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Austin-Inspired Strawberry Coconut Ice Cream


Saturday night after our class was over in Austin, most of our large group headed out for a celebratory dinner together.  Even though we were tired and full, most of us were determined to also check out a local ice cream shop called Lick.  (What a great name!)   This was a privately owned little shop full of character, promise and delicious homemade ice creams!
When we arrived, we were greeted with a line wrapping around the parking lot, as well as throughout the inside of the shop.  Quite obviously, this was some good stuff!  The time went quickly...the crowd being kind and chatty...Texan hospitality.  (I would do well with these people!)   

The appeal for my group, was that Lick's ice cream was made with all local organic ingredients and they also featured ice creams made with coconut milk.  Once inside the store, the dilemma was to decide which flavors to try; they all sounded delish!!  Being indecisive, I chose 3 different flavors.  I was a splurge.  Hey, chances are I will never be there again.  The flavors were all fun and favorite selection; strawberry-basil made with coconut milk.  YUM!

The hardest part...choosing a flavor!

Even though my first day home from Austin found me a bit tired and road worn, I found great enthusiasm that evening when I headed to the kitchen to prepare a celebration sort of dinner for Zach and I.  This poor kid deserved some recognition.  He had patiently endured all of my nervous whining and panic as I worked my way through this program.  We enjoyed steaks on the grill, baked potatoes and a lovely Caesar salad...all organic of course.  (Try an organic potato sometime and let me know what you think...worlds different from what you might be used to...creamy and delish!)  I even uncorked a bottle of wine and poured a glass for myself.  Something I had not done for months, as I always wanted to have a 'clear head' for studying. 

Cheerfully, I grabbed my Cuisinart ice cream machine and thought I would try my luck at recreating the delicious-ness that I had experienced in Austin.  This one is a keeper.

Austin Inspired Strawberry-Coconut Milk Ice Cream

1 1/2 cups fresh, organic ripe strawberries, stemmed and sliced
2 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
3/4 cup raw organic sugar
1 cup organic heavy cream
1 1/4 cups organic coconut milk
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

In a bowl, combine the strawberries with the lemon juice and 1/2 cup of the sugar.  Stir gently and place in the fridge to macerate in the juices, while you prepare the rest of the ingredients. 

When the strawberries are all juicy and looking happy; strain the berries, reserving the juices.  Mash or puree the berries.
In a medium mixing bowl whisk the milk and the remaining sugar until the sugar is dissolved.  Stir in the heavy cream, reserved strawberry juice and vanilla.  (If you have a mixing bowl with a pour spout, this is the time to use will make pouring the liquid into your ice cream maker so much easier.)
Turning on the machine; pour the mixture into the freezer bowl and let it mix until thickened...about 25 to 30 minutes.  Five minutes before the mixing is completed, add the mashed strawberries and let mix in completely. 
After it was blended, I stirred in some mini carob (chocolate) chips.  The stir-in possibilities are endless, but honestly I enjoyed it just the way it was...creamy strawberry goodness.  Making ice cream is so much easier than it used to be...and actually, this could be a very bad thing!

Nutrition Nuggets:

Here are just a few of the reasons that coconut milk is a healthy addition to your diet...

what a long and wonderful list!
  1. Compared to cow’s milk it is easier to digest because the body uses 3 less enzymes for its digestion as opposed to cow’s milk.
  2. It contains a high level of omega 3, 6 and 9 fats along with high amounts of amino acids. This excellent combination of fats and amino acids make it a complete meal in an of itself.
  3. It’s very healing to the digestive tract and even heals damage done to the system in cases of IBS, Crohn’s disease and severe malnutrition.
  4. It’s a healthy and dairy free food. Especially helpful for people who want to avoid dairy, are lactose intolerant, or have dairy allergies.
  5. Helps build strong bones because it contains phosphorus.
  6. Helps maintain balanced blood sugar levels by being a good source of manganese. This mineral is usually deficient in people with blood sugar issues.
  7. Helps to reduce inflammation in joints by controlling the amount of free radicals in the system. As a result, arthritis sufferers can feel relief.
  8. Keeps the immune system strong and healthy by providing an optimal level of Vitamin C.
  9. Helps prevent anemia. Iron deficient anemia is a very common ailment among people throughout the world. One (1) cup of this milk can provide nearly a quarter of your daily iron needs.
  10. Helps nerves and muscles relax because it has an abundance of magnesium. This mineral counteracts the hyperactivity of nerves caused by too much calcium and relieves muscle pain and soreness.
  11. Promotes prostate health because it contains the mineral, zinc. Zinc helps to inhibit the growth of cancer cells.
  12. Helpful for weight management because when you consume this milk you feel fuller sooner due to its level of fiber.






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