Pina Colada Coconut Milk Ice Cream (No gluten, soy, dairy... just beachy, dreamy goodness)
Updated: Feb 21, 2020
Whether you are recovering from a 'glutening' or sensitive to dairy, it's a relief to know that you don't have to give up ice cream! As long as I can remember, I have been obsessed with ice cream. Even as a kid, I would eat ice cream from breakfast... and I still do as a 'grown-up' (whatever that word means, lol). But what do you do when you have to give up dairy and all of the non-dairy options at the grocery store contain preservatives, gums, emulsifiers, and other additives? Make your own, of course!
Right now, I'm recovering from an autoimmune flare up that has left my system in a shambles so I've had to buckle down and stick to an extra-strict diet with NO cheating. Dairy is processed at the tips of your guy villi. When your gut symbiosis is compromised, those villi do not function properly and cannot do their job on dairy so I find it best to avoid all dairy for a few weeks to give the villi time to heal.
So what is an ice cream lover who can't have dairy to do? There are many non-dairy options such as almond milk, soy milk, and cashew milk. However, I am extremely sensitive to soy as well as the emulsifiers and additives in the nut milks. Enter coconut milk (and a quick purchase of an ice cream machine from Amazon)! Coconut milk is good for the skin, hair and loaded with anti-inflammatory properties. I love everything coconut... probably why the pina colada has always been one of my favorite desserts.
This was my first try at making ice cream from scratch. I was just going to test a simple vanilla bean recipe, but I had some pineapple chunks to use up and I always look for ways to add fiber, vitamins, and anti-inflammatory ingredients to all of my creations. Pineapple + coconut = pina colada (in my brain, anyhow) so I decided to give it a go... and I am soooo glad I did! Ice cream craving satiated!
1 can unsweetened coconut milk (13.5 ounces)
1 can coconut cream (13.5 ounces)
1/3 cup coconut syrup (more to taste). You could also use maple syrup, agave, or honey.
¼ cup pineapple juice (reserve the juice that forms when you chop your pineapple to use here).
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
½ cup finely chopped pineapple
OPTIONAL: 1/4 cup rum, 1 tsp rum extract, toasted coconut flakes for serving.
In a large bowl, mix together the coconut milk, cream and syrup with a hand mixer for 2-3 minutes until the mixture is smooth. Stir in the pineapple juice, vanilla extract and pineapple pieces.
Chill the mixture for at least 2 hours. The mixture will thicken a bit.
Turn on your ice cream machine. Pour the chilled mixture into the freezer bowl and let mix until thickened, about 20-30 minutes, depending on the coldness of your ice cream machine. If using rum, add it during the last 2-3 minutes.
Transfer the soft ice cream to ice cream containers or another freezer safe (and odor-safe) container. Freeze for 2 hours to allow the texture to firm further.
Serve with optional toasted coconut flakes... or a little rum drizzled over the top. ;)
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