On Sunday night, I attended a truly exceptional gathering of DC healthy foodies. Gena graciously hosted Anne, Victoria, Valerie, Dasha (who works for my favorite food chain --sweetgreen) and myself in her backyard on a perfect evening. The District is experiencing some unseasonably temperate weather, so it wasn't muggy or buggy enough to confine us to air conditioning. We had a spirited and laughter-filled conversation, surrounded by the first fireflies of the season. Gena provided appetizers and kombucha-sangria (which I will be reproducing in my own kitchen many times this summer), Anne brought a gorgeous barley salad, Valerie brought a fantastic beet-quinoa salad (topped with vegan scallion cheese), and Dasha brought a beautiful arugula salad topped with nectarines in balsamic vinegar and fresh corn. Victoria brought a mostly raw brownie bottom, peanut butter pie (OMG!), and I decided to bust out the ice cream maker for the first time this season. The results did not disappoint. More ice cream will follow.
Roasted Strawberry Coconut Ice Cream (vegan, gluten-free)
2 pints strawberries
2 tsp. evaporated cane juice
2 cans for full-fat coconut milk (light will crystalize in the ice cream maker --gross)
1 c. evaporated cane juice or stevia to taste
about 1/4 c. cornstarch or arrowroot
1/4 tsp. salt
2 t. vanilla
4 cardamom pods (optional)
Freeze the components of your ice cream maker than need to be frozen. Preheat your oven to 300 degrees. Quarter the strawberries and put in a rimmed cookie sheet or baking pan. Sprinkle 2 tsp of evaporated cane juice and toss to coat. Roast the strawberries for about 25 minutes. Cool completely and then puree the berries (optional).
Dissolve the evaporated cane juice in the coconut milk in a medium saucepan over medium heat. (Skip this step if you're using stevia and just gently heat the milk). Add the vanilla, salt, and cardamom pods (if using). Whisk the arrowroot or cornstarch into the coconut milk slowly. (You may need to add more to get your desired thickness). Once the mixture has a texture of a custard, take off the heat, remove the cardamom pods, and chill the mixture completely --in the fridge overnight or the freezer for a few hours.
Once the components are chilled thoroughly, begin freezing the custard according to the ice cream maker's instructions. About halfway through the freezing process, add the strawberry mixture. Once the mix has the texture of soft serve, put it into an airtight container and freeze until almost ready to serve. Try not to get your tongue stuck to the ice cream maker. Really try.