Maple Alps


Mama Mia! & A Private Beach

TravelAmanda Walter | Maple Alps9 Comments

The first year I studied abroad, I was able to spend some time in Denmark with family friends of ours. It was a fantastic experience, except for when I wanted to watch television, I couldn't understand a thing. One day, after exploring the city, I was flipping through the channels trying to find something to watch. Suddenly, I heard familiar words - Mama Mia! was on in German. Despite not loving the movie, I was bored and I watched the whole thing, just happy to have something on with words I understood. This last summer, some friends of ours took us to where some scenes from the movie were shot, and it was really spectacular to see- not just because it was filmed there, but because it was so beautiful!

mama Mia! |
mama mia and a private beach |
mama mia and a private beach |
mama mia and a private beach |
mama mia |
mama mia |

Seeing it almost made me want to watch the movie again, but I haven't seen it since 2010, and I think I'll keep it that way. There were definitely fewer people there than I had expected.

After we were finished at the chapel, we drove and hiked a bit and found a private beach to lay at for the day. Not one soul showed up the entire afternoon and the [long] nap I had and the warm water was glorious. 

mama mia |
mama mia and a private beach |

Somehow, picnic lunches taste better and naps are sweeter with views like these.


Chocolate Chai Ice Cream (vegan + gluten free + nut free)

RecipesAmanda Walter | Maple Alps18 Comments

Summer is here and I fully intend on enjoying every last second of it! The problem, however, is that summer only lasts a few weeks before Autumn comes creeping along and I have to break out the coats again. I do love the Fall, but I have been waiting and my body has been aching for sunshine that comes right now. The Winter was so long. So, so long. Thankfully, one can still eat ice cream in the Winter. It's just that it can be enjoyed outside in the Summer. 

Chocolate Chai Ice Cream (vegan + gluten free + nut free) |

The other day, I decided to break out my ice cream maker. You have to understand that I bought it years ago on a whim because it was a good deal. Since getting it, however, I have used it probably a grand total of….thrice. I was never able to achieve the creamy goodness that comes from the store, so I gave up. And then I had no time to experiment. And then it was in our basement still in the box. So yes, it was really time to either use it or lose it. I decided to try my hand at homemade ice cream again. I tried and tried some more until I finally came up with what I’m sharing with you today: a tasty chocolate chai ice cream.

The best part is that there is no dairy in it! I do love ice cream, but the dairy stuff makes me ill.

Chocolate Chai Ice Cream (vegan + gluten free) |

The base is a coconut cream and chai-infused soy milk mix that is pretty tasty if I do say so myself! It’s also creamy and has the right texture. Beyond that, it is inexpensive to make and will save you $5/pint of the dairy-free stuff at the store. You can’t get much better than that, really.

I wasn’t actually planning to make a chai-infused ice cream. I was just brainstorming flavours and I looked over and saw some loose tea that I had picked up a while back and it hit me:

chai + chocolate = seconds, please!

Chocolate Chai Ice Cream (vegan + gluten free) |

I already have a ton of ideas for future flavours, so stay tuned as I experiment and develop ice cream-making skills. 

Chocolate Chai Ice Cream (vegan + gluten free) |

Chocolate Chai Ice Cream (vegan + gluten free)

What you need:

  • 2 cups soy milk

  • 1 can (15 ounces) coconut cream

  • 1 TBSP chai tea (loose tea or 1-2 tea bags)

  • ⅓ cup arrowroot powder

  • ¼ tsp salt

  • ½ tsp vanilla

  • ¼ cup cocoa powder

  • 2-3 TBSP maple syrup or agave (depending on how sweet you want it)


What to do:

  1. Heat 2 cups of soy milk

  2. Steep the chai tea in the milk for 10-15 minutes, depending on how strong you want the chai flavour (I used a loose-leaf decaffeinated chai from Teavana)

  3. After the tea is done steeping, add it, along with the rest of the ingredients, to a high speed blender. Mix well until there are no clumps

  4. Add mixture to a large saucepan, and heat up slowly, continually stirring, until you have a pudding-like consistency.

  5. Completely cool the mixture (about 4 hours in the refrigerator)

  6. Put into ice cream maker and churn according to instructions

  7. Add ice cream to a shallow container and freeze for a few hours. It will stay creamy for a few days in the freezer- just let it sit out for a few minutes after the first day till it softens a bit!


Have you ever made your own ice cream?

Chocolate Chai Ice Cream (vegan + gluten free) |

Creamy Chocolate Ice Pops (vegan + gluten free fudgsicle copycat)

RecipesAmanda Walter | Maple Alps12 Comments

I remember when I was young, my grandparents owned and operated a convenience store in town. In the summer, they would let us have some treats from the freezer and I would always choose a chocolate popsicle. No, this was not a Fudgsicle, but rather a chocolate flavoured popsicle. I don't know if any of you have ever had one, but I loved them.

Then, one day, I did try a Fudgsicle, and I loved it. It was creamy and soft and had so much chocolate goodness - not the watery hardness of my former love. 

Trying to come up with replicating this delicious cold treat has proved quite the task, but I took a cue from my Chocolate Cream Pie and came up with something quite tasty!

This post contains affiliate links

Creamy Chocolate Ice Pops (vegan + gluten free fudgsicle copycat) |

Because of the added arrowroot powder, it helped make it much more creamy and gooey, which, in my humble opinion, is the best part about Fudgsicles. It feels just like eating an actual one - the texture is perfect.

Creamy Chocolate Ice Pops |

I had some issues getting these babies out of the mould, so they aren't the prettiest, but they sure are tasty!

The best thing about making cold treats is how easy it is to mix things up and come up with fun combinations. I added almond flavour to these pops to add a chocolate almond flavour (my fav!), but you can do whatever you want! I notice that I don't really taste the coconut from the coconut milk when I add flavouring, so I like to skip it sometimes and have a more coconut-chocolate flavour.

Creamy Chocolate Ice Pops

Creamy Chocolate Ice Pops

What you need:

  • 1 cup coconut milk (full fat works best)

  • ¾ cup unsweetend soy milk

  • ¼ cup cane sugar (or less, depending on how sweet you want it)

  • 1 TBSP arrowroot powder

  • 1 ½ TBSP cocoa powder

  • ½ tsp almond extract (if you don't like almond flavour, skip this ingredient, or substitute with vanilla or something fun!)


What to do:

1. In a saucepan, whisk together all ingredients, constantly stirring until thick to avoid clumps. 

2. Pour into popsicle mold (I use this one from Amazon) and freeze for at least 6 hours, or overnight.

3. To remove, run mold under hot water for 10-15 seconds and pull out carefully. To store, I wrap the pops in parchment paper (separately) and keep them in a freezer bag.


**Note: I like making these in small batches when I want to make other flavours as well. For a full tray, simply double the recipe!

Staying cool and refreshed is easier now than ever with these tasty vegan fudgsicles!
Creamy Vegan Chocolate Ice Pops |