Oh my goodness, I do not know what I was thinking. It was the first day of summer, my parents were in town, and what a better way to celebrate than a trip to 31 Flavors? Who does not love the cool creamy taste of a yummy dish of ice cream on a hot, sunny afternoon?
It is always disappointing when we realize that we cannot eat our ice cream in a cone, a luxury we passed up years ago. But we are still hopeful that we can enjoy some yummy ice cream in a cup. My girls approach the big glass cooler and stare at all the flavors. It is fun to find one that looks mouth watering and then ask the employees for a FREE taste.
Fortunately, 31 Flavors does an excellent job of labeling their ice cream for allergens. They inform customers of the presence of Wheat, Soy, Egg or Nuts in a particular flavor of ice cream. So as my girls try to decide which flavor they are going to indulge in, the selection of ice cream they can eat gets smaller and smaller…. “Oh, that looks good, oh shoot, it has soy. Oh, what about that one, darn, it has wheat and chocolate!”
“How about Daiquiri Ice?” I say, hopeful that they might try something new. As a tear springs from my daughter’s eye, I realize that this was just a bad idea, because out of all of these wonderfully rich, enticing flavors there are to choose from, my poor kids are still going to walk away with a boring old cup of vanilla ice cream.
I had given up on eating ice cream long ago, between my low tolerance to dairy and my avoidance of chocolate, it was just no fun. But for kids, ice cream is a part of life and so once again, homemade was the call. We have since borrowed a Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker, which is an awesome product to make your own ice cream. With four simple ingredients: cream, milk, sugar and vanilla, it is good for you and sweet and delicious.
However, not everyone has the time or energy to make their own ice cream, so here is what I do when I am in a pinch: Add my OWN mix-ins! Depending on how resourceful and creative you are, this can be fun. I have taken my peanut butter carob cookies (my very first recipe I shared in December ’09) and crumbled those into regular vanilla ice cream. I have also cut up my peanut butter fudge, a recipe I shared in my May Newsletter, and put that into vanilla ice cream.
But our favorite mix-in is carob chips. I have referred to carob chips in many of my dessert recipes, but here is how I make them. They are great to have on hand for my cookies, cakes, muffins, waffles, pancakes and granola recipes too! This recipe was modified from a recipe by Nourishing Traditions.
Home-made Carob Chips
¾ cup carob powder
¼ cup organic sugar
1 cup coconut oil
1 T vanilla
In a glass dish combined the above ingredients.
Place glass dish in a large pot filled 2 inches with boiling water.
Let simmer in the water until the ingredients have melted together. It will be like a sludge consistency.
Pour mixture on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Chill in the refrigerator for about 2-4 hours.
Remove and break up sheet of carob into pieces. I have done this by placing in a plastic bag and breaking it up with a meat tenderizer.
Store broken up carob pieces in an air-tight container in the freezer. Lasts up to 3 months.