You might remember my confession on a previous post about food that I used to dislike when I was younger but adore now. Okay, here’s another one from that list, it’s coconut! I think the word dislike doesn't even come close to describe how much I didn't like this thing. I don’t want to use the “h” word, because, I simply don’t. The problem is, if I see coconut in front of me, I’ll just
Back then when I was still living in Hong Kong, some street vendors sell fresh coconut juice on hot summer days all over the place. That simply gross me out. GROSS ME OUT! I didn't understand why and I couldn't imagine anyone would want to drink that. The thought of having coconut milk running down my throat made me light headed. But obviously, there’s a market for that for those vendors to survive summer after summer.
Now, I can’t get enough of this beautiful and healthy fruit. I put them in my homemade granola, in this Chinese New Year treat, use the coconut oil in the homemade sugar scrub, and even in the chocolate to create magic!
What converted me to a coconut lover? Well, it’s ice cream related. But not this particular ice cream though. It happened a few years ago when my hubby and I had a gathering at his friend’s place. After dinner, one of them prepared dessert. It was simply store bought ice creams with different toppings. Right before serving, my hubby's friend toasted some coconut flakes on the stove. While the coconut was toasting, something magical happened. The aroma was amazing. The whole house simply packed with a sweet scent that I’m not familiar with. Honestly, I wasn't convinced, even after that lovely aroma. I was going to just have ice cream, a little whipped cream and chocolate sauce.
I don’t remember how the toasted coconut flakes got into my ice cream bowl! HELP! I almost panicked. But since the coconut flakes were already there, I guess it’s alright to try a small bite with the ice cream, hoping the ice cream will masked the coconut flavor. After the first bite, that aromatic, crunchy and sweet toasted coconut got me. I’m surprised it tasted way better than the ice cream itself. So, I started to try more coconut products since then and I really enjoyed them. With this recipe, you get the best of both world. The slightly sweetened, soft and creamy ice cream along with a toasty and crunchy topping. It’s out of this world scrumptious. Did I mention this ice cream is egg free, sugar free, and dairy free? I’m telling you, it’s totally awesome too. Who knew vegan ice cream could be so tasty?
What is the moral of the day? Even if you don’t make this coconut ice cream, you should still try to make the toasted coconut flakes for your other ice cream flavors! Wait, that’s not it. I meant to say, don’t be afraid to try new things, you'll never know what you’re missing until you took that first step, get out of your comfort zone, and conquer your fears. And I was totally serious about making the toasted coconut flakes too!
Coconut Ice Cream With Toasted Coconut: (Printable Recipe)
2 cans (14-ounce) unsweetened coconut milk
1/4 cup agave nectar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
a pinch of kosher salt
1 cup toasted coconut flakes*
In a blender, add coconut milk, agave, vanilla and salt together. Blend until smooth. Place the blender in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or preferably overnight. Pour the mixture into an ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer's instructions. Transfer to airtight containers and store in the freezer until ready to serve. Take ice cream out if the freezer for 3 to 5 minutes before scooping. Top with toasted coconut flakes and enjoy.
*To make the toasted coconut flakes:
In a large non-stick skillet, heat the coconut flakes on medium low heat. Stir often with a wooden spatula until the coconut turns golden brown. The coconut flakes might seems soft, but they will turn crunchy once completely cooled. Store extras in an air tight container.