Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Spicy Ice Cream and Finally Reaching Goals cream. On the anti-Candida diet, I've had a hard time dealing with the loss of so many dessert items. But I finally managed to get one back.

I've been familiar with coconut ice cream for a while, thanks to my sister, but all the store bought ones I've seen are packed with sugar. So I set to find a more ACD-friendly version. Inspired by the recipe over at Caveman Food, I sought to make something creamy and delicious, while still being sugar-free.

It certainly looks like ice cream (it's soft because it just came out of the machine). Mmm...the flavor is creamy and refreshing, not too sweet but sweet enough. Ahh, yes. But wait...why is my face burning? I have a solution for that! More ice cream. Lather, rise and repeat your way into deliciousness.

This is not your average scoop of vanilla. I wanted something with plenty of flavor, but without the additional carbs offered by filling it with fruit (not that there's a problem with fruit). What started with cinnamon quickly spiraled into an unusual, tasty concoction. Baker beware, but it is an enjoyable, if unexpected flavor combination.

A bowl of ice cream was a great way for me to celebrate the long-anticipated success at meeting my weight loss goal. It took me three years, but I'm finally down to my 'ideal BMI' and am 30 pounds lighter. I have been down and back up over the long stretch, but the most recent loss (due to my new lifestyle) has put me 20 pounds lighter since Thanksgiving 2010. It was the perfect pace for me, fast enough to see progress and slow enough that I stayed healthy. I know my revised eating plan may seem extreme to some, but it is pretty balanced and I make sure to get enough healthy calories and nutrients.

The long and short of it is I am super happy to have reached a goal I've had for a good while, but I don't see any reason to let up now. Instead of a focus on weight loss, I can now look to muscle toning and shaping, as well as continuing to nurture a healthy digestive track and overall wellbeing. I look forward to seeing how things progress in the future. I would like to thank my loving husband, family and friends that have supported me and been patient as I've continued to stumble through this process. You all are amazing!

Spicy Ice Cream

1 14 oz can of full fat coconut milk
2 eggs
1/4 tsp salt (optional)*
1 - 2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 - 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
dash of black pepper (I did about 4 grinds of my mill)
2 Tbsp agave nectar
1 Tbsp yacon syrup**
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 droppers of vanilla liquid stevia

*If you have an aversion to salt, it isn't required. I like to incorporate it because it makes things 'taste more'.
** If you don't have yacon syrup, you might need to add more sweetener. You can also use honey in place of agave, if you prefer.

Set a double boiler up using a glass bowl over a pot of simmering water. The goal is to keep it simmering and not boiling so it will be easier to manage the temperature later. Add the coconut milk to the bowl. Stir frequently, heat the milk to the point where it is hot, but not boiling.

Meanwhile, whisk eggs well in a separate bowl. When the coconut milk is hot, add a ladle-worth gradually into the eggs while whisking. Add a second ladle slowly, while continuing to whisk. Take the egg mixture and slowly incorporate it into the bowl of the double boiler, whisking continuously. During this long whisking, add salt, cinnamon, cayenne, and black pepper. With even more whisking, the mixture should thicken. I found that it takes about 7 - 10 minutes for me, but it is probably variable. You want it to coat the back of a spoon.

Make sure the eggs do not scramble. If they start to, remove from the heat and keep whisking, then return it to the double boiler. Once it has thickened, remove it from the heat to cool. When it's cool enough to submerge a finger in comfortably, add the agave, yacon, vanilla extract and vanilla stevia. Chill in the refrigerator or freezer until cold, then use your ice cream maker according to its directions.

Creamy straight from the machine, the ice cream will harden in the freezer. Let it sit at room temperature 10-15 minutes before serving later.

I hope you enjoy!

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