When I was young, my family lived on the East Coast and one of our favorite things to do was to visit the local Friendly’s Restaurant. Now, when it came to dessert, I never could make up my mind which flavor of ice cream to get, so invariably I always chose The Sampler — 4 small scoops of ice cream in a dish (so I could agonize over choosing 4 flavors instead of just one !)
Mint Chocolate Chip was always in the mix.
And whenever we bought ice cream at the grocery store, it was almost always Breyers Natural Mint Chocolate Chip that we chose.
And believe me, it never lasted very long .
Fast forward to my life now with a son who has a life-threatening allergy to dairy and a family that is almost completely off sugar.
Well, were in Chicago recently and we splurged on a pint of dairy-free, no sugar added coconut milk ice cream.
A pint was on sale for “only” $3.59 (the regular price was $6.59!). Now, I don’t typically pay $3.59 for a pint of anything.
But it sure was good and was a fun breakfast (yes, we ate it for breakfast !) for all of us one morning, but my mind was already thinking about how I could make my own!
(I haven’t figured out the cost per pint, but I can assure you that it is nowhere close to $6.59, or even $3.59 per pint !)
Now you too can make amazing ice cream that is:
- artificial anything free (including no fake green food coloring!)
- and tastes great!
Ready? Here goes!
Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream (w/ dairy-free and sugar-free options)
Makes approx. 1 1/2 quarts.
4 cups coconut milk or other milk (See Easiest Homemade Coconut milk.)
1 cup sweetener of choice
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 tsp peppermint extract
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp dried parsley flakes (optional; for coloring)
3/4 cup chocolate/carob or mint chocolate/carob chips (for a “double mint” treat (add more or less, to taste)
1. Place all ingredients (except chips) in blender.
2. Blend until smooth (if you do not have a high-powered blender [aka Vitamix] and you are using a granulated sweetener, you may wish to heat the milk and sweetener in a pan until the sweetener is dissolved).
3. Place in ice cream maker and process according to directions.
4. When ice cream is starting to solidify, add chips and allow maker to mix in chips thoroughly.
5. Scoop up and enjoy!
Notes and Tips:
Milk: Other milks will work as well, but for alternative milks, coconut and almond will among the better choices as they have more fat content and will have the resulting product be more creamy.
Ice Cream Maker: I used the Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker for this recipe. It worked fine, but you really have to have the mixture chilled prior to making desserts in this maker. Otherwise, it will be quite runny (albeit yummy) and will need to be solidified in the freezer if you want it to be scoopable.
If you decide to freeze it and it gets too hard to scoop, try this handy anti-freeze ice cream scoop.
Sweeteners: I used granulated sweeteners, a half and half combination of xylitol and erythritol. You can use whatever you like to suit your dietary needs. Of course, with stevia extract, you will need a lot less (between 1/4 – 1/2 tsp). I always find that combining alternative sweeteners results in the best flavor. If using stevia, I recommend NuNaturals or SweetLeaf.
Please note: I do not necessarily recommend xylitol and erythritol and will discuss this more in a future post However, I seem to be having some adverse reactions to stevia and so I am working with what I can.
Looking for more fun with natural food coloring?
Check out my posts on:
What flavor of ice cream would you like a healthy remake of?
I’m sure my kids (and I) will enjoy any challenge !
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