I don’t know about the southern states but here in Queensland summer has hit with a vengeance. We’re having 30°C (86°F) days most days even though it’s only mid Spring. So hot weather calls for nothing better than a nice ice-cream and it’s even more perfect when the dessert in question doesn’t derail your health and weight loss ambitions. I like it!
Now after investigating a few recipes the main issue for most people is two fold – one is avoiding dairy and the other is the ‘icy bits and rock hard, can’t scoop it out’ factor.
As to dairy, well I’m not particularly fussed with that. I have read all the stuff on it like ‘it is acidic for your system,’ ‘causes mucous and sinus issues’, ‘we shouldn’t be eating the milk of another species’ and other things of that nature which are probably all true. And for those with the very real issues of lactose intolerance and diseases where highly acidic bodies are an issue, I totally get it. However at this point in my life the minimal dairy I eat seems to agree with me except for too much cream. A little bit is nice, in a sauce or on top of fruit but I tried to make ice-cream out of it and it had a really off putting tacky, buttery kind of mouth feel and made me feel kind of queasy. And that was just after a tiny scoop.
So as you know, the food I choose to eat has to make me feel amazing and the cream prepared in this way certainly didn’t. So just as well nature offers something similar in the form of coconut cream. It provides all the creaminess without the queasiness – well for me it does anyway. It’s also important that you love the taste of coconut or else you will be in trouble with this recipe.
So the other factor in ice-cream making was the going icy factor and setting hard like a rock which from reading some other blogs seemed to happen to people with an ice-cream maker as well. So it seems that you can avoid the ice by making sure you put it in the freezer covered. So that part is easy enough.
Now as to rock hard, a little leeway must be given here, as even commercial ice-cream needs to be out of the freezer for a few minutes before you can scoop it easily. Other recipes were going off on tangents adding cornstarch and heating the mixture and describing 15 other steps you had to take as well as put it in an ice-cream maker and all this fluff and fuss.
Even after all that there were comments that people tried it and it still turned out hard as a rock and icy. Hardly worth the effort. And you know me, up to step 3 and my eyes glaze over – too hard basket. Phfffft forget it.
So this recipe is in my traditional minimalist style. Mix – freeze – serve. And if it’s not that easy, it’s not coming any where near my kitchen!
One other story I wanted to tell before I give you the goods is that the trick to creamy ice-cream is the fat content, so coconut cream certainly assists there and for good measure I added more coconut oil. People try to make it more ‘healthy’ and use milk instead of the cream and oil but that’s what makes it like solid ice rather than creamy. (Nothing wrong with good fats, in fact in the latest weight loss theories it’s actually preferred.) Somewhere else I read too that you shouldn’t add coconut oil and I thought to myself, “you just watch me!” It turns out beautifully and the only thing I haven’t tried is to add more coconut oil and see what happens. Perhaps in the next batch?
So let’s press on, because everyone needs a good basic vanilla ice-cream recipe that goes with all kinds of desserts. I have a feeling too that this summer will be my icy treats experimentation year, so watch out for more delicious offerings.
Vanilla Coconut Bliss Ice-cream
1 cup coconut cream
3 TBS organic maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 heaped TBS coconut oil
Whizz in a food processor or blender for about 3 mins.
Freeze in a covered container. A low shallow one like a long lunchbox is ideal as it freezes quicker and is easier to scoop.
Leave out of freezer for about 5 mins before scooping and enjoy the creamy taste without any nasty after effects.
(One other note too is that if you can, use vanilla essence as the alcohol in this helps the ice-cream not freeze too solid as well.)
Happy ice-cream making and let me know what other flavours you would like me to explore.