Notice I said reduce our sugar intake, I did not say eliminate. We felt that tackling both wheat and sugar all at once would be too difficult for us, we are not the “cold turkey” types, but tend more towards “one step at a time” types.
So while breads, muffins, pastas and cookies may be out during our 30-day challenge, that doesn’t mean we have given up on treats and dessert altogether!
Food For Thought
One of the major concerns with modern wheat, besides gluten, is the huge insulin spike it creates when consumed. Wheat, both whole grain and white flour, convert easily in your body to a simple sugar equivalent, with really nasty long term consequences to your health. So while my daughter and I try to avoid wheat for the next 30 days, we will also try to reduce some foods that have a pretty high glycemic load. Such as ice cream.
But I am open to compromises, instead of going out a few times a week to our local ice cream shoppe, or bringing home commercially available concoctions with loads of sugar and questionable ingredients, we decided to make our own, to see if we couldn’t have our ice cream, and eat it too.
Lucky for us, we had just been to the grocery and had a boatload of strawberries around. I would have preferred freshly picked from the fields, but we are a bit late in the year for that option, so we went with organic strawberries because the conventionally available berries are so high on the Environmental Working Group’s list of their Dirty Dozen, at #2!
We dedicated two quarts to our project, one to be completely in the cream, and the second to simply be roughly chopped, for texture and mouth feel, in the final product.
Our choice for a sweetener was pretty easy, we simply went with local honey, collected only about 30 miles or so for where I live. I know it’s still sugar, but we don’t eat a ton of it at a time, and remember that we are working on giving up wheat for a while, not necessarily wheat and sugar at the same time. Honey also has the added benefit of at least having a few reported benefits of consuming it, while most other sugars I have seen don’t. And I’m not remotely interested in trying some of the new artificial sweeteners, so honey it is.
And now, what to do with the “cream” in ice cream? Most the ice cream recipes that I’ve seen involve equal amounts of cream and whole milk. While I am not actively trying to reduce my dairy consumption, I would prefer adding in some ingredient that might actually be beneficial. So it would make sense (in my own mind at least) for me to drop some of the dairy in a normal ice cream, and possibly add in coconut milk, due to the many benefits of all things coconut!
Of course, now that I have rationalized eating ice cream during my 30 day wheat challenge, there are a few more iterations of this coconut-dairy combo that I used for this strawberry and cream coconut milk ice cream. I could swap out the fresh cream from pastured cows and use raw milk instead. Or I could just use all coconut milk, and drop the dairy altogether.
I entered this information on NutritionData.com, a site that also gives an estimate of the glycemic load of any recipe. For 100 grams (about a coffee mug’s worth) of this strawberry and cream coconut milk ice cream, assuming that I entered the ingredients properly, the estimated glycemic load was rated only a 5, with 130 calories, both of which are well within my self-established guidelines of acceptable night time snacking!
And then a bit of vanilla paste. Because everything tastes better with vanilla.
2 quarts strawberries
13.5 oz can coconut milk
13.5 oz cream
1/2 cup honey
1 tablespoon vanilla paste
- Clean and hull all strawberries
- Place 1 quart of strawberries and coconut milk into blender
- Fill empty coconut milk can with cream, and pour into blender, then add vanilla paste and honey
- Blend on high for about 30 seconds until strawberries are completely integrated into the coconut milk and cream
- Add remaining quart of strawberries to blender and pulse a few times until new addition of strawberries are the desired consistency
- Pour strawberry mixture into ice cream maker and follow manufacturer’s instructions
- Eat immediately if you enjoy a soft serve consistency, or place coconut milk ice cream in freezer to harden for future enjoyment