chocolate sauce, then I recommend making it the day before you want to eat the ice cream, so it gets really nice and thick. It only takes 5 minutes to make! This ice cream uses no fillers, gums or oils, so it will harden a bit more after fully freezing overnight more than commercial ones. I recommend a container like this, because it really helps to keep the ice cream softer.
  1. Cook your sweet potato your preferred method. I baked mine on parchment paper at 400 degrees, whole with skin still on, until very soft, 45 minutes to an hour depending on the size of your potato. Do not steam or boil it, as too much water will be absorbed into it. Let it cool a few minutes.
  2. Once your potato is cooked and cooled a bit, peel the skin off and completely mash it really well with a fork. You don't want any chunks or skins. Pack it in the measuring cup (1/2 cup) really well and level off. Add it to a blender.
  3. Add the peanut butter, syrup, coconut milk, vanilla and salt (if using). Blend until completely smooth and creamy and not chunks are remaining. It should be a fairly thick consistency. If you have an ice cream maker, then by all means, use it. Otherwise, add your blended ice cream base to a well insulated ice cream storage container and place in the freezer. I really recommend an ice cream container designed for storing ice cream like this one. It will truly make a difference in keeping your ice cream soft after fully freezing. Set your timer for 1 hour and stir the ice cream around really well, as the edges will start to firm up first. Add back to the freezer and do this every 30 minutes until it is solid or at your desired consistency. About 2-3 hours should do it, depending on your freezer temp. After that, if you let it freeze overnight, you will need to let it sit out at room temperature for about 15 minutes or so to soften a bit before eating. You can also pop it in the microwave for 15-30 seconds too if you like.
  4. Drizzle Bittersweet Chocolate Peanut Butter Sauce all over the top and serve!
  5. Tips on Freezing: Each time you let ice cream sit out and thaw, you encourage ice crystals to form. So, you can freeze the ice cream base in individual servings and just take out your serving each time you want some ice cream. Or, when removing the ice cream to thaw, the condensation that forms underneath the lid, make sure to wipe that each time so it doesn't refreeze and drop ice crystals into your ice cream.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: ½ cup Calories: 312.4 Fat: 19.8 g Carbohydrates: 24.1 g Sugar: 17.8 g Sodium: 115.3 mg Fiber: 3.5 gProtein: 8.2 g


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