A Fine Farewell

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I first made these rasta-style popsicles last year as a surprise farewell treat for my sweet roommate and friend, Gina, who was moving out of our Oakland abode for an amazing teaching job. The popsicles were devoured after we had yummy Shan Dong take-out while watching Cry Baby. (Perfect night in, right?) She and her circle of friends from college started photographing every collective red, yellow and green sighting on their Instagram accounts and hashtagging them with “#jahworksinmysteriousways.” (And it turned out that the clever man who coined that hashtag is now my current roommate, Brian.) So I thought it would be a cute (and tasty!) idea to make her these vegan “Jahsicles.” I later posted a pic of the popsicles on my personal Instagram account and it became the 300th #jahworksinmysteriousways post! Next level! (The hashtag has more than 500 posts to date.)

How fitting is it that while I type this, I find that this recipe has gone full-circle? Looking around my bedroom, it is now filled with my boxed-up belongings, as I, too, am in the process of moving out of the house. To new adventures! (And yummy popsicles!)

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Roasted Strawberry Base
Recipe slightly adapted from Joy the Baker 

INGREDIENTS
1/2 pound strawberries, stems removed and halved
1/2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
pinch of sea salt
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1/2 lemon, juiced
7 ounces cultured almond milk yogurt (I used Amande)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

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METHOD
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place your strawberries in a bowl and drizzle with olive oil and season with salt. Stir to fully incorporate. Place the strawberries onto a baking sheet tray and into the oven to roast till they’re softened, about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and add the roasted strawberries into a food processor. Add the sugar and lemon juice and blend till smoothie-like. In a separate bowl, using a rubber spatula or spoon mix the yogurt and vanilla extract, adding the strawberry puree. Refrigerate.

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Mint Lime Coconut Base
Recipe slightly adapted from Kitchenette Blog

INGREDIENTS
7 ounces canned coconut cream
1/2 cup almond milk
1/4 cup lime, juiced
1/2 bunch mint, picked
1 tablespoon granulated sugar

METHOD
Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend till smoothie-like. Refrigerate.

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Pineapple Coconut Base

INGREDIENTS
1 cup (8 ounces) frozen pineapple chunks
7 ounces canned coconut cream
1 tablespoon light brown sugar

METHOD
Place all ingredients into a food processor and blend till smoothie-like. Refrigerate.

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POPSICLE ASSEMBLY
Once all of your bases are made, gather three liquid measuring cups (this makes it easier to pour) or cups (if you don’t have more than 1) and place each flavor into a separate cup. Pour a third of the strawberry puree into the bottom of each popsicle mold. Freeze the popsicles for about 30 minutes to an hour to set the puree before adding in the next base. Once set, pour in a third of the mint lime coconut base into the molds. Freeze for another 30 minutes to 1 hour, or until the base is set. Then pour a third of the pineapple coconut base into each mold. Freeze for at least 6 hours before serving.

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Flavor of the Week

Now in season: strawberries!

Now in season: strawberries!

When I worked as a Pastry Chef Assistant, I had the pleasure of making ice cream and sorbet bases daily. And when I say pleasure, I mean it. Ice cream and sorbets are a fairly easy sweet treat to make at home. And quite honestly, with all the ingredients listed on many store-bought ice creams–preservatives, additives, and chemicals one can’t even pronounce–it’s actually healthier (and perhaps safer) to consume those of the homemade variety. Wouldn’t you agree?

Now in season, strawberries are ideal for this warm weather, so sorbet is in order!

Ooh, and for a cool (alcoholic) refresher, you can add a scoop of the sorbet to a flute of sparkling wine (Prosecco works well) for a Bellini-style cocktail.

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Warning: Consumption of strawberries before making sorbet is often unavoidable!

Strawberry Sorbet
Yields about 1 quart

INGREDIENTS
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup water
3 1/2 cups (16 ounces or 1 pound) strawberries, stems removed and quartered
1 tablespoon lemon or lime juice (I used grapefruit juice and it tasted great!)

METHOD
Place the water and sugar into a small saucepan stirring to just combine. Heat over medium-high and boil until the sugar is completely dissolved. You’re basically making a simple syrup, so heat the sugar water till it’s a slightly syrupy consistency. Turn off the heat and transfer the simple syrup into a small bowl and into the refrigerator to cool.

While the simple syrup cools down, wash the strawberries and cut off the stems. Cut the strawberries into quarters. Place strawberries into a food processor or blender and blend till the fruit is completely broken down, adding a fresh squeeze of lemon juice.

Seriously so good

Seriously so good

Transfer the strawberry gazpacho to your ice cream maker, adding in the simple syrup. Churn the strawberry soup according to your ice cream maker’s manufacturer’s instructions. (My Hello Kitty Ice Cream Maker processes the mixture for 40 minutes.)

Sorbet before

Sorbet before

Sorbet after

Sorbet after

Once the mixture has been churned completely, place a sheet of plastic wrap just pressing the top of the sorbet to avoid getting ice crystals while freezing. Place into your freezer for at least 4 hours or until firm.

If I could escape...

If I could escape…