Having just returned from the mecca of homemade ice cream shops (Cape Cod), I'm pretty proud to report that I only had a few licks of the indulgent treat myself. I've been a huge frozen treat lover since childhood, but the stomach ache and guilt just weren't worth it.
I judge an ice cream place on whether or not its pistachio and mint chip flavors are green. The latter happens to be our unofficial favorite family flavor, and any time a homemade joint scoops up some that's neon green, I wonder what other artificial junk their ice cream contains.
Last night I decided to a way to actually embrace very green ice cream, not just for my kids but for myself as well. I use real mint and baby spinach in smoothies all the time, creating my own version of a "shamrock shake." By incorporating both into my own mint ice cream, I got just the right shade of green plus a little nutritional boost as well.
I promise you cannot taste the spinach in this treat! Both of my kids asked for seconds even after the knew all of the ingredients.
You could probably make it with all coconut milk, but I used a combination for texture and to add a little extra vanilla. This is obviously not an everyday treat for paleo purists, but certainly beats the stuff in tubs, and you could certainly use less sweetener as desired.
Paleo Mint Chip Ice Cream
1 can coconut milk
1.5 cups unsweetened vanilla almond or coconut milk beverage
1/2 cup raw honey
1/2 cup mint leaves
1 large handful baby spinach
1/2 tsp. guar or xantham gum
1/2 tsp. peppermint extract
1 tbs. vanilla extract
1 cup dairy-free chocolate chips
Combine coconut milk through vanilla in a high-powered blender and run until smooth (if your blender isn’t the strongest, try chopping your spinach a bit before blending to ensure you get homogenous results… green specks will give you away!)
Put mixture in fridge until chilled, then process according to your ice cream maker’s directions. Stir chips in during last couple of minutes. Serve immediately or freeze for at least an hour to further firm up your ice cream.