Since the inception of Healthy Green Kitchen, I’ve been conflicted about posting dessert recipes. My goal is to encourage people to eat healthy, and let’s be honest, most desserts just don’t really fit in with the theme.
I thought about it a lot, though, and came to the conclusion that this blog is about the recipes I make. So if I make something that isn’t super healthy, but I feel that it’s worth sharing, I am going to share it.
I eat an overall healthy diet, but I am not going to lie- I love making sweets every now and then. I also enjoy signing on for various baking and cooking blogging challenges. So if you see a recipe here that just doesn’t seem to fit with the others, there’s probably a reason, and I’ll always give you some background if that is the case.
I often use alternative flours and sweeteners, and I love to experiment with vegan and gluten-free baking. I almost always try to use all organic ingredients; at the very least my ingredients are real and all-natural. But I think it’s disingenuous to pretend I never eat dessert. Just keep in mind that I do think sweets should only be consumed in moderation, and only in the context of a balanced healthy diet. If you are trying to lose weight or if you struggle with poor health, then I do suggest you limit the sweets.
Now on to the ice cream!
I celebrated my birthday recently and I was ecstatic about getting a new ice cream maker and a copy of David Lebovitz’ ice cream, sorbet, and frozen yogurt recipe book: The Perfect Scoop. Thanks Dad!
The Perfect Scoop is no lightweight paperback. It’s a beautiful book that completely surpassed my expectations before I’d even made my first batch of ice cream! I really love the way David writes about food, he always uses “real” ingredients, and there are actually quite a few healthy recipes in the book …
I was quite indecisive about which recipe to try first, though. It’s not like I eat all that much ice cream, so I wanted to make sure it would be something really good.
After I’d read through the book several times, it hit me.
I have a gorgeous patch of mint I inherited when I moved into my home, so I decided to make the Fresh Mint Ice Cream.
Mint has a reputation of being very invasive, but I just love having it around. Mint aids digestion, so I like the idea of incorporating it into desert. David’s recipe does not contain chocolate chips, but I just couldn’t resist adding them.
I made just a few changes to the Fresh Mint Ice Cream recipe. I used all organic ingredients, and I used organic 2% milk instead of regular milk and organic half and half instead of heavy cream. So the result is just a little lighter than the original recipe, but then I went ahead and added the chocolate, so I guess it all kind of evens out.
David calls for 2 cups of fresh mint leaves. I used this amount and felt that the end product, while delicious, could be a bit “more minty”; perhaps the mint David used in developing the recipe was a stronger variety. So I’d consider using more mint next time, or maybe adding a tiny bit of all natural mint extract.
Fresh Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
Adapted from David Lebovitz’ The Perfect Scoop
1 cup organic 2 % milk (or whole milk)
2 cups organic half and half (or heavy cream)
3/4 cup organic sugar
pinch of Himalayan or sea salt
2 cups lightly packed fresh mint leaves
5 egg yolks, preferable from organic, free-range chickens
1 cup organic semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips (I chopped mine from a bar)
Heat the milk, 1 cup of the half and half or cream, the sugar and the salt in a pot. Remove from heat before it comes to a boil, add the mint leaves, and cover. Allow the mint to infuse for about 1 hour.
Pour the infused liquid through a strainer into a bowl, squeezing out the mint leaves to extract all of their flavor. Compost or discard the mint. Reheat the minty milk mixture over medium heat to just before boiling, and then set it aside.
Pour the remaining 1 cup of cream into a medium size metal bowl, and place it in ice water over a larger bowl. Place a mesh strainer on top of the bowls and set aside.
Beat the egg yolks with a wire whisk.
Slowly pour the warmed milk mixture into the egg yolks; whisk constantly while you do this so that the egg yolks don’t cook.
Pour the warmed egg milk mixture back into a saucepan. Stir constantly over medium heat, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the custard thickens and coats the back of a spoon.
Remove from the heat immediately and pour the custard through the strainer into the cold cream. Mix well.
Chill the custard completely in the refrigerator, add the chocolate chips, and then proceed to make ice cream according to your manufacturer’s instructions.
This is my new ice cream maker and I am very happy with it.
I was previously using the Kitchen Aid ice cream attachment which disappointingly never allowed my ice cream to get beyond very very soft.
This machine has gotten great reviews and it’s very reasonably priced. It is nice looking, it is easy to use, and it is amazingly fast. It is also very easy to clean.
If you like being able to make homemade frozen desserts, I highly recommend it.