Hi Guys. I’m fat now.
I finally invested in an ice cream maker. Not that it’s really that expensive. $60 to $90 for the average models. But Nick and I have been really trying to be smart with our money. So anything outside of the fairly regular groceries and occasional night eating out, was just not an option.
I’ve literally been mulling this purchase over for more than a year. Between wanting to make sure my health was well in hand before experimenting with dessert recipes, and not being able to justify the extra expenditure, it just didn’t make the cut for well over a year.
But this year, I’ve been doing a really good job staying on budget and slowly putting away a few bucks a week until I had enough to get one. Plus, July is national ice cream month! Just made it in under the wire. I just couldn’t let another July pass without ice cream in my life, and you don’t have to either.
You may have seen my recent sugar-free green butterscotch ice cream recipe. That one’s nice because you don’t even need a machine.
Though avocado is mild tasting, I liked it with butterscotch flavor maybe just because I eat a fair amount of avocados and vanilla favored stuff, and I wanted a new taste.
For this I wanted to make an ice cream that as closely resembled pure, classic vanilla ice cream in both flavor and texture as possible. I also wanted something creamy enough, but thick enough to spread on cookies and have as ice cream sandwiches.
With only a couple weeks left in July, I started experimenting using full fat coconut milk, various thickeners, some with egg yolks, and some with cashews. Sure enough I started to feel just a bit heavier. There was a bit more squish when I put my hands on my hips. Haha!
The most successful was a version with no eggs or thickeners, but with soaked cashews.
The real tricky thing is trying to make ice cream without sugar, because, like it or not, sugar is generally what gives ice cream its creaminess. I tried to make up for the lack of sugar by adding things like xanthum gum, that made it like a weird, loose gelatin. Then I tried arrowroot starch. That made it chalky tasting.
I tried one with tempered egg yolks. That one tasted better than the others, but wasn’t thick enough right out of the ice cream maker, and developed those annoying ice crystals in the freezer.
The winner was a combination of coconut milk and cashews soaked over night. I actually soaked mine for 24 hours. Even with just a few packets of Truvia, it firmed up just enough into this nice soft-serve consistency in the ice cream maker.
Totally scoop-able, pure vanilla flavor and no weird unnatural texture.
I followed this Shortbread Gluten-Free Cereal recipe from the Spunky Coconut for my cookies. I had made the cereal before and liked the texture and taste a lot and decided that it would work great as a pie crust or cookie recipe. I was dead on right.
It rolls out easily and makes for great cut out cookies. I also like that it has a bit of collagen, which is great for you skin and joints, and psyllium husk, which has a lot of fiber. I pulverize the psyllium in my magic bullet so it was a fine powder for the cookies.
I know those ingredients are a little obscure. So here’s a simpler recipe I also love. Grain-Free Shortbread Cookies from Real Food Kosher. The recipe calls for a lot of butter, but I usually do half butter, half coconut oil. They’re really easy.
It made perfect, gently sweet ice cream cookie sandwiches which are great straight out of the freezer or when you let them sit and get melty for a few minutes.
I cut them in half once they were frozen to enjoy in smaller bits over a longer time. They turned out pretty big and like I said, I was starting to feel fat and needed to pace myself. Not to mention it’s always a good idea to watch intake of acidic foods like nuts.
If you don’t want to bother with the cookies of you just want some ice cream, you can enjoy it right out of the ice cream maker as soft serve, or put it in the freezer for later. Get it out of the freezer 20 minutes before you want to eat it so it can thaw.
It will solidify somewhat, and you’ll need to sort of re-churn it just by smashing it with a spoon and stirring it up. Then you can scoop in up into a big, gorgeous scoop. It doesn’t get unsalvageable icy like other versions did without cashews.
I love this because it’s super simple, doesn’t require outlandish ingredients or involved prep work. It’s clean and easy.
- 1 Can full fat coconut milk
- 1.5 Cups cashews soaked 6 to 24 hours
- 4 Packets Truvia
- 1 tsp ground vanilla bean or alcohol-free vanilla extract
- Pre-soak the cashews
- Follow the directions for either cookie recipe in the blog post
- Allow cookies to cool
- Combine all ice cream ingredients in blender and blend until smooth
- Pour into ice cream maker and follow manufacturer instructions (mine churned for about 30 minutes)
- Spread on prepared cookies
- Enjoy right away and put the rest in the freezer