Last week I told you a little white lie.
It had to do with ice cream.
Now I know it’s not nice to lie about ice cream. Like how would you feel if your hubby promised to bring home ice cream, and he didn’t? Or if your favorite fro-yo shop advertised a favorite flavor, only to be all out of if once you arrived?
Or if your best friend told you ice cream was healthy, when it was actually not?
There are worse things. In that last case, you actually get to eat the ice cream.
And when it’s my Vegan, Refined Sugar-Free Salted Caramel Ice Cream, you can remind yourself of some powerful truths while you eat it:
- Coconut milk contains lauric acid, which is great for the immune system.
- Tofu provides protein. Soy protein, specifically, which is good for lowering total cholesterol.
- Stevia. It’s supers-sweet and won’t give you a nasty sugar rush, but it grows from the ground instead of in a lab. Now doesn’t that sound good to you?
So maybe this wasn’t a lie after all. Maybe being addicted to ice cream can actually work in one’s favor. As long as it’s this ice cream. Which is totally habit-forming, I swear.
I know because I made two batches within a matter of weeks. For the first rendition, I rounded up some coconut sugar, full fat coconut milk, coconut oil, maple syrup, and salt to make the the Vegan Salted Caramel from my good friend Kim at Cook It Allery Free. (Warning: don’t plan to make this too far in advance of making your ice cream, otherwise you may end up with nothing left. Hint hint.) I blended this up with the rest of my ice cream base (light coconut milk, silken tofu, more coconut sugar, salt, and stevia), churned it, froze it, and served it atop vegan chocolate chip cookies with hot fudge on New Years Eve. There were so many things I loved about this ice cream that I can’t pick a favorite. Was it the fact that my friends proclaimed their love for it completely unaware of what was in it – and what wasn’t? The ease with which it scooped soft spoonfuls, straight from the freezer? Or the seductively addicting caramelized brown sugar flavor perfectly cut with the bite of salt?
The only thing I didn’t love about it was the nutritional breakdown. Despite being full of healthy things, this ice cream was a wee bit high in fat and sugar. Ok for New Years Eve, but not each and every getting-back-on-track-in-January-eve. I set out to make a second batch, crossing my fingers that reducing those two components wouldn’t interfere with the taste or texture.
Guess what? I did it! Almost. The second batch was devoured just as eagerly as the first, after a short 10 minutes on the countertop. Which is optional in case of I-have-to-have-it-now emergency, but optimal if you’re lucky enough to think ahead. Either way, you’ll love this healthy treat. And no, I wouldn’t lie about that 🙂
In the mood for more sweet treats? Check out my guest post at Fat Girls Can Run for a rundown of my favorite natural sweeteners, and how to use them in place of refined sugar. And, visit the Tales of a Kitchen Misfit Bake Sale to help my girl Amanda raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society as she runs the Boston Marathon! There are so many yummy things to bid on, but of course I’m biased towards these rich and chewy chocolate mint chocolate chip cookies which just happen to be vegan, wheat free, and refined sugar free too!
PS: that crumbly stuff on top is The Healthy Foodie’s Pecan Pie in a Jar. I didn’t believe this ice cream could be more addicting, till I combined sprinkled some of that on!
Salted Caramel Ice Cream (Vegan, Refined Sugar-Free)
Yield: 8 servings, 3.5oz each
You'll love the rich flavor and creamy texture of this vegan ice cream. Tip: remove it from the freezer 10 minutes before serving to make sure it's perfectly soft and scoopable.
Salted Caramel Sauce (adapted from Cook It Allergy Free):
1/2 cup full fat coconut milk
3/4 cup (125gm) coconut sugar
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon sea salt or kosher salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Combine the full-fat coconut milk, coconut sugar, maple syrup, and salt in a small saucepan. Whisking constantly, bring to a low boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 3 minutes, whisking often. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract. Allow to cool, then transfer to a bowl and refrigerate, covered, until cold (may be prepared a day in advance.)
In a blender or food processor, combine the light coconut milk, silken tofu, salt, and chilled salted caramel. Process until smooth. Add guar gum and blend again.
Churn mixture in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer's directions. Transfer to an air-tight container and freeze for several hours or overnight, until firm.
Amount Per Serving
Total Fat 7.0 g
Saturated Fat 2.5 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.0 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 200.2 mg
Potassium 11.0 mg
Total Carbohydrate 21.8 g
Dietary Fiber 0.5 g
Sugars 15.0 g
Protein 3.2 g
Cara Lyons, www.carascravings.com
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