WARNING: the foods we cook for Abby are safe for her, but not necessarily for everyone. Please confirm any ingredients are safe for you before using in your diet. Food Allergies can kill and the best policy is complete avoidance. Read this post for more info.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Allergen free Ice Cream?

It is going to get hot here in Houston soon, and who doesn't like a nice ice cream on a hot day?

If you are allergic to so much, it starts to get really really hard to buy food ready to eat at the grocery store. In a constant battle to find foods and a variety of foods that help Abby feel her best, we are forced to think outside of the box with food, and I have admit, we are all enjoying the process especially when getting to creating things like ice cream!

Our whole family was excited when we found a few different brands of soy free,dairy free ice cream. That was about 6 months ago. Since then 'project elimination" has accelerated, and now before you eat something, you have got to read the label on the front AND the back! LOL

When I read the list of "ingredients" on the coconut milk ice cream from the store- I thought it was ridiculous and a little scary I just expected more from a product made for folks with allergies! So yesterday we made our own.

The very first problem I encountered- we don't own an ice cream machine, a pretty big problem! We cannot own one, I just get this visual of me using it day in and day out creating calorie dense creations to the point that my freezers were nothing but ice cream! LOL

Headed to Pinterest- my go to place for creative solutions. Found a 2 ingredient ice cream recipe that needed NO ice cream machine! Well BINGO!

The recipe was just whipped cream with sweetened condensed milk and a dash of vanilla. Perfect if Abby did not have a dairy allergy!

So, I had seen how to make whipped cream from coconut milk, and figured somewhere out there in allergy land someone had tried to make sweetend condensed coconut milk- a quick web search and I found that lots had and it was easy !

Here is "my" recipe which I might tweak when we try again.

Coconut Ice Cream-

3 cans of organic coconut milk- (2 need to be refrigerated overnight)
1/4 cup sugar(Imperial or CH are corn free and honestly could have used honey, or no sugar at all or very little but was following a recipe I found)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract(allergy safe)
Organic fresh pineapple( small tidbits well drained)
unsweetened organic coconut shreds(find them in the freezer section)

First- put a glass or metal bowl in the fridge to get it ice cold.

Making your own Sweetened condensed Coconut Milk-
In sauce pan combine the 1 can that is not refrigerated of coconut milk and 1/4 cup sugar(or less, it is very sweet!)and vanilla.

Put on lowest setting and stir occasionally- It takes about 2 hours to reduce about 50 percent. Stir well now and then to avoid "lumps".( it will be clearly thicker but more translucent then "dairy" sweetened condensed milk)

Now, put your sweetened condensed milk in the fridge to get nice and cold(or freezer)

Open your two cold cans of coconut milk- the firm cream will have hardened separate from the "water". scoop out only the firmest of the cream leaving anything creamy or watery in the can(you can save this to make smoothies later-just freeze it)

In your cold bowl beat the coconut cream- sometimes it gets more whipped then others- but stiffer then creamy is what I try for..(I have mixed results)

Gently fold in your coconut sweetened condensed milk you put in the fridge earily into your whipped coconut cream.

Pour into freezer safe container- I now throw the pineapple tidbits and coconut(you can toast if you prefer)on top(mix in gently). Seal your container and freeze completely- (overnight).
You can add any ingredients you like nuts,berries, cookies- whatever flavor ice "cream" you are craving!

NOTE: You can also mash and whip one ripe banana in the food processor and fold it in when you fold in the condensed milk- this will help keep the ice cream a little more "soft" when frozen. Another lesson learned, putting raw strawberries in wasn't ideal- next time I will cook them a little to the "stewed" point- I suspect they will stay a little softer vs turning into rock hard strawberry rocks :-)

I also plan on figuring out how to can that sweetened condensed coconut milk- WOW it was AMAZING! I am betting it means I will have to learn how to use the pressure canner.. but it is time to face my fears, and worth it for that shockingly tasty condensed coconut milk!

I also made a very simple coconut flour bread(heavy on eggs) while I was playing in the kitchen this weekend. Interesting texture and once we all sampled it we all approved. This loaf was very flat though(need smaller loaf pan!) and if we sliced it for Abby it would be more like biscotti(not a bad idea!). We are trying to add blackstrap molasses into Abby's diet(love to throw out the miralax!) and we thought we will cut up the loaf we made for breadpudding with coconut milk and a "gingerbread" flavor- so the tasty little loaf is wrapped up and tucked into the freezer for the next kitchen fun day!.


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