Last Thursday, HMK asked for a completely dairy-free, sugar-free basic ice cream recipe that really works. I got busy over the weekend and came up with this amazing solution. I adored this ice cream. My husband used the words “crisp,” “vivacious,” and “sweet” when I asked him for his thoughts. For my part, I found it light and refreshing–like sherbert. I’m still in shock that ice cream with zero sugar can taste this good! It’s a dream come true for this hypoglycemic, and it’s a perfect solution for diabetics and candida-sufferers too.
This recipe is yet another variation on The Nourishing Gourmet‘s original Chocolate Coconut Milk Ice Cream. I have experimented before with the recipe, trying to reduce the sugar content by using part agave nectar and part stevia, but going 100% stevia has never worked. That stevia aftertaste eventually becomes too overpowering. The difference this time around is the brand of stevia. I have tried several before, but nothing comes close to NuNaturals NuStevia. Recommended by Kat James in The Truth about Beauty and by a friend, this stuff rocks! I admit that it does not lend the same mellow, round sweetness to the ice cream that an unprocessed sugar like Rapadura or Sucanat would, but it does produce a light, sherbert-like sweetness without the dreaded stevia aftertaste.
Please, please, please do not attempt to make this recipe without some fabulous stevia on hand. Neither Now nor Sweet Leaf brand stevia will do the trick, and definitely don’t go for a store’s generic version. I have never tried Body Ecology’s stevia, which is supposed to be better than most, but a friend who has tried them both find NuNaturals NuStevia superior. NuNaturals offers a number of stevia products, including liquid extract in glass or plastic bottles, pure powdered stevia, powdered stevia in maltodextrin (to help with measuring), powdered stevia in erythritol (again, for measuring ease), and individual serving packets of stevia. You may be able to find a limited selection of NuNaturals products in your local health food store, but ordering from them online may prove easier, in addition to giving you access to their other products, like xylitol, erythritol, and herbal formulas (the site is a diabetic or hypoglycemic’s paradise). They even offer free shipping on order of $35 or more. I used the NuStevia NoCarbs Blend packets for this recipe. I cannot promise the same results with other forms of stevia, though you are more than welcome to experiment. I’ll certainly be doing that myself. Let me know what you try and how it turns out in the comments. I’d love feedback on this one!
Strawberry Coconut Ice Cream (Dairy-Free & Sugar-Free)
12 oz (by weight, not volume) strawberries, fresh or frozen
2 14 oz cans coconut milk (do not use light varieties and watch out for preservatives in the ingredient list)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 or 4 packets NuNaturals NuStevia NoCarbs Blend
In a blender, combine the strawberries, coconut milk, and vanilla extract and blend until very smooth. (It is not necessary to thaw frozen strawberries first as long as your blender is powerful enough to completely pulverize them. As a bonus, using frozen strawberries will help the ice cream to freeze faster.)
Add three packets of stevia, blend, and taste. If you would like additional sweetness, toss in the fourth packet and mix.
Pour the batter into your ice cream maker and follow the appliance’s freezing instructions.
Like most homemade ice creams, this one has the consistency of soft serve when finished and gets very hard after spending time in the freezer. In the latter case, leave it out on the counter for ten or fifteen minutes to soften before serving.