I scream, you scream, everybody likes ice cream. At least in our household that is totally true. Babydoll and I can spend a good 30 minutes in the freezer section trying to decide on an ice cream selection. Going to Coldstone Creamery is an artistic endeavor that can be compared to some of the greatest artistic achievers of this century – or at least we think so. When traveling, we find the ice cream shops that are raved about so that we can give our own review. Because Babydoll occasionally has issues with lactose, we know what brands/locations will affect her negatively and which are a thumbs up. I write all of these to say we LOVE our ice cream.

For years, Babydoll had been urging me to put my ice cream maker to use so that the ice cream combinations that we imagined could come to life. But I felt like making a true ice cream base was too much work. In walks Cook Illustrated with an awesome version of a sweet cream base. I have been a Cooks Illustrated subscription holder for several years; and if you love the science behind finding the perfect recipe, you need to invest in a subscription of your own. I know the joy and pain that comes from finding the perfect recipe with many attempts – one weekend I made brownies FOUR times trying to learn how to use Swerve instead of sugar (I still haven’t figured it out totally, I’m at about a 2:1 ratio right now and the real sugar is the larger number.), it took me 3 years to get my chocolate cake recipe correct. I’m digressing. Cooks Illustrated takes the trial and error out of some of your most loved recipes and presents you with the final one. Give them a try, you will not be disappointed.

The ice cream. As you know, I am on a weight loss journey and I have cut back on a lot of things – sugar, grains of all kinds on certain days, carbs, and dairy (I don’t do a lot of milk and butter, but I haven’t let them go completely). The Cooks Illustrated recipe used milk, heavy cream, sugar and corn syrup, and I was super excited to make it because it didn’t require me to use eggs and it looked to me pretty quick. The only thing I wondered was could I make this without using milk and could I omit sugar and still have great flavor. I tried it and guess what? You can. I will include the Cooks Illustrated version of the ice cream base and tell you how I modified it to work for me (that will be in green). First let me tell you that you can’t get away without using some dairy, you just have to. But you can use Almond milk. I do not use sugar at all. I use either Monkfruit sweetner or Swerve. I do use the corn syrup. The recipe that Cooks Illustrated gave is for a sweet cream base that I have expounded upon. Particularly in the case of my love and longing for peanut butter. I love peanut butter, but apparently peanut butter is high in WW points and as a result I have not had it but maybe 3 times in the past 2 years. I discovered peanut butter powder and thought I could make my own peanut butter with suggestions (like adding it to water) and that was horrible. So I add the powder to my granola recipe sometimes or to a smoothie when I really give in and have one (so very rare). One day I did think, “how great would this ice cream be if I added some peanut butter powder and peanuts?”. I did it…..and IT. WAS. AMAZING. It was so good even Babydoll fell for it and she is NOT a peanut butter fan. I make ice cream now for the days when I don’t have grains and REALLY want something sweet. I also use my ice cream when I have cake and need to lower the sugar and such but have to have ice cream – I mean ice cream and cake is my FAVORITE dessert.

The ice cream that I will be talking about is the chocolate peanut butter with chocolate chips and roasted peanuts. The ingredient list is pretty simple: almond milk, heavy cream, sweetener of choice (I use Swerve or Monkfruit sweetener because they do not leave an after taste, you really can’t tell that it is not sugar), corn syrup, corn starch, peanut butter powder, cocoa powder, powdered milk, salt, and peanuts and sugar-free chocolate chips.

I’m not going into the directions for the recipe because the recipe will follow and you should follow the steps accordingly, I will tell you what I did differently. You should replace the milk with the almond milk. You should replace the sugar with your sweetener. For a peanut butter version, you can add 5 tablespoons of peanut butter powder to the dry mixture portion of the recipe at the beginning. If you are doing chocolate peanut butter, you will need to add 4 tablespoons of cocoa powder along with the peanut butter powder with the dry mixture. This allows you to be able to remove any lumps that would come from the cocoa and peanut butter powder before you add the liquids. I would also add an additional 1/4 cup of almond milk to the liquids to account for the additional dry ingredients. I make my base in the morning and place it in the frig to cool completely after it has been allowed to cool to room temp (about 1 hour after I’ve removed from heat and strained). Your chocolate peanut butter base will look like this.

chilled ice cream base

I add it to my ice cream make and let it go. I now keep the ice cream maker cannisters in the deep freezer so they are ready when the mood hits me to make ice cream.

When it’s complete, you will see a soft serve version of you ice cream.

I’ve found that it does not work well for me to try to add additional fillings while in the ice cream maker, so I add them when I’m transferring the ice cream to the container; usually in layers.

I place the ice cream back into the container that I chilled the base.

To make things easier for me to get the dessert that I have been dreaming about all day, I usually fix my serving while I’m putting it away so that I can grab it after dinner. I’m really lazy about dessert and snacks – if I have to work to have them, I usually don’t.

And there you have it folks; some of the best ice cream you will make that doesn’t need eggs or a ton of time. It can be made with almond milk and no sugar. You can have a peanut butter version or add mix-ins that tantalize the taste buds. I have made a cinnamon version (1 tablespoon of cinnamon), and recently a cheesecake version (a block of cream cheese and an additional 1/4 cup of sweetener) that had cheesecake chunks that I had saved just for that occasion (see Instagram post). If you decide to make some, please share how you did it and what flavors you decided on.

Thanks for visiting my site today, I hope that you enjoyed the post and will give the recipe and suggestions a try. Consider leaving me a comment, I’d love to hear from you.

Until next time,

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