This is a rich and refreshing coconut ice cream with a light crème de menthe flavor. It’s a vegan peppermint ice cream made with blended coconut milk and spinach leaves! I was amazed to discover that fresh spinach adds a beautiful green color, high nutrition, and a mild flavor with no impact on the refreshing mint taste. Go ahead and try it—I think you’ll be pleased. Make it chocolate mint ice cream by adding optional unsweetened cacao nibs. This is easiest to make in an electric ice-cream machine. You can also use an old-fashioned hand-cranked machine, or beat it with an electric mixer. But just so you’re aware (and I’ve tried this all ways)—an ice-cream machine is the easiest option.
Equipment needed: Any style blender (a high-speed blender such as Blendtec or Vitamix will give you a smoother ice cream), and an ice-cream machine (easiest) or electric mixer. Makes 2 cups ice cream. Find more Paleo Desserts in my new book at PaleoDesserts.com!
- 1 1/2 cups any unsweetened coconut milk
- 1/2 cup Just Like Sugar Table Top natural chicory root sweetener (not Baking), or your favorite sweetener.
- 10 to 20 medium-size fresh mint leaves (optional)
- 10 small leaves fresh spinach
- 1 1/4 teaspoons peppermint extract
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/8 teaspoon unprocessed salt
- 1/3 cup melted coconut oil (place jar in lukewarm water to melt oil)
- 1 tablespoon agar flakes
- 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk, to cook agar
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cacao nibs, frozen – optional
- In a blender, combine the 1 1/2 cups of coconut milk, sweetener, mint leaves (if using), spinach leaves, peppermint extract, vanilla, and salt. Blend well until smooth and the leaves are as liquefied as possible. Sweeten to taste.
- Add the barely warm coconut oil, and blend again until smooth.
- In a shallow nonstick pan over medium heat, stir the agar flakes into 1/4 cup of coconut milk. Cook and stir gently for 2 to 3 minutes, until it is bubbling and gummy, and the flakes begin to dissolve.
- Add the warm agar mixture to the blender immediately and blend well to remove any lumps.
- Pour the mixture into a bowl and chill for several hours in the refrigerator.
For an Electric Ice Cream Maker or Hand-Cranked Machine:
- Pour the mixture into the machine and process per the manufacturer’s instructions.
For a Hand Mixer:
- Pour the mixture in a deep, freezer-safe mixing bowl. Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours to chill it. After 4 hours, mix it with an electric mixer until smooth and put in the freezer for 1 hour.
- After one hour, remove the ice cream from the freezer every 30 minutes to mix it again, so you can break up any ice crystals and keep it smooth. Place back in the freezer and repeat this process every 30 minutes.
- If you plan to add cacao nibs at the end, these must be frozen first so they don’t melt the ice cream.
- Continue this process every 30 minutes, until the ice cream reaches your desired texture. When finished, mix in the nibs quickly and place the ice cream into serving bowls or storage containers.
- If you’re storing the ice cream, place it quickly in a shallow freezing container and cover the surface of the ice cream with plastic wrap to prevent ice crystals from forming.
If you’re in a hurry, just chill for at least 30 minutes and serve this as a pudding. It’s awesomely delicious.