I am totally ok with rationalizations. For example, if you spent a few hours laughing so hard with your sisters that your abs hurt, you don’t need to go running the next day. Maybe not even for a few days. Or if you check more books out from the library than you could possibly read in three weeks, it’s fine* because you’re a better person just for having those books share your home with you. Or if you make a batch of mint chocolate chip ice cream and eat it before dinner, that’s totally fine because it’s definitely good for your gut.
But really, this ice cream is good for your gut–you don’t even have to rationalize. I’ll let Brad explain by breaking down the ingredients:
Coconut: Canned milk is easy. We like Trader Joes light coconut milk because it’s the least expensive and only contains coconut and water. If you’re concerned about BPA in canned goods, try searching for young Thai coconuts. I’ve found them lately at Asian grocery stores for almost the same price as a can. You’ll also get more nutrients from the fresh coconut rather than in a can. The benefits? Unrefined coconut is high in potassium, which is great for the adrenal glands and combatting stress, aside from being an essential nutrient most people are deficient in. It’s also rich in healthy fats and contains nutrients that boost the immune system.
Raw honey: When it comes to sweeteners, it’s best to avoid refined white sugar because it can cause all sorts of havoc in the body. It damages cells and causes imbalance by depleting the body of nutrients. But ice cream needs to be sweet, right? Raw honey is a great alternative because it contains phytonutrients and enzymes that the body needs. And it’s more sweet than sugar so you can use less. It’s best not to use raw honey for children age two and under. Real maple syrup may be another worthy alternative.
Avocado: We found that adding some avocado helps make ice cream creamier and have less of an ice milk texture. Avocados are loaded with healthy monounsaturated fats which help to steady insulin production and glucose release and keep the body’s blood sugar in balance.
Celtic sea salt: Salt often falls victim to association with disease and poor health. While it’s true that most people get too much refined sodium in their diets, natural, untreated, unrefined sea salt is beneficial. It contains trace minerals and natural iodine that is good for the thyroid and helps maintain proper mineral levels in the body.
Vanilla: Vanilla just plain makes ice cream taste like ice cream. Using whole vanilla beans would be ideal, but we often opt for the extract due to cost. Look for extracts without added sugars or extra additives if you can. Vanilla extract contains eugenol, which has antiseptic and anelgesic properties that help to promote clean blood vessels.
Egg yolks: Yolks from the eggs of pasture-raised chickens are good sources of vitamins like A, D, iron and folic acid. They’re easy to digest and contain lots of good, healthy fats. What about cholesterol? Cholesterol is necessary in the body to produce hormones, help with tissue repair and actually protect against cancer and heart disease. It’s the rancid oils and oxidized cholesterol in refined foods that lead to inflammation and chronic disease. It’s best to get your eggs from a trusted source, and preferably soy free.
Peppermint essential oil: If consuming essential oils, be sure to only use a few drops. They can be very powerful! Only take them internally if the oils are from a trusted source, preferably organic or certified as therapeutic grade. Peppermint essential oil aids the immune system and has been found helpful in soothing digestive discomfort.
Spirulina: This blue-green algae is found naturally in the ocean. It’s full of vitamins and minerals and surprisingly a good source of calcium (300% more calcium than whole milk). It’s great for hair and nail growth too. It contains chlorophyll, which is good for making mint ice cream green, and helps with detoxification when the body is too acidic and under stress.
Chocolate: Foods like cocoa, tea, fruits and wine contain polyphenols, which are naturally occurring and provide health benefits like protection from chronic disease, ultraviolet radiation and aggressive pathogens. Recent studies are showing that these polyphenols may even help balance the digestive system by increasing good bacteria and decreasing the bad guys. Like wine, it’s best to consume in moderation and to find good quality, organic, dark chocolate without extra sugar or added milk products.
Joanna again. See? The above information is why, a mere eight hours after this episode, I was eating this ice cream. I almost wish I were joking because it seems irresponsible, but I’m not. And it did make me feel better.
Also: We made a video! A super amateur, first-attempt one because our siblings keep asking for them.
mint chocolate chip ice cream
makes 4 servings
We’ve been attempting this recipe for more than a year. The tough part was the mint flavor. Peppermint extract was medicinal, fresh mint was herbal–and not in a good way, sort of in a grassy way, but the essential oil gets it just right. It is the Goldilocks of mint flavorings.
2 cups coconut milk (we use light because that’s what’s most often available, but full-fat works and is even better)
coconut meat from one coconut, optional
4 egg yolks
1/4 cup raw honey
1 Tablespoon vanilla
big pinch of sea salt
4 drops peppermint oil
1/4 teaspoon spirulina powder (or any other green powder)
1 3-oz. bar dark chocolate, chopped
Blend all but the dark chocolate in a Vitamix or blender until creamy. Pour into your ice cream maker and let it do it’s thing. When it’s almost ready, add the dark chocolate and let it mix in. Serve immediately or freeze.
*A friend of mine at work told me she and her friends used to regularly meet for brunch to have “It’s fine” conversations. You blurted to that guy you’ve been casually seeing in a group of friends that you like him? It’s fine. You showed up to work forgetting you had a big presentation that day? It’s fine. You canceled on someone so you could sit at home and watch Amelie by yourself and eat ice cream? It’s fine. I love this. I want to start an “It’s fine” series of posts. Send me your worries, I’ll tell you it’s fine, then we’ll switch.