Monday, January 6, 2014

Avocado Sorbet

1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 pinch salt
1 vanilla bean, split
4 ripe Hass avocados
1/2 cup lime juice

1) Bring sugar, water and salt to a boil in a saucepan; cook 1 minute, or until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat, and scrape seeds from vanilla bean into syrup (don't worry if they stick together), then add vanilla bean to syrup. Cool; remove vanilla bean from syrup, and reserve for another use.
2) Blend avocados 3 minutes in blender or food processor until very smooth. Add half of lime juice and blend until combined. Add remaining lime juice and then vanilla syrup; blend until smooth.
3) Chill, then churn in ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions. Transfer to 1-quart sized container and freeze at least 8 hours.

Review: I was too cheap/lazy to use real vanilla beans and substituted a 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract. It worked well. I did have difficulties in blending the avocados, which is no easy feat in a blender. Stick with using a food processor and it'll be much easier. As you can see from the picture, it doesn't look very appealing in color or texture. However, it is quite delightful. It has the creaminess of avocados, cut with a hint of sweet. I can't even taste the lime, which is likely just there to prevent the whole thing from turning brown. Unfortunately, I made this two days before my tonsillectomy and was told the day of surgery to avoid citrus juices. As I type this on 1/23/2014, I still haven't been cleared to eat this. I'm glad I sampled it while it was in the ice cream machine and can't wait to this weekend when I'll be in the clear to eat as much as I want!!

Adapted from:

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Hibiscus-Blackberry Popsicles

1 hibiscus tea bag
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup blackberry juice

1) In a small saucepan, heat 1 cup water until just bubbling (not a full boil). Remove from heat and add hibiscus tea bag. Steep for five minutes.
2) Remove tea bag and mix in sugar. Stir until sugar is fully dissolved.
3) Pour in blackberry juice and stir to mix.
4) Pour into popsicle molds and freeze for at least 8 hours.

Review: In preparation of getting my tonsils out (1/8/2014), I planned to make popsicles and sorbets ahead of time. I found a wonderful recipe for a hibiscus-blackberry sorbet. However, the instructions stated the blackberries needed to be pureed in a food processor, but without chopping the seeds. HOW?! The seeds and pulp would later be strained off, but I couldn't figure out how to prevent cutting up the seeds. So, instead I decided to tweak the recipe idea and come up with a popsicle recipe. The hibiscus tea I used was from Republic of Tea, but it seems a lot of recipes call for Red Zinger. I don't like using Red Zinger because I read stuff about Celestial Seasoning's use of pesticides, but also it has a lot of added flavors. Republic of Tea's hibiscus tea has fewer ingredients. It also has Stevia in it, so I think I could get away with making this without sugar. For the blackberry juice, I used Trader Joe's Blackberry Crush. It has other juices, but still has a strong blackberry flavor (and is totally affordable). The end result was a flowery, berry flavor. It's amazing.

Adapted from: