Coconut, Vanilla and Raspberry Ice Cream

Since giving up sugar I have become nuts about coconut. I am now using it in lots of my recipes and it’s a fantastic ingredient. They are quite simply an amazing fruit. Coconut in the Western World is often looked at as an ‘exotic’ fruit but the health benefits of these little beauties are amazing.

Firstly, it is a natural antibiotic. Coconuts contain lauric acid, a fatty acid that can help fight many diseases including colds, flu, herpes and gum disease. It can also help with weight management as the oil is high in healthy fats which helps reduce the appetite, boosts the metabolism and increases the activity of fat burning cells. Finally, it can increase healthy cholesterol without raising unhealthy cholesterol levels.

Vanilla is another great ingredient. My husband thought of adding it so I can not take the credit for this one. I have not meet many people who do not like the taste of it. This fantastic spice can increase your brainpower because it has  chemicals called vanilloids that actively reduces inflammation in the brain. Therefore the brain is then able to perform more effectively. The spice has been used to calm stomach pangs, reduce hunger pains and relieve stress.

My son loves raspberries and he eats lots of them frozen. His favourite however are blueberries so you could also throw in a handful of these as well. (I recommend using a food processor as they are a lot harder to crush with a fork). Raspberries are jam packed with antioxidants, they regulate the metabolism and they fight diseases. A great fruit to feed your kids.

My two secret ingredients are maple syrup and cashew nut butter. You might be thinking yuck to the cashew nut butter but it makes this recipe extra creamy. If you want to you could soak 60 grams of cashew nuts in water for four hours and blend with the other ingredients. They often use the blended cashew nuts as an alternative to dairy cream in vegan or Indian food. Cashew nuts are a great source of calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc and folate. These minerals all help contribute to good bone health. They also help with the formation of collagen which supports healthy skin and body tissue.

There is a huge debate at the moment as to whether maple syrup is a sugar. Technically, it is a sugar but its a lot better for you than the sugar you would find in normal vanilla ice cream. The main reason it is different from refined sugar is it contains minerals and antioxidants. Maple syrup contains calcium, potassium, iron, zinc and manganese. These compounds are a great source of energy boosting. They can help fight cancer, diabetes, heart disease and they can also help boost a mans fertility.

Equipment Needed for this Recipe

  • Food processor or stick blender or a whisk
  • Bowl and fork
  • Container for ice cream.

Ingredients

  • Coconut milk – 1 tin (400 grams)
  • Vanilla pods x 1 cut in half, seeds removed but keep the pod they came in
  • Cashew nut butter or cashew nuts soaked for four hours or more
  • Maple syrup x 4 tbspn
  • Raspberries x 400 grams

Method

  • Place the coconut milk, vanilla pod, (cut in half with the seeds removed) cashew nut butter (or cashew nuts soaked for four hours) and maple syrup in a blender and blend until smooth. Add the raspberries and pulse for 30 seconds. The raspberries don’t want to be all broken up but just chipped a little bit. If you are adding blueberries then add at the same time as the raspberries.
  • If you do not have a food processor then you can whip all the ingredients together minus the raspberries. Or you can use a stick blender for this job, if you have one of those in your cupboard. Then grab a fork and your raspberries and mix them into the coconut milk mixture, crushing a few of them along they way.
  • Once all the ingredients are combined, place the mixture into a container, the remaining pod can be placed on top of the ice cream and put it into the freezer for at least six hours. Stir every hour or so during the six hour period and remove the pod while you’re stirring. When you are ready to eat remove from freezer 30 mins before serving. This is a simple and easy recipe that my whole family loves. Health on a delicious plate. Enjoy!