Recipe ~ Easy & Clean Coconut Milk Chocolate Ice Cream
Did you know that healthy ice cream is a thing? Summer is here, the heat is on and sometimes we want to scream for ice cream! Well, I’m here to tell you that a cool and refreshing treat is possible while sticking to a clean and healthy lifestyle. Yes, this ice cream is creamy and sweet and yes, it’s even chocolate! Plus, it’s dairy-free, gluten-free, refined sugar-free, and dare I say even healthy? Yes I do dare!
To make ice cream DF/GF, we go to the alternative milks. There are several varieties of dairy-free ice cream at the store now and some ice cream shops even carry them using coconut milk, almond milk and soy milk. I love the coconut milk ice cream best because it is so rich and creamy.
But guess what? You don’t have to buy those expensive little pints at the store! Did you know that you can make it easily yourself with just four ingredients that are good for you and it tastes delicious?
The recipe below is for rich and creamy chocolate with coconut milk. In case you didn’t know, chocolate is actually good for you. It’s the sugar in chocolate bars that is unhealthy. My recipe below calls for raw cacao powder. Raw cacao is a superfood that can improve your memory, make you feel happier, reduce heart disease, shed fat, boost immunity, and create loads of energy.
The Difference Between Cacao and Cocoa
You may not know the difference between raw cacao and regular processed cocoa powder. Raw cacao powder is made by cold-pressing unroasted cocoa beans. The process keeps the living enzymes in the cocoa and removes the fat (cacao butter). Cocoa looks the same but it’s not. Cocoa powder is raw cacao that’s been roasted at high temperatures.
The important difference is that raw cacao contains nearly four times the antioxidant content of regular processed dark chocolate!
Look for raw cacao powder at health food stores, supplement stores, community co-ops, Whole Foods, or online. It’s worth the difference!
Coconut Milk is Your Friend
Coconut milk is also good for you, providing healthy fats called medium-chain triglycerides as well as many vitamins and minerals. And about half of the fat in coconuts comes from a medium-chain fatty acid called lauric acid. We like lauric acid because it reduces the levels of viruses and bacteria that cause infections.
However, coconut milk is high in calories, so it’s important to keep serving sizes small and not go overboard.
What About the Sugar?
The recipe below has dates instead of refined sugar. Sugar is very inflammatory, cancer loves it and too much of it is definitely a bad thing. Read more on why to avoid sugar in my previous blog post. The naturally occurring sugar in dates is buffered by fiber so it’s not as hard on your system as refined sugar plus dates also have vitamins and minerals. If you’re going to add sweetener, I always advise to use one with fiber, vitamins and minerals.
With only four ingredients, this ice cream is a cinch to whip up. It does need to set so you’ll either need to plan ahead and leave it in the freezer for 4-6 hours or if you have an ice cream maker, it can be ready in 20 minutes!
Play around with other flavors and other nut milks. The coconut milk definitely adds a coconut flavor which pairs well with certain other flavors. Piña colada ice cream, anyone? Or add some orange extract (hmm…Grand Marnier?) to the recipe below for a mandarin chocolate. Replace the cacao powder with a cup or two of fresh strawberries or peaches and create other delicious, creamy and healthy concoctions this summer. Or leave out the nut milk and make your own sorbets. The possibilities are endless. Eating healthfully does not have to be difficult and definitely not boring.
Easy & Clean Chocolate Ice Cream
You will need a high powered blender and an ice cream maker is optional.
1-14oz. can of full fat coconut milk
1/3 cup raw cacao powder (or cocoa powder)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 Medjool dates, pitted
Put all ingredients in a high powered blender and blend first on low (to avoid cacao dust storm) and then on high until dates are well integrated.
Put mixture into a freezer safe container for 4-6 hours until set. If left longer, it may be too hard to scoop. If this happens, just leave it out on the counter for 15-20 minutes to soften back up. Or use an ice cream maker and it will be ready in about 20 minutes! Enjoy!