Figgy Hemp Cream (dairy-free, gluten-free, egg-free, vegan)

When I lived in western Massachusetts and had to go to the Albany, New York area to give a lecture or do an NPR program, I would always stop at the local co-op and get a pint of goat’s milk black mountain fig ice cream.  So good, creamy, figgy, and not too sweet.  This recipe comes very close to that goodness.  And it is very adaptable; feel free to use the type of fruit you like the best in place of the figs, peaches, applesauce, bananas would all work great.

Add to a blender:

  • 1 medium to large ripe avocado
  • 1/4 cup chopped dates
  • 2 cups fresh or stewed figs
  • 1 cup hemp milk
  • 2 scoops protein powder

Blend until well mixed and the dates are incorporated.  Pour into an ice cream freezer or put in individual serving containers, or ice cube trays to freeze.

TIP:  Don’t care for avocado?  Use avocado oil instead, it has little flavor but makes a very creamy dessert.  Use 1/4 cup of oil in place of the avocado pulp.

Carob Mint Hemp Milk (dairy-free, gluten-free, egg-free, vegan)

One of the things I’ve missed the most over the years is ice cream.  I take a water aerobics class at the Y and when we do the “stir the pot” exercise, the instructor always asks people what their favorite flavor of ice cream is and she stopped asking me the third time I said I was allergic to dairy.  But now I have an answer be it the Carob Avocado cream from a couple of weeks ago, or this new one I just made.  Hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

In your blender, blend:

  • 1 ripe avocado, this provides the fat so that you don’t end up with an “icy” cream
  • 1/4 cup chopped dates
  • 1 cup pear or apple sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of carob OR leave this out and add chips when the cream is frozen, OR if you can, you could add cocoa or melted semi-sweet chocolate
  • 2 large scoops protein powder
  • 2 cups hemp milk*
  • 1/2 teaspoon mint oil or extract

*I used hemp but coconut or soy milk would work just as well.  Rice milk doesn’t freeze well as it tends to make an icy mixture rather than a cream.

Blend until smooth.  Pour into your ice cream freezer or into ice cube trays to freeze.

TIP:  If the avocado gives too much of a flavor or you don’t care for avocado, add some avocado oil to the blender.  The oil has very little taste and will give you a creamy texture.

BLAT (Bacon, Lettuce, Avocado and Tomato)Burger (dairy-free, gluten-free)

This is one of my favorites.   I eat one of these sandwiches for lunch nearly every week.  Easy to make and delicious.  The creaminess of the avocado with the acidity of the tomato and crunch of the bacon and lettuce makes it well worth the calories.  I served mine with a side of 4 Bean Salad.

You’ll need:

  • Gluten-free bread or roll
  • 3 slices of tomato
  • 2-3 pieces of lettuce
  • 2-3 slices of cooked bacon (I use the turkey bacon)
  • 1 burger patty (mine is turkey which I make thin so it cooks very quickly but I have to be very careful not to overcook it)
  • 1 slice of non-dairy cheese (if you want a cheeseburger)
  • ketchup or mayo depending on your taste

While the burger and bacon are cooking, toast the bread if you want or warm the roll.  I start with the avocado, then the tomato slices, then the lettuce, bacon, and finally the burger.  I put the ketchup or mayo on the second slice of bread and there you have it.  Very easy, yet so tasty.

Chili (dairy-free, gluten-free, egg-free)

My husband loves chili but it isn’t one of my favorite dishes.  I’ve experimented over the years with different chili recipes to please him and here’s the one we decided pleases both of us.  I like to eat mine over some soba noodles and garnish it with avocadoes but he’d rather eat his the traditional way.  Its a very easy recipe to make the way your family likes chili — swap out the meat, type of peppers, or even the type of beans, or even increase the spices.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon chipotle chili pepper
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 4 garlic cloves diced
  • 1 pound ground turkey (or if you prefer, hamburger, ground chicken, ground pork, etc.)
  • 1 can diced chili peppers (I used the mild but you can use whatever your family likes)*
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh oregano
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste (or 1 small can)
  • 2 cups stock (chicken, turkey, or beef depending on what meat you use)
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon pomegranate molasses
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 (15 ounce) can pinto, or great northern, or kidney, or black beans, whichever you prefer
  • Bag of non-dairy grated cheese or for individual servings, slices
  • 1 diced avocado

*I wanted to use poblano chilis but the can I saw had added sugar so I went with my old standby of mild chili peppers.  Feel free to use fresh peppers and add the diced peppers with the onions and garlic.

In a large, deep skillet, or Dutch oven, heat oil over high heat.  Add spices (cumin, paprika, and chili powder) to release the oils.  Add onions and garlic and cook for a minute reducing heat to medium.  Add the meat and brown.  Pour in the stock and add the chili peppers, oregano, tomato paste, vinegar, molasses, salt and cinnamon sticks.  Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat.  Simmer for 40-60 minutes stirring occasionally.  Remove cinnamon sticks and discard.  Stir in the drained beans and simmer for 5 minutes.  Serve topped with cheese and the diced avocado.

Chocolate Figgy Hemp Cream (dairy-free, gluten-free, egg-free, sugar-free, vegan)

This is a very easy recipe to make if you have a blender or Vitamix.  And it turns out not only delicious but silky smooth and creamy.  Also, its adaptable to several other types of desserts — chocolate cream pie, fudgesicles (if you have a mold or even ice cube tray with wooden sticks), or pudding.

Put in your blender:

  • 1 ripe avocado (or 1/4 cup avocado oil – the oil has less avocado flavor so doesn’t add any taste to the dessert)
  • 1 cup of mashed figs*
  • 1/2 cup chopped dates (or 4 whole medjool dates)**
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder or carob powder
  • 2 large scoops of protein powder
  • 2 cups hemp milk***
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Blend until smooth.  At this point, you can divide the mixture into pudding cups, fill ice cube trays, or place it in an ice cream freezer.  If you make ice cream with it, I suggest that when its ready, put the ice cream into small containers since if you freeze it in a larger container, like I did, you’ll have a very solid block of hemp cream that needs to be thawed before you can use it.  If you’re making a chocolate cream pie, pre-bake a ready made gluten-free crust and cool it before you add the pudding to the pie crust.

*You could also use 4 ripe figs, or 1 cup of stewed prunes.

**Whole Foods carries chopped dates with oat flour.

*** Coconut milk or soy milk will also work in this recipe.