Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Vegan Ice Cream Recipe

My 7 year old son follows a gluten free, casein (dairy protein) free diet.  This helps him manage his symptoms within the autistic spectrum.  We are always on the look out for healthy and yummy alternatives for favorite foods like ice cream. 

A few years ago, I played around with recipes for making homemade ice cream.  We use a Cuisinart ice cream maker (I don't think the model is even being sold now) and probably make about 5 batches a week. We have been doing this for about 4 years, and the machine is holding up well. 

The milk base I use for the ice cream is a mixture of hemp milk and coconut milk.

Hemp milk is an alternative to cow's milk made from hemp seeds. 
One 8-Ounce glass generally contains the following nutrients:
900 mg Omega-3 Fatty Acids, 2800 mg Omega-6 Fatty Acids, All 10 Essential Amino Acids, 4 Grams of Digestible Protein, over 40% of RDA of Calcium, Vitamin D, and many other nutrients.

Coconut milk is produced when water and coconut "meat" are mixed together and then pressed so the milk is harvested.  

Some sources I read said the water used is coconut water and others just said "water." Coconut milk contains medium chain fatty acids, the fatty acid type most easily recognized and used by your body.  Because coconut milk is not a cow's milk product, it is free of lactose and the large milk proteins that can be associated with intolerances and allergies.  It is also vegan.  It is versatile and can be used in smoothies, rice dishes, soups,and curries.  Coconut milk is found in cans, sometimes in the international food section of your grocery store.  

Basic recipe:

In a blender, I put one can of coconut milk (you can use either full fat or lite depending on how creamy you like it and how much you want to cut calories) and then top it off with hemp milk until I reach about 4 cups on the total blender content line.  Add 1/4 to 1/3 cup of Agave nectar and blend.  

You can make flavors by adding elements to this basic recipe (our ice cream maker holds about 5 cups, so I watch the blender content line when I am adding ingredients. 

1. Add cocoa powder for chocolate
2. Add frozen organic fruit for a fruity ice cream
3. Add pumpkin puree to make a nice autumn ice cream
4. Add organic peanut butter and chocolate chips

We store our ice cream in a glass container in the freezer.  The ice cream will need to be warmed to scoop out, so it either needs to be taken out ahead of time or put in microwave for a minute or two to soften up.