Written by Tina Gravalos
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“I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream”.
Sorry, I had to. I love that saying! I totally scream for ice cream. Well, more like my body screams at me when I have it because dairy doesn’t love me.
Dairy is often a trigger for many people. As we age, our body loses the ability to produce adequate amounts of lactase, which is the enzyme that breaks down lactose. Dairy often contributes to inflammation and shows up with symptoms like gas, bloating, acne, etc.
Unfortunately, dairy isn’t the only culprit in ice cream products.
I won’t name any names, but I was reading ingredient labels on some popular ice cream brands and found things like:
· Wheat flour
· Sugar – invert sugar, dextrose, maltodextrin (these were different forms of sugar in one product)
· Vegetable oils
· Frozen egg yolks (eggs are great but why are they in the ice cream?)
· Corn flour
This is pretty alarming for an ice cream product.
So, what’s a person to do? Make their own!
It’s actually SO easy, I promise. You don’t need a fancy ice cream maker either. There are so many variations you can make. Here are some ingredients that will help you create your own masterpiece.
Coconut milk is one of my favourite bases to use. It not only tastes great, but makes the ice cream extra creamy.
Tip: Put a can of coconut milk in the fridge overnight and then when you’re ready to make your ice cream, scoop out the top creamy/solid layer and use that (save the liquid for a smoothie).
I use either frozen bananas or coconut milk as my base. What I love about using frozen bananas is the same as the coconut milk. Makes the ice cream super creamy!
I know bananas are a fruit but because I use it as a base, combining it with other frozen fruit is like next level delicious. I’m talking blueberries, mangos, strawberries and everything in between. Banana and strawberry together is like what childhood is made of.
Tip: After you make your ice cream and pour it into a tray, add some fruit pieces so you get a little surprise in each spoonful.
Dates, maple syrup, honey
What’s great about making your own ice cream with frozen fruits is that you often don’t need to add any sweeteners because of the sweetness from the fruits. However, dates, maple syrup and honey are great ways to make your ice cream a little sweeter without the added refined sugars.
Adding a nut butter to your ice cream will definitely make things extra creamy! I especially love adding it to chocolate ice cream.
I saved the best for last. Chocolate ice cream. Do I need to say more? I love cacao powder because of its richness and it has no added ingredients.
Pick your base
Pick your fruit (or nut butter + cacao combo)
Pick your sweetener (if using)
With that being said, here is a delicious ice cream you’ll want to make as soon as you read it.
Chocolate Banana Peanut Butter Cashew Ice Cream with Chocolate Chunks
4 frozen ripe bananas
4 tbsp. cacao powder
1 cup almond milk
½ cup organic all natural peanut butter
1 cup cashews
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
Chocolate chunks (you can use dark chocolate or a Mid-Day Squares Fudge YAH bar, which I used)
Pinch of sea salt
1. Add all ingredients, except for the chocolate chunks, to your blender and blend until smooth, occasionally scraping down the sides.
2. Pour into dish and spread out evenly.
3. Cut up chocolate chunks and “hide” them throughout the ice cream. Add more on top.
4. You can serve it right away if you want soft serve or freeze it for 4-5 hours for firmer ice cream. You will have to let it thaw a bit before scooping.