The weather around here has been unusual. Cool and overcast one day, hot and humid the next. We are using the cooler days to spend hours at the park or walking around outside. Dominik is just starting to really enjoy play structures and slides and climbing. But he enjoys just walking around the most. He stops to examine ants and bugs, find sticks, bird watch, chase lizards, and pick flowers. And oh boy does he love flowers.
Now that the hotter days are becoming more frequent again, I suspect long beach and pool days are around the corner. With his deep love of simple and natural things, I am looking forward to taking him back to the beach. Last summer, he spent most time digging in the sand. This year, I imagine that he will enjoy watching the squirrels on the rocks, chasing seagulls, digging for sand crabs, and hopefully dipping his toes in the water. The return of hot weather also means, to our delight, frozen treats like ice cream!
I always seem to forget that we have an ice cream making attachment for my kitchenaid mixer. When we first got it, we would make ice cream about once a week, experimenting with different milks and sweeteners. At that point, my husband was on the “no sugar” rule and we stuck to vegan ice cream so that I could eat it as well. Once the weather cools down, the bowl attachment gets buried in the freezer until, like treasure, is discovered the following summer.
Thinner milks like almond work well, but required a more solid fat like coconut oil or a thickening agent to get it to a creamy consistency. Maple syrup was our favorite sweetener out of the more natural lot we tried. But the milk that gave us deliciously creamy ice cream every time was coconut. A can of coconut milk is already fairly thick, but the addition of coconut cream is what really does the trick.
As for the flavor, chocolate is heavenly with coconut, but ice cream is another one of those blank slate meals. Because I wanted to play off of the coconut flavor already present in the ice cream, I wanted to use saffron. Saffron has an delicate and exotic flavor that does surprisingly well in sweet dishes. Coconut, luckily, with it’s natural sweetness, means that you don’t have to use very much maple syrup. But if you like your ice cream super sweet, go with more. I do love my chocolate ice cream, but this ice cream is surprising, delicious, rich, creamy, and perfect for a hot day or a midnight snack.
Coconut Saffron Ice Cream
- 1 can full fat coconut milk
- 1 can coconut cream
- 1/4-1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1 tsp saffron
- In a saucepan, heat the coconut milk, coconut cream, and maple syrup over medium low heat. Stir in the saffron.
- Once the mixture begins to simmer, turn down the heat to low and continue to heat for about 10 minutes to let the saffron steep.
- Remove from heat and let cool completely. Chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
- Use an ice cream maker to churn the chilled mixture until thick, creamy, and cold. If no ice cream maker is being used, put the mixture straight into the freezer, but be sure to stir it frequently to get the right consistency.
- Freeze the ice cream until completely frozen. Enjoy!