Friday, August 24, 2012

Dark Chocolate Mint Chip Ice Cream

Last week I celebrated my anniversary of six months being vegan with some delicious homemade vegan ice cream. It was so good that we ate it all before getting a decent photo of it for a recipe post. So I just HAD to make it again, right?!

So I just made some more, and I'm convinced it came out even better this time. Before I lunged into the bowl with a spoon (I'm so weak with this stuff) I snapped a few photos (few!) so it was worth the second go-around. It is so creamy and indulgent tasting even without the dairy, and with far less sugar then most store bought ice creams! I am in ice cream heaven. Especially since my body stopped handling diary so well, and ice cream being one of my favorite treats, this was like a monumental discovery. The key to delicious, creamy vegan ice cream? Full fat coconut milk. You can find the cans for only $1.99 at Whole Foods (at least at the one by my house) and it only takes 2 cans for a batch! Below is my slightly modified version of Oh Ladycake's recipe you can find here.

Ice Cream Base
2 cans full fat coconut milk (I usually keep mine refrigerated, but not necessary for this recipe)
3/4 cup sugar (organic if you can, to ensure it is vegan)
1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum (to keep the water from crystalizing, helps keep creamy)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or 1/4 teaspoon vanilla powder)

1/2 cup - 3/4 cup of whatever you'd like! I chose to chop up a mint dark chocolate bar this time (highly recommend). Last week I used dark chocolate covered pretzels. So far I favor the mint dark chocolate the most. But vegan chocolate chips, cacao nibs, toasted coconut, toffee bits, marshmallows, and others would be great too!

In a saucepan on your stove heated to medium high heat, add the 2 cans of coconut milk, sugar, and xanthan gum. Whisk until it thickens and comes to a boil, and keep whisking for an additional minute or two. Then transfer to a glass bowl, stir in the vanilla, and cover and place in the refrigerator to cool for a few hours. Once cooled, add the ice cream batter to your machine and process as directed. After about 10 minutes, when it begins to thicken, toss in your add-ins. Mine usually is finished after about 30 minutes (or less). Once done, transfer to an air tight container and keep in freezer until ready to eat! Or dig in right away to a softer, creamier ice cream right out of the machine if you can't wait :) don't be ashamed, I am guilty of it too!

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