A simple, non-dairy ice cream that’s thick and creamy and full of coconut.
There’s a new type of ice cream in town that fits most dietary preferences, including non-dairy, gluten-free, vegan and paleo. This recipe is a simple coconut milk ice cream that’s sure to be a crowd pleaser, easy to make, and delicious to top with your favorite ingredients from chocolate chips to shredded coconut.
The Healthy Fats in Coconut Milk
Are the fats from coconut oil, coconut milk, and coconut meat healthy? I know what you may be thinking, a whole can of coconut milk, isn’t that fattening? Yes, the fats from coconut can be healthy depending on the context of how much you use.
Coconut is full of a certain type of fat, called saturated fat and mostly made up of medium chain triglycerides which continue to get a lot of buzz in the health world from advocates who think it’s a magic food to people who think coconut oil is the cause of all heart disease — let’s slow down there and look at what we do know.
In a nutshell, the fat contained in coconut meat, oil, and milk is mostly MCT (medium chain triglycerides), which is digested completely differently than standard fats in our diet (a.k.a. long chain fatty acids) and are more easily used as energy and broken down by the body.
We enjoy coconuts as a source of whole food fat like other fats on Nutrition Stripped, from olive oil to avocados and we do it with the same mindset, balance. Balance isn’t a sexy topic, but it’s sustainable, easy to fit into your life, and when it comes to fat, it helps food taste delicious and absorb fat-soluble nutrients.
Why Coconut Milk Works for Non-Dairy Ice Cream
Cow’s milk and dairy have a high-fat content, which is the main contribution to the velvety texture when mixed with all sorts of other ingredients. It may be difficult to create non-dairy ice creams and have a smooth and thick texture without using a lot of additions such as guar gum, xanthum gum, etc., to thicken it.
Full fat coconut milk is a great alternative for non-dairy ice cream as it creates that wonderful thick, creamy mouthfeel that traditional ice cream does. Also, I show you how to do this using banana in a previous post, no fat needed. Along the same lines, just as you can make your own ice cream sans dairy, you can, of course, make your own non-dairy milk which is amazing and super simple.
The Dish on Dessert in Moderation
Just because this ice cream is a healthier version with no processed ingredients, rich in medium chain triglycerides, easier to digest, and very allergy friendly (as many individuals have intolerances to dairy), still keep in mind that this recipe is a treat and you should treat it as that. Use some moderation because it’s calorically dense as well. Mindfully enjoy friends! I will be featuring several spin-offs and variations with simply coconut milk ice cream in future posts.