Did you know that you actually have an entirely different stomach for ice cream? …. Okay, okay, this isn’t technically true, but when is there NOT room for ice cream?? And when is there a bad time to have it? Summer, Fall, Winter…. I think all seasons are worthy of this delicious treat.
Admittedly, my indulgence of ice cream has slowed down significantly since going dairy and gluten free… and watching my sugar intake. It is hard to find an ice cream that you genuinely feel good about eating.
And making your own ice cream at home comes at a high price – you either need a KithenAid mixer or an ice cream maker. And even then, the recipes you find are either packed with sugar or turn out icy in texture (not the creamy, soft ice cream you can buy from the store)..
Until now. With some experimenting and a lot of research, I have (proudly) created a recipe that I know you will fall in love with!
Creamy, smooth, cold, decadent…. and actually not that bad for you!
Let me introduce (drum roll…..) my Double Chocolate Chunky Monkey Ice Cream. No refined sugar, no dairy, and no unnatural additives. Made without a mixer or an ice cream maker (only strong arms and a lot of patience!)
My secret? Agar Agar. This is a plant-based substitute for gelatin that has no calories, no taste, no fragrance, no color, no sugar, no carbs. It has tons of fiber and helps with your digestive system, and absorbs glucose in the stomach, while also inhibiting the body from retaining excess fat. Basically it’s a miracle ingredient for healthy and vegan eaters. You can learn more about the product from our friend at Not Enough Cinnamon.
More on the process of making this delicious ice cream to follow, but for now let’s move on to the recipe!
2 cans coconut milk (Thai Kitchen works the best for this process)
1/2 cup pure honey
1/4 cup water
1 tsp Agar Agar powder
1 cup dairy free, soy free chocolate chips
2 bananas, mashed
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
Chopped walnuts (to top)
The very first thing you need to do before embarking on this recipe adventure, is let you coconut milk (still in the can) sit in the fridge for 24 hours. Don’t shake or move, but let it rest in the coldest part of your fridge. This allows the coconut to separate from the water in the coconut milk. **You will need to use the full-fat coconut milk for this to work. Any lite substitutes will not separate.
Once you have waited 24 hours, start by preparing your agar. For this you will need to use a small pot. Remove one can of coconut milk from the fridge, and flip it upside down. Open the can carefully to find the water sitting on top of the coconut. Pour this water into a measuring cup (measuring out 1/4 cup exactly) and pour the water into the pot on the stove. You can dump the extra water out, or save for an alternative use. Put the can of coconut back in the fridge – we will return to this later, but at this time we don’t want it to melt.
Add the agar to the pot with the coconut water, and bring this to a gentle boil. Once there, add in your honey and whisk together while still over the heat. Let boil for roughly 2 minutes – you want the honey and agar to dissolve completely into the water – and then pull off the heat. Pour mixture into a small bowl and place it in the fridge to cool down. It will start to take on a gelatin form.
Next, return to your cans of coconut. Remove them from the fridge, and flip the unopened can upside down to open and pour out the water. Scoop the remaining thick coconut into a large mixing bowl (keep in mind, I don’t have a mixer, so I hand-whisked all of this. However, it is much easier with an electronic mixer or hand-held device!)
Whip the coconut for roughly 2 minutes (on high if you’re using a mixer). You want the coconut to almost double in size and become fluffy/creamy. Once there, mash two bananas really well, and add them along with cocoa powder and vanilla extract to your coconut cream, and whip again until fully combined.
Remove the agar gelatin from the fridge, making sure it has cooled down fully. Add this mixture to your coconut cream, and whip yet again (on high) for another minute or so. Add in your chocolate chips and combine well.
Okay, on to the patience test – pour your soon-to-be ice cream into a metal bowl (some use a metal bread baking pan) and then place the bowl in the freezer.
You will want to stir your ice cream (really be forceful with it) every 30-45 minutes. This will ensure that the ice cream stays fluffy and doesn’t turn to ice. The cream will need to freeze for roughly 4-5 hours. You will make excuses, say it’s cold enough for you, but trust me!!! It is better fully frozen, so channel that self-control and make sure to let it freeze for the full 4 hours! You can do it!!!
Once completely frozen, scoop the ice cream into a bowl (you deserve a large one!) and sprinkle chopped walnuts on top for a delectable dessert…. or snack…. or meal. I won’t judge.
For other flavors of this recipe, see the following inspirations!