Archive for Vegan

Black Ice Cream {Vegan}

This week, I’m sharing recipes for weirdly-coloured food. This is a current food trend with bucks against the really popular unicorn or rainbow food trends of last summer where everything was happy pastels.

This current food trend features dark-coloured food, or “goth food.” I recently shared a recipe for a purple panna cotta dessert, and today, it’s black ice cream.

Black Ice Cream Vegan

I know… what? It sounds offputting, right?

Last summer, the whole black foods trend started with black soft serve ice cream from a food truck sponsored by Kraken (yes, the ice cream had rum in it, as well). Mister in Yaletown, who makes nitro ice cream, also has a black ice cream on its menu. Many health-conscious types are swearing by a detox black lemonade, and Burger King in Japan launched a black burger (the bun is black). Here in Vancouver, you can get a Noir Burger at the Fresh Window Cafe.

The mystery ingredient in all these black foods is the same; not squid ink, but activated charcoal.

Now, if you own a water filter system of any type, the filter is made up primarily of activated charcoal. It’s a powerful cleanser and detoxifier. The kind that you can buy to use in your food is made from coconut shells, primarily, and I got mine at the newly-opened Soap Dispensary on Main St.

The benefit of these kinds of foods is that they are supposed to be detoxifying to your body. It sure makes for pretty, Instagram-worthy food, but it likely isn’t going to be a cure for cancer, or even your hangover. There may be some health benefits, however.

Weirdly, when you add it to foods, it affects the colour, but not the odour or the taste. I added 3 tsp to my favourite vegan ice cream recipe and the result tastes the same as it always does, but the ice cream itself is a velvety black colour.

The colour doesn’t seem to turn people off. I recently did a poll on Instagram, and 97% of the people that responded said they would try it.

Would you?? Have you had any experience with black foods? Let me know in the comments below.

Black Ice Cream

Black Ice Cream {Vegan}


  • 3 tbsp aquafaba
  • 12 cup granulated sugar + 2 tbsp, divided
  • 12 tsp xanthan gum
  • 1 can (14 oz/400 mL) coconut milk,
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 18 tsp vanilla bean seeds
  • 3 tsp activated charcoal powder


  1. In mixer bowl, combine aquafaba and 2 tbsp sugar; sprinkle in xanthan gum. Attach wire whisk and mixer bowl to mixer. Set speed to Low and beat for 2 minutes. Turn speed up to Medium and beat for 2 minutes. Set to highest speed and beat mixture until thick peaks form, about 4 to 6 minutes.
  2. Remove bowl from mixer and add coconut milk, vanilla extract, vanilla seeds, activated charcoal and the remaining 12 cup sugar. Carefully whisk by hand, until aquafaba mixture is mostly incorporated into ice cream.
  3. Scoop into ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions. I have a Cuisinart, and it takes about 20-30 minutes. Transfer ice cream to a covered container and place in the freezer for 2 to 3 hours to set.


Purple Panna Cotta {Vegan}

Recently, I was browsing about on the interwebz (as you do) and came across this article on The Hot Vegan Food Trends of the moment. Aquafaba is #1–yay! But there were a few others in there that piqued my interest, as well, like the “Goth Food Trend.”

This trend is in response to the unicorn food trend–it is the complete opposite. It features instead of happy, pastel colours, dark, saturated colours in food like purple and black.

I have two recipes for you this week, both “goth” foods–one purple, one black.

Vegan Purple Panna Cotta

Regular readers will know I’m pretty obsessed with the colour and taste of ubes or purple yams. They are really good for you, and they give everything a gorgeous purple hue. And even though they are technically a savoury food, they work really well in sweet applications.

I decided to create a panna cotta with mine. I thought that it would make for a very pretty dessert, especially when topped with a blueberry balsamic reduction, and it turns out, I was right.

The texture is not quite as smooth as a traditional panna cotta, due to the purple yam, but my taste testers were pretty into the final result.

Purple Panna Cotta Vegan

Purple Panna Cotta {Vegan}


  • 500 mL coconut milk
  • One medium purple yam
  • 3/4 tsp agar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp water


  1. Peel the yam, and cut it into chunks. Steam for about 15-20 minutes until soft and easily pierced by a fork. Allow to cool slightly.
  2. In a small bowl, place the tablespoon of water and sprinkle the agar over it. Allow to stand for 5 minutes.
  3. Place the sweet potato and the coconut milk in a blender and blend well until smooth. Strain into a small saucepan, and add the sugar. Heat gently just until warm and the sugar is dissolved.
  4. Pour a couple of tablespoons of the hot coconut milk into the bowl with the agar, and stir well. Add it slowly back into the pot, whisking the whole time. Heat for another 5 minutes, until the milk is steaming, but don’t let it boil.
  5. Pour into 4 individual ramekins or glasses, then place in the fridge to set overnight, or at least for a few hours.
  6. You can serve these either right in the glass with a few tablespoons of blueberry compote on top (see below) OR if you cover the ramekin with a plate, turn it upside-down and then run hot water over it, it will unmold and drop onto your plate for a fancier presentation.

For the compote

  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 3 tbsp good-quality balsamic vinegar


  1. In a small saucepan, combine all three ingredients. Bring to a boil, then simmer over low heat for about 10 minutes or so. Blend with an immersion blender to make it really smooth. Cook until it is thickened. You’ll know it’s done when you draw a line on the back of a spoon, and it holds.
  2. Allow to cool at least slightly before spooning over set panna cotta to serve.


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