Pineapple Habanero “Ice Cream”

“Ice cream” looks a bit ominous but I promise this is just as delicious. I’ve made more than 30 ice cream recipes over the years on this blog and had yet to try a dairy-free version. As one of my best friends is both exorbitantly lactose-intolerant one of the most generous people I know, I decided this year to try a recipe she can enjoy too. Since sweet and spicy is definitely her jam (and mine too) I set off with that flavor profile in mind.

Pineapple Habanero "Ice Cream" {{Baking Bytes}}

I knew I wanted to use a coconut base because other non-dairy substitutes require some kind of thickener and I prefer my frozen desserts to be as unadulterated as possible. Pondering what goes well with coconut so it would complement rather than fight the base flavor, piña colada original came to mind. Switched up for the spicy aspect, pineapple habanero was clearly the answer.

Pineapple Habanero "Ice Cream" {{Baking Bytes}}

Amusingly I’d never bought a habanero before and 100% texted another friend to make sure I was buying the correct thing. As someone with a Scandinavian spice tolerance (is butter a spice?) even cutting these peppers was quite the ordeal for me. Friendship and stubbornness pulled me through and the end result was so, so worth it.

Pineapple Habanero "Ice Cream" {{Baking Bytes}}

Although slightly less creamy than you know, cream, this frozen dessert is wonderful in its own right. Smooth with a light coconut background, the first flavor you get is a strong presence of pineapple. The habanero follows more slowly, the heat building in your mouth and encouraging you to reach for another bite. This one is almost as addicting last year’s chocolate chili and can be happily enjoyed by your dairy-free friends.

Pineapple Habanero "Ice Cream" {{Baking Bytes}}

The syrup recipe results in more than you need for the ice cream, so you can use it as a topping elsewhere. Extra on the ice cream itself, atop waffles and pancakes, stirred into a margarita, the opportunities are endless. Customize the heat level to your own preference but remember it will be much more mild once mixed with the coconut cream.

If this dessert can appease me, someone who can definitely tell the difference in ice cream made with “diet” 30% heavy whipping cream instead of “proper” 40% heavy whipping cream, I promise it will please anyone. Top off your Taco Tuesday with this sweet and spicy concoction for a perfect summertime meal.

Pineapple Habanero “Ice Cream”

Makes about 6 cups

Ingredients

2 (~14oz) cans unsweetened coconut cream
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup egg beaters

2 – 2 1/2 cups pineapple habanero syrup, divided (below)
spoonful of compote, optional

Directions

  1. In a medium saucepan, combine coconut cream, sugar, and egg beaters. Heat over medium, whisking often, until well combined and beginning to thicken.
  2. Stir in one and a half cups pineapple habanero syrup, and a spoonful of reserved compote if you like a little texture.
  3. Chill in refrigerator until completely cooled. (Put a 7-cup freezer-safe bowl in the freezer now too.)
  4. Freeze mixture according to your ice cream maker’s directions.
  5. Retrieve bowl from the freezer and add 1/4 of the ice cream to the bowl. Swirl a spoonful of the pineapple habanero syrup on top and repeat until all the ice cream is in the bowl, finishing with a little more syrup.
  6. Freeze overnight until firm (it takes longer than normal!)

Notes

I’ve not tested it but you should be able to make this recipe vegan by leaving out the egg. This will, however, change the texture as egg lends a smoothness and fullness that is difficult to get without some kind of emulsifier.

Roasted Pineapple Habanero Syrup

Makes about 3 cups

Ingredients

1 ripe pineapple, sliced

2 habanero peppers, to taste
1 1/2 cups sugar

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a large baking dish, arrange pineapple in a single layer.
  3. Roast until warmed and started to brown, 15-20 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, slice the habanero peppers, removing as many seeds as you want depending on your desired heat level. I removed about half the seeds for a medium heat.
  5. Use a blender or food processor to completely puree the roasted pineapple (you should have about 3 cups puree.)
  6. In a medium saucepan, combine puree, sugar, and peppers.
  7. Bring to a boil over medium heat then simmer gently until thickened and spicy. Let it go till it’s quite a bit spicier than you want your finished product as it will be greatly mellowed by the cream base.
  8. Strain through a fine mesh sieve, using a whisk to get as much syrup as possible. Set aside to cool (reserve the chunky compote too if you like a little texture!) then store in the fridge until ready to use.

Southwest Salad

Hello friends, I hope you have been enjoying National Ice Cream Month! Here to offset this sugar rush of a month is the part two of July’s salad trio. We’re headed south of the border with one of my favorite salads in Bozeman.

Southwest Salad {{Baking Bytes}}

One of the perks at my place of employment is a company-sponsored team lunch every two weeks. Because my team is fairly large, we have a few staple places that are likely to be able to seat us. Starky’s Authentic Americana is one such restaurant and I’m never sad when it’s the choice of the day. One of my favorite meals there is their southwest salad: a delicious but still light and healthy experience including pineapple black bean salsa and chipotle ranch dressing. I often get it with chicken for a protein boost but it stands on its own just as well.

Southwest Salad {{Baking Bytes}}

Inspired to make my own copycat, I set out to make a pineapple black bean salsa and a chipotle lime crema tailored to my own preferences. With a few modifications, A Hint of Honey helped me out on the salsa front and Isabella Eats inspired my chipotle lime crema. The crema was featured previously on the blog in my chipotle lime tuna-stuffed sweet potatoes, but I actually originally developed it for this recipe over a year ago! Somehow I’m just now getting around to sharing this salad with you, but hopefully it was worth the wait.

Chipotle Lime Crema {{Baking Bytes}}

The salsa is a joyous mix of fresh pineapple and savory black beans, accompanied by a little lime and the bite of fresh red onion. Over time the flavors marry together perfectly so I highly recommend making your salsa in advance. It keeps well in the fridge for at least a week, at which time I’d devoured all of it. The original recipe calls for cilantro, which I do not eat, but I will only judge you a little if you decide to add it to yours.

Pineapple Black Bean Salsa {{Baking Bytes}}

A base of spinach or romaine is topped with (optionally sautéed) bell pepper and zucchini for some extra veggies and color. I like to add pulled venison/elk or grilled chicken here, but it makes for an excellent vegetarian meal without it. Some pineapple black bean salsa, a handful of tortilla strips, and a drizzle of crema round out the dish into a lovely sweet and spicy combination. You can easily make this recipe vegan by using a non-dairy yogurt for the crema, and skipping the meat and cheese, of course.

Southwest Salad {{Baking Bytes}}

Customize to your heart’s content with additional toppings like avocado or diced tomato (if you must) and then serve to adoring fans for a healthy summer meal that comes together super quickly. Make the salsa and meat ahead of time, and you have an easy 15-minute meal almost ready to go.

Southwest Salad (Taco) {{Baking Bytes}}

Additionally, if you’re not a salad person, combine these components into an awesome taco instead!

Southwest Salad

Inspired by Starky’s Authentic Americana
Serves 4-6

Ingredients

1 Tbsp olive oil, optional
1 medium zucchini, julienne cut
1-2 bell peppers, thinly sliced

5-10oz Spinach/Romaine, to taste
1 1/2 cups pineapple black bean salsa (below)
1 – 1 1/2 cup freshly grated cheddar cheese
1 cup tortilla strips, to taste
1/2 – 1 cup chipotle lime crema

optional toppings: avocado, diced tomato, grilled chicken, pulled venison, etc

Directions

  1. (Skip to step 4 if you prefer raw veggies.)
  2. In a medium frying pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat until shimmering.
  3. Add zucchini and bell peppe, then lightly sauté to preferred tenderness.
  4. In your serving bowl(s), add desired amount of greens.
  5. Layer on zucchini and bell pepper (and top with meat, if using.)
  6. Evenly spoon on pineapple black bean salsa then sprinkle with cheese, tortilla chips, and any additional toppings you want to throw on it.
  7. Drizzle with chipotle lime crema (and freshly ground pepper, if desired) and serve promptly.

Notes

These components also make for an excellent taco!

Pineapple Black Bean Salsa

Adapted from A Hint of Honey
Makes about 4 cups

Ingredients

2 cups fresh diced pineapple
1 cup black beans (or just use the whole can if you want)
1/2 cup diced red onion1
1 jalapeño, minced
3 Tbsp lime juice (1-2 limes), to taste
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp (Roasted Garlic or Lime Fresco) sea salt

Directions

  1. In a medium bowl, stir together all ingredients until thoroughly combined.
  2. Cover and chill about 30 minutes to allow flavors to blend, or until ready to use.
  3. Great with salads, tacos, chips, and a spoon!

Notes

If raw red onion is too strong for you, soak the cut onion in cold water for about 10 minutes, then drain and add to the salsa.