It's hard to believe we are approaching the halfway mark in July! What is happening to our summer? It feels like it just started and there is so much more to enjoy. As I scan forward through the remainder of the season, there are exciting things on the horizon. My goal is to soak it all in and look back on it with fond memories.
In order to do that, first thing is first. Let go of all of the unnecessary stresses and things that can wait in life. After all that my family went through in June, I have learned to relinquish control over the circumstances that I can not fix or change. To try and do otherwise is a complete waste of time. I want to focus my energy into the things that are fruitful. This is totally easier said than done, but I plan on putting forth the effort.
Speaking of July, it just so happens to be National Ice Cream month. Coincidentally, one of my favorite summertime treats is ice cream! Something tells me you are not completely shocked by that. It is a bit of a weakness for me and there aren't too many flavors that I don't find appealing. I guess that could be viewed as a good thing - I'm easy to please!
Another summertime favorite is strawberries. I love their natural sweetness along with their health benefits. Not only are strawberries packed with Vitamin C which is an immune booster, but they also have properties that aid in good eye health and improve our skin health. Strawberries also play an important role in cardiovascular health due to flavonoids, fiber, potassium, and polypenols which help reduce blood pressure and homocysteine levels. If that weren't enough, they also promote healthy digestion and can have an anti-inflammatory effect on relieving allergy symptoms. That's great news for all of the seasonal allergy sufferers out there!
If strawberry ice cream sounds a bit boring or basic to you, let me assure you, this recipe is quite delicious! One of the beautiful things about it is that the ingredient list is short but sweet! To make this ice cream stand out with flavor, I suggest cooking the strawberries first. This helps reduce the water content so the flavor is more concentrated. By reducing the water content, you are also reducing the "icy" factor that is a common problem with homemade ice creams. This is especially true when adding fruits.
Using grass-fed gelatin is another benefit. Not only are you gaining the healthful properties that gelatin brings. but it also adds a thick, creamy texture to the ice cream. This step is optional but I recommend you give it a try.
Not only will you love the simplicity of this recipe, but you will enjoy the sweet, natural taste. You can add some coconut whipped cream and maybe even some brownies for an extra special dessert. There is just something about strawberries and chocolate! What are some of your favorite summertime treats?
1. Wash, remove stems, and slice the strawberries. Place them in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon maple syrup and 2 tablespoons lemon juice. Continue to cook and stir occasionally for about 10 minutes, or until the strawberries have broken down. Place the strawberries in the refrigerator to cool.
2. Once the strawberries have cooled, boil 1/4 cup water. Add one tablespoon of gelatin to the boiling water and mix well. (This step is optional but provides a nice thickening agent).
3. In your high speed blender, combine the canned coconut milk, honey, vanilla, gelatin mixture, and the strawberries. Blend until smooth.
4. Pour the mixture into your ice cream maker and follow the manufacturers instructions. Expect to churn the ice cream for about 25-30 minutes.
5. Scoop the ice cream into a freezer safe container with air tight lid. Either serve immediately or store in the freezer until ready to eat.
* Instead of using your high speed blender, you can mix all of the ingredients in a large bowl. You can either use your immersion blender to purée the strawberries or leave them chunky if you want the texture in your ice cream.