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Well, I said I wouldn’t do it. I wouldn’t be that real food blogger that constantly posts about treats. I told myself that I wanted to present as a realistic, day-to-day, easy recipe, family friendly, quick-ish real food type of blog. That is still the plan however my first post will be about banana vanilla ice cream… because this ice cream is just THAT GOOD! Seriously. Our daughter, the coconut flavor detective, had no idea this ice cream was made with a base of coconut cream… that was my exact intention! (recipe below post)
So it began when my awesome sister decided to get one step closer to pursuing her next career venture and moved into an adorable inner city apartment with some roommates. She sold her car to lower her expenses and save money to move into her next phase of life which may involve midwifery school or something of that nature! Rock on, sis! Anyways, some of her kitchen appliances had to find new homes. Since she loves me so much… I was given the honor of “fostering” some of her appliances and being handed down some of the things that didn’t sell at her moving sale. Among them were a Vitamix, KitchenAid Stand Mixer and…. ICE CREAM MAKER! At first I hesitated on taking the ice cream maker, questioning it’s necessity, realistic expected usage and whether it was worthy of the 9×9″ square of space it would occupy in one of our many kitchen cabinets. I decided what the heck, I will take it. Figuring if I truly ended up not using it I could give it back to her to try to sell again. Boy am I glad I took it… I had no idea how it would change my life.
I’ll admit, it sat awhile in the cabinet before I finally busted it out a bit after our son was born. I have not stopped making ice cream since! This was around the same time we finally decided that starting a blog “eventually” was a thing that I needed to do before starting the Nutritional Therapy Practitioner program… If I decide that is even what I will do with my food and health passion. I began to record my recipes as I remembered to, which is a bit of an adjustment when you just do “a little of this, a little of that” type of recipes. 😀
In order to perfect the recipe and achieve the proper flavor balance, sweetness and consistency I had to make quite a few batches… I ate banana vanilla ice cream with at least one of my meals every day for at least a month. Yes, it was awesome. You may think that so much ice cream would lead to weight gain but it actually did not for me, in fact it did the opposite. In that time I also realized that I needed to cut dairy out for the sake of our baby’s tummy and my own reaction that had decided to make a return. 😥
A life without dairy may seem like a tragedy but it doesn’t have to be! In our case it is for the better, baby no longer needs the gripe water for his tummy, I feel better overall and the remaining “baby weight” dropped off very quickly. After a few weeks of cutting dairy, adding a low impact Pilates routine a couple times per week and of course having this ice cream on at least a daily basis I was back to my pre-pregnancy self again and feeling fantastic! I believe that the high doses of healthy fats may have contributed to this! Not everyone does but I happen to do pretty well with a high (healthy) fat diet as long as I am primarily junk and processed food free and keep the sugar intake relatively low particularly on less active days. Of course when pregnant or breastfeeding the need for ample amounts of high quality fats and carbs increases even more, I definitely notice a difference when I do not include enough.
So, about this ice cream… coconut flavor is pretty dang delicious to me, especially when paired with banana and vanilla, so I had to swindle my husband, daughter, mom and sister into taking at least one bite of every batch to give unbiased opinions on the matter. I simply could not trust myself to be the only judge of this. We probably made at least 12 batches before we came up with a winning recipe. I hope you enjoy it!
I used this this ice cream maker and this Vitamix model to make the ice cream. I am sure this could work fine in a normal blender if you don’t have a Vitamix or other equivalent high power blender. You may just need to make sure the coconut oil is very soft or melted before trying to blend. If it is not blended well enough and is not cold enough when the mixture goes into the cream maker little balls of coconut oil will happen. If you also don’t have an ice cream maker then it will still freeze well as long as it is thoroughly blended beforehand however the consistency may not be as awesome.
With the final recipe we used these brands of coconut cream, refined coconut oil, coconut sugar, vanilla extract and honey because we had them on hand and they are awesome. I have not made this recipe with coconut cream containing any thickeners or stabilizers such as guar gum so I cannot attest to the results being the same if those varieties are used. Please let us know in the comments if you do use any other varieties of ingredients and what the results are! 😎