Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Raspberry Chocolate Chip Kefir Ice Cream or Pops

This creamy low carb dessert is such a treat and another great way to incorporate more natural, probiotic-rich food into your diet. It's made with frozen organic raspberries (or fresh) that are both low on the glycemic scale and high in antioxidants. To make it extra creamy, I drained the whey out of my homemade kefir, or you can use store bought, to create kefir cheese. (Recipe for making kefir at home can be found here.) To make kefir or yogurt cheese, simply line a strainer with two unbleached coffee filters, set it over a bowl, fill the strainer with plain kefir (or plain unsweetened yogurt, but not Greek) and allow to drain in the refrigerator overnight.  When the thickened, cream cheese-like kefir cheese is added to the kefir with the full-fat coconut milk, the result is a super luscious and decadent frozen treat.  If you want to have a festive ice cream for the holidays, simply add some peppermint extract or a few drops of dietary-grade peppermint essential oil to the mix.  I've had it both ways and it is delightful!

Raspberry Chocolate Chip Kefir Ice Cream
Makes 6 servings (1/2 cup each)

3/4 cup fresh or frozen raspberries
1/2 cup kefir cheese (or yogurt cheese)
1/2 cup plain unsweetened kefir
1 cup full-fat coconut milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon Lakanto Monkfruit Sweetener (or erythritol sweetener)
1/2 teaspoon stevia powder (I used Sweetleaf brand) or to taste
3 tablespoons chopped dark chocolate (85% cacao or higher)
For optional peppermint flavor, add 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract or 2-3 drops dietary grade peppermint essential oil, or to taste

1. In a blender, blend together the raspberries, kefir cheese, kefir, coconut milk, vanilla, sweeteners and peppermint extract or oil, if using, until smooth.  Taste mixture and add more sweetener, if desired. If you used fresh raspberries, refrigerate mixture for at least one hour before proceeding. Chop the dark chocolate and set aside.

2. Churn the ice cream according to the manufacturer's instructions for your ice cream maker, adding the chopped chocolate at the appropriate time.  Serve immediately or freeze for a few minutes until it reaches a soft-serve consistency. Put any leftovers into ice pop molds and freeze to serve later. (This is best served as soft-serve ice cream.  If allowed to freeze completely, it will be too firm to scoop, so making ice pops is the best way to use leftover ice cream.)

Nutritional Information per 1/2 cup serving: 193 calories, 7.6 g carbohydrate (1.3 g dietary fiber, 4.8 g sugars, 2 g sugar alcohols), 18.1 g total fat (11.6 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 20 mg cholesterol, 36 mg sodium, 71.1 mg calcium, 24 mg potassium, 2.3 g protein.  Net carbs per serving: 6.3 grams

Recipe by Kathy Sheehan, copyright 2015

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