Guilt-less Desserts & Treats for your Family
Teaching your kids about right and wrong seems like an easy job.
Being nice is right.
Being mean is wrong.
But what about when doing the right thing means you ‘lose’, miss out or feel like you’ve done something wrong?
As adults most of us have experienced some kind of situation where we came off second best despite our good intentions. I know I have been in situations where I have behaved ‘right’ only to end up having to give up something I loved. It sucks, especially when it means the bullies have ‘won’. But, as an adult, I know that being true to myself and my values of caring for others, doing no harm and showing others respect are more important than lowering myself to their level to ‘win’. It means I can sleep at night knowing that I have behaved in a manner that is true to myself.
But what about as kids? What about when kids miss out or get hurt (both emotionally and physically) when other kids don’t value the same simple core notion that being nice is right. How do you rationalise to an 8 year old that their gentle, caring nature is 100 times better than the mean, bullying behavior of their peers when the bully always seems to get their way? When all they can see is that mean gets you your own way, and being nice results in missing out.
This moral dilemma happened over the weekend when we were staying at a caravan park. The park was beautiful and child friendly and it even had a TV room, equipped with Foxtel (something we don’t have at home) and air conditioning, which is the real reason all the kids were in there as it was nearing 40C. 8yo H and 6yo S landed in there after an afternoon of swimming and playing to relax and cool off as there were cartoons and kid friendly movies. No sooner had they settled in, two slightly older (maybe 9yo) boys took over the remote and changed the station to a different movie; a movie my kids knew I wouldn’t let them watch. They asked to have the channel returned, but where met with grunts. They explained that they weren’t allowed to watch those type of movies and they were ridiculed.
This upset both my boys greatly, so I removed them from the TV room and we found another activity to do but they were really upset. They were upset because (as 6yo S put it) “they were just being meanies” and (8yo H’s reaction) “they didn’t listen to us and were being bullies”.
This wasn’t an isolated incident and it meant that the TV room became off limits as it made both H and S so upset to think that someone would act in such a disrespectful way. They were both really upset that they had to miss out on something they really wanted (AC and cartoons) because someone didn’t know, or more likely didn’t care about, right from wrong.
So this is what I told my kids.
“I love that you are the type of person who cares about how other people feel.
I love that you are the type of person who does things to make people feel good about themselves and takes care of other people by being nice to them.
I love that you are the type of person who will listen to others (not always to Mum though!) and treat them with respect”
“Don’t let someone’s bullying or mean behavior change who you are.
You may not be able to change their actions but you are in control of your reaction to their behavior (my favourite Stephen Covey quote)”
We decided to make a list of the qualities that people are looking for in a friend; being nice, making them laugh and having fun together. “Would people say these things about you?” I asked 8yo H, to which he nodded his head. Being a good person trumps getting your own way, because people aren’t friends with bullies for very long.
So teaching your kids about right and wrong (and the slippery grey slope that resides between the two) is way harder than you think it will be. Teaching them that being the best version of themselves can sometimes mean ‘losing’, and asking them to be OK with that is so hard for them (and for that matter any of us) to understand.
So after a heavy day of philosophical child rearing I really needed a bowl of this Apple Crumble Ice Cream (so shoot me…food is my emotional crutch; but so is running so I guess they cancel each other out!). This Apple Crumble Ice Cream is made from real Apples and real Crumble. There’s no artificial colours here; just lots of cooked apples, home made crumble and a great big bowl of dairy free and vegan ice cream.
To make this Apple Crumble Ice Cream you start with a modified version of my Vegan Vanilla Ice Cream and add apple puree. The Apple puree is made by simmering 4 medium/large apples until they are soft and super sweet. The 4 apples should yield 1 ¼ cups of puree; if not quickly cut up another apple and make some more. Different apples will give a slightly different flavour so be sure to pick a sweet variety (unless you like the sound of sour apple ice cream!!).
The crumble is quick to make and is a basic gluten free and vegan recipe. When baking the crumble be sure to give it a quick stir half way through to make sure it’s all crunchy and not gooey. The crumple can be stirred through just before serving or before the ice cream gets blended (depending on what you prefer; chunks or evenly dispersed). You can add more or less cinnamon as well, depending on your taste buds.
- 1 1/4 Cups Coconut Cream (use the thickened cream from an opened can of coconut cream/milk that has been in the fridge overnight. Discard and DO NOT use the watery remains)
- 1 1/4 Cups Coconut Milk
- 1/4 Cup Maple Syryp (or Rice Malt Syrup or Honey)
- Dash Salt
- 2 Tablespoons Arrowroot (Cornflour can be used instead)
- 1 1/4 Cups Apple puree (see recipe below)
- 4 medium/large Apples, cut into small peices
- 3/4 Cup Water
- 1/3 Cup plus 1/2 Tablespoon Coconut Oil, firm (not melted)
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons Mape Syrup/Rice Malt Syrup
- 1/3 Cup plus 1 Tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon Coconut Flour
- 1/3 Cup plus 1 Tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon Arrowroot
- 1/2 teasppon Vanilla Extract
- 3/4 to 1 teaspoon ground Cinnamon
- If using an ice cream machine be sure to place the bowl in the freezer the day before. Be sure to check the instructions as to how long is required (mine is 12 hours).
- In a medium sized saucepan place the thickened coconut cream, 3/4 Cup of coconut milk, maple syrup and salt. Place the saucepan over a medium/low heat and warm slowly, or until the cream has 'melted' and the mixture is luke warm.
- Meanwhile, place the extra 1/2 Cup of coconut milk in a small bowl and whisk in the arrowroot, making sure no lumps remains.
- Once the saucepan mixture has warmed, increase the heat to medium/high and add the thickened milk mixture, whisking to combine.
- Whisk/stir regualry as the mixture starts to thicken. The mixture will become custard like in it's consistancy. Be sure to whisk/stir the bottom of the pot to ensure that the mixture does not stick and burn. This will take 5-10 minutes.
- Once thickened take the mixture off the heat and add the Apple puree. Blend with a hand mixer (or a blender or a masher and whisk) until smooth.
- Place the mixture in the fridge to cool for at least 2 hours. Once cooled, pour into the Ice Cream Machine and mix for the required time (mine was 20 minutes).
- Stir through the crumble, keeping some for sprinkling on top if desired.
- Pour the mixture into shallow, sealed containers and freeze until set (allow 6-8 hours).
- Break the frozen mixture into pieces and place in a food processor/blender.
- Blend on high until creamy (about 2-3 minutes. It will go grainy first; don't stress it goes creamy eventually!).
- Stir through the crumble mixture.
- Serve immediately or freeze in a sealed container briefly until a bit firmer.
- Pour the mixture into moulds or a container and freeze for at least 6-8 hours, or until set.
- The ice cream will need to sit at room temperature for at least 10 minutes to soften to be able to be served. Stir through the crumble mixture.
- This method isn't as creamy as the previous 2 but still delicious.
- Place the diced apple in a medium sized saucepan and add the water.
- Bring the saucepan to the boil and then reduce the heat and simmer for 5-10 minutes, or until the apple pieces are super soft.
- Do not discard the water (it should have all been absorbed anyway).
- Puree, mash etc the stewed apple mixture and allow to cool before serving.
- Preheat the oven to 190C. Line a baking tray with paper and lightly spray/grease.
- In a mixing bowl (or in a blender if desired) stir together the coconut oil, maple syrup and vanilla extract. Add the dry ingredients and stri together until a rough dough forms.
- Drop pieces of the dough onto the baking tray and 6- 8 minutes. Remove the tray from the oven and break the dough pieces into smaller bits and return to the oven for a further 2-4 minutes or until baked and a bit crispy.
- Allow the crumble to cool before using.