vegansaurus!

02/18/2014

San Francisco eats: Holy Gelato in the Inner Sunset!   »

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Until about two weeks ago, I had been a four-year resident of the Haight Ashbury neighborhood in San Francisco and I have to say, one of my fave features of that district is its proximity to the Inner Sunset! 9th and Irving has a plethora of vegan-friendly haunts, without the intense hustle and bustle of, let’s say, anywhere else in the city. Quite frankly, I’m shocked we here at Vegansaurus have never covered the corner of 9th and Judah’s delicious little treasure, Holy Gelato! They have so many soy and coconut milk-based gelatos. Plus, every time I’ve been there (twice), all in a tizzy because I couldn’t figure out which flavor to get, I was given free samples without even having to ask! I hate asking! Every single flavor I tried was scrumptious, but me being me, I had to go with the flavor laced with whiskey. YES YOU READ THAT RIGHT, THEY OFFER GELATO WITH WHISKEY! 

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The array of vegan flavors! Can you even believe your eyes?

As if you needed anymore convincing to get yourself out to the Inner Sunset for a vegan ice cream party, let me just throw out a few ideas. We’ll plan a night of it! The Inner Sunset boasts such restaurants as Social Kitchen and Brewery (Brussels sprouts chips! Chili! Beer!), Loving Hut (Everything on the menu!) and Patxi’s pizza (Vegan Chicago-style deep-dish pizza!). Feeling a little bit more romantic? Inner Fog is a cute little wine bar with dim lighting and a couple of vegan small bites available (think fancy hummus and fancy salad). There are also plenty of Chinese, Japanese, Mediterranean and Indian joints about; seriously the Inner Sunset is a vegan dream! 

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Irish Morning gelato, with a coconut-milk base, fudge, coffee, cookies and whiskey! Shout-out to Caroline for asking me out for ice cream in the first place, and therefore introducing me to Holy Gelato! 

Exterior photo of Holy Gelato via notjustgranola.ca

03/17/2013

It’s a vanilla bean coconut shamrock shake. Maybe a little too late, but maybe not. If you can make it so, then GET UP ON IT. 

It’s a vanilla bean coconut shamrock shake. Maybe a little too late, but maybe not. If you can make it so, then GET UP ON IT. 

08/16/2012

Fancy vegan ice cream desserts for your hot summer nights!  »


Peaches n cream with a balsamic reduction! Angela Liddon, you and your gorgeous, fancypants desserts! It’s culinary art!

Late summer (and early fall, and early summer, and late spring) is HOT HOT HOT in my part of Northern California, and all I want are cold foods. Just giant salads and oceans of vegan ice cream.


That’s why I recommend you make this cashew-milk salted caramel ice cream as soon as possible. The author, Jennifer Barckley, took two years to perfect her recipe, which probably means it is amazing. What was the last thing you spent two years on? 

I admit, both desserts seem a bit more labor-intensive than I like (I am a lazy, sweaty lump), but if you want to impress people and cool them off, serve them one of these beautiful dishes. They will be offering to have your babies by bite three, guaranteed. BRILLIANT IDEA: What if you made cashew-milk salted caramel ice cream and served it with fresh peaches and a balsamic reduction? Serve it to your neighborhood and watch them worship you as a kitchen deity!

If you want to go the easy route, though, vegan Miriam Krule and some of her family members did a six-brand taste-test of grocery store vegan ice creams over at Slate. Unsurprisingly, So Delicious was their favorite, and nobody liked weird old Tempt. 

[top photo by Angela Liddon; bottom photo by Jennifer Barckley]

07/29/2011

Australia: Cocoluscious is vegan ice cream for the people!  »

GOOD MORNING AUSTRALIA!

I should jump in here and say it: I’m a CocoLuscious addict. I first tried it as an omni and it may or may not be a large part of the reason I became vegan.


A few of the flavours in The Green Edge, my local vegan shop thing.

CocoLuscious is a coconut milk-based ice cream that’s made with totally natural ingredients. And it’s absolutely delicious.

Originally there were three flavours: chocolate, coconut, and vanilla. Since then three new flavours have been released each season, so you can now get vanilla, coconut, chocolate, raspberry, mango, blueberry, chai, vanilla chocolate chip, peppermint chocolate chip, and the three new winter* flavours: coffee, Mexican chocolate, and chocolate chip cookie dough. The chocolate chips contain soy lecithin, so if you’re not down with that, be careful to avoid it.

The three new flavours are my favourites. The coffee is actually the best coffee ice cream I’ve ever eaten. The Mexican chocolate starts off like, “Yeah, so what? it’s jaffa ice cream” and then goes “BAM CHILI!” If you don’t like hotness, perhaps this is not the one for you. The cookie dough is obscenely moreish—my partner and I ate a whole container in one sitting. Two nights in a row. Not recommended, but also seriously recommended.

Best of all, I can actually pronounce all of the ingredients on the label. They’re nice normal ingredients like coconut milk, and raw cacao powder, and it’s sweetened with agave nectar. Really, nearly every single flavour is gluten- and sugar-free.

Initially, you could buy chocolate, vanilla, and coconut in organic or non-organic, which was slightly cheaper, but I don’t know whether that’s still the case now. All the new flavours are organic!

Cocoluscious used to be available in only a few health food stores in Southeast Queensland, but you can now find it in various places in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, ACT, and Western Australia. If you have a local health food store, you can probably just ask them to get it in stock.

There’s not much more information, but their website is cocoluscious.com.au, and you can also find them on Facebook.

James Hultgren lives in Australia. He doesn’t work for Cocoluscious, he just really loves the ice cream. This is his first guest post for Vegansaurus. Also, now we all want to move to Australia even more.

*Rememeber, the antipodean July is a winter month!

07/13/2011

Caramel apple brownie sundae I love you and want to make you mine. Description by the photographer, QuintanaRoo (a.k.a. Emilie Hardman):

Chocolate sauce on the plate, a decadent brownie, two scoops of Turtle  Tracks Purely Decadent Soy Ice Cream, a mound of faux whipped cream, a  generous spoonful of heavily spiced roasted apple sauce, slivers of a  nutmeg infused caramel apple and chocolate shavings.

Uuuhhhh YES and PLEASE and NOW. If you’re a real glutton for punishment (or just a glutton!), check out her entire set of vegan ice cream and sorbet photos. If I had a room of my own, I’d decorate it exclusively with these pictures.

Caramel apple brownie sundae I love you and want to make you mine. Description by the photographer, QuintanaRoo (a.k.a. Emilie Hardman):

Chocolate sauce on the plate, a decadent brownie, two scoops of Turtle Tracks Purely Decadent Soy Ice Cream, a mound of faux whipped cream, a generous spoonful of heavily spiced roasted apple sauce, slivers of a nutmeg infused caramel apple and chocolate shavings.

Uuuhhhh YES and PLEASE and NOW. If you’re a real glutton for punishment (or just a glutton!), check out her entire set of vegan ice cream and sorbet photos. If I had a room of my own, I’d decorate it exclusively with these pictures.

05/24/2011

Guest post: Adventures in DIY ice cream! Plus, a recipe!  »

You know those types of friends that you bond with specifically over one thing? Maybe it’s a particular TV show or a band that you secretly love? That’s the type of friendship that my buddy, Jack Shirley, and I have, except we bond over food, or more specifically: desserts.


Jack owns his own recording studio, The Atomic Garden Recording Studio in East Palo Alto, Calif., but he is also on a covert mission to single-handedly take down the ice cream industry and give all of his friends diabetes. Jack has been making his own vegan ice cream for about a year now, after getting an ice cream maker for a gift.

“I love ice cream, and when I went vegan, I realized that there is no good vegan ice cream,” explained Jack. He’s right; there’s always something off about it, and it never quite tastes like the real thing. Ask anyone who’s tried his ice cream, and they’ll tell you that he’s definitely on to something. “It’s way easier than anyone could imagine,” he said.

About a year ago, Jack and I started creating a master list of possible flavors, just in time for summer. Since then, the list has grown, and he’s still eagerly taking suggestions. He even offers it as a perk to bands who record with him. The first flavor he ever made was Orange Chocolate Chip, which he got out of the vegan ice cream cook book Vice Cream.

Vice Cream focuses on making dairy-free ice cream from a cashew- or a coconut base. “Cashew–based ice cream is pretty rare,” Jack said, as he explained why he thinks his ice cream is different from the other vegan ones sold in stores. “Cashew is a very neutral base, so I try to only use a coconut base when I want the flavor to taste like coconut.”

Jack told me that it wasn’t the easiest in the beginning because he didn’t follow the instructions very well. But, with constant practice, creativity with flavors, and a little bit of trial and error, he’s got it down. So here we are, a year later, and Jack doesn’t even bother to greet me at the door anymore. “Try this,” is what he usually says to me as he forces a spoon towards my unfortunately large mouth, knowing I won’t refuse. Little does he know, I’ve used our food-dependent friendship in order to get exclusive ice-cream-making tips!

Tip 1: Let the base sit in the fridge overnight.
Vice Cream claims that you can also stick it in the freezer for a short amount of time, but apparently overnight in the fridge is the way to go. Jack says this helps the cashew taste to dissipate, leaving an even more neutral base.

Tip 2: Use alcohol-free extracts.
The book calls for alcohol-free extracts for a reason! When you use alcohol when cooking, the strong taste of alcohol burns off. When you’re making ice cream, the lack of heat leaves the alcohol in, and it can change the flavor of your ice cream.

Tip 3: Use real vanilla bean!
Using real vanilla beans instead of extract actually tastes better, and will help overpower any residual cashew taste.

Want to try it yourself? Here are two basic recipes, adapted from Vice Cream.

Vanilla—Makes about 1 quart (average home ice-cream-maker size)
Ingredients

2 vanilla beans
2 cups organic cashews or cashew pieces
2 cups water
1 cup maple syrup (Jack uses agave nectar and it works pretty darn well.) 

Instructions
Cut the vanilla beans into small pieces, and grind them to a powder in a coffee grinder.
Combine all the ingredients in a blender and blend on high for about 1 minute, or until smooth.
Place the mix in the fridge overnight.
Pour the mix into your ice cream maker and use according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Chocolate—Makes about 1 quart
Ingredients
1 3/4 cups organic cashews or cashew pieces
1 3/4 cups water
1 cup maple syrup (or agave nectar)
2 tsp. alcohol-free vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. alcohol-free almond extract
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder  

Instructions
Combine all the ingredients in a blender and blend on high for about 1 minute, or until smooth.
Place the mix in the fridge overnight.
Pour the mix into your ice cream maker and use according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
You can serve it immediately (it has a nice soft-serve texture when it’s fresh out of the maker) or place it in the freezer to devour later.

If you’re bored with plain old vanilla and chocolate, get creative! Jack has made tons of different flavors. His favorites? Strawberry, blackberry vanilla chocolate chip, piña colada, key lime pie, and eggnog. If you’d like to suggest a flavor for Jack to attempt, go ahead and send him a friendly email.

Jack says it’s really a trial-and-error process, though. “Not every recipe in that book will give you amazing ice cream,” he said, but I think he was just being his usually cocky self.

There are two things that Jack knows really well in this world: music and ice cream. Now you know why I want a shirt that says “I visited Atomic Garden Recording Studio and all I got was this amazing album and some shitty love handles.”

Elysse Grossi is a scientist, a health educator, a vegan food fanatic and a co-owner of Sweet Cups, based in the East Bay. She grosses people out with her other blog, Under the Microscope. Laugh at her boring life on Twitter @glassheart.

10/28/2010

Young coconut vegan ice cream? I don’t know, coconut is on my no-no list but this photo is so pretty and I like the idea of freshly shredded coconut in it; the texture must be fantastic just out of the freezer.
Click through for the recipe. Photo by Sean Dreilinger.

Young coconut vegan ice cream? I don’t know, coconut is on my no-no list but this photo is so pretty and I like the idea of freshly shredded coconut in it; the texture must be fantastic just out of the freezer.

Click through for the recipe. Photo by Sean Dreilinger.

12/04/2009

Vegansaurus NYC: Holiday Season at Lula’s Sweet Apothecary  »

So if you know anything about New York City vegan food, you know about Lula’s Sweet Apothecary a.k.a. the most delicious ye-olde-fashioned-ice-cream-shoppe of the vegan persuasion that boasts an extensive menu (pdf). And hell, in my opinion it beats out even Vegansaurus San Francisco favorite Maggie Mudd.

I made a trip to my favorite ice-creamery last night to find that Lula’s has this amazing holiday special. Called “Apple Pie Sundae,” this delectable treat is composed of cake batter and apple-cider soft-serve swirl, with a layer of maple syrup (I subbed Lula’s homemade caramel sauce), crushed graham crackers, a dollop of coconut whipped cream, and finished off with a sprinkling of crumbled pecans. If you can believe it, it tasted better than it looks. For a mere $6.25, it was a bargain. As my hips can attest, this dessert (hell… this dinner, who’m I kidding?!?!) was totally tasty and worth every penny and calorie. Get it while it lasts!

It’s nestled in the East Village at 516 E. 6th Street between Avenues A & B. Cash only, so don’t forget to hit up an ATM beforehand!!

For San Francisco readers: have you been to Lula’s? Who would win in a fight, Miss Maggie or Miss Lula?

10/23/2009

Here’s a couple super cute kids going all nutso for vegan ice cream at Maggie Mudd. Really cute. Man, kids love ice cream and candy. Have you seen those marshmallow experiment video? Kids literally start to go crazy if they can’t eat candy that’s put in front of them. I wonder what happened to the woman who led them into the room and told them not to eat the marshmallow? Probably dead. Also, I think the kids who can’t resist the marshmallows are supposed to have really poor impulse control and go on to become homeless and serial killers and stuff. If that’s the case, then I’m Charles Manson because HOLY CRAP MARSHMALLOWS!!!! (vegan, of course!)

Thanks for the tip, Joel! You got a tip? I BET YOU DO. Email us!

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