So when I posted ice cream that I made on an edible wild food facebook group I had no idea the firestorm that would ensue regarding my ingredients which as let me to this blog post. I am not a doctor. I am a health coach and community herbalist so please read this knowing I don't pretend to have all the answers. I trust you will read this and make the best decisions for your body. Pictured on the right is my homemade ice cream but before I tell you the ingredients lets address some firestorm. Let's start with almonds and what the word "toxic" means. Have you noticed that almonds are in increasingly more foods as gluten free, keto, and other specialty diets become more popular. I mean now you can find them in cookies, pizza crusts, breads, yogurt, milk, ice cream, crackers, baked goods and more. They seem to be in everything! When I lived in Israel I used to go hiking and was taught by my teacher you can snack on the wild bitter almonds on the trees. He also told us they contain cyanide or rather amygdalin which converts into cyanide when ingested. It is what gives them that "bitter" taste. He would say don't eat more than say 3 and you know you won't need to because a few of them gives you the energy you need to keep going. The body can process small amounts of cyanide; after all, apple seeds contain cyanide as examples and I know plenty of people who have eaten an apple and it's core and live to tell the tale with no trips to the hospital. The sweet almonds have very small trace amounts of cyanide which wouldn't harm a human. So what of toxic? Have you eaten white rice lately? That contains arsenic. Are you still alive? Have honey in your tea? Ayurvedic wisdom considers that toxic along with ingesting the out skin of almonds or eating more than 7 almonds in a day. They state they should be soaked an peeled which in fact increases their digestibility. And quinoa contains a toxin called phytic acid if not soaked before cooking. I'm sure you've had that without soaking. Are you still alive? Did you get sick? There are toxins everywhere aren't there? What is the solution I say. Well moderation for one and varying the diet so you are not exposed to the same toxins day in and day out along with engaging in soaking practices to increase the digestibility of food. Pictured on the left is what I included in my recipe, sweet apricot kernels. They are found inside the pits. As I am steering away from almonds due to my bodies reactivity and other reasons I turned to these similar tasting nuts. (Did you know it takes 1.1 gallons of water to produce 1 almond and 80% of the worlds almonds come from California; a state dealing with drought!!! Turns out the salmon population can't keep up with our almond needs and are dying out. Also honey bees which pollinate the trees are dying out because they can't seem to handle our craze for pesticides on the almond trees). Just food for thought for those who eat a bag of almonds a day or kick back that almond milk like nothing. Back to apricot kernels, so it was found that bitter apricot kernels contain cyanide the same amygdalin compound found in bitter almonds so aren't being distributed or sold as much and have even been banned. When I posted this ice cream some people were up in arms and fear because of the "ban" failing to understand the difference between sweet/bitter and moderation! I bought these apricot kernels from Nuts.com, most are sweet, not bitter in taste. If they contain cyanide like the sweet almonds it would be in trace amounts that wouldn't harm a human. Nothing has happened to me from eating them and I am pretty sensitive. They did not come with any "warning" label but I have contacted the company for confirmation and waiting to hear back. For another perspective I liked on this issue visit https://www.faithful-to-nature.co.za/blog/bitter-sweet-question-apricot-kernels-safe-eat/. Almonds can help gut health, reflux, blood sugar, have fiber, lower bad cholesterol and be good for the skin. Apricot kernels are high in protein, may contain cancer fighting substances and are high in vitamins B, C, and A. Maybe the solution is support companies that don't spray and as pointed out, eat in moderation if it agrees with your body. I will say of course being sure what a plant is to avoid eating poisonous plants goes without saying. If you are still curious about what's in that ice cream besides the apricot kernels keep reading!!
So What's in the Wild Ice Cream Besides the Sweet Apricot Kernels? See below: If you are unsure of any of wild ingredients please google the benefits, follow me on social media, subscribe to my utube channel Melanie Yukov, join my classes or another herbalist, join my plant walks or another herbalists as we are all about teaching folks plant connection. Be sure you know what you are picking by spending time with plants and going to classes and walks. I believe wild foods make us resilient the more we consume them as weeds are resilient aren't they?
2 cups unsweetened oat milk (Trader Joes)
1 cup chopped chocolate mint leaves (you can use any mint)
1/2 cup chopped stinging nettle leaves
2 egg yolks
1/4 cup allulose (low calorie sweetener purchased at whole foods)
1/4 cup of holy basil glycerite (or sub extra 1/4 cup of allulose)
4 dropper fulls of stinging nettle tincture (optional)
1/2 cup sugar free chocolate chips (I got the wholefoods brand - dairy and soy free)
1/4 teaspoon of peppermint extract
1 tablespoon of a mix of powdered spirulina, stinging nettle, and dandelion leaf (can sub moringa, chlorella, or use one of the three listed).
Wild flowers to top instead of sprinkles: Redbuds (high in vitamin C), Violets (high in Vitamins A, E, and C), dead nettle flowers (nutrient dense), mustard flowers, and henbit flowers.
Directions: I followed Danielle Walker's directions and adapted the recipe from her with my twist on it, adding the tincture into the milk when heating it along with the herbal powder. I used an ice cream maker as she does. See below.
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