Sometimes it’s hard to mourn the loss of the season in your life when it ends and you don’t realize it. Sometimes there’s just a whisper left to try to hold onto to say goodbye. Other times there’s been a clean dissection, not even a fragment left. Such is each passing day with my youngest. Sky-Girl now longer tolerates the baby sling, can climb out of bed on her own, refuses to sit in her highchair in favor of the big kid table, and pretty deftly can drink out of a topless cup. When did my baby get so big?
And Peach, the eldest, tall and willowy, can pick up Sky-Girl and cradle her like her own. It seems like yesterday when she was the marshmallow baby on my hip. And sweet Grub, still just as cuddly as he was as a baby, but quite the artist drawing detailed baleen whales for seascapes, catching up with Peach on height. When did all of my babies get so big? Can’t you tell me when this is the last of your baby nuzzle, or train my eye on your last baby fat fold, or remind me to etch the cutest toddler wiggle in your step when you dance?
I mourn the passing of these seasons sometimes but am happy to move on too. I mean, that’s life. Reality. We move from winter to spring finally too, the winter so mild I can barely complain. But then there’s the heaviness of the summer air upon us and we all need, no matter how old, ice cream.
We edge into that dump of humidity soon, that oppression, always lightened by the cool anticipation of ice cream. So here I am, etching the important things in my mind. Eating it now. This recipe for coconut peanut sunflower chocolate ice cream is a great segueway into barely summer and ice cream gorging preparation. Ice cream is always in season.
Four years ago: buckwheat salad with mushrooms, fennel, and parsley oil and quick pickled cucumbers
From the lovely blog edible perspective.
- FOR THE ICE CREAM BASE:
- 2 cans full-fat coconut milk, ~3½ cups - I used two 14 ounce cans)
- ½ cup coconut sugar (This is my new favorite thing: this is a great addition for a caramelly flavor -- highly recommended)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- FOR THE CHOCOLATE:
- ¾ cup dark chocolate chips (vegan, or not)
- 3 tablespoons coconut milk (or heavy cream, if you don't want vegan)
- FOR THE NUTTY CHUNKS:
- ⅓ cup sunflower seed butter
- ¼ cup ground dry roasted peanuts (if nut-free is your goal, grind up some unsalted roasted sunflower seeds)
- 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
- *Freeze your ice cream maker bowl for a full 24 hours.
- Whisk the coconut milk, sugar, and vanilla in a large pot over medium heat.
- Bring mixture to a boil for 2 minutes, whisking frequently, then pour into a heat-safe bowl.
- Refrigerate until fully chilled (I default to doing this overnight most of the time when I make ice cream).
- Mix the sunflower seed butter, ground peanuts/seeds, and maple syrup together. Flatten in between two pieces of parchment until it's just under ¼-inch thick. Slide the parchment onto the pan and freeze for 1 hour.* Remove and cut into small pieces about ¼x1/4-inch. Place back in the freezer until ready to use.
- Melt the chocolate and coconut milk (or heavy cream) in the microwave for 30 second increments, stirring each time. You want a smooth mixture. Allow to cool on the counter slightly.
- Pour the chilled ice cream mixture into the ice cream maker and run until ice cream starts to freeze and collect on the mixer, but is still moving smoothly, stream/spoon the melted, cooled chocolate into the ice cream.
- Sprinkle the nut chunks into the ice cream while mixing, just to combine.
- Serve immediately for soft-serve consistency or freeze in an airtight container. It will freeze very hard if frozen for a few hours, so allow to sit on counter for 15 minutes to one hour before serving, depending on your ambient temperature. You can also microwave in 5 minute increments to soften.