gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, soy-free, vegan, sugar-free, ACD friendly, gum-free
I’ve got a real, honest-to-God mystery on my hands, people: For the past week, every single time I have taken a shower, I IMMEDIATELY begin thinking about Teddy Grahams. And then s’mores. In that order. As if a Teddy Graham button has been pushed in my brain, followed by a s’mores button. And yes, brains most definitely have those buttons. Mine does, at least. But really… Why is this happening?! Every single shower I take?! Okay, so it’s not Agatha Christie material… What did you expect? That I witnessed a murder? Um, no. Thank you. Unless we’re talking about slaughtering pumpkin seeds with the sleek blades of my Cuisinart DEATH MACHINE (food processor)…
Nonetheless, I began playing detective. Very Harriet The Spy. The only difference? I was not spying on anyone but myself. Technically, I couldn’t even really be spying on myself because “spying” indicates an element of secrecy and, well, you try keeping a secret from… yourself. When you’re both the detective and the suspect, you can’t exactly be sneaky. Don’t think that stopped me from getting in touch with my inner Sherlock, though.
I cracked this case doing what I do best: tasting. There I was. In the shower. Scene of the…well, no, not a crime, exactly. And after thoughts of Teddy Grahams and s’mores seemed to be injected into my head “Inception” style, I happened to lick my lips. And they were sweet. Like honey. Probably because my face was covered in honey. Don’t worry, this part was intentional. Since I’ve recently been getting my pioneer on, I’ve taken “do-it-yourself” to a whole new level. This includes mixing my own face wash. Key ingredient of this face wash, in accordance with many typical holistic facial cleansers: manuka honey. It’s nutrient-rich, anti-bacterial, anti-microbial, and anti-inflammatory. It’s some miraculous sticky stuff.
Here’s what’s cool about this: washing my face with honey is a nostalgic experience for me – it takes me back to the days when I used to gobble honey-laden (and gluten-filled) treats. Here’s what’s concerning about this: It took me a whole week to figure this out?! Really?! Well… case closed.
As titillating and compelling as The Shower Mystery was, it was actually not what got me likening myself to Sherlock in the first place. In my last post of a HEAB ice cream variety, a lovely reader mentioned that she avoids gums of all sorts and wondered if there were any way to replace these ingredients. My immediate response was “no.” HEAB makes it quite clear that the gums are essential for creating that creamy, soft serve, nearly pudding-like consistency. However, it bothered me that I could not give this reader a better answer. So, I began experimenting… And I slowly began narrowing down my suspects. There must be something else besides xanthan gum or guar gum that could achieve the same result, without altering the tasty outcome. My culinary escapades began resembling Clue. “I say… Agar powder! In hot water! With the candlestick!” Actually, no candlestick… the items in my kitchen do not bear arms. But I did say “Clue,” so I panicked halfway through that metaphor. My bad.
After giving Scott far too many bowls of goop loosely called, “ice cream,” I finally found my lead. “Psyllium husk! In the Vita-mix! With the revolver!” Ack, did it again. No revolver. Honestly though, the weaponry gives my detective tale a bit more legitimacy. And yet, I guess it doesn’t matter because if this were all a game of Clue, I would most definitely win now. Psyllium husk, I caught you red-handed.
I must admit, closing this case is a bit more satisfying than closing the other. That is probably because this one does not involve me having honey all over my face, abruptly waxing poetic on Teddy Grahams, and then wondering why I’m suddenly doing so.
Mint Cacao Swirl Ice Cream
1 cup nondairy milk (I use unsweetened So Delicious coconut!)
30 grams/ 4 Tbsp vanilla protein powder (My favorite is Nutribiotic’s Vegan Rice Protein – Be sure you LIKE the taste of whatever you use!)
1/2 tsp celtic sea salt or Himalayan pink salt (do not omit!)
2 Tbsp psyllium husk
1/4 tsp spirulina powder
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp peppermint extract
stevia to taste (I use about 12-16 drops NuNaturals vanilla stevia)
225 grams/8 oz ice cubes (about 5 ice cubes from a standard 16 cube tray)
1 Tbsp cacao or cocoa powder
1 Tbsp cacao nibs, or to taste
1) Place in vita-mix or other high-speed blender: non-dairy milk, protein, psyllium, peppermint, salt, vanilla extract, spirulina, stevia. Blend till smooth. Let sit 15-30 minutes until firm.
2) Add ice cubes and blend on highest speed and use tamper to push the ice cubes into the blades until smooth and creamy (this takes less than a minute)
3) Pour half of ice cream into bowl. Add cocoa/cacao to ice cream remaining in the vita-mix and blend.
4) Swirl chocolate into green, minty half. Add cacao nibs or chocolate chips to taste!