I did a lot of research on making a diet-friendly vegan chocolate ice cream: sugar-free, dairy-free, egg-free, soy-free homemade ice cream that is NOT based on store-bought coconut milk. For one thing, coconut milk tastes a lot like coconut – not everybody loves that, it might be also difficult to purchase for some people, and on the other hand – it is usually so very creamy because it has been stabilized using xanthan gum, and a lot of people can’t tolerate that, either.
I usually find a lot of useful ideas on blogs from all over the world but I just couldn’t find the solution for homemade, delicious, sugar-free, dairy-free, egg-free, soy-free homemade ice-cream without using coconut milk as a base. Finally, I called upon my inner pharmacist to develop this yummy, chocolate-flavored emulsion called ice cream.
Interested? Good. 🙂 Keep on reading!
Hi, I’m Nora, a pharmacist/mad scientist/foodie with some dietary restrictions residing in Budapest, Hungary. I’m developing recipes that are sugar-free, low carb, low GI, gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, soy-free and delicious – all at the same time!
Why am I doing this? Well, I am not living with so many dietary restrictions, but while doing some research for my recipes, I realized that there a lot of people out there with all kinds of problems and food allergies of all possible combinations. So I thought, if I figure out a recipe that is free from a lot of potential allergens, why not go all the way and make it “all-free”? (The title of my blog in Hungarian means something like “Nóri’s all-free cuisine” – Nóri is a common nickname for Nora.)
So, about the ice cream. At first I tried to substitute the basic ingredients for something that is compatible with my diet, but I had to realize that there is no plant based milk, that is just like cow’s milk, or anything that would play exactaly the same role in the making of ice cream as cream and eggs. At this point I recognized this problem as a really exciting ice cream development opportunity for the pharmacist in me. 🙂 I decided to start this recipe from scratch.
Ice cream is an emulsion just like any other, right? All I needed was to homogenize two phases of oil and water in each other, and something to stabilize all this.
I chose to use home made almond milk as it doesn’t have a flavor as strong as e.g. coconut milk – that would make great coconut ice cream, I’m sure. You would need fatty whole milk to make great ice cream, and almond milk contains even less fats than skimmed milk, so chose to add some coconut oil, which is natural in taste and very good for our heart&arteries.
Cow’s milk contains a protein of special properties that stabilizes classic ice cream. To make up for the lack of this I use some agar-agar powder. To substitute the binding properties of eggs, I chose to use some starch. I experimented with different types: at first I tried corn starch, which is traditional in Sicilian ice cream, but later I learned that I can make the creamiest ice creams with tapioca starch.
The amount of polyol sweetener used in ice cream is critical, as this will determine not just the sweetness, but also the melting point of the outcome… I had to try a couple of times to get this right, so I suggest you don’t change the amount of xylitol used in this recipe! If the ice cream is not sweet enough, add some non-caloric sweetener, like stevia to make up for the difference.
Let’s make some ice cream… 🙂
Ingredients for approx. 600-700ml ice cream (makes 4 servings or 2 generous portions):
400ml or 1 3/4 cup of almond milk or rice milk
50g or 4 heaping tablespoons of xylitol
1 teaspoon of (home made) vanilla extract
70g or 1/4 cup of coconut oil
15g or 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder
15g or 1 1/2 tablespoons of tapioca or corn starch (read above about the difference)
1 teaspoon of agar-agar powder
pinch of salt
It’s really important to use quality cocoa for this recipe: the darker the better.
You’ll need an ice cream machine for this.
1. Prepare your ice cream maker following the manufacturer’s instructions: usually you need to put the bowl of the machine in the freezer for 24 hours.
2. In a small bowl, mix half of the almond milk with the xylitol, coconut oil, cocoa powder, pinch of salt and start heating over medium heat.
3. Whisk the starch in the remaining almond milk, sprinkle the galetine/agar-agar powder on top, let stand for a couple of minutes and mix thoroughly.
4. Once the first mixture is hot but not boiling, pour in the starchy mixture while stirring constantly.
5. Now heat the ice cream mixture but don’t boil it. Stir it until it gets really thick: this may take a couple of minutes, be patient.
6. Now you can have a taste check to see if it’s sweet enough. Keep in mind that once frozen, it will taste less sweet than it does now.
7. Set aside your future ice cream to cool and once only slightly warm, put it in the fridge for at least 4 hours, even better overnight.
8. Now you only have to prepare your ice cream following your ice cream machine manufacturer’s instructions. I need about 30 minutes to churn this:
9. The consistency of this is like a semifreddo, if you would like to form nice balls, just put the ice cream in the freezer for 1-2 hours (and not more):
10. Serve and enjoy! 🙂
According to my husband, this ice cream sprinkled with a touch of sugarfree hazelnut syrup is as good as the one we had in Bologna, Italy (best ice cream ever). I think he’s a little bit biased, however, this recipe is really worth trying. I know it might seem lengthy to prepare, but actually it took me a lot more time to type this recipe than make it…
The biggest difference between this oce cream and the classic one is that if you leave it in the refrigerator and it freezes completely, it will lose its creamy texture as the starch dehydrates and loses its ability to stabilize the ice cream. The solution? You have to eat all of it right away (what a pity…) or, if there really are left overs you don’t know what to do with you can put it in popsickle forms and enjoy them later.
About the carb count. This recipe yields 555g of ice cream, containing altogether 75g of carbs. That is 13,5g CH/100g. We enjoyed this amount in 4 servings, that means 19g CH/serving.
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This recipe was shared among lots of amazing stuff at Allergy Free Wednesday and Gluten Free Wednesday.
- 400ml or 1¾ cup of almond milk or rice milk
- 50g or 4 heaping tablespoons of xylitol
- 1 teaspoon of (home made) vanilla extract
- 70g or ¼ cup of coconut oil
- 15g or 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder
- 15g or 1½ tablespoons of tapioca or corn starch (read above about the difference)
- 1 teaspoon of agar-agar powder
- pinch of salt
- Prepare your ice cream maker following the manufacturer's instructions: usually you need to put the bowl of the machine in the freezer for 24 hours.
- In a small bowl, mix half of the almond milk with the xylitol, coconut oil, cocoa powder, pinch of salt and start heating over medium heat.
- Whisk the starch in the remaining almond milk, sprinkle the galetine/agar-agar powder on top, let stand for a couple of minutes and mix thoroughly.
- Once the first mixture is hot but not boiling, pour in the starchy mixture while stirring constantly.
- Now heat the ice cream mixture but don't boil it. Stir it until it gets really thick: this may take a couple of minutes, be patient.
- Now you can have a taste check to see if it's sweet enough. Keep in mind that once frozen, it will taste less sweet than it does now.
- Set aside your future ice cream to cool and once only slightly warm, put it in the fridge for at least 4 hours, even better overnight.
- Now you only have to prepare your ice cream following your ice cream machine manufacturer's instructions.
- The consistency of this is like a semifreddo, if you would like to form nice balls, just put the ice cream in the freezer for 1-2 hours (and not more)
You'll need an ice cream machine for this.
Looks delish! Love anything chocolate!
Thanks, I'm also a huge chocolate fan. 🙂
Cathy Carey says
Could you just patent the recipe and sell it at my grocery store? Please,
Thanks, Cathy, what a great idea… 😀 Until then, you can whip up a small batch of this any minute! 😉
May want to rephrase "allergy friendly". I got really excited to see allergy friendly We have a peanut and tree nut allergy in our house so the recipe is definitely not "allergy friendly" for us.
I had nut-allergies in mind when creating this, that is why I offered almond OR rice milk as a base, if you would kindly take a second look at the ingredients list, first line. I tried both and they worked. Just like I offered tapioca OR cornstarch, keeping in mind folks with sensitivities to corn. See, I still think this ice-cream recipe is truly an allergy-friendly one. I hope you and your family will enjoy it! 😉
Shirena Outlaw says
I think Georgia may be referring to the use of coconut oil in the recipe. I was very excited to see this recipe and was preparing to share it with a few friends who have a variety of allergies until I saw coconut oil.
Thanks for your comment!
I'm no expert in nut allergies but as far as I know, coconut is safe for people with nut or treenut allergies, as long as they don't have a reaction specifically to coconut.
See an article here: http://blog.onespotallergy.com/2011/03/is-coconut-safe-for-people-with-tree-nut-allergies/
I haven't tried this with any other oil so I cannot give you a quick tip how to sub it but I'll keep this in mind for future posts.
Have a great day!
Vicki Montague says
Very clever, well done!!
Cool Carlisle's says
This looks so yummy!! Do you have the carb counts for this recipe?
Sure, just updated my post!
Amanda Kay says
Just stumbled upon your website. I am also a Pharmacist and Health coach with dietary restrictions. 🙂
We have some things in common, so it seems. 😉 I just stopped by your blog – it must nice to meet and help people live healthier. See you!
Its also not Vegan if it has gelatin in it.
True, that's why I have listed agar-agar powder right next to gelatine as a vegan alternative. 🙂
Linda Clark says
I wish there was a recipe that didn’t need a machine, they look so yummy