Ice cream has been one of the biggest temptations of my life. And since I found that I had candida, most ice cream treats had been ripped out of my diet.
I have managed to come up with a few low carb replacements, including Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream, Chocolate Almond Chip Ice Cream, and some guest writers have shared fantastic recipes for Lemon Poppyseed Ice Cream and Mocha Chip Ice Cream (non-coconut based), and even some fun 3-Ingredient Strawberry Sage Popsicles. Today, however, I'm sharing a low carb version of something I used to love as a child – Sugar-Free Fudgesicles.
My History with Ice Cream
I'm not sure if there is anyone out there who loves ice cream as much as I do. In fact, it's been a “thing” my whole life.
I still remember having the ice cream man come down our street and being thrilled to hear the bells (I can't believe it was only about 10 cents for a treat back then!). And my mom would regularly buy Breyer's Natural Mint Chocolate Chip and I would eat way too much of it after school while doing homework and watching TV (no I do not recommend combining the two. Just being a little vulnerable here. Sigh.)
Then later, in high school, I worked in a local ice cream parlor. Big mistake. This was the kind of ice cream parlor where they had loads of toppings (including huge chunks of Reese's cups, etc.) and homemade cookies, and we were allowed to eat some, so eat we did.
I way too often didn't eat dinner as a result. Again, I don't recommend this.
In college, the love affair with ice cream continued. We didn't have it as a regular treat, but my housemates and I would drive to a grocery store that had a soft serve machine. They charged by the container, not by weight (like most of them do today) so you can imagine the theatrics we went through to get our ice cream tower as tall as possible and make it to the register before it toppled over.
Alas, ice cream followed me through life. While dating my husband, trips through McDonald's drive through were one of our dates of choice. We'd get a soft serve and share it, and then go back for another — or two.
Most recently, now that we're all eating a much lower carb diet, our ice cream treats have been relegated to occasional stops at Whole Foods when on a trip. We splurge for So Delicious No Sugar Added Coconut Milk pints which we share as a foursome.
Pricey (about $8/pint), but yum.
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The Frugal Special Diet Mom's Solution
Get it? I LOVE ice cream.
But I don't love paying $8 a pint for it.
Plus, if your family is on a special diet as ours is, visiting an ice cream shop or parlor isn't a real option. You can, of course, find dairy-free options pretty much everywhere you go these days, but to find dairy-free AND low carb in an ice cream is pretty much impossible.
And if you can find it, the cost is prohibitive, a la those almost $8/pint treats I mentioned above.
So I'm a huge advocate of homemade ice cream makers and popsicle molds. They're a must for families on special diets that don't have “special incomes”, if you know what I mean.
Plus, you have the world at your fingertips. No settling for the one flavor that meets your needs at the ice cream shop — you can make pretty much anything you desire.
And if you have a high-speed blender like a Vitamix or Blendtec, you can make loads of healthy ice creamy treats in your blender. If you can handle the carbs, frozen bananas are an amazing base for homemade dairy-free ice creams.
And for the low carbers out there, avocado works amazingly well and so do frozen fruits like peach, strawberry, blueberry, etc. It's amazing what you can do with one of those machines!
Anyhow, thanks to a blogger friend of mine who no longer is blogging, I have this recipe for fudgesicles that is not only sugar-free, but is dairy-free too.
By the way, these are on the dark side of the chocolate scale so tone back the cocoa or carob if you prefer something a little less dark. I recommend you add the ingredients little by little and taste as you go.
What You Will Need
You will need the following things to make this recipe:
- Coconut Milk (here's how to make your own)
- Salt (I recommend Real Salt)
- Vanilla Liquid Stevia (or powdered stevia)
- Grass-Fed Gelatin (omit or use agar for a vegan option)
- Popsicle Molds
- 1 can coconut milk (here's how to make your own) (398 ml)
- 5 tbsp cocoa powder (use carob for AIP)
- scant ½ tsp salt (I recommend Real Salt)
- vanilla liquid stevia, to taste (I used 36 drops - or use 1⅕ tsp powdered stevia and a dash vanilla. Use honey or maple syrup for AIP.)
- 1 tsp key lime or lemon juice
- 1 tsp grass-fed gelatin (omit or use agar for a vegan option)
- Unsweetened chocolate, optional, for garnish
- Whisk first 5 ingredients in a bowl, large measuring cup, or batter bowl and adjust sweetness and flavors to taste.
- Dissolve gelatin in 4 tbsp boiling water.
- Whisk gelatin or agar into coconut milk mixture until well combined.
- Pour into molds.
- Freeze for 4-6 hours.
- Grate unsweetened chocolate on top before serving, if desired.
NOTE: Again, you can choose to leave out the gelatin or use agar instead for a vegan option. The gelatin will help prevent ice crystals from forming and assist in maintaining a creamy texture. If you find the popsicles are a bit hard after a few days in the freezer, let them sit out for 5-10 minutes before serving, if you can wait that long!
For the molds, there are so many good ones out there, but the ones that I linked to have really good ratings on Amazon.
If you're still in the mood for even more ice cream treat inspiration, visit my roundup of Low-Carb Dairy-Free Ice Creams. You are sure to find a new favorite or two there.
What is YOUR favorite kind of ice cream treat?