Coconut, Chilli and Basil Ice Cream

“The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure.”

This week was spent avoiding the festival as much as possible. Most of the gigs we do are so fun and full of like-minded, friendly, happy people. There are a couple however, which aren’t as fun for us. They’re more like big funfairs with the odd bit of music. Not our bag I’m afraid. It doesn’t help when it’s pretty wet and windy and the site turns into a mud bath. Some people are happy to embrace the madness, to really get involved, but I decided to sit this one out. I’m still catching up on sleep from Glastonbury and it was a good excuse to chill. Down time was spent mostly in the caravan watching back-to-back episodes of this, and exploring, lots of exploring.

On Friday, I decided to head over to the West coast of Scotland to visit some family friends who have recently re-located from the South up here. It was such a beautiful drive through the hills over to their new home. A night away in a real bed with a hot bath was just the ticket. They have the most amazing view over the atlantic; out to the Isle of Bute and Arran. We caught up over a dinner and a glass of red. It was good to eat from a table and not my lap. The next morning we took a little tour of the village, snooping in the antiques shop (in a shipping container by the shore!) and guzzled tea in the local cafe. After lunch back at theirs, it was time for me to head back to the craziness.

Sunday was another adventure day. As soon as we woke we were plotting an escape for the day. Scouring the map for possible endless hikes. We settled on the hills around Loch Earn. Picnics were packed, smoothies were bottled, extra layers loaded into bags and we were off. We found ourselves a nice little footpath that took us up towards this point. However, Scotland being Scotland, it started to get pretty wild the further up we got. We settled on a peak about halfway up, took in the view, then found a nice sheltered spot to re-fuel before heading back down. C is the perfect adventure companion. Egging us on to go higher and pushing me up the steep bits when I start to wobble. Plus, he brings chocolate.

We’ve made a pact to make sure we go on more adventures this autumn. To keep our hearts happy and our minds excited.  No matter the weather, just pick a place and head there. With a good chocolate stash.

Kilgreggan

CococnutChilli2

Scotland wasn’t exactly bathing in sunshine this week, but you don’t need sunshine for an excuse to eat ice cream. This ice cream isn’t your perfect soft scoop ideal. Think of it more as rustic blobs, overflowing with flavour. That kicks any picture-perfect soft scoop outa the park. I made this slightly too spicy the first time around, so it’s important to pick a mild chilli here.

Coconut, Chilli and Basil Ice Cream (V) (GF)

INGREDIENTS:

1 tin full fat coconut milk
Half a green chilli – medium spice
Handful of basil leaves

 

METHOD

Roughly chop the chilli and basil leaves.

Add all ingredients into a high-speed blender and blend for 2 mins.

Pour mixture into a freezer-proof container and place in freezer for minimum 4 hours.

CoconutChilli

CoconutChilli3

 

Pumpkin Pie with Cinnamon and Cardamom

Pumpkin Pie with Cinnamon and CardamomOK, So I know halloween has been and gone, but Autumn is still alive and kickin’, and that means pumpkin in all it’s glorious forms!

So technically this ‘Pumpkin Pie’ is actually a butternut squash pie, but that just doesn’t sound quite as good. But the squash gives a slightly better flavour and texture than the pumpkins that are around at the moment.

This pie was inspired by a good friend of mine over at Happy Hearted Kitchen and also from one of Tom Hunt’s recipes. It’s not too sweet, so if you’re not a huge sweet fan, fear not, for I think this suits most peoples taste.

Pumpkin Pie with Cinnamon and Cardamom (GF)

INGREDIENTS:

For the crust:
200g pitted dates (I used Medjool)
150g Oats (use certified gluten free if possible)
Handful crushed walnut pieces (or other crushed nuts)
2 tablespoons coconut oil (melted)
1 tablespoon Maple syrup
1 teaspoon cinnamon

For the filling:
1 large Organic butternut squash
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon ground ginger
50g unrefined light brown sugar
6 cardamom pods
2 tablespoons Maple syrup
100ml Almond milk
1 egg

 

Method

Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 4 / 180 C

Peel and cut the squash into small chunks. Place on a baking tray, and sprinkle with the cinnamon, ginger, sugar and cardamon pods. Drizzle with maple syrup. Cover with foil and roast for 30-45 minutes (or until soft) Be careful not to colour the squash.

In a food processor, mix the oats, walnuts and dates until starting to combine and stick to the sides. Add the maple syrup, cinnamon and melted coconut oil, blend until fully mixed into a sticky consistency.

Grease and line a pie tin with baking paper. Take your dough mixture from the processor and push it around the tin with your hands, filling all the gaps, spreading it around evenly.

*Now, if you prefer your crust a little crunchy, you can pop your crust in the oven for 10 mins before adding the mixture. I prefer mine softer, so missed this step out*

Remove the squash from the oven and place in a food processor. Blend until smooth and allow to cool. You can mash the squash if you prefer.

In a bowl, mix the blended squash, egg and milk until fully combined. Add mixture to the pie tin on top of the crust.

Cook for 25-30 mins. If you have pre-cooked your crust, the cooking time may be less. Check back after 15 mins, to avoid burning the crust.

Serve with a dollop of ice-cream and drizzle with maple syrup.

Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin Pie with Cinnamon and Cardmom