Sunday, June 29, 2014

mint chocolate chip ice cream {coconut milk based and dye free!}


I decided to take a little break from writing part 2 of my recovery story and focus my energy on a subject that's a little sweeter and more indulgent. I am so excited to share this recipe with you all! Ice cream happens to be one of my favorite summer treats and I remember being obsessed with trying different flavors. Besides a simple chocolate and vanilla twist soft-serve, my top five flavors were: strawberry, butter pecan, chocolate chip cookie dough, coffee and mint chocolate chip (always on a waffle cone). And to be honest, my least favorite has always been plain chocolate. I love me some chocolate, but as an ice cream, I find it rather boring and it almost always leaves my mouth severely dry. While I don't dig an ice cream that is exclusively chocolate, I do appreciate chocolate in my ice cream! 

Not being able to have traditional ice cream has had it's downfalls but if it weren't for my food sensitivities, I probably would have never been brave enough to try goat milk ice cream at Victory Garden in NYC. Michael and I went back in December and I got their popular salted caramel flavor which was just....wonderful. I can honestly say it was the best ice cream I've had in a long time! It was creamy, salty, tangy and perfect. But because we live all the way in western PA, I've been needing to whip up my own ice creams left and right. I must thank my sister and her husband for buying me an ice cream maker for Christmas; Ice cream making has become a therapeutic hobby of mine and it just so happens to satisfy all of our summertime ice cream cravings! It is easy...inexpensive... and delicious to get into, if you are looking for a new hobby. ;)

Anyways, I have only tried my hand at coconut milk based ice creams and so far have made: lavender honey ice cream (recipe coming soon!!); cookies and cream; and roasted strawberry ice cream. I am very intrigued to add onto that list and hopefully share my journey and recipes with you all in the process. Now with further ado, I hope you enjoy this refreshing mint chocolate chip ice cream on what seems to be an increasingly hot summer...

Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream {coconut milk based + dye-free}

recipe lightly adapted from here and here;  serves 6-8 

2 cans full-fat coconut milk
1 tablespoon arrowroot starch
1/2 cup mint leaves, divided
1/3 cups natural cane sugar
1/3 cups maple syrup or raw honey
1 ½ tablespoon white wine or vodka
½ tsp peppermint extract
3 ounces chopped semi or bittersweet chocolate

1. **Freeze your ice cream maker canister 24 hours before starting this recipe!**
2. Optional: Prepare an ice bath by using two large stainless steel mixing bowls that can nest together (I used my stand mixer's bowl and a larger stainless steel bowl) and fill the larger of the two about 1/3 full of ice and water. Place the other bowl on top and set aside.
3. In a medium saucepan empty entire contents of coconut milk cans.
4. Remove a couple tablespoons of the coconut milk liquid into a small bowl along with the arrowroot. Whisk thoroughly until combined and pour mixture into the pot along with half the mint leaves and sweeteners.
5. Heat over medium heat and whisk the ingredients until fully combined.
6. Allow mixture to come to a boil and then turn heat to low, allowing the mint leaves to infuse the liquid about 10 minutes.
7. Strain mixture through a sieve, discarding the mint leaves and allowing mixture to cool for about 20 minutes.
8. Once cooled, blend the rest of the mint leaves, peppermint extract and wine in a high-speed blender.
9. Place the mixture in a stainless steel bowl and allow mixture to completely cool in ice bath. (If you are skipping this step, allow mixture to cool in a heat safe bowl in the refrigerator.)
10. Stir every now and then to speed the cooling process.
11. Once fully cooled, process the ice cream mixture in ice cream maker according to manufactures directions.
12. Add chopped chocolate during the very last minutes of processing.
13. Transfer into a bread pan or an airtight container and freeze until nice and firm. 


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