Thursday, August 28, 2008

In praise of Coconut Bliss

Since I've been such an annoying whiny baby the last few days, I thought I should post some of the more positive aspects of this lovely, life-enriching food experiment. I want to point you in the direction of Coconut Bliss, a coconut-milk based ice cream that is totally okay for people who are on a dairy-free diet (it's also made with agave syrup, so that means any of you out there who can't eat cane sugar right now -that's you Julie!- should find this to be an awesome treat.) It's as luscious and rich as the sarcasm with which I began this paragraph.

Started by a little company in Eugene, Oregon, Luna & Larry's Coconut Bliss is one of the things I jot down on my list of good things to come out of my culinary martydom. I'm a big fan of their straight forward "naked coconut", but their dark chocolate almost brought a tear to my eye the other night. Arguably, the tear could have been from the bright glare of the freezer light in a dark kitchen at 2 in the morning.

The fact that this is a treat I look forward to when so many of my go-to treats are off-limits really can't be underestimated. With coconut milk dripping from my happy lips, I would like to take this moment to pay homage to the good things I've gotten out of this experience so far:

1. An appreciation for the web and the support it lends people - via blogging - for pretty much anything you might be dealing with. It's such a part of our lives that sometimes it's worth stepping back and really taking in how truly incredible the internet is and how it brings people together.

2. I like to think I'm constantly challenging myself to come up with new flavor combinations; however there is nothing like a list of 26 major food staples you can't touch to get you to really think outside the box. How does one develop flavor in food when every last sauce ingredient (pretty much) and almost all condiments known to man are verboten? This experience will make me a better cook.

3. It's trite but true: if all you ever knew was sleeping in and being on vacation, life would be quite dull. It is the contrast between work and play that emphasizes the joy in play. Similarly, sometimes it takes the act of stepping away from something you love to appreciate it even more or, as in the case of Coconut Bliss, discover something new.

4. Mostly I appreciate that they're coming out with a Chocolate Hazelnut Fudge flavor.


Anonymous said...

THANK YOU! I'm going to try this. I love coconut, and I'm thrilled it uses agave nectar instead of cane sugar!

BTW, I looked over the Flying Apron's menu, and they use a lot of canola oil. )-: But I did find one you can eat, assuming they didn't forget to list vanilla extract in the ingredient list. It's their chocolate chip cookie!

From their website: Chocolate Chip Cookies $1.95: organic brown rice flour, organic garbanzo bean flour, organic safflower oil, filtered water, organic dairy-free dark choc chips (contains soy lecithin), organic evaporated cane juice, baking powder, sea salt

-- Julie

Anonymous said...

Hi again.

I'm not sure how strict you want to be or if this even qualifies, but vanilla extract contains alcohol -- about 35%. And Madagascar Vanilla Extract is made with bourbon, which can be made from corn, rye, wheat, etc. I have seen gluten-free vanilla extract (Costco brand, for example), but it still contains alcohol.

I'm afraid the Naked Coconut Bliss and the Dark Chocolate Coconut Bliss contain vanilla extract. Of course, then the question is, how much brewer's yeast could possibly be in it? Not much, I'm sure.

But, the Strawberry Lemon Love Coconut Bliss does NOT contain vanilla extract. I ran out and bought some. THANK YOU. I have died and gone to heaven! It is so good.

You can get Vanilla Powder at Sur La Table if you want alcohol-free vanilla for baking. Or you could use a vanilla bean.

-- Julie

Seattle Tall Poppy said...

Let's see...would I go for a vat of slow-roasted tomatoes, an icy cold beer, or a tub of ice cream?

Becky, did you ever see that Food and Wine article about Grant Achatz? That's a fabulous piece about how the cancer actually drove his creativity to a whole new level. It's fascinating...and I can see the parallel with your experience. I'm so excited to hear about your progress and what you're discovering.

And on the upside, at least all you have to do is cut out a few foods...not your tongue.