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Even though this post is kinda long, making this ice cream is actually very fast.  I just like explaining things very well.  People often try to follow recipes and fail miserably – because a recipe only gets you so far if you don’t understand alot of the basic concepts of what you are trying to accomplish in the kitchen 🙂

Anyhoo…

Since I quit eating dairy I have missed ice cream and yogurt like it was my job.  I’ve felt so much better since giving it up but I knew I had to find a way to have dairy free ice cream and yogurt that wasn’t packed with sugar.  I first experimented with yogurt.  They make soy yogurt and almond milk yogurt and all that, but even the plain still has sugar added.  So…I borrowed my mom’s old school yogurt incubator and purchased live cultures and made my own almond milk yogurt.  It was actually really good!!!   I sweetened it with stevia and added nuts and homemade granola!  BUT… it was a TON of work… I haven’t made it again since that first batch.  You have to sterilize all your utensils and everything has to reach a certain temperature…blah.  I’ll just wait for them to make an unsweetened diary free yogurt.

I decided to focus instead on trying to come up with a way to make yummy decadent dairy free ice cream that was EASY.  I bought a Cuisinart Automatic Ice Cream Maker and I LOVE IT!  It’s small, it’s easy to use, and easy to clean.  I started experimenting by just taking almond or soy milk, sweetener and whatever else and dumping it in there…fail.  It was icy or watery.  I started googling recipes and most people say you have to heat, on the stove, your non dairy milk and a thickener (like arrowroot starch or corn starch) BEFORE you can put it in the ice cream freezer.  I thought that was dumb so I tried using the thickener without heat and I got a nasty gummy mess.  So I decided I would bite the bullet and cook the damn shit first.  It is actually really really easy.  It takes less than 10 minutes to do.  When I got home from work I did the cooking part and then put the mix in the fridge to chill.  Then after dinner I put it in the ice cream maker and in less than 20 minutes we’ve got ice cream!

I’ve made up two recipes since I learned this “cooking” method was the way to go and both have been great!!!  Here are the basics…

I use a combination of soy milk and coconut cream. Coconut cream is different from coconut milk.  It is much thicker and creamier…think whipping cream versus 2 percent milk.  The coconut cream gives the ice cream more fat and makes it creamier.  BUT it’s a really really good fat!  You can use any combo of soy milk, almond milk, canned coconut milk or coconut cream.  The coconut cream is hard to find.  Whole Foods is going to get it but for now I just order it on amazon HERE (there are only a few that come unsweetened-this one is best).  It’s only 2 bucks a box and SO worth it.  Just remember that the more fat you have the creamier it will be.  Using 2 cups of full fat coconut milk and 2 cups of soy milk would be a good combo too if you can’t get the cream.  I was worried that the ice cream would all have a coconut flavor but it didn’t at all.  Eric couldn’t tell.  Remember…if you are sugar free get the UNSWEETENED almond or soy milk.  The regular ones have sugar added.

The ingredients for BASIC VANILLA  are as follows….

3 cups unsweetened soy milk (or other non dairy milk)

1 cup unsweetened coconut cream

2 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup stevia (or splenda or other cup-for-cup alternative sweetener)

2 T arrowroot starch

 

Here’s what you do…

Mix 1/4 cup of any of the milk with the 2 tablespoons of arrowroot and set aside.

Mix all of your coconut cream, milks, and stevia together in a saucepan. When the mixture has just started to boil, take off the heat and stir in the arrowroot slurry. This should immediately cause the liquid to thicken (not a lot, but a noticeable amount; it will be thicker when it cools).  I use a whisk for this.

You have to watch the milk VERY carefully while waiting for it to boil.  Once non dairy milk starts to boil it will become foamy and boil right out of the pot if you don’t remove it immediately.

Stir in vanilla extract

Set the ice cream mixture in the fridge to cool. Freeze according to your ice cream maker’s instructions.

Now…for the bomb recipe I made the other night…

PEANUT BUTTER CUP ICE CREAM

In addition to the basic vanilla ingredients, you will also need:

1/2 cup (plus a little) chunky peanut butter

sugar free chocolate chips

(THIS is the BEST organic, sugar free, non-gmo peanut butter I have EVER had.  They carry it at V. Richard’s in Bham…I’m working on getting it at whole foods too! Smucker’s makes a good natural/organic peanut butter too that is sugar free.  If you are using a natural peanut butter make sure you stir it to incorporate all of the oils and refrigerate a bit to thicken up.)

Once you remove the milks from the stove and stir in the thickener and the vanilla, stir in the peanut butter.  I saved a little extra to make “peanut butter ribbons” in the ice cream once is starts to firm up.

Don’t add chocolate chips yet.

After incorporating all the vanilla and peanut butter, put the mix in the fridge to chill.

When you are ready to make the ice cream, just turn it on and pour the mix in.  Once the ice cream gets very set and looks almost done, add the chocolate chips.  If you add them too soon, while the mix is still liquid, they will all fall to the bottom.  I also drop in a couple of spoonfuls of left over peanut butter to make ribbons in the ice cream.  You can also drop in chopped up Reece’s peanut butter cups if you wish.

Just play with this basic method.  You can add canned pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice, and nuts during the fall.  Or you can add fruit or fruit spreads.  Whatever tickles your fancy 🙂

Sorry there is no picture.  I was so anxious to eat this I forgot :/

Enjoy!

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