March 20, 2011

Tired Fruit - Inexpensive Goodness

I've found shopping locally and regularly at the same places in town gets me some interesting benefits. I know my farmers and local grocers and let them know I appreciate what they do. The last couple weeks of our local farmer's market, I don't usually pay for too much, they're glad to give it away and not have to take it home. They call it "Customer Appreciation". When something special or unusual comes in or there's a good price for some of my favorites, the vendors are sure to let me know. Last weekend, while doing some produce shopping at Payton's, Lester asked me if I would like a juice box.  He had a few boxes of fruit he couldn't sell, but people often take for juicing.  He said he sells them for 99¢. I never turn down free fruits and vegetables.  We split a a quart blender full of smoothie for breakfast with at least five pieces of fruit every morning.  It wasn't going to go to waste. There was about eight to ten pounds of fruit in the box.  I do make an effort to use everything I bring home.  I am pleased that we don't waste much. Most people would pass right by this fruit, it does look like it's just about ready for the compost pile and much of it was.  I saw it as buried treasure I had to dig up. Much of the produce had to be cleaned and prepared that day, but I'm willing to do it.  I managed to get quite a bit from that box of tired fruit.

I made a large fruit salad and used some of it to make smoothies for the next two mornings.

Fruit Salad

Morning Blend

I made some Coconut Milk Almond Ice Cream and added a couple heaping spoonfuls of the fresh fruit to the ice cream when it was just about frozen.  The ice cream is another version of my vanilla ice cream base using almond extract instead of vanilla.  I also had a carton of hazelnut coconut milk creamer I used instead of one pint of the plain coconut milk.  It's very flavorful with bits of frozen fruit throughout.

Dairy Free Almond, Hazelnut Ice Cream with Fresh Fruit

Begin by making a substitute for condensed milk.

Condensed Milk Substitute

1/3 cup thick coconut milk (The cream at the top of the can)
1/3 cup maple syrup or agave
1 TB melted coconut butter

Whip all above ingredients together and place in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Vanilla base for ice cream

3 TB egg replacer
9 TB filtered water
3/4 cup sucanat
Remaining can of coconut milk from condensed milk substitute
Condensed milk substitute (above)
1 pint coconut milk coffee creamer
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 1/2 TB vanilla extract or the seeds from a whole vanilla bean.

In a large mixing bowl whisk 3 TB egg replacer with 9 TB filtered water until thoroughly mixed and fluffy. Add the condensed milk substitute. Add 3/4 cup sucanat (or brown sugar) and again mix thoroughly. Add the rest of the can of coconut milk and 1 pint of coconut creamer, 1/2 tsp sea salt and the vanilla. Chill mixture for about four hours before freezing according to the directions for your ice cream freezer.

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