Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Wow! Another dairy-free ice cream cookbook!

Vegan ice cream recipes are popping up all over the place. I just found out about yet another dairy-free ice cream cookbook, this one published at the end of last year. I don't yet have a copy, but it looks interesting.

The Ice Dream Cookbook says it contains "dairy-free ice cream alternatives, with gluten-free cookies, compotes and sauces."

I don't know much else about the book. One review on Amazon states: "The Ice Dream Cookbook also focuses on low glycemic, using a combination of agave nectar and stevia in most of the 'ice cream' recipes. As best as I can tell, this is also a soy-free cookbook; the 'ice creams' are primarily coconut milk or nut-based. All of the recipes are vegan-friendly, but I would like to note that there are choices given, such as honey or agave and gelatin or agar agar."

This sounds like it could be a winner for those with gluten allergies and those who are looking to avoid using cane sugar. And there are suggestions for stevia, which is great because I get these questions all the time and I have no idea what to do with stevia. (My husband hates it and I'm none too fond either.)

Sadly, the cookbook isn't all vegan--see the note about honey and gelatin above--but we vegans are nothing if not creative, and it appears that you can work around any non-vegan suggestions. I should also note that the author is clearly not vegan (her blog has all the typical bullshit about the wonders of grass-feed meat). And I always prefer to support fellow vegans when I spend my money, so I'm not sure if I'll buy this book.

But, wow. I'm so excited that there are more and more vegan/dairy-free ice cream products--from hemp ice creams to cookbooks to new dreamy flavors in the supermarket.

Now if I can just get my butt in the kitchen and actually make some ice cream, that would be even better.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Another vegan ice cream cookbook

OK, so I don't yet own a copy of The Vegan Scoop. But since I just reviewed Lick It, I figured I should note that there's another new vegan ice cream book out on the market!

And with a much better title. Because it doesn't make me think dirty, dirty thoughts.

How do the two rivals compare? Can't tell you (yet), but I'm excited. Add these two to Vice Cream, and we've got a slowly growing canon of recipes.

A few people have asked me why I haven't written The Great Vegan Ice Cream Cookbook. Because, you know, I'm pretty awesome and who wouldn't buy my book? Right? So I like to claim that I'm all about new media, the democratization of information, the power of freely shared ideas. But, really, the truth is that I'm lazy (and more recently have been stuck with Lyme disease), and I'm more than happy to leave the real work to others.

Anyway, I'm psyched to check out The Vegan Scoop. And I'd also love to hear what you, my beloved readers, have to say! What do you think of our growing collection of vegan ice cream books? Hungry vegans want to know!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Lick It! (A Review)

A new vegan ice cream cookbook is on the market! Lick It! Creamy Dreamy Vegan Ice Creams Your Mouth Will Love, by Cathe Olson, is sitting here on my desk. Overall, I recommend the book, but I'll go into the positives and negatives:

Positives: The first thing I noticed that I know many readers will love is that nearly all of the recipes can be made with agave syrup instead of sugar. I've been asked many times about using non-sugar sweeteners, and this book has plenty of options. In most cases, you can use an equal amount of granulated sugar or agave syrup.

There are also lower-fat options, alongside the really decadent recipes. And a bunch of sorbet recipes, which I have to say are going to tempt me away from ice cream for a little while. So you've got ice creams, frozen yogurts, sherbets, and sorbets.

And the book also has recipes for ice cream cakes, ice pops, and other frozen treats. Plus recipes for sundae toppings. I am particularly happy about the butterscotch sauce recipe. Mmmmm...butterscotch.

Yeah, so all the recipes look amazing and you could spend all summer making a wide variety of frozen yummies. This book will rock you.

Negatives: I feel so nitpicky with my list of negatives. But I want to get them out of the way. The most unfortunate thing about the book is the design. There are stock photos all through the book, as well as on the cover. The pictures of coconuts or coffee beans are fine, but the pictures of happy people eating ice cream are just...meh. They look kind of goofy and somehow already dated, even though the book just came out.

And the title. Lick It! I mean, maybe I'm the only person with a filthy, filthy mind, but ice cream isn't the first thing that pops into my head when I hear "Lick it!"

Finally, I'm not a fan of the shades-of-purple interior design--text, pictures, etc. It's just not very attractive.

The verdict: All of the negative things I have to say about this book are cosmetic. Which makes me a shallow husk of a person, I suppose, and one with a filthy mind. But I can look past the cover (maybe slap a book cover on it) and re-label the title (something like, "Vegan Ice Cream That Doesn't Remind You of Oral Sex in Any Way, Thank You"). Because the recipes are gonna rock you. Your (my) filthy mind will be so distracted by the (potentially orgasmic) recipes that you won't even think of other, more adult pleasures. Despite the title, which I really must cover up.

Stop thinking about the title. Think about the recipes! The glorious plenitude of recipes!!!

So despite my filthy mind and nitpicky habits, I heartily recommend Lick It! It's here just in time for summer.