Thursday, May 22, 2014

How to Make Raw Ice Cream

I love ice cream, but I also know that commercially ice cream is often loaded with fat and sugar and, probably, with additives that are not even listed on the label. There are, of course, honest, vegan ice cream brands, but they are not always accessible. So why not take thing under control and make your own? It's easy and you do not even need an ice cream maker.

Good ice cream has to be creamy and flavorful, and not sweet. The main ingredients are fats, sweeteners, and of course, the "flavors"
  • Fat not only holds the whole thing together, but it also makes it smooth and enhances the flavor. To make a raw, vegan ice cream you can use Thai style coconut milk, avocado or nuts.
  • Sweeteners must be added if you want your ice cream to have a nice and creamy texture. Sugar will prevent your ice cream from turning into ice. The more sugar you add the less ice crystals you will have in your final product. To sweeten your ice cream you can use honey, maple syrup, lucuma powder, molasses, raw agave syrup, or medjool dates. Using liquid stevia to cut down calories will not help the texture of your ice cream. The only thing that prevents you from eating too much sugar will be to wisely reduce the portions.
  • Flavors are all the ingredients that will add flavor and extra texture to your ice cream. You can use ripe fruits, berries, raw cacao, nuts and spices. 
Making raw ice cream is rather easy if you have an ice cream maker. Follow the instructions and you will succeed most of the time. Things become a bit more complicated if you are using a blender or a food processor. Complicated, but not impossible.

After you blended all ingredients, pour the mixture into a freezer safe container. Fill a large bowl with ice cubes. Place the container with your ice cream mixture in the bowl and make sure that it is surrounded by ice cubes. Place the bowl in the freezer and let it sit there for about half an hour. Remove the bowl from the freezer. You will notice that your ice cream mixture begins to freeze. Stir it well using large spoon or a spatula. Put it back to the freezer and let it sit there for another 30 minutes or so. Repeat the process until you are satisfied with the consistency. It may take up to two hours, but your patience will pay off.

Whatever method you are using to make your ice cream, remember to take it out of the freezer about 10 minutes before serving. This will make the serving a bit easier and allows the flavors to "open up" a bit.

Unlike commercially produced ice cream, home made raw ice cream does not store indefinitely. It loses the flavor and texture. Keep this in mind and do not store it in your freezer for longer than a week. Even if you made a large batch, try to store your ice cram in smaller air-tight, freezer-safe containers.

And one more thing. Always taste your mixture before you turn it into ice cream. You can always add a bit more spice or sweetener if you think you it needs it. If it seems too sweet, rest assured that your ice cream will taste less sweet that the mixture so don't be terrified to over do it. And of course, as with everything, practice makes perfect.

Dominique Allmon

P.S. Some recipes include lecithin powder that is used as an emulsifier. Lecithin is an emulsifier that helps bind fats with other recipe ingredients. If you decide to use lecithin in your ice cream recipes make sure you are using raw, organic and certified non-GMO product.

Dominique Allmon©2014


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