Nothing calls for ice cream quite like the warm, humid days of summer! This week’s market trip supplied us with another batch of gorgeous, spray-free cherries and I was inspired to pair them with chocolate, a classic and delicious pairing. If you are curious about the benefits of cherries, you can check out the links in my recent Cherry Chopped Salad post. Raw cacao is another powerhouse ingredients, chock full of magnesium and seratonin, among other benefits. Cacao pods are not grown locally but I am happy to be able to purchase raw cacao in bulk here in Halifax at The Tare Shop.
When I went to pour my base into our ice cream maker, I found that the recipe left me with exactly a cup of the chocolate cherry mixture leftover. I combined the base with chia seeds, and we ended up with a second, equally delicious snack while we waited for the ice cream to chill. I would argue that this Choco-Cherry Chia Cup (say that ten times fast!) works better as a dessert than a breakfast, given the amount of maple syrup in the recipe, but if you do decide to eat it first thing, the omega 3 and protein-rich chia seeds will at least help to balance out your blood sugar (unlike many a boxed cereal I could mention!).
We enjoyed the recipe so much that we ended up picking up more cherries and making a second batch, trying a popsicle variation this time around. We have a stainless steel Ice Pop Mold by Onyx that works like a charm. I’ve included directions for all three variations below. The ice cream and popsicle variations are pretty straightforward, although I find the longer I churn my base, the less likely it is to freeze in one large chunk.
Chocolate & Cherries Three Ways
Chocolate Cherry Base
2 cans coconut milk
1/2 cup almond milk
2 tbsp coconut oil
1/4 cup raw cacao
6 tbsp maple syrup
1 cup pitted cherries
1 tsp vanilla extract
Pinch sea salt
3/4 cup pitted and diced cherries
Add all ingredients except for the 3/4 cup diced cherries to a high-speed blender and process until smooth. Stir in the diced cherries.
1 cup chocolate Cherry ice cream mix
1/3 cup chia
Mix together until chia is evenly incorporated and let sit for 30 minutes. You can also mix the chia seeds and base together and refrigerate overnight.
Put the chocolate cherry base in the fridge to chill for an hour. Add all but 1 cup of the ice cream mixture to your ice cream maker and process according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Skip the chilling step and pour the base into popsicle molds. Chill until solid.