I rarely eat dessert after dinner. This evening I ordered ice cream at dinner because today is my birthday. No matter how old I get, I still get a thrill of anticipation over my birthday.
This week’s photo challenge is Waiting. When that dessert appeared in front of me, I wondered how long I could wait to dig into it. I was able to stall just long enough to take this picture.
I continue to experiment with the banana-based ice cream genre so well described at That Clean Life. With summer looming, I highly recommend this technique to anyone who has a blender or food processor and can tolerate bananas. This fruit has an opposite reaction to freezing compared to grapes, whose flavor amplifies with dropping temperature. Frozen pureed bananas have a neutral flavor that fades into the other ingredients mixed with it. Its pectin and fructose can lend the muscle of sugar and fat to an ice cream, and its masquerade is convincing. Deeply frozen, it melts like a full-fat ice cream on the tongue.
In this recipe, I found a tasty purpose for my leftover mint and shredded coconut.
Coconut Mint Ice Cream, Dairy Free with Banana Base
Makes 2 servings
2 medium sliced bananas, frozen
1/3 cup fresh mint
1/2 t vanilla extract
1/3 cup sweetened shredded coconut
Put bananas, mint, and vanilla extract in blender or food processor. Pulse until smooth, scraping down sides of container periodically. Empty into freezer container and stir in coconut. Harden in the freezer for an hour, scoop into bowls, and enjoy.
I could have titled this post ice cream experiment number four. Attempts two and three were valuable solely in teaching me firsthand what not to include in an ice cream recipe. Number two proved to me that fat free half and half produces a treat akin to the low budget ice milk of the 70’s that no one missed when it disappeared from grocery stores for good. Trial three taught me that ice cream does need some fat and natural sweetener, unless one has access to industrial strength churning facilities. I so wish I could report that I’d created a decent recipe for 30 calorie ice cream, but my daughter assured me that my mixture of unsweetened almond milk, espresso powder, and sucralose tasted like misery. That combo was so awful that I deleted my pictures of it because the memory of its flavor made me shudder.
This evening’s attempt was free of such calorie conscious nonsense.
Coconut Ice Cream
makes 10 servings
1 cup canned coconut milk
2 cups half and half
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1 t vanilla extract
1/2 t coconut extract
1/4 t salt
Stir together all ingredients with a whisk until sugar is dissolved. At this point, the mixture can be poured directly into an ice cream maker, but I recommend pouring it first into a blender and pulsing a few times to make it smoother and easier to churn. Churn in ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions. This ice cream may be enjoyed freshly churned with a soft serve style consistency, or it may be hardened in the freezer before serving.