Who doesn't love a frozen treat in the heat of the summer? You can make a low-natural-sugar ice cream that contains no dairy by using coconut milk and coconut sugar. The best part is that it can be made without an ice cream maker if you don't have the luxury of having one.
This is a great recipe to let your kids (or grand-kids) help make and one you can feel great about serving your kids or guests. It's refreshing, healthy, and delicious!
• 1 Can light coconut milk
• 1 Can regular coconut milk
• 1/2 Cup coconut sugar (Also called coconut crystals. I bought mine at Whole Foods Market, but it can also be bought at Healthy Alternatives in Florence, KY)
• 1 Teaspoon vanilla extract (learn how to make your own vanilla extract)
• 1 Tablespoon coconut flakes
• Pinch of salt
• Cinnamon, to taste
1. Combine all the ingredients in a medium-size saucepan and turn your stove top on really low heat, gently working your way up to medium-low heat.
2. Stirring often, you want to heat the contents until all the coconut sugar is dissolved and mixture is slightly thickened and creamy.
3. Remove from heat and pour into a metal bowl.
4. Refrigerate until contents are thoroughly cooled (at least 1 hour).
5. Now, you have two options for continuing. If you have an ice cream maker—lucky you!—pour mixture into maker and follow manufacturer's instructions. If you don't have an ice cream maker, like me, you can still make ice cream following the continued directions below.
6. Cover with a lid or foil and place in the freezer. Now, you will have to beat it with a mixer (or stir by hand) every 30-40 minutes. I know, a little more labor and babysitting than with the ice cream maker, but it's worth it! And, hey, this is how they used to do it before ice cream makers, LOL.
7. You will have to continue to stir every 30-45 minutes about 4 times. The more it's beaten the softer it will be (and the more ice crystals you will work out). Then let it continue to freeze. Be patient because this could take up to eight hours or more. Ice cream made this way tends to be a little harder than with a machine, but as long as you set it out for a bit before serving, it will still be delicious.
8. Scoop into a bowl, top with fresh fruit or nuts and enjoy!
Modify this recipe to make an ice cream flavor of your choice (add mix-ins only after 2-3 hours of freezing):
• Mint chocolate chip: Add dark chocolate pieces and fresh mint leaves
• Vanilla bean: Scrape the beans out of a vanilla pod for a real, delicious vanilla flavor
• Strawberry: Add fresh strawberries
• Butter pecan: Add about a tablespoon of Amish butter and 1/3 cup pecans
• Chocolate: Add carob powder (for no caffeine) or cocoa powder
• Chocolate covered cherry: Add chopped, fresh cherries and dark chocolate pieces