After wanting an ice cream machine for SO long, I finally bought one with a voucher I was given for my birthday. I knew EXACTLY what I would first make and was devastated when I realised that I would have to freeze the bowl completely before making my first batch!
So.. I prepared the mixture in the evening, chilled it over night and it was not until I got home from work the following day that I could churn my ice cream! : ) The drive home could not have been more exciting.
By using fresh mint in this recipe rather than mint flavouring, not only does the ice cream have a beautiful fresh and real flavour, but we recieve all of the wonderful health benefits of this delicious herb. Mint leaves can aid digestion by soothing the digestive tract, eliminate toxins from the body, aid settle skin irritatations as well as being a good cleanser for the blood.
Coconut cream, coconut milk and I only recently became friends. It was not until I did a lot of my own research regarding the benefits of these products and the truth about the saturated fat contained in them that I have become comfortable with eating them liberally. Known to be high in saturated fat, and due to the widespead vilification of saturated fat in the distributed modern day nutrition data, of course someone wanting to be heatlhy would cut out coconut products. Saturated fat is the worst thing you can eat right? Wrong.
I will compile what I have found in a separate post very soon for those of you interested in looking into it, but in the meantime... eat this wonderful ice cream. Its 100% natural and its good for you and thats all you need to know... really : ).
I adapted this recipe from a recipe by Kristen from The Endless Meal! In her recipe she uses dairy cream, whole milk and sugar which I replaced with coconut cream, coconut milk and stevia. I don't think my measurements are the same for the milk and cream simply because I worked in "cans" rather than in "cups". It turned out just fine but the wonderful instruction on how to infuse the mint into the milk through heating and leaving to stand then straining was invaluable so I will follow the same method here!
Coconut Milk mint chocolate chip ice cream
2 x 400ml cans of coconut milk (See note below)
1 400ml can of coconut cream
5 egg yolks
1 bunch (approx. 2 cups worth) of fresh mint leaves - washed and removed from stems
2 tsp vanilla essence
1/3 cup natvia (brand of stevia) - more or less to taste (note: the mixture will be less sweet once frozen)
50g VERY dark chocolate - chopped finely (I used Green and Blacks 85% Organic Dark Chocolate)
Heat 1 can of coconut milk and the can of coconut cream in a saucepan with the mint leaves until steam appears. Do not let the mixture boil. Remove from the heat and let the mixture stand for approximately 1 hour so that the mint flavour infuses through the milk.
Strain the mixture into a bowl, and using the back of a spoon against the mesh squeeze as much liquid as possible out of the mint leaves.
Return the mixture to the saucepan, add natvia and heat until dissolved (should not take more than 1-2 mins)
Beat egg yolks in bowl and while continually whisking, pour mixture back into the bowl
Return entire mixture to the saucepan and heat over low heat until it begins to thicken. Stir regularly in order to prevent the egg yolks burning to the bottom and after about 10 minutes, strain mixture, place back in bowl and refrigerate.
Refrigerate overnight or until the mixture is chilled as this will produce best results when placing in ice cream maker. Once chilled, follow your ice cream makers instructions to churn ice cream. ...and Voila!
Full fat coconut milk and cream will give you a creamier consistency and is less likely to contain artifical fillers to stabilise the product. Low fat or "light" versions may not be 100% natural but will also be lower in Kilojoules/Calories - so it really depends on your personal health focus. (Personally, considering the benefits of the fat in the full fat product, I would recommend using these and avoiding the artificial additives).
Dont throw away your egg whites! When I made this and any other time I only use the yolk in a recipe I have an egg white omelete for breakfast the next morning. A 5 x egg white omelette with avocado, boiled sweet potato and broccoli is one of my favourite mixtures! : )