Vegan Sea Salt and Caramel Ice Cream–A Blooming Platter Exclusive for Tofutti

Salted Caramel Ice Cream

I am THRILLED to share with you my new recipe–a Tofutti exclusive–for Sea Salt and Caramel Ice Cream just in time for July 4!

I don’t know about where you live, but here it is heating up quickly and nothing beats the Coastal VA heat like cool, creamy ice cream, especially one with a little crunchy flaky salt to replace all that is lost in that summer sweat.

Picking a favorite recipe is akin to picking a favorite child (or dog, in our case) but, I have to say, this may well be, at least, my favorite ice cream.   I highly recommend splurging slightly on Maldon Salt Flakes, though you could certainly get away with any flaky sea salt.  It just won’t have quite the same feathery mouthfeel, like an ethereal snowflake.

Is it easy?  You bet is is!  Even making the caramel syrup is a breeze, though I recommend a simple clip-on candy thermometer to make sure it reaches just the right temperature/consistency!

Assert your independence from dairy and make sure this stunning recipe is on your Independence Day menu, though I suspect you will be making it all year!  A friend and fellow cookbook author’s husband said after enjoying a scoop, “The last bite is such a sad moment.”  Indeed.  So make lots!

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Vegan Bananas Foster Ice Cream with Caramelized Pecans (So Delicious and Go Dairy Free Spring Fling Dairy-Free Recipe Contest Entry!)

Bananas Foster Ice CreamYield: 1 quart

Just in time for Memorial Day menu planning, I am excited to offer you my newest creation: Bananas Foster Ice Cream with Caramelized Pecans!

Growing up in the Deep South, only about a three-hour drive from New Orleans, I was weened on the historic French Quarter and it’s legendary cuisine.  My parents honeymooned there, as did my husband and I, and we returned to the Creole capital to host my parents’ 50th wedding anniversary, among many other trips in the distant and recent past.

Favorite French Quarter-steeped memory fragments abound, many having to do with food, like, as a fairly young child, trying to act completely nonchalant  as Bananas Foster and Cherries Jubliee burst into flames on rolling carts tended by tuxedoed waiters throughout Brennan’s dining rooms.  I guess I wanted fellow diners to think that flambeed desserts were a nightly affair back home.

For some inexplicable reason, I recently became obsessed with the idea of Bananas Foster in the form of ice cream–since it is served over vanilla ice cream–to combat our already high 80 to 90-degree days.  Sure, recipes on the internet abound–though few that are vegan–but I love a challenge, so I had to create my own…and I’m so glad I did.

Using canned Coconut Cream and So Delicious Coconut Creamer as the ice cream base makes this recipe go together in a flash.  And the few minutes it takes to caramelize the bananas are more than worth it.  While traditional Bananas Foster does not call for pecans, I associate them with Creole and Cajun cooking, so I caramelized some in the syrupy goodness left clinging to the skillet, and I’m really glad that I made this ever-so-slight break with tradition.  I think you will be too!

Make this ice cream a day or two before you plan to serve it, as the mixture must be well-chilled before making the ice cream, and the ice cream must set up in the freezer before serving.

3 tablespoons vegan butter

1/3 cup natural sugar

3 small bananas (about 3/4 pound), peeled, and sliced into 1-inch pieces

Pinch sea salt

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 cup raw pecan pieces

1 can Cream of Coconut (NOT coconut creamer; this product is canned and sold near adult drink mixers; Coco Lopez is a popular brand)

1 cup So Delicious Coconut Creamer

3 tablespoons coconut rum (or plain rum)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Optional Garnish: a sprinkle of pecan pieces

Melt butter in a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat.  Add sugar, and cook for about 2-3 minutes or until thickened and caramel-y.  Add bananas and cinnamon and cook, stirring frequently, for up to 10 minutes or until the caramel is very thick and bananas very tender and coated with the caramel.  Reduce heat if necessary.  Scrape pan out well into the bowl of a food processor.  Return pan to heat, add pecans, and toast, stirring constantly for 3-5 minutes or until lightly toasted.  Reduce heat if necessary.  Transfer to a covered container and reserve.  Process banana mixture with cream of coconut until creamy and very smooth.  Transfer to a bowl, and whisk in Coconut Creamer, coconut rum, and vanilla extract, and process until very smooth.  Cool and refrigerate, covered, several hours or overnight until very cold.  Freeze in ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s directions, swirling in pecans when ice cream is almost ready.  Transfer ice cream into a carton, cover, and freeze for several hours or until firm.  The texture will be delectably soft, but will hold its shape.

Spring Fling Dairy-Free Recipe Contest - $1000 Grand Prize; Two $250 Runner-Up Prizes

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Tofutti Features Blooming Platter Vegan Red Velvet Ice Cream on Corporate Home Page

Tofutti Home Page Screen ShotI know what you’re thinking…talk to me about ice cream next summer!

But, wait!  With red being “the” color of the winter holidays, and with the winter holidays being just around the corner, maybe you should reconsider.

Festive and delicious to boot–my Vegan Red Velvet Ice Cream tastes JUST like the cake–I’ll bet there is an upcoming occasion where this luscious treat would be just the thing to impress guests and delight your family!

Click HERE to read all about the creation of this special recipe.  And be sure to visit the Tofutti website for the latest and greatest on their growing collection of vegan products, from dairy substitutes to heat-and-eat treats like vegan pizza, as well as recipes and the Tofutti blog.

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Seeing Red: My Vegan Red Velvet Ice Cream Takes the Cake!

DSCN1904Yield: 1 1/2 quarts

My all-time favorite cake now as vegan ice cream!

So, move over Duff Goldman and Blue Bunny brand…there’s a new Red Velvet Ice Cream in town!

Red Velvet is the signature cake of my Aunt Bessie of Dallas, TX.  She honestly makes one like no other.  It was, in fact, the recipe used for the groom’s cake at Joe’s and my wedding.

After veganizing Aunt Bessie’s recipe so that I could still partake, I have gone on to create recipes for vegan Red Velvet Pancakes, whoopie pies, shortbread cookies, and more, but never ice cream.  Never, that is, until now!

Several years ago, Ben and Jerry’s was running a competition for the next great ice cream flavor and I decided to enter with Red Velvet.  Contestants had to submit a video, so a friend came over and shot it, but then she encountered technical difficulties and, alas, I was unable to submit it.  Since then, Red Velvet ice cream has been made available commercially, but not in a vegan version, at least not where we live.  Recently, I got a powerful craving for it and set out to recreate that inimitable cake flavor in an ice cream.

And, oh my goodness, my recipe really does taste like the cake!  My secret?  Tofutti Better than Cream Cheese as a substitution for the buttermilk in my aunt’s recipe–tangy but with the kind of body one wants in an ice cream.  And, are you ready?  Vinegar!  My aunt’s recipe calls for 1 tablespoon of white vinegar that lends to the cake its signature flavor.  And the same is true for the ice cream.  I add it while churning so as not to curdle the custard.

This beautiful concoction really does take the cake!

Thanks to Tofutti for posting it on their website!  Just click HERE for the quick and easy recipe.


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Luscious Vegan Lavender and Creme de Cacao Ice Cream (with optional Fresh Figs)


Yield: 1 1/2 quarts

A perfect ending to a perfect party!

Every year for the last four, my husband and I have hosted our annual Julia Child Birthday Bash on the Saturday night nearest to her birthday.  This year, the party was on August 10.

At around 7:30 each year, 10 or so of our foodie friends gather for a potluck celebration like no other!

This year, while I toyed with a birthday cake in honor of the ‘ole gal, I opted for this Provençal-inspired ice cream instead.  And I think everyone was glad I did!

2 tablespoons arrowroot powder (thickens without crystallization)

1 cup unsweeteened soymilk

2 cups soy creamer

1/2 cup natural sugar

Pinch sea salt

1 tablespoon dried organic lavender buds

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 tablespoon Creme de Cacao

Garnish: fresh fig halves

In a small cup or bowl, whisk together arrowroot powder and 1/4 cup soymilk.  In a 1-quart saucepan, combine remaining 3/4 cup soymilk, soy creamer, sugar, salt, and lavender, and cook over medium heat until mixture begins to boil.  Remove it from the heat and immediately whisk in arrowroot mixture causing the mixture to thicken considerably.  Stir in vanilla and Creme de Cacao. Pour into a medium bowl, straining if desired (I don’t).  Cool the custard to room temperature, cover, and chill for at least 3 hours.  Freeze in an electric ice cream maker (mine is a Cuisinart) according to manufacturer’s directions.  Transfer to a covered freezer-safe carton, and freeze until stiffened.  Serve garnished, if desired, with fresh fig halves.

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Vegan Sour Cream-Raspberry Ice Cream with White Chocolate Chips

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAt your farm market this morning, be sure to pick up a pint of raspberries for this luscious treat that is super simple to prepare.

Made with Tofutti Better than Sour Cream, it boasts the perfect sweet-tart balance with a consistency I describe as (vegan) butter, wrapped in (vegan) cream, wrapped in silk!

Team Tofutti loved it so much, they posted the recipe on their site, and you can quickly access it by clicking HERE.

Happy Summer Saturday!

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Vegan Peachy Pink Lemonade Ice Cream

DSCN1741Yield: 1 1/2 quarts

Down here visiting my family in muggy Mississippi, all thoughts turn to ice cream.  So I remembered that this was another new recipe that I hadn’t posted before I left home.  If you come home from your farm market trip with fresh peaches, you are just two ingredients away from having all you need to make this beautiful treat!

This tart, refreshing ice cream is bridal peachy-pink and just as fresh and appealing.  Made with just three simple ingredients, it is most delicious when peaches are at their peak of juicy and flavorful freshness.

2 large peaches, pitted, quartered, and cut into chunks (I leave the skin on for gorgeous color and nutrition)

1-12 ounce can frozen pink lemonade (I am not averse to the occasional ingestion of high fructose corn syrup but, if you are, look for an organic brand which will be HFC-free.)

2 cups vegan soy creamer (I used French vanilla, but if you use plain, add 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract)

In the bowl of a food processor, process peaches and frozen lemonade until smooth with no chunks of peach remaining.  Transfer to a medium bowl and whisk in soy creamer.  (If you try to blend all three ingredients together in most food processors, your cup will runneth over!)  Cover and refrigerate at least 3 hours or until very cold.  Freeze in an electric ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s directions.  Because this custard isn’t terribly thick, I freeze it about 15 minutes longer than recommended, or about 45 minutes, and it is still the consistency of a thick milk shake.  Though I could easily down the whole recipe like that, I resist and freeze it, covered, for several hours or overnight to stiffen-up to a scoopable consistency.  Even frozen, it remains on the softer side, which I love.  And, as you can tell from the photo, it still scoops beautifully.


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Vegan Basil-Blueberry and Lemon Curd Ice Cream (with Lemonade Cooler Option)

Yield:  approximatelyDSCN1723 5 cups of ice cream

I have SO many recipes to post, but we had a dog drama with Huff the Dorito Dog on Wedensday (he is going to be fine), and yesterday, I was travelling to visit my family in MS.  When I opened the fridge today, I saw TONS of fresh blueberries that my (85 year old) father and sister had picked at a good friend’s house, so I thought I would start with this refreshing treat!

This deliciously different ice cream was born of fresh blueberries from the farmer’s market, a healthy crop of basil growing in a pot just outside our door, and some of Bryanna Clark Grogan’s ingenious Vegan Lemon Curd leftover from a cookie baking session.

Complex, but not muddy in flavor, this ice cream epitomizes summer with the floral notes of the basil, the earthy sweetness of the blueberries and the subtle citrus undertones of the lemon curd.  Not as tangy as a pure lemon ice cream, if it’s that tartness you seek, I highly recommend that you top the ice cream with a splash of lemonade for a refreshing and zippy cooler.

And, if you think the basil seems odd, feel free to leave it out, but I think it adds a very special quality.  With or without the basil, please enjoy!

2 tablespoons arrowroot powder (thickens witout crystallization)

1 cup unsweeteened soymilk

2 cups soy creamer

1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries, rinsed and drained

3/4 cup Bryanna’s Lemon Curd

1/3 cup natural sugar

Pinch sea salt

2-6 to 8 inch stems basil leaves, rinsed and patted dry

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a small cup or bowl, whisk together arrowroot powder and 1/4 cup soymilk.  In a 1-quart saucepan, combine remaining 3/4 cup soymilk and soycreamer, and cook over medium heat until mixture begins to boil.  Remove it from the heat and immediately whisk in arrowroot cream causing the mixture to thicken considerably.  Pour into a medium bowl, add stems of basil, cool the custard to room temperature and then remove basil, using your fingers to scrape off the custard clinging to the basil.  Process blueberries, lemon curd, sugar, and sea salt in the bowl of a food processor until smooth; flecks of blueberry skin will remain.  Whisk into custard, along with vanilla, cover, and chill for at least 3 hours.  Freeze in an electric ice cream maker (mine is a Cuisinart) according to manufacturer’s directions.  Serve immediately or freeze, covered, to allow ice cream to stiffen.

Lemonade Cooler

For each serving, place 2 scoops of ice cream in a stemmed glass, pour about 1/3 to 1/2 cup lemonade over the top(I use a reduced calorie variety), garnish the side of the glass with a lemon slice, and serve with a straw and long-handled spoon.

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Vegan Pumpkin-Maple Ice Cream

Here in VA Beach, fall comes late so it can be quite warm this time of year.  Therefore, when my “good” vegan gal pals on “Good Reads” suggested that we all post a recipe inspired by pumpkin to celebrate the mid-way point of Vegan MoFo 2011, I decided to make mine a quasi-warm weather recipe while featuring this quintessential cool weather ingredient.

I love pumpkin as much as I do sweet potatoes, which is to say ” a whole lot!” so I was all in.   And I love it in both savory and sweet dishes.  This one is a not-too-sweet, but plenty sweet enough (that one’s for you, Lee!), maple-infused pumpkin ice cream.  I serve mine with sweetened Cashew Cream and a cinnamon stick.  But it would be delicious, say, with my Pepita Caramel Syrup (which is equally good on my Vegan Pumpkin-Bourbon French Toast) or with Pepita Brittle.

True confession:  I tried a new recipe I found online, experimenting with adding some additional flavors.  The recipe was a bust–maybe it was the Tequila and lime juice I added (seriously!)–as it never hardened enough to make brittle, but it also wasn’t soft enough to serve as a sauce.  Plus, I discovered a very important lesson: cinnamon and chipotle chili powder, when combined, taste like a Red Hot!  I don’t know about you, but I’ve never cared for Red Hots, and certainly not on my beautiful pumpkin ice cream.  So much for being creative.  I did, however, discover that I LOVE lime zest sprinkled over the top of the not-so-brittle brittle.  I’m going to keep experimenting and be back to you when the results are worthy of Blooming Platter readers!

For now, I hope you enjoy my newest creation!

Yield: approximately 1 quart

1 cup unsweetened or plain soymilk, divided

2 tablespoons arrowroot powder

3/4 cup soy creamer

2/3 cup natural sugar

1/3 cup maple syrup

1-15 ounce can pumpkin puree (feel free to substitute homemade)

3 cinnamon sticks

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon maple extract

Garnishes:  sweetened Cashew Cream, cinnamon stick halves, and/or Pepita Caramel Syrup

In a small cup or bowl, whisk together 1/4 cup soymilk with arrowroot until completely combined, and set aside.  In a 2 quart saucepan, combine remaining soymilk, soy creamer, sugar, maple syrup, pumpkin, cinnamon sticks, and dry spices.  Place over medium heat and cook, stirring frequently, until mixture just reaches a boil.  Remove the pan from the heat and immediately whisk in arrowroot mixture.  The custard will thicken noticeably and quickly.  Whisk in vanilla and maple extracts.  Pour the mixture into an airtight container and refrigerate until cold, approximately 2 to 3 hours or overnight.  Remove cinnamon sticks, whisk again, and freeze according to your ice cream manufacturer’s directions.  Store in freezer.  Serve with a dollop of sweetened Cashew Cream, half of a cinnamon stick, and/or with Pepita Caramel Syrup.


For 150 fresh seasonal recipes, including some some fabulous fall fare, I invite you to check out The Blooming Platter Cookbook: A Harvest of Seasonal Vegan Recipes.

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