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Entries in dairy-free (2)

Sunday
Dec232012

Chocolate (Dairy-Free) Ice Cream

Chocolate (Dairy-Free) Ice Cream

I've missed ice cream. It seems like a silly thing to say, but it's true. Growing up, rarely a week passed by where I didn't have a bowl of vanilla ice cream covered with chocolate sauce or a banana split for dessert. I come from an ice cream-loving family, where chocolate syrup is an anchor in the kitchen cupboard. As I grew older, I'd often mix my own blended ice cream coffee shop drinks, enjoying my own twist on a mocha. However, after I discovered I'm lactose intolerant this summer after taking on a month long vegan challenge, I haven't had more than a few spoonfuls of ice cream since.

While the absence of ice cream was easy to handle at first, the cravings have slowly crept up on me until it finally became time to do something about it. I actually put dairy-free chocolate ice cream on my holiday list this year.

Chocolate (Dairy-Free) Ice Cream Chocolate (Dairy-Free) Ice Cream

A few months ago, I was really struggling with my newly required dairy-free eating habits. I shared my difficulties with you, a mixture of confusion in how to approach eating and lamentations at the loss of my old lifestyle. Looking back, I realize now that I was grieving. Grieving for the loss of milk and cream, for butter and for cheese. I had moments of denial, when I'd order a cheeseburger instead of a hamburger at a restaurant. I was angry and upset at my body, telling anyone who talked about my favorite dairy-filled foods to wash their mouths out with heavy cream. I tried to justify my actions, telling myself the pain I would feel later was absolutely worth that piece of caramelized bread pudding (and, of course, it never was).

While some people can embrace new eating habits with ease, I needed time to sort my feelings out, to let go of the foods I had eaten and loved my entire life. Over the last few months I have been in the process of acceptance, but I finally, finally, feel like I've reached it.

I never knew such feelings could arise out of food.

Chocolate (Dairy-Free) Ice Cream

While some baked goods are effortless to convert to dairy-free, ice cream is one of those sneaky desserts that is difficult to make without its namesake—cream. I've tried several of the dairy-free brands in the stores with disappointing results. With an unpronounceable ingredient list and a texture that resembles marshmallow cream or shaved ice, they leave much to be desired. As is the case when the supermarket fails me, I look to the kitchen and my own ingenuity to make something better than I can find.

Oh, let me tell you, this is exactly what I've been craving.

Chocolate (Dairy-Free) Ice Cream

Chocolate (Dairy-Free) Ice Cream is bright, satisfying, and perfect for those in your life with a milk allergy or intolerance. The richness of the ice cream comes from full-fat coconut milk. Do note, however, that the final product will have a subtle coconut aftertaste which cannot be avoided (but for me, a coconut lover, it was an added bonus). The ice cream isn't too sweet, with a deep chocolate flavor coming from cocoa powder. This ice cream is the real deal—smooth, creamy, and an excellent dairy-free ice cream alternative.

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Wednesday
May022012

Peanut Butter Cornmeal Cookies

Peanut Butter Cornmeal Cookies

Lethargic, listless, lackadaisical. I've been utterly lazy the last week and half. At first, it was because I was jet-lagged, blaming time differences and long flights on my reason for not getting up from the couch. However, after the fatigue wore off, so did my excuses. I began setting my alarm to get up for the gym—an honest attempt to drag myself back into a normal schedule. Waking up to the loud beeping with cloudy skies overhead, I found myself hitting the snooze button and turning over for another hour's rest.

Not today, I'd tell myself. Maybe tomorrow...

Peanut Butter Cornmeal Cookies Peanut Butter Cornmeal Cookies

One day turned into two. Then three, then four. After rolling out of bed, I'd eat breakfast before situating myself in front of the television to watch hours of sitcoms and Lifetime movies. I made up excuses to convince myself I didn't need to leave the house. Overdue library books sat by the front door, accumulating small, but bothersome ten cent charges each day that passed. I wasn't sad or depressed, sick or under the weather. I was simply and inexcusably lazy.

I don't really need to go to the gym, I'd tell myself while eating through a bag of potato chips. I'll bake something tomorrow, I'd assure myself, scrolling through more recipes on Pinterest. Laziness was a luxury, wasn't it?

But, as the days turned into a week, I wasn't so sure of that anymore.

Peanut Butter Cornmeal Cookies

Abraham Miller once said that he who knows how to loaf is wiser than three sages. I have the feeling, however, he wasn't talking about me. With all the reality television I was watching, I couldn't hope to be as wise as one sage, much less three. Laziness was no longer a luxury. It was becoming a chore (and no one likes chores).

Exactly 10 days after my lazy streak started, it abruptly ended. I pulled myself together. I went to the gym. I cuddled back up to my Kitchenaid mixer and made sweet, sweet desserts. I returned the library books back to their rightful home. Though laziness does have a time and place (and I will look back upon mine fondly), sometimes enough is enough.

The real world comes calling and we all must get up off the couch.

Peanut Butter Cornmeal Cookies

These Peanut Butter Cornmeal Cookies are the product of curious thinking and experimentation. Gluten and dairy free, the cookies are made with crunchy peanut butter and rolled in sugar for sweetness. The cornmeal adds a little extra texture to these cookies, without a distinguishable taste. Though the cornmeal can give the cookies a drier texture, it isn't anything a glass of milk can't cure.

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