You know those days where you want nothing more than to hit your head against a wall repeatedly or kick something? Yeah. I was having one of those days. It was a day when nothing seemed to be going right, there was not nearly enough coffee in the world to keep me awake, and my brain was going 20 billion miles per hour. It was a day when only one thing could solve my problems and ease my mind: ice cream.
Not so much the consumption of ice cream (but hey, that's not bad either) but the making of ice cream. Vegan ice cream to be exact.
I've mentioned before that baking and cooking are therapeutic for me. I've known this for a long time but could never quite figure out what exactly was providing the therapy. Was it eating delicious food and copious amounts of cookies? No, not really. Too many cookies make me feel blah and food is good, but emotional eating is not. Was it the process of creative thinking? Sort of - maybe I should channel this into some DIY wedding projects (HA! riiiight). Was it the motions of stirring, kneading, and sauteeing? Perhaps. I've been content to not analyze this phenomenon too much and just let it be.
But on that really bad day, I figured it out.
It's the act of creation - true creation. It was engaging in that creative thinking and going through those motions to produce something tangible. It was creating something you can hold, smell, taste, and feel.
So many of us, myself included, are stuck at desk jobs where we type type type all day and essentially have nothing to show for it. Sure, we produce reports and analysis and can print out said objects - but it's not the same. We didn't craft something with our hands, we didn't feel the mind connect to the body and watch something take on a form of it's own. No, we don't get enough these days.
Well, on that bad day, I decided to change that. I realized that I could have very easily jumped in my car, drove to the store, bought a pint of ice cream, come home, collapsed on the couch, and polished off a sizeable amount of cold comfort. But instead, I found comfort in grating ginger and whisking simple syrup into vegan goodness and pouring it into an ice cream machine (hey, gotta embrace technology!).
At the end of the day, that ice cream tasted a little bit sweeter because I knew that I made it with my own two hands.
And it's just damn good ice cream.
Plus - what a better way to celebrate Earth Day than with homemade vegan ice cream! Reducing animal product consumption greatly helps out the earth and by making it at home, you are saving lots of pollution and energy costs.
Vegan Ginger Ice Cream
This ice cream isn't for the faint of heart - it packs a serious ginger kick! If you aren't completely obsessed with ginger, like I am, cut back on the ginger. Also, feel free to strain the mixture before freezing and then add in chopped crystallized ginger later.
adapted from: Vegan Ice Cream
2 cups (or 1 container) of So Delicious Coconut creamer (or other non-dairy creamer)
2 cups of So Delicious Coconut Milk, Unsweetened (or other non-dairy creamer)
1 teaspoon of xanthan gum (see note)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup plus a little knob, fresh ginger
*Note: You can also use 2 tablespoons of arrowroot or corn starch. You know I normally stay away from gums but I find that it makes the most amazing thickener for vegan ice cream. I've made vegan ice cream with starch and it works as well
Ice Cream Machine
1. Combine sugar, water, and small knob of ginger in a small saucepan over medium heat. Whisk until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and let cool (with the ginger in it). You just made a ginger simple syrup.
2. Combine 1/4 cup of milk with 1 teaspoon of xanthan gum and whisk until it forms a very thick slurry. Set aside.
3. Bring remaining 3/4 cup of milk, vanilla extract, and 2 cups of creamer to boil in a pot over medium high heat.
4. While you're waiting, grate some ginger! (Peel fresh ginger with the back of a spoon - super easy!)
5. Once cream mixture has boiled, turn off heat and whisk in slurry. Whisk, whisk, whisk until thickened and there are no clumps.
6. Remove ginger knob from simple syrup and pour syrup into cream mixture. Whisk until combined.
7. Stir in grated ginger.
8. Let mixture cool completely at room temperature.
9. Chill and freeze according to your ice cream maker's instructions.