When I needed to remove dairy from my diet my two greatest losses were ice cream and cheese. I think, on the front end, I probably dreamed about these two foods a night or two [okay, maybe more than that]. So far, I have found cheese difficult to duplicate [however there are some good alternatives out there and you can try this dip with crackers as an easy homemade craving-buster].
Thankfully, with time, my midnight cheese cravings really have gone away [if you are newly dairy-free, you truly can live happily without milk and cheese!]. On the other hand, life should not be without ice cream and in my life it has, compared to the dairy-plus store bought versions, just gotten better. Each time I make ice cream I tweak the recipe a little, all in the name of finding the perfect blend [that secretly I sometimes hope I never find because the experimenting is so much fun and most of the time delicious!].
Even more than the experimentation process, I love trying to create something that is appealing to the palate [because lets be serious, if it doesn't taste good why bother?] and healthy enough to give your kids. That being said, this ice cream is full of life-giving nutrients.
Cacao is a good energy booster, aphrodisiac [oh la la!], and aids in reducing free radicals [those pesky little molecules that can get out of hand, causing tissue damage and, say it isn't so!, premature aging].
Coconut has a host of good stuff packed in that tough, exterior shell. It supports the heart, spleen, stomach, and large intestine, soothes internal membranes, and can have a mild laxative effect. It is an excellent source of lauric and medium-chain fatty acids and is somewhat high in iron, phosphorus, and zinc.
[If you are interested, here is my source.]
Below is my current chocolate ice cream recipe. I hope you will fully exploit your artist's [or chef's] license on this, molding it to fit your taste buds and any anxious mouths you may be feeding.
2 tbsp. raw cacao powder powder
2 tsp. maca powder [optional, adds a "malty" flavor]
2 tbsp. cacao nibs or dark chocolate chunks [optional]
1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. Real Salt fine sea salt
1 banana, frozen
1/2 c. walnuts pieces [optional, or other nut chunk]
1 vanilla bean [optional]
2 tbsp. raw unprocessed honey [to make vegan use maple syrup]
1/2 c. unrefined coconut oil, melted [to melt, set bowl of oil into a larger bowl of warm water or set in sun and let it work it's magic!]
Place, in blender, all ingredients except cacao nibs / chocolate pieces, walnuts, and oil. Blend until creamy and well combined. With blender on medium, slowly pour [or drizzle] in oil until smooth, thick and fully incorporated. If using an ice cream maker, pour into frozen ice cream maker, adding cacao nibs or chocolate chunks and nuts as you pour, and run according to manufacturer's instructions [this is usually about 30 - 45 minutes]. If using the freezer method, pour into container of choice [I like using glass whenever possible] and gently fold in cacao nibs or chocolate chunks and nuts. Place in freezer, checking every 30 minutes or so until desired consistency is achieved. Serve immediately.
This will store in the freezer however, you may want to take out 15 - 20 minutes prior to serving so allow softening.
*Note from Tina: to make this vanilla, remove the cacao powder, nibs or chunks, and cinnamon. Add fruit if desired. You can also make a spiced ice cream by adding an dash each of nutmeg, cardamom, and cloves [remove cacao powder and nibs or chunks]. Top with anything your imagination can come up with!