If you made my one-step Coconut Butter from last week, then this Healthy Coconut Ice will be a cinch. Actually even if you didn't make it, it will still be a cinch. I think my recipes have become progressively simpler and possibly even more pink as my pregnancy has gone on. Any coincidence? Possibly..
Back to the ice. Coconut Ice is one of those wicked little treats you no doubt had as a child, but probably fell off the menu once you reached adulthood. The traditional recipe as per my trusty Edmonds Cook Book (first published in New Zealand in 1955, and a staple in most Kiwi households), combines icing sugar, cow's milk, butter, salt, coconut and red food colouring.
My version instead swaps out the icing sugar, dairy, and artificial colouring for natural organic coconut milk, pure vanilla extract, himalayan sea salt, a dash of unrefined low GI coconut nectar or sugar and grated beetroot or berries for colouring.
Vanilla Ice Ice Baby
Seeing as we spoke about the benefits of coconut last week (you can read about that here), this week I'm tackling vanilla for you. Segway to 1989 before reading on...
Pure and natural vanilla extract contains numerous antioxidants, including vanillic acid and vanillin. As you no doubt know, antioxidants protect our bodies from damage from the increasing number of harmful free radicals and toxins in our environment. Make sure you source an organic fairly traded pure vanilla. This ensures not only optimal taste-factor, but also that the growers receive a fair wage from its production. After travelling through numerous countries I know all too well how little some of these communities live on - in many cases $1 per day is the standard income, when even just one meal out might cost $3.
My absolute favourite brand of vanilla is Heilala, based here in New Zealand and sourcing their vanilla from the beautiful island of Tonga. The company follow organic growing principles, growing in organic virgin soil on natural coconut husk frames, with the vanilla hand pollinated and dried in the sun. Their Tonga plantation provides employment for the local village, and has enabled running water, housing and childhood education facilities. Plus their vanilla powder is one of the only I've found that doesn't contain a bunch of added sugar and preservatives - it's just 100% pure ground vanilla bean.
I made my Coconut Ice only very mildly sweet, so do taste as you go and feel free to add a bit more coconut nectar if you like (*don't add too much, especially if you're using coconut sugar, as it will start to make it go a bit brown). In fact I checked the Edmonds recipe and my version uses only 8% of the sugar of the original! And don't worry if the beetroot or berries in your pink layer are not completely blended. I think it looks quite rustic with a few blood-stained blotches and smears running down the white layer as you slice. Finally, feel free to add more or less of your red-coloured ingredient to change the pinkness as you like (are you a pale ballet pink kind of guy/gal, or more of a bright fuschia 80's child?).
Would love to see your Vanilla Ice Ice Babies on Instagram - tag your shots @begoodorganics and #begoodorganics, as I'll be sharing the best images on my IG and Facebook pages. By the way, I'm now 41 weeks and 2 days, so this will certainly be the last time I write to you as a single body! I'm pretty excited to meet our little girl now, I'm hoping she likes Coconut Ice?
PS If you like this recipe, I'd love you to share it on Pinterest (hover over any of the images and click Pin It), Instagram (regram or make your own), Facebook or Twitter (hit the buttons up top). Thank you!
Makes 12 squares
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Always use certified organic, local and fairly traded ingredients wherever possible
5c desiccated coconut (around 350g)
1/3 cup coconut cream (18% fat)
2 tsp vanilla extract
4 tbsp coconut nectar OR coconut sugar* (or more to your taste)
pinch of sea salt
3 tbsp grated beetroot, goji berries OR 6 tbsp raspberries**
Desiccated coconut for sprinkling
c = 250ml cup, tbsp = 15ml tablespoon, tsp = 5ml teaspoon
*If your coconut sugar is quite dark, you might want to use a light coconut nectar instead - this will make sure you keep a nice white colour to the base and crisp pink to the topping.
**The beets will make your top layer more pink, the goji's more red, and the raspberries more purple - the photos I've taken here are with the beetroot option.
Herbs and Natural Supplements - An Evidence-Based Guide (Braun, L., & Cohen, M.)
The Food Pharmacy (Carper, J.)
Healing With Wholefoods (Pitchford, P.)
Whole: Rethinking the Science of Nutrition (Campbell, T.C.)
The China Study (Campbell, T.C.)