Green. Green is home, the lush carpeting of grass beneath my body as I am seven, twelve, dreaming of falling in love, eighteen, falling in love, twenty-three, heartbroken, twenty-five, grieving, earth holding me as I learn to know myself. Green keeps me sane, calms me from the inside out and the outside in.
Hence so many of the foods we consider most nourishing: Green juice. Salads. Seaweeds. Wheat grass. Sprouts. And now…Green Ice Cream. Let me tell you a little story.
The internet is a big place, a place where it’s easy to feel like a stranger—especially when you spend your “workday” interacting with people you don’t know on virtual social media platforms. No matter how many lols, likes, winky face kiss emojis, heart eye emojis, and comments you exchange, the fact remains: The people who populate your online world are exactly that, online.
So I’ve worked hard to carve out some green oases of IRL love with other bloggers (like my neighbor Jessie of How You Glow, who kindly modeled today’s ice cream in the pic below), and even a few sweet friendships with people far away. Last month, one of those friends from afar—Beau Ciolino of the genius blog Probably This—made me an offer I couldn’t refuse. He wanted to do a superfood dessert showdown. WUT??? I immediately texted back. YES PLS WHEN NOW??? He suggested I cool my jets only slightly, and wait for the relaunch of his and his partner Matt’s blog. I obliged.
Let me just take a moment to gush about Beau. Beau’s psychotic (I’m trying to make psychotic a thing) talent for flavor and aesthetics and looking hot aside, Probably This makes me snort laugh on a bi-weekly basis. Beau is acerbic, witty, warm, and generous all at the same time. He’s unafraid to talk sex and politics in the same breath as he discusses frosting a cake, which to me translates into everything being right in the world.
Being friends with Beau, even from afar, is a return to my own little patch off green earth at home on Maui. Which is why today, for our (un?)official Superfood Dessert Showdown, I bring you this luscious, mossy ice cream infused with coriander leaf (cilantro), lemon grass, kaffir lime, and spirulina. That’s right. I went ahead and put blue-green algae all up in your ice cream.
Earlier this year, Jeni’s Ice Creams made a line of flavors inspired by Pantone colors, and their Garance Vert Clair green blew me away. This is my homage to that, minus the sugar and corn syrup, plus the blood-purifying power of spirulina, the detoxifying of cilantro, the digestion soothing of lemongrass, and the mellow sweetness of honey.
Its flavor is wild and dense and tangy and herbaceous, just like green should be. Steep your herbs longer or shorter for a more or less intense taste. And tell me how you like it! While you’re noshing on it, don’t forget to check out what Beau and Matt made for our Superfood Dessert Showdown: ALMOND BUTTER & MATCHA SUPERFOOD BROWNIES. I’m dying. Somebody FedEx them to me immediately (ahem Matt & Beau).
GREEN ICE CREAM!
heavily adapted from Jeni’s Ice Cream Base
- 3 cups milk
- 1 ¾ cup + 1 Tbsp heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 cup honey
- ¾ cup fresh cilantro
- 10 inch piece lemongrass
- 6 kaffir lime leaves (optional; fine if you can’t find them your ice cream will just be awful JK it will still be perfect!!! I promise.)
- 4 ½ tablespoons cream cheese
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 ½ teaspoons spirulina powder
- bee pollen to garnish
Nota bene: Make sure the bowl for your ice cream maker has been frozen for at least 24 hours before use.
Place ½ cup milk in a small bowl and whisk in cornstarch until it’s clump free.
Heat remaining milk, cream, and honey in a large saucepan over medium high heat, stirring frequently.
Break lemongrass into 3-inch pieces and bruise and unravel the stalks to release their flavor. Similarly, slightly crumple the cilantro and kaffir lime leaves, just to release their oils. Throw all the herbs into the milk, cream, and honey.
Bring to a boil, then remove from heat. Let sit for 2 hours or as long as you like to infuse flavor—even overnight (in the fridge) if you wish. I let mine steep for 4 hours.
When your milk has steeped as long as you’d like it to, pour it through a strainer back into your saucepan, discarding all herbs. Return to a simmer.
Stir in the whisked cornstarch and milk mixture, and continue stirring til it thickens.
Remove ½ cup of the ice cream base and whisk in cream cheese until completely smooth and clump-free. Return to pot and stir to incorporate.
Remove from heat and pour into bowl. Chill in an ice bath or the fridge until completely cool.
Once cool, whisk in spirulina powder, making sure to eliminate all clumps as you go.
1Assemble and turn on ice cream maker. Process according to instructions.
1Freeze for at least 3 hours prior to serving.
1Eat in waffle cones with bee pollen sprinkles because SUMMER and GREEN and LIFE!