It doesn't need to be summertime to enjoy ice cream—and, it doesn't need to technically be ice cream to enjoy a delicious, creamy frozen treat, either! In fact, you can turn the guilt-lovers dessert into an exceptionally healthy and most delightful frozen treat. Really!
Conventionally raised dairy is one of the most polluted foods on the planet. Cows are fed a steady diet of antibiotics, growth hormones, genetically modified grains (which are also an unnatural diet for the cows), and a slew of other unnatural ingredients that can turn milk into a toxic soup. Besides, cow milk is meant for cow babies, and many health experts suggest that some of our most common illnesses can be traced to dairy in our diets. More than 50 million Americans are estimated to be lactose intolerant with certain populations highly susceptible to dairy intolerance: 90 percent of Asian-Americans and 75 percent of Jewish and African-American populations.
Although it can be hard to resist—especially as ice cream—dairy can cause digestive disturbances including irritable bowel syndrome, gas and bloating, ulcers, stomach upset, skin rashes and irritations, and excessive mucus. Dairy is also believed to contribute to America's expanding waistline, especially when coupled with processed, refined sugars common in ice cream products.
Even if you're choosing organic ice cream, while you reduce your exposure to additives common in conventional dairy, the risk of a reaction to dairy itself is still high. And organic certification can allow non-organic ingredients like carrageenan, which is known to have certain health risks and is common in organic dairy products including ice cream.
Fortunately, most of us know by now that a cow is not the only place to get milk. Nuts, seeds, grains, and beans are just as capable of providing us rich and creamy "milks" that are healthier and more flavorful than dairy too. You get lots of healthy benefits from plant-based milks, including the healthy omega fatty acids, vitamins and minerals, antioxidants, and unique plant chemicals that can improve our health in a number of ways. Coconut and chia can increase our hydration, hemp is loaded with protein, and nuts contain potent antioxidants that can reduce our risk of heart disease and high cholesterol.
When you combine nondairy milk with all natural ingredients, low glycemic sweeteners and low temperatures, you get an incredibly rich and decadent frozen treat even the most devout Ben & Jerry's lovers will swoon for.
This recipe uses both cashews and coconuts for an extra creamy, super dreamy and easy recipe you'll absolutely love!
2 cups raw cashews soaked in spring water for 4-6 hours
2 cups young coconut meat
1 cup young coconut water
¾ cup agave nectar, honey, or brown rice syrup
¼ cup coconut oil
3 tablespoons vanilla extract
½ teaspoon salt (mineral salt is the best)
Optional: 1½ cups ripe strawberries, peaches, blueberries, or fruit of your choice. Or try adding ¾ cup raw cacao powder for a chocolate ice cream.
Blend all ingredients in a high-powered blender, adding cashews and coconut water lastly (and fruit) and slowly until mixture is creamy and uniform. It should get thick and frothy when the cashews have been added.
Transfer into your ice cream maker and follow the machine's instructions. That's it! Pretty simple, right? Enjoy!Learn more about Jill Ettinger