Friday, July 16, 2010

Strawberry Ice Creme

I’m on a quest to make really good non-dairy ice creme.  The ingredients in ice cream that traditionally give it that wonderful thick, creamy texture are cream and eggs.  Being allergic to eggs and and trying to avoid foods with cholesterol I’m searching for the perfect vegan ice creme recipe that will give me the “mouth feel” of full fat ice cream without the offending ingredients.
There are two basic ways to make ice cream.  You can mix all of the ingredients together and then chill and freeze them or you can cook a custard that you chill and then freeze.  I started with the first method, because I feel that the less you have to process something the better.  (I use a Kitchen Aid ice cream attachment to process my ice creme)

The results were good, but not great.  I considered not posting this recipe because it’s not excellent ice creme and there are a lot of average recipes on the web, but I figured it’s a way for me to document the process, and it is good, just not great.  You can see from this close up, that there were more ice crystals that I would have liked.

I started with an organic non dairy creamer by Wildwood.  Non-dairy creamers have a thicker consistency that regular soy or rice milk.  You could substitute with Silk creamer which is available nationwide if you can’t find the Wildwood brand, I just prefer it’s flavor.  I realize that I have readers outside the US, so I suggest that you use whatever natural non-dairy creamer is available in your area. 

I used honey as a sweetener, which I know is not considered vegan, but you can substitute a light agave if you’re apposed to using honey.  If you are going to use honey, use a light clover.  A dark honey or agave will have more of a tendency to effect the flavor of your ice creme.
I got a very large bag of overripe strawberries this week, that were not sellable.  I trimmed off the bad parts and still got a big bowl of very sweet berries.  I made some preserves for Mr. RK and I used the rest for this ice cream.  I think that over ripe fruit tastes the best (isn’t that a line from the movie Sweet Home Alabama?)

I also used a little guar gum to replace the eggs and give the ice creme a better texture.  More is not better when you use this gum.  Too much will give your ice cream a sticky, gooey texture.  Guar gum is packaged by Bob’s Red Mill in the U.S.  It’s not carried by a lot of stores, so if you can’t find it locally,  you can buy it from Bob’s.  

Next time, I’m going to try the custard method with some guar gum.  I’ll let you know how that works.
Strawberry Ice Creme
Use organic ingredients whenever possible
4 cups organic non-dairy creamer
1/2 cup honey (or sub light agave if you’re vegan)
1 tablespoon sunflower or canola oil
3/4 teaspoon guar gum
2 cups sliced strawberries (if your fruit is not really ripe you may want to add more honey)
Put 1 cup of the creamer in a blender with the honey, oil and guar gum. 
Blend until smooth.
Add the other 3 cups of creamer and blend for a few seconds.
Pour mixture into a large bowl and stir in the strawberries.
Pour into your ice cream maker and process according to it’s directions.
Remove the ice cream from the machine and pack into a container with a lid and freeze until solid.

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