July 1, 2013

Blueberry Muffin Ice Cream

I'm a die-hard chocolate ice cream fan. To the point of being obnoxious about it, I'll admit. I do not want vanilla ice cream, & get very upset when it somehow ends up in my bowl, especially when I thought what I ordered what chocolate & was led astray.

This ice cream, however, is a game changer. I saw the idea for it on Jessica's blog & couldn't get it out of my head. Her recipe calls for heavy cream & whole milk, both ingredients that I don't eat, but I had this feeling that I could do something similar with canned coconut milk. I probably considered making this for over a month, all the while knowing that I had 6 blueberry muffins waiting in my freezer. It was the perfect coincidence. I had to make this. 

It was far better than I expected it to be! While it does take some time (especially if you have to bake the muffins first), it's totally worth it! It's just the right amount of sweet, perfectly creamy, & chock full of blueberry muffin chunks.

This spells summer to me. You have to try it! And if you don't have an ice cream maker, this just might be the reason you needed to go out & get one. I got the KitchenAid Ice Cream Maker Attachment for my birthday last year. It was really the gift that keeps on giving because not only do I get to enjoy making  healthified ice cream, we also get to eat it! I store the bowl in my freezer, just in case, because it must be frozen for a full day (15 hours, I think) before you can actually make ice cream. You just never know when the mood will strike! Anyway, if you don't have an ice cream maker & don't want to buy one, find a friend who has one. :-)

Blueberry Muffin Ice Cream
Adapted from How Sweet Eats
Serves 6-8
Easily made vegan & gluten free

2 T unsweetened original almond milk
1 1/2 T cornstarch
3 T cream cheese, room temperature (use vegan cream cheese if necessary)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1 3/4 c unsweetened original almond milk
1 1/2 c light coconut milk (1 can)
2/3 c evaporated cane juice (or regular sugar)*
2 T agave nectar 
1 T vanilla extract

6 of your favorite blueberry muffins (I made these - they're gluten free & yummy)

Whisk together that cornstarch & 2 tablespoons of almond milk in a small bowl. Set aside. In a large bowl, mix together the cream cheese, salt, & cinnamon with a fork. Set aside.

Pour 1 3/4 cups almond milk, coconut milk, sugar, vanilla, & agave into a large saucepan. Whisk together, then cook over medium-high heat until mixture comes to a low boil. Stir often, simmering for 4-5 minutes. Slowly drizzle in the cornstarch mixture, whisking constantly. Continue to simmer for another 2 minutes, then remove from heat. Pour about 1/3 of mixture into the bowl with the cream cheese. Whisk together until cream cheese melts. Pour remaining mixture into the bowl, whisking until it is all smoothly blended together.

Clear a spot in your freezer large enough for a 9x9 baking pan. Pour ice cream mixture into the pan & freeze for about 1 hour. Once it is cooled completely, pour into ice cream maker & churn according to manufacturer's instructions. Using the KitchenAid attachment, mine took about 20 minutes to change to ice cream. Crumble 3 muffins & add to ice cream. Continue to churn for about 2 minutes, or until well mixed. Put ice cream back into the 9x9 baking pan & fold in remaining 3 crumbled muffins. Place a layer of plastic wrap on the surface of the ice cream to keep it from forming ice crystals. Cover pan with foil (or I used one of those elastic plastic covers that look like hairnets). Freeze for 2 hours, or overnight. The longer you wait, the harder the ice cream will be, so judge accordingly.

*When I make this again, I'll probably only use 1/3-1/2 cup sugar. We loved it, but I doubt we would have noticed if there was less sugar, and that would make it a healthier treat. You may also want to vary the amount of sugar depending on the muffin recipe you use - the one I used was very low in sugar, but if you use one with high sugar content, it may add enough sweetness to really cut back even more on the sugar in the ice cream. Part of the flavor comes from the sugar caramelizing while it cooks with the milks, so don't eliminate it!


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