Saturday, June 20, 2015

Coconut Cream Soda (vegan, refined sugar-free)

This harkens back to my summers when I was a kid with scratched up knees and had a permanent shorts and tank top tan. I remember every summer we'd go visit my grandparents in Montana. That's when I first discovered road-watching. There's people-watching and then there is road-watching. Where will the road take us? I loved watching the mountains and forests of North Idaho morph into the plains and hills of Montana. The towering trees into seas of grass. A scape of dark green and sapphire mountain blue into the color scheme I see as Montana - new growth green, cattle ranch brown and gold - not shiny hard-metal gold but living gold. The gold of mature grass alive in your hands. The gold as the late summer sun glints off the cowboy's truck. The gold of sun-dried antlers decorating the fields.
There is one particular memory I have of going to visit a cousin's cattle ranch. My grandparents lived in town so the drive was not short or smooth. We made it in the afternoon and dark clouds poured in from the West. We piled out of the truck, our clothes clinging to our bodies from the long ride and our stomachs feeling a little churned. Loud shouts of thunder clapped at our arrival. The air was warm but a breeze teased at our clothes and hair.

And then the rain started..

Summer thunderstorms are the best. The warmth of the sun combined with the cool rain.
...Also, puddle jumping doesn't turn into pneumonia. 
Those visits to the ranch were the highlights of the trip. I loved playing in our cousin Annie's pool and watching movies while sipping tall glasses of fruit soda poured over vanilla ice cream.
This recipe was somewhat inspired by those memories. In an effort to make a dairy-free cream soda, I ended up with somewhat of a delicious float. A wonderful thing happens when coconut cream is mixed with sparkling water. It gets all light and fluffy like summer clouds.

Coconut Cream Soda
Coconut Cream
Sparkling Water
Vanilla Stevia (make your own with this recipe or I use NuNaturals Nustevia )
1. Scoop a heaping spoonful of coconut cream into your glass
2. Cover with a little sparkling water. Whisk quickly with fork to break up lumps. Use 2-4 drops vanilla stevia.
3. Top with sparkling water. Stir once more. Enjoy!
*Another option is to use agave or maple syrup for sweetener. This will impart their flavors on to the drink. Adding vanilla extract will give it more of a vanilla cream flavor.

So sweet readers, are you road-tripping this summer? Where are you going?
I'm just itching to go back to Montana. If I didn't love Idaho so much, I'd live in Montana.
On a side note, I enjoyed this on my birthday instead of cake. And I was so blessed to receive a batch of these amazing chocolate cookies from my neighbor. It really was a blessing because some of my plans fell through and it was a rough night with the kiddos and I had a sour attitude about it, particularly because it was my birthday. I sat on the rocking chair holding my fussy baby, praying that Jesus would help me have a better attitude because I knew I was being selfish. And literally not ten minutes later, this wonderful neighbor showed up with these warm chocolate cookies. God is so good! 

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