During dinner this past week our middle daughter asked: “Mommy, we don’t know what heaven will be like, how do we know we will like it?“
My heart tugged and I said: “you’re right honey, we don’t know what heaven is like“… “I think you get to do your most favorite things in heaven all the time, like sing and dance and go swimming and be with people you love and have dogs all around you and eat ice cream“.
She giggled and asked: “can the people all be dogs?”
(This girl really loves dogs!) I replied emphatically: “yes, I think they can if you want them to be!!”
She then asked: “and I can eat ice cream whenever I want?”
…”Yep, I sure think you can!“, I replied.
I cherish these innocent talks with our girls. We talk about heaven occasionally, because they understand that their poppy Burton (my father) is in heaven, and we regularly speak of him as their guardian angel. And, we have talked about our loved ones being in heaven with our beloved animals. I always try to keep the conversation light and happy because I know at the heart of the matter is some fear of the unknown and sadness surrounding mortality.
So, we joked about how we would eat our favorite foods and just do whatever the heck we wanted all of the time! She has my fondness for ice cream, so of course we elaborated on the topic of “ice cream heaven”!
The next day on facebook I get this message from Kristi:
“Just made Chai Peanut Butter ice cream. I think this will be served in my Heaven. OMG! YUM!!!”
I chuckled to myself and the coincidence gave me a little shiver.
Let’s have a little taste of heaven on earth. Today I am sharing that celestial Chai Peanut Butter Ice Cream…
Chai Peanut Butter Ice Cream gluten-free, soy-free (recipe from Let Them Eat Vegan)
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1 can (14 oz) coconut milk (regular, not light)
½ cup natural peanut butter (can substitute almond or cashew butter if you prefer)
1 cup plain or vanilla non-dairy milk
3/4 cup coconut sugar (or other unrefined sugar), (see note)
2 tbsp pure maple syrup
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp ground cardamom
¼ tsp allspice (see note)
¼ tsp ground ginger (see note)
¼ tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp sea salt
Pinch or two ground cloves (see note)
¼ tsp (rounded) guar gum
In a blender, combine all the ingredients and blend until thoroughly mixed, stopping to scrape down the blender bowl once or twice, if needed. Transfer the mixture immediately (see note) to an ice-cream maker (follow the directions of the specific model, this is the one I use), and churn until the mixture is of soft-serve consistency.
Adult-Minded: If you generally like more spices in such sweets as gingerbread, pumpkin pie, spice cookies, and cakes, you can round the measures of the spices cinnamon, cardamom, allspice, and ginger, and add a pinch more of cloves.
Ingredients 411: If using vanilla nondairy milk, you might want to adjust the 3⁄4 cup measure of sugar, starting with a little less, because vanilla milks are sweeter than plain. Keep in mind that the room-temperature ice-cream mixture will taste sweeter than when frozen.
Savvy Subs and Adds: Coconut sugar has a caramel flavor, and likewise a caramel-type flavor with undertones of coconut. It is a delicious and lovely sugar; however, if you can- not find it, try Sucanat or another unrefined sugar in its place.
Enjoy this heavenly dessert, and I wish you a sweet day!