What could be better than a big dish of chocolate ice cream? How about a big dish of chocolate ice cream that’s homemade, healthy, and dairy-free? At about 150 calories per 1/2 cup serving, Deliciously Diet-Friendly Chocolate Soy Ice Cream is easy to fit into a sensible diet, plus it’s a great source of protein, fiber, iron and calcium. It’s easy and cheap to make, too, and if you don’t have an ice cream maker yet, it’s a great reason to get one.
The Magic Machine
My boyfriend got me an electric ice cream maker for Christmas. I’ve already used it five times, that’s just in January. Whipping up reasonably healthy frozen yum, whenever I want…awesome. I’ve never felt such power before, and I don’t always use it for good: one memorable evening two weeks ago, dinner was a quart of pineapple ice milk, made with only a can of crushed pineapple and a few cups of light vanilla soymilk. I had no idea how bad I needed an ice cream maker until I owned one.
My verdict is: ice cream machines are really neat, especially if you’re vegan and/or diet conscious. Anyone can go buy a tub of Ben and Jerry’s down at the convenience store, but where are you going to get low sugar chocolate sorbet in the middle of the night? If you own an ice cream maker, right in your own kitchen, and that’s fabulous. You don’t even need a recipe; they’re quite fun to experiment with. Amazonsells them at good prices, as do most box stores.
My chocolate soy ice cream is adapted from a recipe in Louise Hagler’s Tofu Cookery.She recommends using either an electric or hand-crank machine to make soy ice creams, but if you want to bravely try it sans machine, I found a good post detailing ways to freeze ice cream using various DIY methods.
Most of the ice cream recipes in Tofu Cookery call for two pounds of tofu per batch, which is for me a little much. Tofu’s flavor isn’t bad but doesn’t make a lot of sense in ice cream, and with two whole pounds in a recipe, you don’t stand a chance of overpowering it with other ingredients. It’s usually sold in 14 oz. blocks, and I find one block is enough to make a nice ice cream and bring lots of good nutrition to the table. Each 1/2 cup serving of the adapted recipe supplies 14% of daily calcium requirements, 12% of iron, 11% of fiber and more than six grams of protein…not bad, for a mere 150 calories of creamy chocolate deliciousness.
Deliciously Diet-Friendly Chocolate Soy Ice Cream
makes eight 1/2 cup servings
14 oz. soft tofu
2 cups light soymilk (vanilla, if it’s handy)
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup Stevia In The Raw or sucralose
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup cocoa powder
2 Tbs. vanilla
pinch cinnamon (optional)
If your ice cream maker requires pre-freezing, make sure that’s accomplished. I just store my bowl in the freezer, and that way I’m always ready.
Drain the tofu, then combine it with the soymilk and olive oil in a blender. Blend until everything is completely smooth and creamy, which will take several minutes of processing plus some stirring and prodding if you have an average crappy blender like mine.
Dump the smooth soy mixture into a large bowl and use an electric mixer to stir in the remaining ingredients. Mix on medium speed for two minutes, then cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2-3 hours.
Grab your implement – electric, crank or other – and make some ice cream in it according to directions. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the freezer. Microwave briefly to re-soften and scoop.