I know everyone says this, but the older you get, the faster time goes, but 2015 really felt like it passed in a flash, and oh what a year it has been! It’s so crazy to think that I started ‘Rawberry Fields’ a little under a year ago, and how different my life is now because of this blog. I have been obsessed with food photography and food blogs for years, but did I think I would ever have my own blog? Hell no! Starting a blog was never, ever something I thought I would do, but here I am! And I can honestly say it has been the best thing I have ever done.
When I left university, I really felt I was lacking direction; I wanted to be in a job I loved because you spend far too much of your time working to spend it at one you hate. I know I say this from a position of privilege, but I just couldn’t see myself becoming a banker, management consultant or accountant like my peers, and not just because my numerical skills are non-existant!
I am a champion procrastinator, and whilst I was job hunting blogging became a huge distraction, and a great way to interact with people with similar interests, because lets face it, job hunting is seriously lonely! My meals became more elaborate, and I found myself more time playing with the settings on my camera than jazzing up my CV.
There were so many times I wondered why I spending hours drooling over other food blogs photography, beating myself up because my photos will never look like theirs, whilst my friends from university were all starting their careers and finding their way in life. I used to get really frustrated and upset with myself when I realised I’d spent the whole day photographing and editing photos of some half-melted bowl nicecream, but I was even more surprised to see how supportive and encouraging my boyfriend, family, and my boyfriend’s family, were of my hobby. I can’t even tell you how touched I was this Christmas when I was gifted with so many thoughtful gifts from them all to help me with this blog; like a stunning cake stand from my boyfriend’s sister, a plate painted with ‘Rawberry Fields’ from his mum, and some beautiful cups from my mum.
Their support and encouragement has pushed me to really immerse myself into the blogging world, and through this, I met incredible people who gave me the courage to take risks, which ultimately led to me landing my dream job at a vegan food magazine (you can get your hands on our first issue here), working with an awesome bunch of people. It feels really surreal to be able to work in an industry I feel so passionate about, and that I find so interesting, and I hope that if you are feeling lost and lacking direction, that you know that you will not always feel like that. Find something you love doing, and try to find a way to do it as often as you can, because making progress at something you enjoy is the most rewarding feeling!
But enough about me and my existential crisis, lets talk about this bucket of awesomeness, because I know that it what you really came here for! And let me tell you, this is one seriously sneaky pud. It might look like a tub of Ben ‘N’ Jerry’s ‘Cookie Dough’ ice cream smothered in caramel sauce, but this cookie dough nicecream is so healthy it might as well be a salad. For real. And it’s the best way to celebrate the new year!
The ice cream is a super simple ‘nicecream‘, made with bananas, vanilla and a spoonful of peanut butter (because it goes SO well in nicecream!), so if you’re not a banana fan (like my poor boyfriend who can’t even stand the smell!) you might want to give my cashew-based ice cream a go instead. I love using this instead of other dairy-free ice cream alternatives because it’s so healthy that I feel like it gives me an excuse to go absolutely nuts with the toppings! But the cashew-coconut ice cream would work equally well here!
I absolutely packed this with chunks of chickpea cookie dough because cookie dough ice cream is the best, although my recipe below will make a little bit more cookie dough than you need, so feel free to shape it into cookies to snack on later. Chickpeas work so well in cookies to give it that moist, yet slightly crumbly texture you find in a normal cookies; I actually roasted my chickpeas first, but feel free to leave yours raw if you want some extra nutrients! And if you’re feeling really virtuous, you can add cacao nibs to the cookie dough for a little bit of crunch, or add some dark chocolate chips instead if nibs don’t float your boat. Smother with coconut syrup, and enjoy!
Happy 2016 pals, I hope it’s a happy, successful and fun-filled year for you!
- Cookie Dough
- 1 can of chickpeas (approx. 1.5 cups)
- 3 Tbsp maple syrup
- 2 Tbsp peanut butter
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- Pinch of Pink Himalayan sea salt
- 3 Tbsp cacao nibs OR dairy-free dark chocolate chips
- 4-5 frozen bananas (cut into coins for easy blending)
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
- 1 Tbsp peanut butter
- Optional: splash of nutmilk if you don't have a high-speed blender
- To serve
- Coconut Merchant coconut syrup
- Raw chocolate sauce
- Cacao nibs
- If you're cooking you chickpeas, preheat oven to 200 °C. Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.
- Evenly spread the chickpeas on the tray and roast for 15 minutes or until dry to the touch and slightly roasted. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly.
- Place the chickpeas, maple syrup, peanut butter, vanilla bean paste, cinnamon and salt in a food processor, and process until smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides if necessary. It should come together and look like traditional cookie dough.
- Transfer the cookie dough mixture to a bowl and stir in the cacao nibs. Roll the dough into tablespoon-size balls and place in the fridge whilst you make the nicecream.
- Place bananas into a blender or food processor and pulse until the bananas is broken up into tiny pieces.You will need to scrape down the sides to push the mixture down towards the blades every few minutes to ensure it turns creamy.
- Add the vanilla bean paste and peanut butter and blend or process until it turns into ice-cream, it should have the texture and consistency of soft-serve ice-cream!
- Stir in a handful of the cookie dough balls, with some broken into halves and smaller pieces, and serve with lashings of coconut syrup.
If you want to know more about the ingredients used in this recipe, check out my ‘Raw Pantry’ page!