While I could never expect anyone to take pity on us for our Southern California weather, I will say that June is not the best month in our typically sunny locale. Memorial day has passed and while the official start of summer is still almost three weeks away, we're ready for a bright hot, sunny season. Unfortunately, June gloom gets in the way.
Each year about this time, we wake to find the sky grey and gloomy. Not exactly cold, not exactly warm, the weather seems confused on which way to go. If we're lucky, the cloud cover burns off before the end of the day so we can get a few hours of sun.
It may not FEEL like summer yet, but I am certainly not going to let that stop me from acting like it has begun.
These ice cream sandwiches are the perfect, non-dairy addition to a backyard BBQ. The only sweeteners used are a small amount of maple syrup and dates. If dates are unfriendly to your tummy, leave them out and compensate with more maple syrup to sweeten to your taste.
I think the addition of gelatin improves the texture of this ice cream, not to mention all the health benefits (great for joints and inflammation) of using gelatin from grass-fed cows (I use this one), but feel free to leave it out and let me know how your sandwiches turn out. The only change you would need to make to the recipe would be to place both cans of coconut milk in the blender to combine with the dates. No need to heat any of it on the stove if you're not using gelatin.
Not familiar with coconut wraps? They're a new(ish) product from Sunfood Superfoods that I've been using in everything frm sandwich wraps to desserts. They contain nothing but coconut (coconut meat, water and oil) and are very low in carbs (a great replacement for a tortilla or pita in a sandwich). I have not seen them in stores yet, but you can find them here or on Amazon.
Coconut Milk Ice Cream Sandwiches
2 cans of full fat coconut milk
12 dates, pits removed
1/4 cup maple syrup plus 1 tbsp, divided
1/2 tbsp vanilla bean paste
Pinch of salt
1 tbsp gelatin
6 oz blueberries
2 Sunfood coconut wraps
Place one can of coconut milk in a high speed blender, add dates, 1/4 cup maple syrup, vanilla bean paste and salt and process until smooth.
Reserve 1/4 cup of milk from the second can of coconut milk. Add the rest to a small pan and heat over medium heat. Sprinkle the gelatin over the reserved 1/4 cup of milk and allow it to bloom. Once the milk in the pan is hot (but not boiling), add the reserved milk and gelatin to the pan and stir with a whisk until dissolved.
Add the milk and gelatin mixture to the blender with the other milk mixture and process until combined. Transfer the mixture to an ice cream maker and process according to manufacturer instructions.
Meanwhile, wipe out the pan used to heat the coconut milk and add the blueberries and the remaining tablespoon of maple syrup. Cook over medium heat until the blueberries begin to soften. Transfer the mixture to a food processor and process until smooth.
Place one coconut wrap with the parchment paper still attached, parchment paper side down, in a square pan just large enough to fit the wrapper. If you have a square pan with a removable bottom such as a tart pan, use it here. If not, you may want to line the pan with Saran Wrap before putting the coconut wrapper in. It will make it easier to remove the sandwiches when you're ready to cut them into individual portions.
Once the ice cream is finished, scoop it out on top of the coconut wrap and spread it out evenly. Pour the blueberry mixture on top and use a knife to gently marble the syrup through the ice cream.
Place the second coconut wrapper on top, parchment side up, and place the pan in the freezer for at least an hour or until the ice cream is firmly frozen.
Remove the ice cream block from the pan and cut it into nine even squares. I like to leave the parchment paper attached right until I eat these for ease of handling.