As if we need another reason to enjoy a few scoops, July is National Ice Cream Month! Best. Month. Ever! To celebrate, we made a simple vanilla ice cream swirled with our Aronia-Haskap Fruit Spread. Really, you could use any of our fruit spreads and this recipe would turn out to be plain awesome…but, this is what we had on hand! So, enjoy our homemade vanilla berry swirl ice cream recipe and let us know what kind of fruit spread you end up using.
½ jar Mt. Hope Farms’ Fruit Spread (any variety will do, but we suggest Aronia-Haskap or Raspberry-Marionberry)
Follow your ice cream maker’s directions, but remember to put the freezer bowl in your freezer the night before, to make sure it’s plenty frozen enough. When this recipe hasn’t turned out, it’s a result of us not having things cold enough (and that’s a huge bummer!)
Using a mixer on low speed, combine the sugar and half & half until the sugar is fully dissolved. Chill in the fridge for an hour.
Gently stir the whipping cream and vanilla bean paste into the half & half mixture and transfer into the ice cream maker freezer bowl.
Turn the ice cream maker on and let mix until slightly thickened (for us, it was about 18 minutes). While the machine is churning, and you’re waiting for the ice cream to thicken, spoon half a jar of fruit spread into a bowl and stir to loosen the consistency. Set aside at room temperature.
When the ice cream mixture has started to slightly thicken and the machine is churning, slowly add the fruit spread, one Tablespoon at a time to avoid clumping. Allow the machine to churn until the 25 minute mark. This will help the fruit spread swirl throughout the ice cream.
Remove the slightly thickened ice cream from the freezer bowl and place in a separate container. Freeze immediately (we had to leave ours in the freezer overnight to fully harden and get to the right consistency).
Serve with remaining fruit spread on top and enjoy!
Note: we used a Cuisinart 2 quart ice cream maker, which can be found here.
As a farm growing this specialty crop, we get the question, “what are haskap berries?” a lot, so we thought we’d do a quick post! A haskap is a berry that is dark blue in color and resembles an elongated blueberry. When ripe, the inside of the berry is a deep purplish red color.
The skin is much like a blueberry and the inside has a texture similar to a kiwi. They are also called Honeyberries, Blue Honeysuckles, Edible Honeysuckles, Canadian Honey Berry, Haskap and Sweet Berry in certain regions and areas. The haskap is a circumpolar species native to northern boreal forests in Asia, Europe, and North America. The plants themselves look much like a blueberry plant and some varieties grow up to 6 feet tall, though most are between 4 and 5 feet and are quite hardy when planted in the right environment.
What do the berries taste like?
To us, the haskap berry tastes like a cross between raspberries, blueberry and rhubarb. It’s a really tart berry when eaten freshly picked. Our family eats them straight out of the field, but we use the majority of them for our fruit spreads, which sweetens them up a bit.
What are the health benefits?
In Japan, haskap is called ‘the fruit of longevity.’ Haskaps are considered a superberry because they are extremely rich in nutrients and antioxidants that help prevent multiple diseases and cancers. When added to a healthy diet and lifestyle, haskap is believed to help prevent heart disease, cancers, cardiovascular diseases,diabetes, osteoporosis and neurodegenerative diseases (according to leading alternative health expert, Bryce Wylde).
What are haskap used for?
We use our berries in our fruit spreads (low sugar jam), smoothies, mixed in yogurt, ice cream or fresh. In Canada, where haskap is more widely grown, the berry is also used in wines, syrups, salad dressings, for dried smoothie powders and even beauty products. They are amazingly versatile and we can’t wait to have a larger crop to start experimenting with! In 2018, we were honored to win a Good Food Award for our Aronia-Haskap Fruit Spread and we often sell out of it within a day of listing on our online shop!
About the haskap on our farm
We are one of the first growers of haskap berries in the Pacific Northwest. Our plants are from both a specialty breeder in Oregon and from Saskatchewan, Canada. We have a several varieties because the flowers cannot pollinate otherwise. At least two varieties of haskap, planted in close range, are necessary to get adequate pollination. Our
varieties have been selected as best fits for our soil type, climate and yield potential. We are picky in choosing which types to plant on our farm because we want to make sure we get the most berries possible…and that has taken a lot of trial and error over the last few years. As farmers, we choose crops which can help improve our land and that will respond well to our biological farming methods (we’ll have to explain more about these methods in another blog down the road..)
Mason Bees and pollinators
Another practice that we have implemented to be sure that our haskaps grow and pollinate well in the early spring is that we work to make sure Mason Bees make the farm home. These bees are some of the earliest pollinators in our area. We provide houses for them (see the picture below)
and make sure they are placed near our early blooming crops. We also do everything we can to provide food and a home for all pollinators, bumblebees, honeybees, etc. We certainly aren’t going to turn away any pollinators willing to help us out on the farm.
Soil, sun and harvesting
Our farm has been the perfect growing environment for haskap plants because they love growing where water is readily available and the soil is well drained. They also enjoy full to partial sun. The berries usually ripen in late May (even earlier than most strawberries in Oregon). We hand harvest our crop but hope, someday, to have a more efficient system in place. For now, we pick them berry by berry and hand sort to get the best fruit for our products and fresh eating.
Want to follow along with our farming adventures and learn more?
Want to know more about haskap? Be sure to follow us on Instagram and Facebook– we post about our products, our fruits and how we farm and care for our land and crops. You can also become part of our farm family and get updates, recipes and the inside scoop from Mike and Laura by jumping on our email list!
We are honored and thrilled to have been named a Good Food Award Finalist for TWO of our products- Raspberry-Marionberry Fruit Spread and Columbia-Star Aronia Fruit Spread! Below is the official press release from the Good Food Awards:
San Francisco, CA (November 14, 2016) – The Good Food Awards could not be more proud to announce the 291 Finalists of 2017, representing not just the best of America’s growing food movement, but the best of America. At a time when the values our country stands for are in question, they exemplify all that is right from coast to coast: our proud immigrant history, stewardship of a rich and fertile agricultural landscape, a spirit of innovation and the daily choice to balance personal gain with the wellbeing of the commons.
Representing 14 categories and 38 states, all Finalists rose to the top in a blind tasting of the 2,059 entries from nearly every state and passed a rigorous vetting to confirm they met specific Good Food Awards standards around environmentally sound agriculture practices, good animal husbandry, sourcing transparency and responsible relationships throughout the supply chain. Amongst their ranks are Nadia Hubbi in California, a Muhammara crafter keeping her Syrian family’s tradition alive; Nacxitl Gaxiola in Brooklyn, whose company was created to honor the traditional salsas, moles, escabechese and adobes of Mexico; Paul Lieggi in Oregon working with the fishermen and women of the Nez Perce, Umatilla, Yakima and Warm Springs tribes to source hoop caught Chinook Salmon for his aromatic hardwood smoked salmon; and Ann and Dan Trudel, a husband and wife farmer and preserver growing and pickling organic brussels sprouts in the heart of rural Ohio. These 291 Finalists – and the hundreds of farmers, ranchers, fishermen and colleagues they collaborate with – are actively building the sort of world we want to live in.
The 200 Good Food Award Winners will be announced Friday, January 20, 2017, at a gala Awards Ceremony at the historic Herbst Theater in the San Francisco War Memorial, on the same stage where the United Nations charter was signed, and will be followed by two more days of celebration. Medals will be bestowed by renowned chef and activist Alice Waters and organics pioneer Nell Newman, tipping their hats to these exceptional food producers. A reception with the winning food and drink will follow the ceremony, offering both regional ‘tasting plates’ and small bites created by local chefs. A limited number of tickets are available to join the Winners and their families at the ceremony and reception ($120 here).
On Saturday, January 21, the beautiful Festival Pavilion at Fort Mason Center will transform into the Good Food Mercantile, a one-of-a-kind, intimate ‘un-trade show’ where both Winners and members of the Good Food Merchants Guild – 400 exemplary food crafters meeting the same sustainability criteria – exhibit their wares to 600 industry buyers and media ($35 tickets, open only to the trade). The Good Food Awards Marketplace rounds out the weekend on Sunday, January 22 from 9 AM – 2 PM. Everyone from far and wide is invited to come meet the Winners, taste and buy their prize- worthy food and drink (including bottles of beer, cider and spirits not licensed for sale in California, but permitted for sale within the federally-owned historic landmark of Fort Mason Center). Proudly welcoming the Winners, and also selling to the public, will be the local farmers of the Fort Mason Center Farmers Market. Tickets to the Good Food Awards Marketplace are $5 and will be available in December online at goodfoodawards.org as well as at the door, with a limited number of $20 Early Access passes (with a welcome gift) for those keen to connect with the freshly minted Good Food Award Winners before the crowds arrive.
The Good Food Awards, organized by the Good Food Foundation 501 (c) 3, are proudly supported by the Good Food Retailers Collaborative, the Presenting Sponsor for three years running. Composed of 21 of the country’s top independently owned retailers from Austin to Oakland to Salt Lake City, they are committed to supporting America’s great food producers in their own communities and across the country and include: Antonelli’s Cheese Shop, Bi-Rite Market, The Brooklyn Kitchen, Canyon Market, Cooks of Crocus Hill, Cowgirl Creamery, Di Bruno Bros., Each Peach Market, Foragers Market, Glen’s Garden Market, The Greene Grape, Healdsburg SHED, JM Stock Provisions, Liberty Heights Fresh, Look’s Market, Market Hall Foods, Pastoral Artisan Cheese, Bread & Wine, TASTE, Washington’s Green Grocer, Woodstock Farmers’ Market, and Zingerman’s Family of Businesses. Joining them is a vibrant group of key supporters, including Premier Sponsors Williams-Sonoma, Bi-Rite Market and Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture; and Lead Sponsors Dominic Phillips Event Marketing, Impact HUB Bay Area, Veritable Vegetable, Vermont Cheese Council, New Resource Bank and BCV Architects.
Details of all events and tickets can be found here, and the full list of finalists here.
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