FeaturesAug/Sep 2013 Issue

The Joy of Dairy-Free Ice Cream

Pure indulgence made with wholesome, good-for-you ingredients

© MasterFile

© MasterFile

Can homemade ice cream be allergy-friendly and good for you, too? Prepare to be amazed. Making ice cream at home with nutrient-dense ingredients and no dairy, nuts, eggs, soy or refined sugar is surprisingly fast, easy—and delicious.

My family’s challenges with celiac disease, gluten sensitivity, attention deficit disorder and autism led me to switch our diet from standard American fare to pure, whole, unprocessed foods. With a nod to both the raw food movement and the Paleo diet, I completely overhauled the way my family eats, going gluten-free, dairy-free and (refined) sugar-free. The improvement in our health was well worth it.

One thing my family didn’t want to give up was ice cream but I wasn’t about to let my kids ingest all those questionable, hard-to-pronounce additives often found in store-bought non-dairy ice cream. So I created these gluten-free, allergy-friendly recipes, using only simple, pure ingredients.

Coconut Milk Coconut milk contains a medium-chain fat that is easily broken down by our bodies and converted to energy, rather than stored as fat. Full-fat canned coconut milk delivers creamy richness to ice cream.

Hemp Milk Protein-rich hemp milk is an allergy-friendly substitute for almond milk and dairy milk. It contains more omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids than any other milk substitute. Since these recipes aren’t cooked, none of these healthy EFAs are lost due to heat. Hemp milk softens the coconut flavor in this ice cream.

Dates and Honey Dates are a nutrient-dense, all-natural sweetener that thickens ice cream. For these recipes, soft Medjool dates are best. Local honey, an excellent sweetener that contains trace vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, is purported to help with seasonal allergies.

Cacao Powder Raw cacao powder offers abundant magnesium, an important mineral for those with celiac disease and others with malabsorption issues. Unsweetened cocoa powder, which contains helpful flavonoids and additional nutrients, also works in these recipes.

Guar Gum Guar gum is made from guar or “cluster beans,” which is why I prefer it over xanthan gum (often made from bacteria grown on corn). An optional ingredient, guar gum helps keep ice cream from becoming icy. Use it if you don’t intend to eat your ice cream immediately.

Vanilla Extract For best flavor, choose pure vanilla extract, not imitation vanilla.

Grab a spoon and dig in!

© Zadorozhnyi Viktor/Shutterstock

© Zadorozhnyi Viktor/Shutterstock

Dairy-Free Chocolate Ice Cream

MAKES 1 QUART

When chocolate cravings strike, this ice cream satisfies. Use this recipe as the basis for Rocky Road Ice Cream.

1 (13-ounce) can full-fat coconut milk
½ heaping cup soft pitted Medjool dates (about 10 dates)
1¼ cups unsweetened vanilla hemp milk
1/3 cup raw cacao powder
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
½ teaspoon guar gum, optional

1. Place coconut milk and dates in a food processor or blender and process until smooth.

2. Add remaining ingredients and process until well blended.

3. Refrigerate mixture until cold or place it in the freezer for about 1 hour.

4. Pour cold mixture into your ice cream machine and process per manufacturer’s instructions.

5. Serve ice cream straight from the machine. For pretty scoops, freeze ice cream until it’s hard. Then allow it to thaw on the counter for about 20 minutes before serving.

About 6 servings per quart. Each serving contains 270 calories, 13g total fat, 10g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 49mg sodium, 36g carbohydrate, 4g fiber, 28g sugars, 3g protein, 18 Est GL.

Rocky Road Ice Cream

MAKES 1 QUART

Chocolate ice cream, crunchy nuts (or seeds) and gooey marshmallow cream make this a decadent-tasting treat.

1 recipe Chocolate Ice Cream ½ cup dairy-free mini-chocolate chips
1 cup toasted pumpkin seeds or toasted walnuts
1 cup Suzanne’s Ricemellow Creme or Honey Marshmallow Fluff (recipe below)

1. Pour cold Chocolate Ice Cream mixture into your ice cream machine and process per manufacturer’s instructions.

2. When the ice cream reaches soft-serve consistency and with the machine still running, add chocolate chips and toasted walnuts (or seeds) to incorporate.

3. Transfer ice cream to a shallow freezer dish and fold in Ricemellow Creme or Honey Marshmallow Fluff.

4. Serve ice cream straight from the dish. For pretty scoops, freeze ice cream until it’s hard. Then allow it to thaw on the counter for about 20 minutes before serving.

Honey Marshmallow Fluff

Store fluff in a sealed glass container at room temperature until used.

1 cup water, divided
1 tablespoon unflavored gelatin
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon sea salt
1 cup honey

1. Place ½ cup water, gelatin, vanilla and salt in a deep, medium-large mixing bowl. (When beaten, mixture will almost double in size.) Set aside.

2. In a small saucepan, heat ½ cup water and honey to a simmer until ingredients reach 240°F on a candy thermometer.

3. Carefully pour hot honey mixture into other ingredients and beat well until mixture is white and fluffy, about 8 minutes.

About 6 servings per quart of ice cream. Each serving contains 482 calories, 20g total fat, 14g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 101mg sodium, 74g carbohydrate, 5g fiber, 51g sugars, 7g protein, 41 Est GL.

TIP Read labels carefully. Most commercial brands of marshmallow fluff contain eggs and corn syrup.


Photo by Kelly Brozyna

Photo by Kelly Brozyna

Strawberry Ice Cream

MAKES 1 QUART

This ice cream is a favorite, full of fresh, summery flavor.

2 cups (10 ounces) unsweetened frozen strawberries
1 (13-ounce) can full-fat coconut milk
1¼ cups unsweetened vanilla hemp milk
½ cup honey
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon juice
½ teaspoon guar gum, optional

1. Puree strawberries and coconut milk in a blender or food processor and process until smooth.

2. Add remaining ingredients and process again.

3. Refrigerate mixture until cold or place it in the freezer for 1 hour.

4. Pour cold mixture into an ice cream machine and process according to manufacturer’s instructions.

5. Serve ice cream straight from the machine. For pretty scoops, freeze ice cream until it’s hard. Then allow it to thaw on the counter for about 20 minutes before serving.

About 6 servings per quart of ice cream. Each serving contains 248 calories,13g total fat, 10g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 47mg sodium, 33g carbohydrate,2 g fiber, 28g sugars, 2g protein,17 Est GL.

Photo by Kelly Brozyna

Photo by Kelly Brozyna

Cherry Ice Cream

MAKES 1 QUART

Reminiscent of cherry cordials, this ice cream (shown on our cover) contains pure extracts that make the flavor really pop.

2 cups pitted Bing cherries, divided
1 (13-ounce) can full-fat coconut milk
1¼ cups unsweetened vanilla hemp milk
½ cup honey
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon almond extract or amaretto extract
½ teaspoon guar gum, optional

1. Finely chop 1 cup pitted cherries and set aside.

2. Place remaining 1 cup pitted cherries and all other ingredients in a blender or food processor and process until smooth.

3. Refrigerate mixture until it’s cold or place it in the freezer for 1 hour.

4. Pour cold mixture into an ice cream machine and process according to manufacturer’s instructions.

5. When ice cream is soft-serve consistency, add remaining chopped cherries and process.

6. Serve ice cream straight from the machine. For pretty scoops, freeze ice cream until it’s hard. Then allow it to thaw on the counter for about 20 minutes before serving.

About 6 servings per quart of ice cream. Each serving contains 253 calories, 13g total fat, 10g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 46mg sodium, 34g carbohydrate, 1g fiber, 31g sugars, 2g protein, 18 Est GL.

Photo by Kelly Brozyna

Photo by Kelly Brozyna

Watermelon Fruit Pops

MAKES 6 POPS

These fruit pops are appealing any time of year but particularly when it’s hot outside. They are naturally sweetened and colored with pureed watermelon—nothing else. Try BPA-free Tovolo Groovy Ice Pop Molds, available online at amazon.com.

2 cups seedless watermelon, cut into chunks
1 banana
2 kiwi
½ cup fresh or frozen (defrosted) blueberries

1. Place watermelon chunks into a blender or food processor and puree. Set aside.

2. Peel and slice the banana and kiwi. Place 2 slices of each fruit into each pop mold. Then drop equal amounts of blueberries into each mold.

3. Use a popsicle stick to press the blueberries between the kiwi and banana slices, forcing them against the walls of the mold.

4. Fill the molds with watermelon puree.

5. Add sticks and freeze.

6. To remove the pops from the molds, briefly place them in a bowl of hot water to loosen them.

Each pop contains 48 calories, 0g total fat, 0g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 1mg sodium, 12g carbohydrate, 1g fiber, 8g sugars, 1g protein, 4 Est GL.

TIP One of the best ways to teach children to value wholesome ingredients is to get them involved in food preparation. Kids love to make these pops. Set out the pureed watermelon and other items, provide directions and watch them have fun.


Photo by Kelly Brozyna

Photo by Kelly Brozyna

Coffee Ice Cream

MAKES 1 QUART

Coffee is my in-laws’ favorite ice cream flavor. When they raved about this dairy-free, refined sugar-free version, I knew this recipe was a winner.

¼ cup coffee beans
1 cup hot water
½ cup soft pitted Medjool dates (about 8 dates)
1 (13-ounce) can full-fat canned coconut milk
1¼ cups unsweetened vanilla hemp milk
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
½ teaspoon guar gum, optional

1. Grind coffee beans in a coffee grinder and then place them in a French press. Pour in 1 cup hot water, just off the boil. Steep the coffee for about 10 minutes. (Alternatively, use 1 cup very strong fresh-brewed coffee.)

2. Add coffee to a blender, along with the dates and coconut milk. Puree until smooth.

3. Add hemp milk, vanilla and guar gum, if desired. Puree again.

4. Refrigerate mixture until cold or place it in the freeze for about 1 hour.

5. Pour cold mixture into the ice cream machine and process, per manufacturer’s instructions.

6. Serve ice cream straight from the machine. For pretty scoops, freeze ice cream until it’s hard. Then allow it to thaw on the counter for about 20 minutes before serving.

About 6 servings per quart. Each serving contains 225 calories, 13g total fat, 10g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 46mg sodium, 27g carbohydrate, 2g fiber, 22g sugars, 2g protein, 14 Est GL.
Kelly Brozyna (thespunkycoconut.com) is author of four gluten-free cookbooks, including The Spunky Coconut Dairy Free Ice Cream (Apidea Press).

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