Vanilla Coconut Ice Cream w/Toasted Maple Pecans

Vanilla Coconut Ice Cream w/Toasted Maple Pecans

Lots of people are watching their dairy intake these days and for good reason.  Dairy can cause upset stomachs, skin break outs, phlegm build up, gassy tummy’s, and other ailments.   So when I came across a can of coconut cream in my pantry, I thought, could this make some good non-dairy ice cream?  I quickly put my ice cream maker bowl into the freezer and went to work on the putting together the ice cream base.

Instead of adding a cup of sugar that ice cream usually calls for, I added in about 7 dates instead.  I used dates for sweetness but they also add in a host of nutritional benefits!  I blended the dates with some coconut milk, not the coconut cream, in my magic bullet blender to make sure they got fully broken down.  The result was delicious!  It turned into creamy coconut date milk.   I then added some vanilla extract and a dash of sea salt and blended again for a few seconds to get it all mixed in.  Don’t forget to add in the salt!  Even though it’s not much, the salt balances out the sweetness.

Another note, I played around with this recipe a few times.  The 2nd time I made it I thought I would try to only add in the cream and not the water that was in the can to see if it would be creamier but it wasn’t, it made it more like a coconut oil ice cream, meaning it was sort of flakey instead.  The reason I did that was because it wasn’t mixing together, it wasn’t emulsifying in my kitchen aid mixer with the whisk.  So that is why I blend it with my magic bullet mixer.  If it doesn’t all fit in one of your magic bullet cups, just keep doing little bits at a time and it will all mix together.  And then it becomes a nice creamy, caramel’y, vanilla’y mixture!  You also can use a Vitamix or a bigger blender that it will all fit in.

I also dry toasted the pecans in a saute pan.  I kind of burned some of them and thought it would ruin the ice cream but it actually made it better!  I LOVED the deep taste of the pecans that way.  And then when they were done, I drizzled some maple syrup over them and mixed it all around and got them all coated in it.  I use maple syrup because once again, yes it is sugar, but this syrup also has a host of other nutrients in it and it adds in such a nice flavor with the pecans.  Pecans and maple syrup are like peanut butter and jelly!  They go together just oh so good.  I used raw pecan pieces and added in my own salt after I dry toasted them.  Not much, but like I said, the salt brings out the sweetness.

In one batch I did add in some chocolate chips as well.  One thing about making your own ice cream is adding in whatever you like.  So have fun and get creative!

 

Vanilla Coconut Ice Cream w/Maple Toasted Pecans
Ingredients
  • 1 cup Coconut Milk
  • 7 Dates
  • pinch Sea Salt
  • 1 can Coconut Cream
  • 1 tbsp Vanilla Extract or 1 Vanilla Bean
  • 1 cup Pecan Pieces
Instructions
  1. First, make sure you have your ice cream mixer bowl in the freezer.  It needs to be completely frozen.  Follow manufacturers instructions.

  2. Mix coconut milk, dates, and salt in a blender till the dates have completely blended in, about 1 minute, till creamy.  Add in the coconut cream and vanilla and blend till all mixed together.   Cover and refrigerate for a couple hours or more.

  3. Grab your ice cream mixer bowl out of the freezer and set up your ice cream maker.  Take the ice cream mixture out of the fridge and let's start mixing.

  4. Turn your ice cream maker on.  Then add in the ice cream mixture.  Mix until it starts to thicken, about 10 minutes.  This coconut mixture thickens faster than dairy milk.  Then add in the pecans (and any other add-ins you're using) while the mixture is still moving and before it gets to thick and starts to slow down.  If it does slow down and stops moving before your add in your add-ins, add some coconut milk to loosen it up and get it moving again.

  5. When it's done at this point, it will be more of a soft serve.  If you want to get it firmer, put it in the freezer to enjoy later.  I put mine in little containers for portion control, if not I would eat the WHOLE THING!  🙂

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