Carob Ginger Coconut Milk Ice Cream (dairy free, sugar free)

20130909-213942.jpg

It was hot here today! I mean, 105-degrees-as-monitored-by-my-car-in-the-sun kind of hot! In actuality it only reached about 93°, but when I picked up my kids from school my youngest asked if we could make ice cream when we got home. I happily said yes, as I’d had the ice cream bowl chilling in the freezer for weeks and it was more than ready for some ice cream action, and I had two cans of coconut milk left in the pantry. After a forty-five minute delay in which I cleaned the dirty dishes in the kitchen and searched high and low for the mysteriously missing components of the ice cream maker, I finally found them and my daughter helped me measure the ingredients into the blender. She and her brother wanted chocolate, but they agreed to carob since I thought it might be too near to bedtime for the caffeine in chocolate. Plus, chocolate tends to make my daughter and I rather grumpy, and I wasn’t in the mood for grumpiness. It came out delicious! Better than imagined… And both kids agreed it was my best ice cream ever.

So here it is.

Carob Ginger Coconut Milk Ice Cream

2 cans full-fat coconut milk

1/2 cup carob powder or chocolate

1 tbsp vanilla extract

1/4 cup raw (unheated) honey (or maple syrup)

1 tsp stevia sweetener (I used liquid)

1 tsp powdered ginger

2 tbsps Great Lakes Kosher Gelatin Collagen Hydrolysate (optional)*

Optional: about 1/2 cup of small chopped candied ginger pieces

* I use this gelatin mixed into drinks for the benefits of collagen and an extra protein boost. I use it here for these benefits as well, plus to help keep the ice cream slightly softer after freezing. Regular gelatin can be used as well. For more on the benefits of gelatin, see here and here.

Directions:

Add the ingredients to a blender and process until smooth. Put the mixture into your ice cream maker, following the manufacturer’s instructions or, alternately, put it into a wide freezable container with a lid and freeze for at least several hours. Then scoop out and enjoy!

I actually couldn’t taste the ginger in this, but knowing it was in there gave me a gingery comfort (ginger is such a wonderful, good-for-us spice!). I would love to try out other spice combinations as well, and think that cardamom would be heavenly! I love the richness of carob/chocolate with intense spices… I wonder how a bit of cayenne would taste added in, maybe 1/8 of a teaspoon, or some chipotle pepper powder…? The spice possibilities are endless. If you make this with other spice combinations, let me know how it turns out!

20130909-212952.jpg

20130909-213014.jpg

20130909-212926.jpg

Advertisements

No-Bake Coconut Cream Cheesecake (sugar-free, gluten-free, grain-free, egg-free)

20130906-162515.jpg

It’s already feeling like the end of summer, and this is definitely a summer dessert! The kids are now back in school, which marks the beginning of Fall for me (plus, the leaves are changing colors and have begun to fall from the trees), so obviously I have been lagging big-time on my blog… I made this twice over the summer, the first time without gelatin so it came out softer and less firm than a regular cheesecake, but it was still delicious! Sort of like a cream pie of sorts, but very rich and dense. I actually made this in a pie dish, so you could call it a pie if you’d like :).

My version uses dairy in the form of cream cheese, but I give some options to make this entirely dairy-free. My kids don’t do well with dairy so this wasn’t a dessert for them (my son wouldn’t have touched it anyway, but my daughter might have shown some interest if it hadn’t been covered in berries). So I indulged myself and used the real stuff! In doing that, I also must add that this is not a low-calorie dessert and as I couldn’t stop eating it, I felt it in my waistline… But it was sooo worth it! Yum…

No-Bake Coconut Cream Cheesecake

Ingredients:

2 cans of chilled full-fat coconut milk, cream only

2 packages of cultured cream cheese (for dairy-free version, use equal amount cultured coconut cream; see recipe here)

2 teaspoons vanilla extract (I’ve been using my homemade vanilla extract and it’s wonderful!)

2 teaspoons liquid stevia extract, or sweetener to taste (some other options: 1/4 cup honey or maple syrup or agave syrup if not dealing with yeast overgrowth/candida issues, adding in some stevia if a sweeter taste is desired; or 1/2 cup of xylitol or erythritol.)

1 1/2 tablespoons pastured gelatin (Bernard Jensen or Great Lakes brands)

Directions:

Put two cans of full-fat coconut milk, preferably organic, in the refrigerator the night before you are to make this. If you forget, you may chill them in the freezer for maybe half an hour to forty five minutes or so. Take them out and open the cans, gathering only the cream which should be firm and chilled, and empty this into a stand mixer or a large bowl, or even a food processor. I’m easy! Use what you’ve got I say :). (I find the best coconut milk to use for this recipe is from Native Forest or Thai Kitchen.)

Add in the two packages of cream cheese, vanilla extract, and stevia or other sweetener(s).

Put aside about 1/4 cup or less of the coconut water leftover from the cans of coconut milk and add in the gelatin. Stir to thoroughly mix. Then gently heat over a double boiler or by any other means but microwaving–please don’t do this!–until the gelatin in completely dissolved. Then add this into you mixing bowl. Blend well, either with your stand mixer, a hand mixer, a whisk or your food processor until totally smooth and creamy.

Pour into your prepared crust–I used this Grain-Free Honey Graham Cracker Pie Crust–and let chill in the refrigerator for at least six hours or preferably overnight. When you’re ready to eat it, gently top with about two cups of fresh berries–I used blackberries and blueberries–so yummy! The berries can also be added before it has been chilled, just after pouring into the pie or cake dish.

Some other variations and flavor ideas:

• Use thin slices of fresh peaches or nectarines in place of the berries.

• Add in 1 teaspoon ground cardamom or ground anise seeds for a different kind of spiced cheesecake.

• Top with alternating circular rows of sliced bananas and strawberries for a sweet, colorful desert.

•Make up your own toppings or added spices/natural flavorings! Let us know what you try in the comments so we all can benefit! 🙂