Almond Ice Milk with Strawberry and Rhubarb Salad

almond ice milk with rhubarb salad

This combination of frosty almond milk and tart, fresh rhubarb is raw, gluten free and vegan (for honey eating vegans, of course). I know to some that sounds totally boring, but for as much as I like buttery treats, I also crave a bit of lightness (especially when the weather warms up) and this dessert totally has that going on. I am usually not a fan of the classic strawberry and rhubarb combo, but the pucker of raw rhubarb (still Camille's batch!) is nicely mellowed by the addition of sweet strawberries, a bit of honey, and some fresh mint to make an utterly refreshing, cool, and crisp salad. The almond ice milk is a pretty neutral, granita base that will work well with a number of different fruits and I imagine fresh or roasted stone fruit later in the summer would be delicious here, so feel free to give this recipe your own spin. Oh, and you could certainly make this dessert richer by adding some whipped coconut cream on top (for dairy avoiders) or a bit of whipped cream (for dairy fans).

Almond Ice Milk

yield about 3 cups

I like the bit of texture that adding some almond pulp back in to the ice milk gives the mixture, but if you'd like a smoother icy-treat leave out the pulp. This would also work well with cashews. If you've ever made a granita like this, then you know that it is just about the easiest frozen treat to put together, save the "popsicles" I used to make out of orange juice poured into in ice cube trays and stuck with a stick (tell me you made those when you were a kid too).

5 1/2 ounces raw almonds

24 ounces filtered water (plus more to soak the almonds)

2 tablespoons raw honey or maple syrup (or to taste)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract or 1/2 vanilla bean, scraped

1/4 teaspoon almond extract (optional)

pinch salt

1.  Add almonds to a large container and cover with filtered water. "et the almonds soak for at least 4 hours or overnight then drain the almonds and add the 24 ounces of filtered water and blend thoroughly. Strain the mixture through a nut milk bag (a phrase that makes my inner teenager giggle) or through a strainer lined with cheesecloth. If desired, add 2 or 3 tablespoons of the nut meat back into the strained milk for texture.

2. Add the sweetener of your choice, vanilla, almond extract and salt to the almond milk and blend to combine.

3. Pour the mixture into an 8x8 or 9x9 baking dish. Taste the mixture and if you find it to be not sweet enough add in a bit more sweetener and stir to dissolve. Cover the dish with plastic.

3. Slide the dish into the freezer and chill for 1hr. Remove the dish from the freezer and scrape the milk with a fork to break up the crystals, cover and place back in the freezer. Scrape the milk every 30min or so until it is frozen and crystals have formed.

Strawberry and Rhubarb Salad

yield about 2 cups

This salad is sweet-tart and utterly refreshing thanks to a dose of fresh mint.

2 medium stalks rhubarb

1 pound strawberries

2 Tablespoons raw honey or maple syrup(or more to taste)

3 Tablespoons mint leaves, thinly sliced

Dice the rhubarb and strawberries into 1/4-1/2'' pieces small and even pieces are key here. Toss the chopped fruit and honey gently to combine. Let the mixture sit for 30 minutes and taste. The fruit should soften slightly and release some of it's juices. Adjust sweetness if necessary then add in the sliced mint right before the salad is served.

To Serve

Layer the ice milk and the rhubarb and strawberry salad in clear glasses. Top with fresh mint leaves. Serve immediately. Try not to spill mint leaves all over the place like I did, what was I thinking ;)