Monday, August 20, 2012

Dairy Free Mint Chip Ice Cream

This summer has been disgustingly hot and humid. I finally tossed my ice cream maker bowl into the freezer intent on cooling off with some delicious home-made ice cream. In my pre-Paleo days, my all-time favorite ice cream used to be Haagen Dazs Mint Chip. I remember it was the first mint chip ice cream I had seen that wasn't artificially colored green like most other mint ice creams. I also remember that after I took the first bite I was ringed in a warm circle of light while a choir of angels started singing. Yes, it's THAT good. And this dairy-free version is pretty much the mirror image of the real thing so you are certainly in for a treat.

The only thing about making home made ice cream from coconut milk is that the consistency is a bit off. Fresh out of the ice cream maker will be VERY soft, although yes, ready to eat. I freeze mine for half a day at least before enjoying, so it will harden up and not turn to liquid the minute it hits your bowl. When eating the leftovers out of the freezer, I leave the container sitting out for 10 minutes or so before I start hacking into it so it can soften up a little.

This recipe is for a 2qt capacity ice cream maker. If you have a smaller machine, cut the recipe in half.

  • 2 (14oz) cans coconut milk (regular, not reduced fat)
  • 1/2 cup raw honey
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp pure mint extract
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chunks* (% cacao of your choosing)
  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the coconut milk, honey, vanilla, mint, and salt until combined. (If you have very solid honey, melt it a bit first in the microwave.)
  2. Dump the mixture into your ice cream machine and process according to your machine's directions. (I have the 2 qt Cuisinart ice cream maker and I process 30-35 minutes total.)
  3. Dump in the chocolate chunks while the machine is moving for the last 5-10 minutes of processing. (I dump mine in at the 25 minute mark.)
  4. Turn off your machine when the ice cream reaches your desired consistency. (The best you will get is like an icy soft-serve.)
  5. You can eat the ice cream right away - but I do mean RIGHT AWAY as it will immediately begin to melt the minute you scoop it into a bowl. Or - you can put it in an airtight freezer-safe container and let it harden up a bit. When storing in the freezer, place some plastic wrap flush against the top of your ice cream to prevent ice from forming before sealing the container. I let mine freeze at least half a day before enjoying.
*Note: You have several options when it comes to the chocolate chunks. I have bought good-quality 72% cacao dark chocolate and chopped it up into bits with a knife as you can see below. They also sell bittersweet chocolate chips (60% cacao) which can be chopped up into smaller bits. And if you want to be strict Paleo with this recipe, you can even purchase cocoa nibs (100% cacao bits). And if you're gross, you can use unsweetened baker's chocolate. But, ewwww.

About 5 squares of this chopped is 1/2 cup
I like having bits of varying sizes - some larger bits, some
very small, and I even scoop up all the little shavings left
on the cutting board.
Whisk together everything but the chocolate.
Dump the mixture into your ice cream maker.
Add the chocolate about 25 minutes into processing.
Look at them chips get in there.
Spatula Mickey says he also hears the angels singing.
(I recommend using a rubber spatula to scrape out
your bowl so you don't scratch it.)
Store in an airtight, freezer-safe container.
Place plastic wrap flush against the surface of the ice cream
to prevent ice from forming.
Enjoy on a nice hot day!