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Sunday
Jun122011

Mounds of Coconut Ice Cream (Dairy-Free)

I’m always interested in the health benefits of food. Having no formal education in nutrition I’m reliant upon online resources for information about whether ingredients are part of the “good” list—or the “bad” list.

But, wow, the information can be so confusing! Good fats. Bad fats. How foods are processed. What’s added to them. How much does the processing of any food diminish it’s nutritional value? When are the nutrients good for you and when aren’t they—is it possible you can consume too much of a good thing? And, then does it become a bad thing?

You know what I mean.

Yeah, you guessed it. I love coconut and wanted to understand and share its health benefits with you. In reading a little here and a little there I learned coconut milk, coconut meat, and coconut water vary in their nutrition profiles. Even more so when they are fresh vs. processed (as is usually true).

  • Coconut contains lauric acid, which is anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-microbial and anti-fungal. Good!
  • It provides essential minerals like magnesium, selenium, phosphorus, and potassium which helps to relax muscles, minimize inflammation, strengthen bones and lower blood pressure. Good!
  • It’s high in Vitamin C. Good!
  • Coconut is high in fiber. Good!
  • Coconut milk in it’s fresh form is much more nutritious than canned coconut milk. And, fresh coconut water seems to be the best of the best. Hmmm. Good, but only if you get fresh coconuts to extract your own water and milk. Canned coconut milk still has many of the vitamins and minerals of fresh coconut milk but at a fraction of it’s fresh sibling.
  • Coconut products are high in saturated fats which is cause for concern because of its effect on heart health. However, there are mixed camps on this since some data suggests because the fat in coconut is a medium-chain fatty acid it’s metabolized differently and doesn’t have the same harmful effects on our bodies as foods with long-chain fatty acids (found in meats and dairy products). Good or bad?

Many sites will sing the praises of coconut—from it’s ability to make your hair shine to improving your immune system. Certainly some of this must be accurate and true.

For certain I know this is true—I love coconut. Always have. Always will. And, thank goodness because it makes great non-dairy ice cream!

The coconutty flavor in Mounds of Coconut Ice Cream is boosted by the inclusion of organic creamed coconut and unsweetened shredded coconut which creates a creamy and chewy texture. This ice cream would be absolutely perfect frozen into bars. That’s what I’m going to do next time I make it.

Mounds of Coconut Ice Cream

Mix together in a large glass measuring cup (4 cup size or bigger) or ceramic bowl:

1 package (7 oz.) Let’s Do Organic Creamed Coconut, broken into pieces
1 cup hot water

Cover and let the coconut and water sit for about 15 minutes until the coconut begins to dissolve.

Add in and mix together with a stick blender:

Cream from the top of one can of coconut milk (use full fat coconut milk; do not shake the can; retain the coconut water on the bottom of the can for another use)
4 tablespoons agave nectar (more or less to your preference)
¼ teaspoon sea salt

Place in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight until really cold – I actually placed the mixture into the freezer for about an hour and a half. Worked perfectly.

Mix in with the stick blender until the coconut mixture is just a little chunky:

2 cups flaked unsweetened coconut

Freeze according to your ice cream maker instructions.

While your ice cream is freezing it’s time to melt the chocolate.

Place in a microwavable bowl and heat in 30-second intervals, stirring between each, until melted (total time about a minute; if more time is needed reduce the time of the intervals making sure to stir between each):

½ cup Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips

Scoop half the coconut ice cream into a container and then drizzle half the melted chocolate over top. Repeat. Store in the freezer.

Coconut milk ice cream usually needs to thaw a bit before it can be scooped out easily.

PRINT RECIPE

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Reader Comments (13)

I love coconut so much and what could be better than coconut with chocolate? Yum! Great recipe!

Oh, Nancy, that ice cream looks sooo good! Thanks for the recipe and all the details on the bennies of one of my favorite ingredients. :-) I've never heard of that particular coconut product, but it looks like a great one. Thanks for sharing that, too, dear!

Shirley

Jun 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterShirley @ gfe

I just recently discovered the culinary and beauty uses of coconut oil and I've been hooked. I've been a coconut water drinker for years now. And my husband is a coconut lover all around so we certainly embrace coconut in my house too.

Sylvie - I'm inspired to look into those coconut beauty secrets now! -Nancy

Yum! I've heard so many great things about coconut lately... This post has definitely inspired me to give it a try. And, this ice cream looks amazing!

Nancy, I love coconut and ALL of the health benefits that come with it. I actually use raw organic coconut butter all of the time in my smoothies. It is packed full of great stuff!! This recipe looks unbelievable! I love it!
xo
k

Wow, what a great idea....LIKE IT!!!!

Jun 15, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMiglena-healthyme.

This ice cream sounds amazing, Nancy! I wasn't aware of all the health benefits of coconut - great stuff!

Jun 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTracy

How lovely looking. I'm a big fan of coconut too, and love coconut flour as well. It's so good for gfree cooking.

Jun 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterInTolerant Chef

I *love* coconut ice cream. I actually think its better than the "real" thing! I've never made it myself, though. What's creamed coconut (your first ingredient)? I clicked on the link but it never opened. Is it like the coconut cream that you can buy for making cocktails like pina coladas?

Heather - I will go back and fix the link. It's not coconut cream but another type of product...hard to describe. I found it in Wegman's and thought it might be interesting to experiment with. Nancy

Aug 1, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterHeather Jacobsen

This is my kind of recipe. I love coconut in any form and the idea that it's healthy makes it all the more likable! Great recipe and great info. Thanks!

Aug 3, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterglutenfreeforgood

This recipe looks great. I've been looking for a coconut ice cream recipe. Thanks!

Dec 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLavina

My question is about this: "Cream from the top of one can of coconut milk (use full fat coconut milk.." Is there something I can substitute for this? I have a nickel allergy and can't eat canned foods. My daughter is also allergic to dairy and eggs and I'm also sensitive to cinnamon. Cooking is a challenge!!! I stumbled upon your blog today and I've been printing your recipes like crazy! We aren't a gluten free family, so another question I have is can I just sub regular flour for the gf flours/xanthum stuff?

Thanks for your help!

Ellie, I think there are coconut milks that come in tetra paks. If you search for non-BPA coconut milk you will likely find some sources. I would definitely try subbing the flours for your typical gluten flours -- I can't vouch for the end result but it's worth a try.

Jul 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterEllie S.

Dairy free Ice cream was the best!
enjoy this coming christmas.

Oct 30, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNancy Olson

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