Creamy Lemon Ice Cream
Refined Sugar-Free, Dairy Free, Gluten Free
Learning how to make a healthier version of ice cream (aka "nice cream") was a game-changer for me. I had given up ice cream because it made me feel sluggish and well, just gross. Usually once I started in on a pint, I wouldn't stop until it was gone! Ugh.
With this recipe, you're likely to notice a different effect. Mostly, that you'll be satisfied with one single, beautiful scoop. This is largely due to the fact that you're eating nutritious "whole plant foods," rather than milk and sugar, which are mostly devoid of nutrients. According to Dr. Robert Lustig, author of the new book Metabolic, added processed "sugar is something we used to enjoy. Now, it's basically coated our tongues. It's turned into a diet staple, and it's killing us." Did you know that 25% of children today have fatty liver disease (liver disease caused by sugar not alcohol).
The great news is that you don't have to give up delicious sweetness altogether if you've decided to avoid processed sugar for health reasons. There are whole food forms of sugar that won't spike blood glucose, especially when consumed with FIBER. My favorite source of real food sweetness is the date (especially Medjool). On occasion, I go for some maple syrup. in general, as long as it's not the white stuff, I consider that a win. And the best part is, you sacrifice nothing in terms of flavor. In fact, you'll end up more satisfied because you've fueled your body with nutrients rather than toxic, processed food.
So what do you say? Let's do this!
This nutritious and decadent "nice" cream is:
...and the perfect finish to a plant-based meal!
And all you need is some relatively simple, whole food, mostly shelf stable ingredients:
- coconut cream (or full fat coconut milk)
- raw cashews
- maple syrup
- coconut oil
- arrowroot powder
- sea salt
- berries and mint (optional for serving)
Creamy Lemon Ice Cream
Makes approximately 1 pint
(vegan, gluten free, refined sugar-free)
Equipment needed: ice cream maker, ice cream scoop, high-speed blender, ice cream containers for freezing
1 cup cashews, soaked 4-6 hours
1 cup coconut cream
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
2 tsp lemon cream (recipe below), or sub with more lemon juice*
2 TB fresh lemon zest
¼ cup maple syrup
2 tsp coconut oil
¼ tsp sea salt or Himalayan pink salt, optional if using lemon cream
1 ½ tsp arrowroot powder
Mint leaves, fresh berries, blueberry sauce, optional for toppings
1) Freeze ice cream maker bowl for at least 8 hrs or overnight in freezer.
2) To soak cashews, either submerge in water for 4-6 hours or do a quick soak in very hot water for 20-30 minutes. Do not skip this step or your ice cream will not be creamy!
3) When ready, rinse your cashews and place all ingredients (except optional toppings) in a high-speed blender and blend until smooth.
4) Transfer mixture to the ice cream maker and churn until it the ice cream reaches a frozen texture but still smooth and creamy. Transfer to an ice cream container and freeze for about 30 minutes or until ready to use. If frozen longer than 30 minutes, you will need to soften a bit before serving.
5) Serve with optional toppings – lemon slices, blueberries, blueberry sauce, mint leaves.
*note: if not using lemon cream, I recommend topping with some Maldon salt for nice flavor balance.
This adds a deep lemony flavor to the ice cream and has been adapted from Yotam Ottelenghi’s Quick Lemon Paste from his wonderful Masterclass on Middle Eastern Cooking.
1 large lemon, ends trimmed, and sliced into 1/4 “ rounds and seeds removed
6 TB lemon juice
1 ½ TB coarse salt
Dash of water if needed
Directions: Place lemons, lemon juice and salt in a small sauce pan, preferably with a glass lid. Make sure the lemon slices are covered with liquid (this is key!). Bring to a boil and allow salt to dissolve. After a minute or two, lower the heat to a simmer, cover and allow to cook for about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and cool. When cool, place lemon mixture in a high-speed blender and blend until smooth. Store in a glass jar with a lid in the fridge for up to one month. Other than this ice cream recipe, lemon cream tastes great in salad dressings, on roasted vegetables, in stir fries, in pasta dishes and more!
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