I have a super fun treat for you all today — Dairy-Free Mint Chocolate Ice Cream, but not your normal Mint Chip Ice Cream. This one has 2 twists — this vegan mint ice cream is made with Fresh Mint, and with melted chips that are turned into a ganache.
Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream and I have had a “thing” going for a long time now.
I've mentioned it in previous posts about ice cream, but the ice cream flavor of choice that we regularly had in our home was Breyer's Natural Mint Chocolate Chip. (Though my mother's favorite was Coffee, so sometimes we had Breyer's Coffee in the freezer, but not typically.)
I had a very (very, very, very) bad habit of sitting and eating in front of the TV after school while doing homework at the same time. NOT a good recipe for proper eating or studying (or recreation) habits, and no, I do not recommend that you allow your children to do the same thing.
I got straight A's every year, pretty much without fail (with the exception of the year that my parents' marriage started to dissolve) so it was hard for anyone to argue with me about a need to change, but anyhow….. it wasn't good.
I often wonder how much more I could have accomplished (or how many other more enjoyable things I could have done) should I not have wasted so much time that way.
Anyhow, we all know that eating while watching TV or doing something else (like working on your blog :)), lends itself to overeating. Well, that was seriously the case with me and the Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream.
Let's just say that there wasn't typically much ice cream left at the end of several of those sittings.
My mom would call what was left in the ice cream container after several of my ice cream eating episodes, “little mountains.”
And she was right, but the emphasis really needed to be placed on the “little.” Le sigh.
Anyhow, I don't eat much ice cream any longer, and when I do eat it, it's low carb and dairy free. And well really, there aren't many options to buy low carb, dairy-free ice cream in the store or in an ice cream parlor. And when there are options, well — talk about pricey.
So into the kitchen we go to experiment and create our own frugal and healthy solutions.
A New Kind of Mint Chocolate Ice Cream
This Fresh Mint Ice Cream is different, as I mentioned. Instead of mint extract, it's flavored with fresh mint leaves, and instead of the traditional chocolate chips, it's got a lovely chocolate ganache weaved throughout.
As a result, the flavor is a tad herby, which you may or may not like. If that's not your thing, you could cut the mint leaves in half and add in some mint extract, or just omit them all together and go for the mint extract for the whole thing. You'll still have a lovely dessert.
This recipe is inspired by Candace, my blogging friend who used to blog at Candida-free Candee. She had a Fresh Mint Ice Cream on her blog that had the traditional chocolate chips in it. I loved the idea of the fresh mint and put my own twist on it by doing a ganache instead of the chips.
The end result is a more “grown uppy” ice cream. Something that might be too eccentric for your littles (unless you use the mint extract, of course), but that should please most adults who enjoy mint.
- Homemade Coconut Milk: You can use my Easiest Coconut Milk instead of full-fat coconut milk, but you might wish to increase the coconut by at least 1/4.
- Stevia: You can use liquid stevia instead of powdered stevia, with 40 drops liquid being equivalent to 1 1/3 tsp powdered. You could also use Homemade Liquid Stevia. Here is a post on how to use stevia. Use honey or maple syrup — here is a post on how to get quality maple syrup — for strict AIP.
- Homemade Chocolate / Carob Chips: Here is a great make-your-own option for chocolate or carob chips.
- Thickener: As long as you use MCT oil, you are probably fine not using a thickener. Otherwise, I would definitely use either gelatin or arrowroot to improve the ice cream's texture.
- THM: This recipe qualifies as an “S” for those on the Trim Healthy Mama plan as long as you use gelatin if using a thickener.
Fresh Mint Chocolate Ice Cream with Ganache Swirl - dairy free, low carb, with AIP option
- 796 ml organic full-fat coconut milk (2 398 ml cans)
- 2 cups fresh mint (loosely packed; I used 1 cup peppermint and 1 cup spearmint)
- 1-3 Tbsp organic MCT oil (optional - for creaminess)
- 1 1/3 tsp powdered stevia (or to taste)
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp organic fresh lemon juice
- 1 tsp grass-fed gelatin (or arrowroot; optional - as thickener)
- Blend coconut milk and mint in a blender (I used a Vitamix) until the mint is finely chopped. Alternately you can chop the mint very fine with a knife or chop in a food processor.
- Transfer mixture to a pot and bring to a boil over low heat.
- Once it reaches a boil, remove from heat and let steep for 1 hour.
- Pour mixture through a cheesecloth-lined sieve or a fine sieve. You may need to do this twice. If you have a few flecks left that should be fine and shouldn't affect the final product.
- Add in MCT oil, stevia, salt and lemon juice.
- Place mixture in fridge until chilled, at least an hour or two. (This step will help in the churning process and should result in a better texture.)
- Once mixture is chilled, measure out a ¼ cup and place it in a bowl. Sprinkle with gelatin or arrowroot and whisk until combined.
- Add 3 Tbsp of boiling water to the mixture and whisk until dissolved.
- Add gelatin mixture to ice cream base and whisk until combined. Allow to sit for few minutes.
- Pour mixture into an ice cream maker and proceed according to manufacturers' directions.
- While the ice cream is churning, make the ganache and let it cool completely before adding it to the ice cream.
- Heat the chocolate chips and coconut milk over very low heat, stirring until melted.
- In a freezer-safe container, scoop in 1/3 of the ice cream, top with 1/3 of the ganache, then layer another 1/3 of the ice cream, then 1/3 of the ganache, then the remainder of the ice cream and top with the remainder of the ganache.
- Freeze until solid.
- Serve and enjoy!