cherry orange chocolate chip

It took me forever to figure out why I couldn’t get coconut cream ice cream to behave, but once I finally did, it was worth the wait.  :-)  The coconut milk I use doesn’t have guar gum in it.  On the one hand, that means it’s completely paleo; on the other hand, that means it doesn’t integrate and cream very well!  The solution?  Agar-agar powder, and some cashew butter to make it even creamier and richer.

So far, I’ve made three flavors — cherry, orange, and chocolate chip — but really you can make whatever flavor you want with this ice cream base.  :-)  I have plans to try ginger, banana, mint, coffee, strawberry … If you’re looking for unusual or hard-to-find extracts that are gluten-free, I can point you to OliveNation, the site where I got my cherry extract.  (They’re on Amazon as well, but very few of their products are eligible for Amazon Prime, so I suggest ordering from their site directly for large orders to make absolutely sure the shipping is combined properly, and keep an eye on the front page for coupon codes for free shipping!)  OliveNation lists ingredients on its product pages very clearly, and labels items that are gluten-free, sugar-free, vegan, kosher, etc., all very clearly, which is a huge relief when you’re hunting for that one extract and you just want to be sure it’s safe.  :-)

My old ice cream maker broke down while I was working on this post, so I replaced it with this Cuisinart model, which so far has performed very, very well.  The bowl spins instead of the beater, which is really useful because it lets me stick a spatula or a spoon through the very wide ingredient chute while the machine is running with absolutely zero worry of gumming up the works!  I haven’t had it very long, of course, but so far I recommend it highly.  I’ve used it to make frozen yogurt and this ice cream.  (If you don’t have an ice cream maker — well, I don’t know if you can make this ice cream without one, I haven’t tried!  But by all means gives it a shot, I suppose.)

Last but not least, yes, this ice cream contains raw egg.  See this post for associated disclaimer!  :-)

But anyway, enough about recommendations, and more about ice cream!

Rich Paleo Ice Cream Base

Yield:  Serves 3-6.

Prep Time:  4-6 hours all told; start early in the day.

Base Ingredients:

Possible Variations:

  • For cherry ice cream:  Add 1-2 tsp of cherry extract to the base, and frozen cherries (pitted and stemmed) when you take it out of the ice cream maker.
  • For orange ice cream:  Add 2-3 tsp of orange extract and the zest of 1 small orange to the base, then chop up the orange slices a little and add them when you take it out of the ice cream maker.
  • For chocolate chip ice cream:  Leave the base as is, and add broken-up frozen chocolate chunks when you take it out of the ice cream maker.

Directions:

1.  Early in the day, put your coconut milk in a blender by itself and blend it to recombine.  Then, add only the agar-agar powder and blend again, to make sure the coconut milk and powder combine well.

2.  Add the remaining base ingredients to the blender bowl (vanilla, stevia extract, egg, and cashew butter), as well as any flavorings that should be added to the ice cream base (such as additional extracts, zest, etc.).  Blend until well combined.

3.  Chill the ice cream base in the fridge for at least an hour, or longer.

4.  Add to ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions.  The result will be a fairly soft soft-serve consistency. Transfer the mixture to a freezer-safe bowl or tupperware with lid, and mix in any additions like fruit, nuts, or chocolate chips.

5.  Freeze several hours to let it firm up.  Be patient, and the ice cream will be very creamy and rich!  Enjoy!