ice cream

Ginger-Berry Pie and Vanilla Ice Cream

There are a lot of things growing this time of year to get excited about.  Tomatoes, peas, squash, the list goes on.  But for me the best thing about spring produce is berries.  My favorite fruit on earth is raspberries, one of the few fruits incidentally that does not grow on the Gulf Coast where I grew up.  Perhaps that is why I love them so, they are always a treat.

But I also love all spring berries like blackberries, strawberries and blueberries.   There are two wild blueberry bushes in my yard and they are loaded with tiny little morsels of yumminess right now.  My neighbor picked a bowlful to make her morning pancakes and I have already harvested a delicious pie from them.  The best thing about those bushes is that it’s free food.  Not exactly manna from heaven but blueberries from heaven are almost as good in this economy.

Now the thing is that pies are not exactly the healthiest things in the world.  No fear, I have recently developed a new berry pie recipe that is healthy and good.  Not normal healthy food good but good.  Additively good.  I rely on two of my old favorites, agave nectar to replace the sugar and coconut oil to replace the butter then I make a crust using fat free ginger snaps and now we have a flavor combination that is remarkable.  And it’s easy to make, too.

: Ginger-Berry Pie


  • 1 2/3 c. fat free gingersnaps, crushed
  • 1/4 c. coconut oil
  • 1/4 c. agave nectar


  • 3 cups fresh spring berries (cut strawberries in half)
  • 1/2 cup agave nectar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  1. Thoroughly blend crumbs, coconut oil and agave. Press firmly on bottom and side of a 9″ pie pan and chill.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, stir together agave and cornstarch. Add berries; gently toss until they are coated. When using frozen fruit allow fruit mixture to stand for 15 to 30 minutes or until fruit is partially thawed. Stir berry mixture, and transfer to the crust. Bake at 375 degrees F for 20 – 35 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. I love to top mine with a little vanilla ice cream and guess what. I have a healthy recipe for that as well.

Preparation time: 45(s)

Cooking time: 20 – 35 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 8

This is for a 1.5 qt. countertop ice cream machine.  I specked this out and a 1/2 cup portion has less than 80 calories.  My pal Susan Irby (the Bikini Chef) will be so proud.

: Vanilla Ice Cream
  • 1 15 ounce can evaporated fat free milk
  • 1/2 cup agave nectar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract or 1 vanilla bean
  • 1 15 ounce can coconut milk
  1. In a small sauce pan heat evaporated milk over low heat. Do not boil. Stir in the agave cook just below a simmer. In a small bowl lightly beat the eggs. Slowly whisk a little of the hot milk mixture into the eggs to temper them. Repeat this until half of the milk mixture is incorporated into the eggs then pour it all into the pot making a custard. Cook over low heat for 3 minutes, it will thicken. Refrigerate until completely cool, overnight is best. Stir the coconut milk and vanilla into the custard and place into your ice cream machine. Follow machine directions from there.

Preparation time: 24 hour(s)

Cooking time: 15 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 8


Las Paletas on Throwdown

Originally posted on August 13, 2008.

Tonight Bobby Flay was in my old stopping grounds of Nashville, TN for a frigid Throwdown.  Paletas is the Spanish word for ice pops.  Las Paletas specializes in these frozen treats and is owned by sisters Irma and Norma Paz.  I once asked Bobby what his guilty pleasure was and said, “Ice cream.”  Talk about having your Paletas and eating it too.

Las Paletas on WannabeTVchef.comAlthough Las Paletas wasn’t there when I lived in Nashvegas I know exactly where it its.  I used to work at a bakery right across the street and some good friends of mine used to live about two blocks away.  It is in one of those neighborhoods that was being rescued from the drug dealers and prostitutes.  The reclamation was well under way when I moved ten years ago so I can only imagine that the neighborhood is glorious now.  The episode was filmed at Fido in nearby Hillsboro Village which seperates the glitz of Music Row from the pomp of Vanderbilt University.

Las Paletas is all the rage in Music City these days.  Here are a few reviews I found:

  • There should be a 12-step program for those of us recovering from Las Paletas addictions. I’m not sure how I lived here nearly five years and never found this place until I recently drove by and noticed the quirky architecture of the building that houses Las Paletas. The building gives you an idea of what you’re in for once you go in because these are no ordinary popsicles. They are amazingly fresh, and the assortment of flavors can be mind-bogglingly strange but wonderful. All of my experiences at Las Paletas have been great.
  • You just don’t find a better popsicle. Period. Whether it’s traditional cookies n’ cream or the exotic Chocolate Wasabi, it’s all good! And at just $2.50 a pop, who can resist? Seriously, awesome. Period.
  • My boyfriend swears by the hibiscus and the Mexican caramel; I prefer the basil and mixed berry varieties. And all of the fruit pops are light, delicate, and delicious, with big chunks of fresh fruit.

So the next time business or leisure takes you to Nashville venture a little south of town and visit the sisters at Las Paletas Gourmet Popsicles at 2907 12th Ave S.  They’re good enough to take Bobby Flay in a Throwdown.

Follow Stuart via “the Online”

Sip & Chew with Mike and Stu

Add to Google


Stuart in 80 Words or Less

Stuart is a celebrity chef, food activist and award-winning food writer. He penned the cookbooks Third Coast Cuisine: Recipes of the Gulf of Mexico, No Sides Needed: 34 Recipes To Simplify Life and Amigeauxs - Mexican/Creole Fusion Cuisine. He hosts two Internet cooking shows "Everyday Gourmet" and "Little Grill Big Flavor." His recipes have been featured in Current, Lagniappe, Southern Tailgater, The Kitchen Hotline and on the Cooking Channel.

Stu’s Latest Kindle Single is Just $2.99

Stuart’s Honors & Awards

2015 1st Place Luck of the Irish Cook-off
2015 4th Place Downtown Cajun Cook-off
2015 2nd Place Fins' Wings & Chili Cook-off
2014 2015 4th Place LA Gumbo Cook-off
2012 Taste Award nominee for best chef (web)
2012 Finalist in the Safeway Next Chef Contest
2011 Taste Award Nominee for Little Grill Big Flavor
2011, 12 Member: Council of Media Tastemakers
2011 Judge: 29th Chef's of the Coast Cook-off
2011 Judge: Dauphin Island Wing Cook-off
2011 Cooking Channel Perfect 3 Recipe Finalist
2011 Judge: Dauphin Island Gumbo Cook-off
2011 Culinary Hall of Fame Member
2010 Tasty Awards Judge
2010 Judge: Bayou La Batre Gumbo Cook-off
2010 Gourmand World Cookbook Award Nominee
2010 Chef2Chef Top 10 Best Food Blogs
2010 Denay's Top 10 Best Food Blogs
2009 2nd Place Bay Area Food Bank Chef Challenge
2008 Tava: Discovery Contest Runner-up


Subscribe to this blog

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

ISO 9000 Culinary Arts Certification