Vegan Ice-Creams for Summer

Written by Silpi Patnaik

Once while sauntering on the sidewalks of a dim-lit locality, I stumbled upon a very tastefully decorated creamery. It was a humid August evening and I just couldn’t resist the desire of sinking into a cup of ice-cream. The creamery had an endless menu of flavours and colours laid out like some exotic display in a food exhibition. While being bombarded by a barrage of confusions, I got enticed by a picture of a glass of ice-cream pasted on the walls of the parlour. The picture was utterly mesmerizing- shiny ivory cream at the bottom stacked with purple currant-coloured layers with drizzles of golden caramels and toppings of rejuvenating berries. The cortisol-packed sight was outlandish and I was sold in a nanosecond. I asked the salesperson for the name of the one on the wall and said to make me one of the same. The person in response said “Hey, the one on the wall is called “True Love” and is not available at the moment!”

That was such a prick in my heart. It was sorrow and philosophy wrapped in one. Although I satiated my craving for something sweet, creamy and enriching by licking a cone of plain vanilla yet I never stopped pondering on that mysterious image on the wall. I imagined the way it would probably taste- may be something like ambrosia, something otherworldly, something unheard of- and finally went on to create my own versions of it. Mine are prepared from the truest ever love since they are vegan, they don’t contain added sugars and they are as delicate and fresh as the first ray of a morning sun.

Papaya Ice Cream 
1 cup overripe papaya- diced and frozen
1 ripe banana- chopped and frozen
1 tsp fresh lime juice ½ tsp vanilla essence
2 heaped tbsps hung coconut yogurt
Walnuts and almonds chopped
Quinoa brownie chunks
2-3 cubes of silken tofu- cut into mini cubes
Dark cacao syrup- 2 tbsp cacao powder mixed with 1tsp dark coffee and hot water; whisked, microwaved & refrigerated.

Blend papaya, banana, vanilla and lime juice in a regular blender. Scrape it out into a deep-bottomed bowl and stir in the yogurt. Fold in the nuts for crunch. Throw mini chunks of tofu and brownies to mimic the very famous cookies and cream texture. Freeze for 30 minutes and finally scoop out into a cone or cup for your customized ambrosia.  Drizzle a layer of dark chocolate syrup on it to add a dimension of drama to your ice cream.

Avocado Banana Chocolate Ice Cream 
1 over ripe avocado- scooped and frozen
1 over ripe banana- cut and frozen
½ tsp vanilla essence
1 tsp lime juice
2tsp cacao powder + ½ tsp coffee powder
Sweetener if desired
Caramelized coconut chunks
Nuts of choice for toppings

Blend the ingredients together till everything is smooth and polished.  Scoop out the silky-textured mix in a bowl, fold in the caramelized coconuts and freeze for 30 minutes. Finish with nuts like walnuts, melon seeds or pecans. Place this fruit loaded vegan ice cream on a wooden platter along with a warm wedge of oats-flax brownie slathered with  piping hot dark chocolate syrup for a dramatic saturday effect.