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Recipe: Coconut and Roasted Almond Ice Cream

Food is a lot of people’s therapy – when we say comfort food, we really mean that. It’s releasing dopamine and serotonin in your brain that makes you feel good. – Brett Hoebel

It is a natural desire to crave comfort. Whether being active in comfortable shoes, resting in a comfortable seat or that special kind of comfort you desire when you’ve have had a rough day and want a hearty meal or a sweet treat.

Comfort eating can be dangerous if we are making poor choices with what we eat. Ice cream and chocolate are two of the most common comfort foods which give you instant gratification, a sugar high and a taste sensation. Unfortunately, these sugar highs also hit you with a sugar crash and you can be left feeling worse off than before.

As an athlete and a health conscious mum I am always looking for healthy alternatives. My children love ice cream so I decided to go about making a sugar and gluten-free version that they can enjoy without the crazy highs and lows of refined sugar, and also without any artificial processes or additives.

If you have children, nieces, nephews or younger siblings get them to help you with this healthy ice cream recipe in the kitchen for a great bonding activity that also gives you a tasty treat! 

Putting the kids to work! My daughter and a friend helping in the kitchen.

Putting the kids to work! My son & daughter helping in the kitchen.

Top your ice cream with fresh berries and sesame seeds

Top your ice cream with fresh berries and sesame seeds

Equipment

  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Whisk
  • Saucepan
  • Wooden spatula
  • Glass or plastic dish, for cooling the base
  • Plastic wrap
  • Freezer container, like a loaf pan
  • Baking paper

Ingredients

  • 1 tin (400 ml) full-fat coconut milk (if you are a whiz in the kitchen and have the time I encourage you to try make your own coconut milk)
  • 1 1/2 cups almond milk (again, homemade is preferable & simple to do! A great recipe can be found here)
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla bean extract OR 1 ground vanilla bean pod (I love vanilla so really do this taste to your liking)
  • 4 tbps of coconut sugar (add to taste)
  • 2 heaped tbps tapioca (arrowroot)
  • 1/3 cup coconut butter/oil
  • 150gm roasted almonds, chopped roughly
  • ¼ cup shredded coconut

Optional extras: other nuts, cacao nibs, berries, dates, banana or other fruits

Instructions

  1. If using store bought coconut milk and almond milk, shake these to ensure a smooth consistency
  2. Pour the coconut and almond milk into a saucepan over a medium heat
  3. Warm the milk on the stove being careful to keep the heat below boiling. Add the coconut sugar, coconut butter/oil and tapioca to the milk, whisking it through until the tapioca has dissolved and the mixture is a thick & creamy custard-like consistency. This should take 6-8 minutes
  4. Remove the saucepan from heat and stir in the vanilla extract/pod
  5. Pour the mixture into a shallow container. Allowmixture to cool on the counter so it’s not hot when you put it in the freezer
  6. Add the roasted almonds and shredded coconut (or other optional extras) and press a piece of baking or wax paper against the surface
  7. Freeze for at least 4-6 hours

Your dairy and gluten free ice-cream is now ready to serve!

Extra Tips:

  1. Omit the coconut and nuts and mix through either mashed or chopped banana, banana sweetens the ice-cream and kids love it!
  2. If your ice cream is too firm to scoop, let it warm on the counter for 10-30 minutes before scooping
  3. Top with fresh berries, roasted cashews, toasted sesame seeds and cacao nibs

Note: Coconut sugar is full of great nutrients and is a low glycemic sweetener however it is still a sweetener albeit better than table sugar. It should be used moderately. A good article from Huffington Post goes into more detail on coconut sugar.

 

Love Kerrie’s recipe? Try her favourite alkalising salad recipe next time you visit SumoSalad!

POSTED BY: Kerrie Otto de Grancy