Raw food. What comes to mind first? I think of my dog’s food. I know that sounds positively terrible, but he’s been on a raw food diet for almost all of his life. Raw meat, some vegetables, things like that. But, let me tell you one thing: this is not your dog’s raw food.
Last month, Brittany contacted me and a huge group of wonderful, talented bloggers to invite us to be a part of April in the Raw, a month of raw-inspired dishes. I said yes! This sounded like fun. I love catering to a wider variety of diets. But then I hit a wall. I’m a baker. Turning on the oven is how I start to create. Heat is where I start, how I craft. So, I mulled it over for a few weeks.
Sidenote: Isn’t this logo gorgeous? The talented Lexie created it! Thank you Lexie!
For my birthday, I got an ice cream maker. Upon the discovery that I didn’t have to make a custard before throwing some things in there, I knew this is where I was headed. No heat. No cooking. No enzymes changing shape. At least I didn’t used any heat (some of the ingredients called for may be heated depending on the processing. For example, if your half & half is pasturized, like mine, this isn’t raw. But, if you have a reputable raw milk source, it could work – there’s a great article & debate in the comments on raw milk (which, I have never tried, but wouldn’t say no to) over at Simple Bites. I believe some honey is cooked too, so just get raw honey if you’re concerned.) I made ice cream. A raw-inspired ice cream.
This is my first attempt at ice cream (in an ice cream maker, at least), so be gentle. I pretty much made up the oh-so-complex recipe. We had half and half, so that’s what I used. I wanted to use honey to sweeten, so I did. Add a splash of vanilla, and you’re good. What I got was an ice cream that was cold, but melted fast. It was soft, and like a milkshake. In fact, I think putting it in a milkshake glass, letting it come to room temperature a touch and sticking a straw in might be the perfect way to enjoy. Using a spoon and a pretty bowl does the trick too :). However, if you let it hang out in the freezer for awhile it hardens up some, so there are lots of options!
I put some in the freezer overnight, and because of the low fat content (compared to a heavy cream-based ice cream), it froze really quite hard, but not in a creamy sense. I would recommend eating it soon after making, perhaps leaving it in the freezer for an hour or so if you wished for it to harden some.
Vanilla Milkshake Ice Cream
3 cups half and half (10%)
1/2 cup honey
1 tsp vanilla
Whisk together the half and half, honey and vanilla until the honey has dissolved. Cover the bowl and refridgerate for an hour or two.
Make the ice cream according to your ice cream maker’s instructions.
To make raw, ensure that all ingredients are raw.
I decided to stick with the raw ease and chop up some dates to place on top. After sitting atop the ice cream, the dates become cold, creating a really lovely texture contrast between the chewiness of the dates and the soft smooth ice cream.
Et voila! Simple. Easy. And lovely. It isn’t a rich ice cream, but light and easy to eat. It’s cold and brings back memories of vanilla milkshakes after swimming. Having a taste, I’m a little kid again, with just-starting-to-dry hair, a body happily worn out from laps and a stomach yearning for good food. Along with some cream of broccoli soup, macaroni and cheese or fresh pizza, this would be a perfect memory meal. (At least, for me!). Do you have any milkshake memories? Perhaps this would be a fun way to reignite them.
Not to mention, go check out the rest of the April in the Raw contributions! I’m the second last day of posts, so there are oodles of raw-inspired (and much more creative!) dishes accross the web. Go check them (and their talented authors!) out.