Sweltering temps have blanketed the Northeast again just as Hannah Kaminsky’s third book, Vegan A La Mode, has hit the shelves. Icy cold treats are the perfect solution and Kaminsky’s sumptuous photos and highly creative recipes will have you ordering an ice cream maker before you can click outa this post.
And before you pass harsh judgement on the “V” word, assuming that non-dairy and delicious are mutually exclusive, take a look at her seductive photos. Imagine her deeply flavored concoctions soothing your glistening brow without any of the high fat, sugary guilt trip associated with traditional dairy treats.
Kaminsky is a wunderkind, publishing her third book, at the age of 23.
A native of Fairfield, CT, she has taken a non-conventional route to notoriety as a powerhouse of energy and creativity in the vegan world. In addition to posting on her award-winning blog, Bittersweet, she is a recipe developer who writes, styles and shoots for various niche mags.
No compromises on brilliant flavors here. Kosher keepers, lactose intolerants, vegans: pay attention! This is a great resource for you!
She sets the stage for her recipe categories with a glossary of ingredients to help guide us through any unfamiliar items (Ricemellow Creme as a vegan equivalent for Marshmallow Fluff, who knew?)
She also covers useful basics like the distinction between semi-sweet and bittersweet chocolate and which non-dairy margarine tastes and performs the best.
“Kitchen Tools and Toys” covers essential recommendations for how to chose ice cream machines, popsicle molds and even ice cream scoopers (bet you haven’t thought about spring loaded vs. spade).
Reading straight through “Essential Techniques”, I learned more about toasting and grinding whole spices and how to assemble ice cream sandwiches, than I ever thought I would be interested in.
But the joy of this volume is in the creative categories and recipes within.
“Bakery and Candy Shoppe Inspirations” includes “blueberry muffin ice cream” for die hard berry pickers while “cookie monster ice cream” is perfect to welcome the kids home from a sweltering day at camp or beach.
Hannah doesn’t fool me into imagining that only basics will be covered in her chapter, “Chocolate and Vanilla”. I know to expect more, being a loyal reader of her Bittersweet blog posts.
Still, “Naked Frozen Yogurt” is a starting point for toppings and mix ins.
I love full throttle flavor and texture in my ice cream and gravitate to “Mouse Tracks”, which she introduces in her whimsical way:
“ Confusion over the origins of the name “moose tracks” can be excused with just one glance at this swirled and speckled flavor, absolutely stuffed to the brim with sweet buried treasures… Since the original name makes so little sense, I like to believe that my modification to “mouse tracks” is a fittingly inexplicable alteration.”
See why I love her writing?
Care for something distinctly adult? Check out “Turkish Coffee Ice Cream” and imagine fragrant cardamom matching the punch of deep espresso flavor.
Avocado (a whole one!) and freshly crushed peppermint leaves combined with raw cashews, resulting in grassy brightness in her recipe for “Winter Mint Ice Cream”. Kaminsky suggests substituting basil leaves and chocolate chips as an alternative in this unexpected recipe.
She thinks WAY out of the box and asks us to join her on her fanciful journey. I’m game!
For kosher keepers hankering for ice cream after their meat meals, or for anyone lactose intolerant, or vegan, this volume is a godsend.
Join Hannah Kaminsky at Health in a Hurry in Fairfield, CT. on July 18, 6:30-8:30. There will be free samples, demos on how to make ice cream without a machine, friendly chatter and book signings.
All photos courtesy of Hannah Kaminsky. Quote from Vegan A La Mode is re-printed here with permission from Skyhorse Publishing.
Check out this super easy, explosively jammy recipe and let me know what you think!
A recipe this simple hardly even needs to be written out, but here goes. Pile everything but the jam into your blender and purée briefly, just until smooth. Blend no longer than necessary, to prevent the mixture from warming up.
- 1 8-Ounce Container Vegan “Cream Cheese”
- 1/4 Cup Vegan “Sour Cream”
- 3/4 Cup Light Agave Nectar
- 1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract
- 2 Cups Plain, Non-Dairy Milk
- Pinch Salt
- 3/4 Cup Jam of Choice (Blueberry, Strawberry, Cherry, etc. Try combining flavors, too!)
- Pour the ice cream base into your ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Spoon the soft ice cream into an airtight container, and in between spoonfuls, dollop your desired flavor of jam. Swirl the whole mixture together lightly so that there’s a colorful ripple of jam throughout. Chill the ice cream in the freezer for at least three hours before serving, until solid enough to scoop.
Talk about instant gratification: You can go from ingredients to ice cream in under an hour with this fool-proof and highly versatile formula! Tasting for all the world like the filling of a frozen cheesecake, no baking or fussing necessary, it’s the kind of frozen treat you can serve at the end of a fancy meal or for a quiet evening at home. For crust lovers, go ahead and pile it on as thick as you like with a sprinkling of crushed graham crackers (page 203) over each serving.