Chocolate Ice Cream that's good for you?
When it's this Vegan Chocolate Ice Cream, you've got a super healthy treat.
Totally different than the ice cream that I grew up on.
I've shared other Delicious Vegan Ice Creams on the blog before, like Vegan Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream, Dairy-Free Chocolate Almond Chip Ice Cream, Lemon Poppyseed Ice Cream, and Mocha Chip Ice Cream, but today I'm sharing one of the best – just basic Vegan Chocolate Ice Cream.
Ice Cream Memories
When I was young, ice cream was my treat of choice.
I think I've mentioned this before, but I was a total. ice. cream. addict.
If there was ice cream around…
I would eat it.
And if you asked me what food I would want if I could have one food and no other?
It was ice cream.
I would sit and eat Breyer's Natural Mint Chocolate Chip in front of the TV while doing homework, we'd head to a local ice cream stand for swirled cones, and a trip to the local Friendly's® was always a favorite!
But no more.
Since getting candida, going sugar-free, and going more and more low carb, and since my oldest has a life-threatening food allergy to dairy, things had to change. No more trips to Mickey D's for soft serve cones, and well, you won't see us in the local ice cream parlors (though we have on occasion taken a coupon and headed to a TCBY for a treat, but don't tell, OK :)? It's not exactly on the whole-foody acceptable list.
Anyhow, though I am still tempted by all the lovely ice creams I see sometimes when we are out, you really can make amazingly good ice cream at home — and when it's as healthy as this vegan chocolate ice cream, no need to feel bad about eating it, even if you do overindulge.
This Chocolate Coconut Milk Ice Cream is Actually Healthy
Instead of feeling guilty after eating a pint, you can enjoy the chocolate creaminess in this dessert while knowing that it is full of nourishing ingredients.
Coconut oil (unrefined) is all the rage these days and with good reason. Coconut oil contains Lauric Acid, which can kill bacteria, fungi and viruses — including candida. Coconut milk's saturated fats might actually be a cardiovascular support (source), and has been shown to promote brain health. (source)
I'm sure most of you have seen articles touting cocoa's benefits, but did you know how broad they are? Cocoa is thought to have cardiovascular protective benefits, may fight diseases and support those dealing with inflammation or impaired immune function, and may help with digestion issues. (source)
Of course, you can use whatever sweetener works for you, but we use a lot of stevia in our home. Stevia has been shown to help manage blood sugar, has no calories, and has 720 ppm iron. It might help with weight control, and has high levels of sterols and antioxidant compounds such as triterpenes, flavonoids, and tannins. (source)
Lemon can help with digestion issues, has flavanoids, which have antioxidant and health supporting qualities, including kidney support and alkalinizing of the body.(source)
So I say, bring on the Vegan Chocolate Ice Cream now.
Coconut milk contains lauric acid as well (albeit not as much as the oil) and is thus beneficial in killing candida. Lucky for us coconut milk is super delicious and makes fantastic ice cream that is rich, creamy, and a decadent treat.
It makes killing off candida and being healthy overall a tasty experience.
Could it get any better? An easy peasy ice cream that is both delicious and beneficial — not too shabby.
The texture of this chocolate coconut milk ice cream, freshly churned, resembles the soft serve variety, but once frozen it will be closer to traditional ice cream. While the gelatin keeps this ice cream from getting too icy in the freezer, it still freezes pretty hard, so I recommend having it sit out about 15 minutes before serving.
Ice Cream Maker Tips:
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.
- Homemade Coconut Milk: You can use my Easiest Coconut Milk for a homemade version of coconut milk.
- Cocoa: For more health benefits, use organic raw cacao instead of cocoa, or use organic carob powder for AIP.
- Stevia: Use about 2 3/4 tsp powdered stevia, or to taste (See How to Use Stevia) instead of vanilla liquid stevia, or use 9 1/2 Tbsp honey, organic maple syrup, or organic coconut sugar for AIP. Also add a splash of vanilla.
You can substitute about 2/5 tsp powdered stevia, or to taste for the plain liquid stevia, and you can also use 1 1/2 Tbsp honey, maple syrup, or coconut sugar for AIP.
- MCT Oil: I included MCT Oil in this recipe for creaminess. It makes a big difference! You can also try another oil like avocado oil or coconut oil, but you do need to blend them in quickly. I wouldn't use olive oil due to its heavier flavor.
- Thickener: It is probably fine to omit the use of a thickener if you use MCT oil. If you do not use MCT oil, I definitely recommend using a thickener, since it really helps improve the texture of the ice cream. Of course, the ice cream will taste great regardless.
- THM: This recipe qualifies as an “S” for those on the Trim Healthy Mama plan as long as you do not use arrowroot.
Chocolate Coconut Milk Ice Cream (dairy free and sugar free)
- 796 ml full-fat coconut milk (about 2 cans)
- 13 Tbsp cocoa powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 82 drops vanilla liquid stevia
- 13 drops plain liquid stevia extract
- 2 1/2 tsp freshly-squeezed lemon juice
- 1-3 Tbsp MCT oil (optional--for creaminess. See Recipe Notes)
- 1 Tbsp arrowroot powder (as thickener; use extra gelatin low carb)
- 1 tsp gelatin (optional--as thickener; use extra arrowroot for vegan)
- Chill coconut milk prior to starting, if possible.
- Mix the coconut milk (reserving ¼ cup), cocoa (or carob), MCT oil, salt, stevia (or other sweeteners), lemon juice, and arrowroot powder (if using it) in a blender (like a Vitamix or a Blendtec), with a mixer or by hand.
- Take 3 Tbsp of the above ice cream mixture and place it into a small bowl. Sprinkle the gelatin over the mixture (do not pour into a clump) and let soften for 5 minutes.
- After 5 minutes, stir the gelatin in (it should have the consistency of applesauce.
- Heat up the reserved ¼ cup of coconut milk (until steamy, but not boiling).
- Slowly pour the heated coconut milk into the gelatin mixture from step 3, whisking while you do. Continue to whisk until gelatin is dissolved.
- Pour gelatin mixture into the ice cream mixture from step 2 slowly, stirring to combine.
- Follow manufacturer's directions for your ice cream maker.
- Store in the freezer -- if you have an left over, that is :).