Recipe: Red Lentil Walnut Ice Cream (yes, you read that right….)

I know Blue Birchers, this is a crazy one.  Ice cream made with…red lentils?  But I just couldn’t look away.  With the warm weather taking hold (90’s here in Boston…wow) thought this was the perfect time to post this recipe from Kitchen Vignettes.  One thing to note….no need to use coconut milk unless you want to have that additional flavor layer (I do!), there’s no extra health benefit.  Using whole milk or cream would actually up the protein even more in this creative treat. (And really…bourbon is “optional”…how adorable….)

RED LENTIL WALNUT ICE CREAM
Serves 4 to 6

1 3/4 cup cooked red lentils (about 1 cup dry red lentils)
1 x 400ml (14 oz.) can of full-fat coconut milk
1/2 cup pure maple syrup (add 2 Tbsp more if you like a sweeter ice cream)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 tsp salt
1/2 cup toasted, chopped walnuts
1 Tbsp bourbon (optional)

Place 1 cup dry red lentils in a fine mesh sieve and rinse well under cold water. Drain them and place in a small saucepan with 1 1/2 cup of water and bring to a simmer on medium-low heat. Cook covered, for about 25 minutes or until the whole thing turns to a thick purée. Stir often to make sure it’s not burning on the bottom as it cooks and thickens. If the lentils are cooked but still too soupy, leave the lid off so more water evaporates. Once they are fully cooked and very soft and mushy, remove from heat and allow them to cool a little, with the lid off for about 10 minutes. The red lentils should now be almost as thick as mashed potatoes. Measure out 1 3/4 cup of lentil purée for this recipe (you may have a little more than that in the saucepan).

In a food processor, blend the coconut milk, maple syrup, vanilla, salt, and the warm lentils until you have a smooth thick mixture. (Be sure the lentils are still warm – if they are cold, the coconut fat might not melt and emulsify well which will not give you a smooth mixture – if this happens, simply heat all the ingredients for a couple minutes in a saucepan on low heat to help the coconut milk to fully emulsify, then return the mixture to the food processor).

Cool the mixture for an hour in the fridge, then use it in your ice cream maker, according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Halfway through, add the toasted chopped walnuts and bourbon. Enjoy before it’s fully frozen or hardened, when it’s still soft and smooth.

*Original Recipe –  Kitchen Vignetttes

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