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FANTASTIC FROZEN SOY DESSERTS.

Sizzling summer days and cooling, creamy frozen treats naturally go together. But if you re looking for something nondairy with low fat content, but that still has a creamy texture, a short trip down the frozen dessert aisle in your local market usually reveals a limited selection if you're lucky (although in many areas it is getting better). With a few basic recipes, your own creativity, and flavor enhancing suggestions, you can create your own fabulous frozen soy desserts. Ice cream makers are relatively inexpensive, easy to use, and they make a succulent, creamy, textured dessert, but they aren't absolutely necessary. You can make frozen desserts, puddings, and soysicles without using an ice cream maker.

Before you start, look through the following recipes and select the type of dessert you want. For soysicles and puddings, you need only decide on the flavor, blend the mixture, and pour into a container or individual molds. You can buy popsicle molds in most housewares sections of department stores. Still-frozen desserts (made with the same recipes without using an ice cream maker) require mixing every half hour until frozen. This takes about three hours. Use a hand blender or mixer until the mixture gets too thick, then stir by hand until mixture has reached the desired consistency. For best results with an ice cream maker, blend all the ingredients except the agar (a marine algae used as a gelatin substitute and found in Asian markets or natural foods stores in the sea vegetable section) and water or juice the day before you make your dessert. This gives the flavors a chance to marry and gets the mixture cold before making your frozen dessert.

For the creamiest texture, the mixture should be as cold as possible before pouring it in the ice cream maker. Place the ice cream maker base in the freezer at least 8 hours before making your dessert. (I keep my base in the freezer, wrapped in a plastic bag, when I'm not using it.) When mixing your frozen soy dessert, turn the ice cream maker on first, then pour the mixture in. Let it churn for 35 minutes. (If you pour your dessert into the cold base before turning the machine on, some of it will stick to the sides and develop a grainy, not smooth, texture.) Most ice cream makers direct you to mix until it thickens--about 20 to 25 minutes. But, if you wait until it is very thick and ice cream-like (just 10 more minutes) you will have a much better texture. Carefully sample the mixture to make sure it is the consistency you want before you turn the machine off. (This is the fun part--save this task for yourself!) Then transfer the frozen dessert into individual serving dishes and enjoy.

If possible, serve the dessert immediately. You can freeze it in pint-size containers for up to two hours before serving. As the mixture sits in the freezer, the frozen water molecules begin to link up and form large ice crystals. So the longer the mixture remains in the freezer, the more the texture will change from smooth and creamy to hard and grainy. This change in texture is also due, in part, to the lower fat content--the very creamiest of ice creams often have 15% to 16% butterfat. Fat molecules prevent water molecules from linking up, and thus the texture remains creamy for longer storage. If you do freeze it for a few hours, the ideal freezer temperature is between 10 and 20 degrees Fahrenheit. Any colder than this and your dessert will soon be a very solid block.

Feel free to experiment with any of the following recipes, changing flavorings but keeping the same proportion of tofu or beans, sweeteners, liquid ingredients, and agar. The salt helps boost the flavor, especially if you use an alternative sweetener such as a fruit sweetener or preserves. Once you have the basic recipes down, take a stroll down the ice cream aisle in your local grocery store for more flavor ideas. There is no end to flavors, additions, and toppings you can try once you get going.

So what are you waiting for? Go forth and have some frozen dessert fun, be creative, and impress your family and friends with these delightful frozen soy treats.

VERY VANILLA SOY TREAT

(Serves 4-5)

This is an easy recipe to begin with, and you can see how easy frozen desserts are to make. Add chopped fruit, nuts, vegan candies, or your favorite toppings when you're finished churning. If you can't find amazake, a naturally sweetened rice drink, in your natural foods store, use vanilla soymilk and increase the sugar by 2 Tablespoons. Sample the mixture for sweetness before churning. Add more sugar, if needed, and blend in.
2 vanilla beans, slit down the middle,
 or 1 Tablespoon real vanilla extract
1 cup vanilla-pecan or almond shake
 flavor amazake
10 ounces firm silken tofu, drained
1/4 cup vegan granulated sweetener(*)
1/8 teaspoon salt
Pinch of nutmeg
2 Tablespoons canola oil
2 1/2 teaspoons agar or agar agar
3/4 cup water


Scrape the seeds out of the vanilla beans, if using, and combine them (or extract) with the amazake, tofu, sugar, salt, nutmeg, and oil in a blender. Blend until creamy. Pour into a container and chill for at least a few hours.

Sprinkle agar over the water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes or until agar is dissolved. Let cool for about 10 minutes before adding to cold mixture.

Have the ice cream maker ready to go. Turn it on and pour mixture in. Churn for 35 minutes or until very thick. Serve with additions or toppings, or freeze for a few hours before serving.

Without toppings:
Total calories per serving: 207
Carbohydrates: 23 grams
Sodium: 110 milligrams
Fat: 10 grams
Protein: 6 grams
Fiber: <1 gram

(*) Note: some sugar is processed with bone char


CREAMY FROZEN MAPLE-PEACH TOFU

(Serves 6)

This can be made with other fruits. For variations see suggestions on the sidebar, or come up with your own ideas for a creamy frozen fruit tofu. If you try melons, be sure they are very ripe and have been vine-ripened, as the flavor is so mild. Ginger, star anise, and melon liqueurs can be added to enhance the flavor.
3 cups peeled, sliced ripe peaches
10 ounces firm silken tofu, drained
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
Generous pinch of nutmeg or cardamom
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons agar or agar agar
1 cup peach or apricot nectar


Combine peaches, tofu, maple syrup, lemon juice, nutmeg or cardamom, and salt in a blender and blend until smooth and creamy. Pour into a container and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before churning.

In a saucepan, sprinkle agar over the juice, bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes or until agar is dissolved. Let cool 10 minutes before blending with the cold mixture.

Turn on the ice cream maker and add mixture. Churn for 35 minutes or until very thick. Serve with a swirl of maple syrup on top, if desired.
Total calories per serving: 124
Carbohydrates: 26 grams
Sodium: 70 milligrams
Fat: 1 gram
Protein: 4 grams
Fiber: 2 grams


BANANA-PINEAPPLE FROZEN SOY PUDDING

(Serves 6)

This easy-to-make, banana-based pudding can be made with fresh seasonal fruits such as pitted, chopped fresh cherries or apricots, strawberries, or blueberries. Simply substitute 1 cup of fresh fruit for the pineapple. You can also use orange or lime juice instead of lemon juice, and citrus zest in place of coconut extract.
4 ripe bananas
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
One 8-ounce can pineapple chunks, drained
5 to 6 Tablespoons soymilk
1 teaspoon coconut extract
1 teaspoon grated coconut


Peel and slice the ripe bananas. Toss the slices with lemon juice. Place the bananas and drained pineapple on a plate or tray in a single layer. Freeze overnight or until frozen hard--at least 2 hours.

Remove the tray from the freezer and combine the fruit with 5 Tablespoons soymilk and coconut extract in a blender or food processor. If using a blender, process in two batches. Pulse until smooth and creamy. Add 1 more Tablespoon soymilk if necessary.

Serve immediately or freeze and serve within a few hours, garnished with coconut flakes.
Total calories per serving: 91
Carbohydrates: 22 grams
Sodium: 3 milligrams
Fat: 1 gram
Protein: 1 gram
Fiber: 2 grams


STRAWBERRY SOYSICLES

(Makes 12 pops)

This easy dessert is popular with kids and doesn't even need churning. Try using different fruits and fruit concentrates for variation.
1 cup fresh strawberries, stems removed
10 ounces firm, silken tofu
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
3 Tablespoons fruit sweetener, strawberry
 preserves, or orange marmalade
1 Tablespoon finely chopped orange zest
 (optional)
1 teaspoon agar or agar agar
1/2 cup mixed berry juice concentrate
1/2 cup water


Combine strawberries, tofu, lemon juice, fruit sweetener or preserves, and orange zest, if desired, in a blender and blend until smooth and creamy.

In a small saucepan, sprinkle agar over berry concentrate and water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 5 minutes or until agar dissolves. Add to strawberry-tofu mixture and puree until smooth. Pour into popsicle molds and freeze until solid, or pour into small paper cups and freeze until slushy. Insert a stick, then freeze until solid.

For easy removal from plastic molds, run water over the molds, twist handle end slightly, and pull gently.
Total calories per soysicle: 51
Carbohydrates: 10 grams
Sodium: 15 milligrams
Fat: 1 gram
Protein: 2 grams
Fiber: <1 gram


FROZEN CHOCOLATE RED BEAN DELIGHT

(Serves 6)

During one of my bean cooking classes, my assistant from Vietnam told me about frozen adzuki bean desserts she had as a child. I decided to go home and try the idea with my ice cream maker, and the result was incredibly delicious. Try adding some fiber to your diet in this unique way! You can also use one 15-ounce can of drained adzuki beans in place of the dried, soaked, and slow-simmered beans, but the texture won't be quite as smooth.
1/3 cup adzuki beans, soaked overnight
2 cups water
1 cup vanilla soymilk
1/4 cup nondairy chocolate syrup
1/4 cup vegan granulated sweetener
1/2 Tablespoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 Tablespoons agar or agar agar
3/4 cup water


Drain adzuki beans, then place them in saucepan with the 2 cups water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, partially cover, and slow-simmer until done--1 to 1 1/2 hours. Remove from heat, drain, and let cool.

In a blender, combine adzuki beans and 1/2 cup soymilk. Blend until smooth and creamy. Add remaining soymilk, chocolate syrup, sugar, vanilla, and salt, and continue to process until creamy. Pour into a container and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.

Sprinkle agar over 3/4 cup water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes or until agar dissolves. Let cool 10 minutes, then pour into adzuki bean mixture and blend until smooth. Turn on ice cream maker and add mixture. Churn for 35 minutes or until very thick.
Total calories per serving: 136
Carbohydrates: 27 grams
Sodium: 83 milligrams
Fat:1 gram
Protein: 4 grams
Fiber: 2 grams


CHERRY-ADZUKI BEAN DELIGHT

Follow the same basic instructions above but instead of chocolate syrup use 1 cup freshly pitted cherries, 1/4 cup fruit sweetener, and 1 teaspoon almond or vanilla extract. Use 3/4 cup cherry juice or lite coconut milk instead of 3/4 cup water.
Total calories per serving: 115
Carbohydrates: 22 grams
Sodium: 76 milligrams
Fat: 1 gram
Protein: 4 grams
Fiber: 2 grams


PINA COLADA FROZEN DESSERT

(Serves 4 to 6)

So refreshing and cooling on a hot summer day/Try adding peeled chopped peaches or mangos to this tropical-tasting delight. This is also great with a frozen nondairy whipped topping, such as Hip Whip.
One 8-ounce con crushed pineapple
One 10-ounce package silken tofu, drained
1/4 cup vegan granulated sweetener
2 Tablespoons shredded coconut
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon dark rum (optional)
2 1/2 teaspoons agar or agar agar
1 cup pineapple-coconut juice (see note)


Combine pineapple, tofu, sugar, coconut, salt, and rum, if desired, in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth and creamy. Refrigerate overnight or at least 2 hours.

In a small saucepan, sprinkle the agar over the pineapple-coconut juice. Stir, bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes or until agar is dissolved. Let cool 10 minutes before adding to pineapple-tofu mixture. Blend until creamy. Turn on ice cream maker and pour mixture in. Churn for 35 minutes or until fairly stiff. Serve immediately with fresh fruit, or freeze for up to 2 hours before serving.
Total calories per serving: 156
Carbohydrates: 26 grams
Sodium: 112 milligrams
Fat: 3 grams
Protein: 5 grams
Fiber: 1 gram


Note: Pineapple-coconut juice can be found in the natural foods section of your local grocery store, if you can't find it in your natural foods store. If you still have trouble locating it, use a 3:1 ratio of pineapple juice to coconut milk.

FROZEN MOCHA SOY LATTE

(Serves 4)

This excellent dessert is pure decadence when topped with an organic chocolate topping anal a small dollop of Hip Whip, a vegan frozen topping. You can also try blending in some finely chopped nondairy chocolate chips after you finish churning.
3/4 cup strong coffee, divided into 1/2 and 1/4 cup
10 ounces firm silken tofu, drained
1/2 cup vegan granulated sweetener
2 Tablespoons Kahlua or use 1 Tablespoon
 vanilla
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup nondairy chocolate chips
2 1/2 teaspoons agar or agar agar


Combine 1/2 cup coffee, tofu, sugar, Kahlua or vanilla, and salt in a blender and blend until smooth. Melt the chocolate chips in a microwave (1 minute on high, stir, then 20 seconds more) or over low heat. Blend the melted chocolate chips in with the tofu mixture until smooth and creamy. Refrigerate overnight or for a few hours. Sprinkle the agar over 1/4 cup of coffee in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes or until agar is dissolved. Let the agar sit for 10 minutes before blending in with the tofu mixture. Turn on your ice cream maker and add the mixture. Churn for 35 minutes or until fairly stiff. Serve immediately or freeze and serve within a few hours.
Total calories per serving: 214
Carbohydrates: 36 grams
Sodium: 113 milligrams
Fat: 5 grams
Protein: 6 grams
Fiber: <1 gram


CREATE YOUR OWN FROZEN DESSERTS!!!

Try one of the recipes first, then use it as a pattern for your own ideas. Think about what you want and imagine how your end product will taste before you begin. Write your ideas down, and then consider additions that will enhance your flavor blend. Remember to always start with the best ingredients such as organic fruits, juices, and extracts versus "flavorings." Be sure your dessert has plenty of flavor before freezing as the flavor is less intense after churning.

... FLAVOR ENHANCEMENTS TO CONSIDER ...

Vanilla Beans have a much richer flavor than vanilla extract. Use one or two, slit them lengthwise down the middle, scoop out the seeds and add them to your mix.

Almond Extract goes well with fruits like cherries or peaches as well as chocolate.

Citrus Zest, the outer peel of citrus fruits, grated or finely chopped, is an excellent addition to many fruit-based desserts such as cherry, blackberry, raspberry, and melon. Always use organic citrus fruits for zesting.

Sweet Spices such as nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, allspice, and cardamom add an exotic touch to various fruit flavors. Try making an apple or pumpkin pie flavor in the fall.

Mint, freshly chopped or added as an extract goes well with chocolate, chocolate chip, and coconut, as well as some fruit flavors such as strawberry.

Frozen Fruit Concentrates add a depth of fruit flavor to fruit blends and come in a wide variety of flavors. Peruse the frozen juice aisle for ideas.

Fruit Preserves in place of refined sugar are a healthy option as well as a great way to enhance various fruit blends. Try, for example, fresh apricots, apricot preserves, or apricot nectar, and a dash of nutmeg, cardamom, or lemon zest.

Liqueurs add an interesting depth of flavor and you only need to use 1 or 2 Tablespoons. You can usually buy very small bottles of the liqueur you want, so it isn't a great financial investment. Chambord (black raspberry liqueur), Creme de Cassis (black currant liqueur), Grand Marnier (orange flavored liqueur), and Kahlua are my favorites.

Rum or Brandy can be used like liqueurs. Rum goes well with banana, pineapple, peach, apricot, and coconut flavors. Brandies come in many flavors such as apple (applejack brandy), apricot, blackberry, or cherry (kirsch). Like liqueurs, a little goes a long way when you choose rum or brandy to add flavor.

ADDITIONS AND GARNISHES

Blend the following in after churning or use them as garnishes for a nice presentation.
Chopped fresh fruit
Finely chopped toasted nuts
Crumbled graham crackers
Crumbled vegan brownies
Crumbled vegan cookies
Small candies
Grated nondairy chocolate
Grated nondairy white chocolate
Flaked coconut
Edible summer flowers (for garnish)
Mint or lavender sprigs (for garnish)


MIXIN'S

BLEND IN BEFORE CHILLING

* Chopped fresh or thawed frozen fruit

* Soaked and softened dried fruit (soak for about 2 hours in a small amount of water, drain and add fruit to the mix)

* Fruit preserves (eliminate or reduce the amount of sugar if you add preserves)

* Dairy-free chocolate topping or chocolate chips
TOPPIN'S

Chocolate Syrup
Maple syrup swirled on top
Crumbled Graham crackers or cookies.
Finely ground toasted nuts
Toasted coconut.


VARIATIONS

STRAWBERRY DAIQUIRI (nonalcoholic) use strawberries, 1/4 cup fruit sweetener, and 1 cup frozen Strawberry Daiquiri mix concentrate instead of water.

CHERRY ALMOND use pitted sweet cherries, fruit sweetener or sugar, almond extract, and cherry or berry juice.

MANGO-COCONUT use ripe, peeled mongos, sugar, 1 teaspoon coconut extract, 1 Tablespoon rum (optional), & 1 cup coconut milk instead of juice. Adjust sweetness before churning.

WILD BERRY BLEND use black-berries, raspberries and blueberries, berry preserves, Cream de Cassis, Chamboard, or Grand Marnier, or you can use citrus zest for flavor enhancement, and a berry fruit juice blend.

Debra Daniels-Zeller is a frequent contributor to Vegetarian Journal.
COPYRIGHT 2001 Vegetarian Resource Group
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2001, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
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Author:Daniels-Zeller, Debra
Publication:Vegetarian Journal
Article Type:Recipe
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jul 1, 2001
Words:3100
Previous Article:letters.
Next Article:TOMATO HEAVEN.
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