Our daughter Annabelle turned 8 last week and she requested cake (I decorate cakes so they love for me to make a fancy, personalized one) and this homemade peanut butter ice cream. The cake, though also homemade, is not healthy. I try and use more whole food ingredients, but I usually do at least half white flour, and I make butter cream frosting using butter and powdered sugar, rather than Crisco (which is not real food). Anyway, back to our ice cream. ALL my kids love this ice cream, as do Scott and I, and it’s made from all whole food ingredients so I am happy to have them enjoy this treat on weekends or birthdays etc.
If don’t have an ice cream maker, try blending up all your ingredients and freezing them in a couple of tupperware containers over night and that should work well too(I say ‘should’ because I’ve only frozen leftovers, but not an entire batch). When you take it out of the freezer, just be sure to allow it to sit out on your counter at least 10 minutes before scooping because it gets pretty solid.
This is a young Thai coconut. They sell them at a lot of grocery stores, in the produce area, usually near the lettuce etc, but I find them cheapest at Sprouts or Asian food markets. I bought this one for $1.50 on sale at Sprouts; at Whole Foods they were like $4 for one! I usually need the meat from 1-2 coconuts for this ice cream recipe. Oftentimes, I’ll buy the coconuts, use the water and freeze the meat for later use and so if I have a lot, I’ll use 2 cups of meat in the recipe, but if I don’t have any saved in the freezer, I’ll usually just use one cup in the recipe; both taste great!
I use a sharp cleaver knife and, with one hand behind my back so I don’t hack my other hand, I smack the top of that coconut (near the end with the point), then I’ll turn it, and smack it again, and I repeat this until I’ve gone around the coconut and can stick my cleaver part way inside where I’ve made cuts, and pry it open. This takes some practice, and some coconuts are easier to open than others. That is the hardest part of this recipe. Once the coconut is open, pour the coconut water into a jar to save for a smoothie (or drink it) and then with a spoon, scoop out all the amazing coconut meat and set it aside.
Here’s a short video I found on how to cut open a coconut:
Place your coconut meat, almond milk, peanut butter, pitted dates(you can cut a slit with a knife and pull out pit, or I usually just pull the pit apart with my thumbs and grab pit), vanilla, salt and pure maple syrup into your blender and blend until smooth.
Pour the mixture into your ice cream maker and process according to package directions (mine goes for about 20 minutes). It’s more like a soft serve when you eat it straight from the ice cream maker which we love, and then when we freeze leftovers (if there are any) and eat it another day, it’s harder like ice cream.
Serve into individual bowls and sprinkle with chopped pecans, if you like, just before serving. Like I mentioned, you can freeze leftovers in a Tupperware container; when you’re ready to thaw and eat, pull it out and let it sit on your counter about 10 minutes before trying to scoop and serve.
Peanut Butter Ice Cream
*serves 8 (2 scoops each)
2 c cold, unsweetened almond milk
1-2 c thai coconut meat (I use 2 c if I have lots of meat that needs to be used. Otherwise one works great)
2/3 c (~8) dates, pitted
1/2 Tbsp vanilla
2/3 c cold, natural peanut butter (crunch or creamy)
1/2 c pure maple syrup
1/4 tsp sea salt
optional: 1/2 c chopped pecans (to garnish on top)
Combine all ingredients, except the pecans, into high power blender and blend until smooth. Pour into your ice cream maker and process according to manual instructions (my ice cream maker churns for 20 minutes and then it’s done!). Serve into individual bowls and sprinkle with chopped pecans just before serving. Can freeze leftovers in a Tupperware container.