Thursday, June 5, 2008

The Kitchen is Cold

This is bad... I really haven't been doing much by way of cooking these past few weeks, and I don't know why! And by the looks of the future weather reports (up to 30C tomorrow and all weekend?!) I don't think turning the oven on will be looked on favourably by the rest of my family.

However, that isn't going to stop me from testing out monsieur starter soon - he turned a week old today and is smelling nice and sour, though it still doesn't double after a feeding (the photo is about 2 hours after being fed... nowhere near twice the volume!). I'm thinking maybe a quick batch of biscuits to test it's mettle. I hope it gathers strength soon, I want to get some bread out of that sucker!

Being that it is going to begin baking outside in the near future, I've been turning my attention to colder foods - namely popsicle-type treats. While my standby frozen favourite by far is Tofutti's Fudge Treats (they're nice and creamy, low in sugars, and fat free... what more could you want?) I came across a similar recipe at the blog Tiny Morsels that's made with carob and tofu, which is more nutrient rich than my storebought kind (and going along to Cate's ARF / 5-A-Day event!). I'm definitely going to give it a try, though in the variant that I'm passing along today... I don't have erythritol or agave nectar in my pantry.

Carob powder is made by drying, roasting, and grinding the carob pod. Like coffee, the color and flavor of carob vary according to the roasting process — the longer it's roasted, the darker it gets but also the blander. It's is an incredibly rich food source, and it perhaps the ideal "survival food" since it lasts a long time and is rich in calcium, containing 352 mg per 100 grams, or 1,597 mg per pound. (TrueStar)

Any way you make it, these are easy, rich and creamy - a decadent way to cool down.

Carob Ice Pops
Serves 6
5 oz low-fat silken tofu
1 cup unsweetened, plain almond milk
1/2 tsp vanilla (or almond or coconut) extract
2 Tbsp carob powder
1 tbsp honey
1/4 cup brown sugar
  1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender, and pulse until smooth.
  2. Pour into ice molds and freeze solid.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 73.0
Total Fat: 0.7 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 56.3 mg
Total Carbs: 17.9 g
Dietary Fiber: 1.2 g
Protein: 2.2 g
WW POINTS: 1

And if you like the nut and chocolate combo idea, here's another recipe I stole... I mean... borrowed off of the Almond Board of California and modified to my tastes. This rich, smooth espresso and chocolate ice "milk" is filled with chunks of toasted almonds for another delicious summer snack - but unlike the ice pops, this one should be eaten with a little more restraint. Though almonds are a healthy fat, just 1 oz (or 24 nuts) has 14 grams of it! Not the greatest idea (in large quantities) if you're trying to cut down fat in your diet or, like me, you can't eat that amount without suffering! It is, admittedly, a lot better than eating processed cheese or frosting from a can (which I did as a 14 year old... the frosting, not the cheese). I'd use Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Breeze mixed with cocoa or carob powder for the chocolate almond milk here, since we don't get the Unsweetened Chocolate here yet (I just found the vanilla today!!).

Mocha Almond Ice Milk
Serves 6
2 cups unsweetened chocolate almond milk (Almond Breeze), chilled
2 tbsp instant espresso powder
2 tbsp brown sugar
2/3 cup slivered almonds, roasted
  1. Whisk together 1/2 cup the almond milk with the espresso powder in a large bowl.
  2. Whisk in remaining milk and sugar.
  3. Freeze according to ice cream machine’s instructions, adding almonds when mixture is nearly frozen.
  4. Alternatively, divide mixture among waxed paper cups and cover each with plastic; poke a wooden craft stick through plastic and freeze to serve as pops.
Amount Per ServingCalories: 116.6
Total Fat: 8.4 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 13.9 mg
Total Carbs: 8.8 g
Dietary Fiber: 2.1 g
Protein: 3.9 g

2 comments :

Bellini Valli said...

Yes my family tell me in Cambridge that is going to be a scorcher of a weekend there. Also I have passed on an award to you, stop by when you have a moment:D

DaviMack said...

Ours don't double either, much of the time, or if they do it's quite slowly. Actually? Ours double faster in the fridge than they do on the counter - so it could be that it's something to do with the mixture being more wet than it needs to be.

Boost it with commercial yeast if you have to - you'll get the flavor from the sourdough, and the rise from the commercial. :)