Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Two Flavors that Rocked my World

Today was another day of wonderful flavour pairing. It began with a good old strawberry-banana-pineapple smoothie (what makes this simple combination so wonderful??). And it continued with some more raw ice cream kitchen fun. I tried to recreate the two flavours I used to have every single time I used to go to an ice cream parlor. Really, I think from the age of about 8 through 14 all I ever had was coffee and lemon ice cream. I remember announcing to my family once that I would travel the world and only ever order those two flavour. Then I figured I would be a global expert in coffee and lemon ice cream. I could tell you that the best lemon could be found in a small town in the South of France, and the best coffee was in Rome. I'd say I got pretty far, given how much I got to travel. However, I was easily tempted by other flavours after a few years, usually by something berry-wonderful like cassis (black currants) or black raspberry... then I discovered pear sorbet at the infamous Berthillon in Paris and all the flavors at White Mountain in Kingston, Ontario but that's another story.

I'll be the first person to say I am not a supporter of drinking coffee, on a raw diet or otherwise. Though I've never been a huge coffee drinker myself (ice cream and turkish coffees were the only way I'd ever have it), I've seen what coffee addictions can do to people both physically and mentality and it's not something I recommend. Coffee negatively affects your stress levels, your blood pressure, your quality of sleep, your teeth, etc. Everyone I know who has gotten off of coffee has noted a much higher and happier quality of life. However, life is also meant to be enjoyed, and if I'm going to make raw coffee ice cream once in my life because I want to try something new, I want to do it right. I'm not going to use a "coffee-like" substance like teeccino, which is nice, but doesn't taste like coffee at all anyway. Coffee is coffee. For this version, we picked up an Organic Fair Trade version from Whole Foods from Ecuador. I believe it is some dark espresso kind (note that I am unfortunately not a coffee connoisseur).

Raw Coffee Ice Cream

1/2 c + 2 T raw honey

2 c cashews, soaked overnight

1 c water

3 Tbsp melted coconut butter

2 Tbsp ground coffee

1/2 tsp salt

Raw Lemon Ice Cream

2 C cashews

1 C water

1/2 C raw honey

juice of 1 and 1/2 lemon

3 Tbsp melted coconut butter

1 and 1/2 whole lemon (gotta love the Vitamix)

1 vanilla bean

1/2 tsp salt

Because coffee has such a strong acidic flavour, I loved pairing it with a sweet lemon ice cream or sorbet. I always found that the tangy sweetness of lemon perfectly cuts through coffee's deep rich roasted flavour. This was my first shot for both these flavours, so the one thing I might reconsider is toning down the coffee flavor just a bit, probably starting with 1 tablespoon of it and work my way up from there if it wasn't strong enough. As always, I just threw everything in the Vitamix and then poured it into my ice cream maker. The results were delicious and as I suspected were amazing with yesterday's pseudo-Amaretti cookies!

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