Monday, October 7, 2013

Vanilla Ice Cream with Maple Butter Sauce

I have been on a major sweet kick lately.  Not that this is out of the norm, my sweet tooth is freakishly fierce, but lately is has been kicked into overdrive.  Maybe it's the change of seasons, my body intuitively craving comforting, satiating foods.  Or maybe I just really dig sweet stuff.  Most likely, it's the latter. Whatever the reason, I've been creating scrumptious, sweet treats with vicious fervor all month long.

Not that anyone really cares about the reason I'm making them, because, well, sweet stuff is good.  That's why it's called a treat.  My boys inherited my love of all things sweet, which is another reason I am constantly on the hunt for yummy treats that actually possess nutritional value.  I don't believe in denying my kids, nor would I want to.  My oldest son is constantly telling me about the "special treats" his friends get in their lunchboxes.  Granted, it is a wonderful thing he's not inhaling Nestle Crunch bars and fruit snacks loaded with high fructose corn syrup and a huge heaping of red dye #40, but he's five, and at this age, sweet treats feel special.  So while I don't advocate filling his lunchbox with processed foods loaded with sugar, I do want to reward him with something at the end of his day and there's no better way to do that than with ice cream. 

My boys are not the only ones who get excited about creamy, dreamy frozen delights.  It's no secret that I absolutely love ice cream and the fact that this one is full of nourishing fats, raw honey, and sweet vanilla, just makes there that much more to love.  Living a Paleo lifestyle doesn't mean having to give up your beloved ice cream, but it does mean you will have to make it yourself.  I personally love making ice cream because the ingredients are completely at my mercy.  Feel like chocolate?  How about mint chip, or cookie dough?  The variations are endless, and like with anything made from scratch, you decide exactly what goes into it, and what doesn't.  This dairy-free, dare I say nutrient dense, vanilla ice cream won't leave you with that heavy feeling in the pit of your stomach or the least bit of guilt.  I adore treats made with wholesome ingredients, it means I can indulge without insult or injury.


This creamy vanilla ice cream is brought to a whole other level with the addition of my heavenly maple butter sauce.  Oh ya people, you heard that right.  Maple.  Butter.  Sauce.  It's slightly reminiscent of butter toffee. And a tad bit caramel-ly.  And just downright delicious.  This sauce would also be divine poured over pound cake, drizzled on waffles, and I'm guessing it would be simply sinful paired with a few slices of bacon. One bite of this cool, velvety ice cream swimming in warm, smooth maple butter sauce and all will be right with the world. 

This really is a treat you can feel good about indulging in.  It feels naughty, but it's oh so nice.  Nothing but healthy fats, antioxidant-rich natural sugars, pastured eggs, and grass-fed butter.  Nothing on that list to feel the least bit bad about.  So have an extra scoop, and let the kids lick the bowl, you'll be nourishing your body all while tantalizing your taste buds. 

I derive a ton of pleasure and satisfaction from being able to serve my family nutrient dense foods in the form of delicious treats.  That's what's so amazing about eating real food, you don't have to restrict or deny yourself the foods and flavors you love.  Eating real food means you can indulge without sabotaging your health.  Now that's what I call being able to have your cake and eat it too.

Vanilla Ice Cream with Maple Butter Sauce
For the ice cream:
1 can full fat coconut milk
2 egg yolks, from pastured eggs 
3 Tbs raw honey
1 1/2 Tbs vanilla or the seeds from 2 vanilla beans
For the maple butter sauce:
1/3 c Grade B maple syrup
6 Tbs butter
2 Tbs coconut sugar
1/4 c full fat coconut milk
chopped walnuts or pecans, candied or plain (optional)
Whisk egg yolks in a small bowl and set aside.
Heat coconut milk, honey, and vanilla in a small saucepan over med-low heat.  Do not let it come to a boil.
Stir to combine and remove from heat. 
Pour a small ladle full of the hot coconut milk mixture into the eggs yolks while whisking continuously to temper the eggs. Add another ladle full and then pour egg mixture into coconut milk and whisk to combine. 
Pour into a glass or ceramic bowl and place in refrigerator until fully cooled.  (You can also place a layer of saran wrap directly on top of the ice cream mixture to prevent a "skin" from forming.) 
Once the mixture is completely cool, pour into your ice cream maker and process according to manufacturer's instructions.
In my ice cream machine, this takes about 20 minutes.
Once finished, remove ice cream from machine and scoop into a freezer safe container and place in freezer to set completely.  You will want to take out your ice cream at least 10 minutes before serving to let it soften up a bit.
While your ice cream is churning, it's time to make the maple butter sauce.
Place syrup, butter, and coconut sugar in a small saucepan over med-low heat.
Whisk continuously for 3 minutes, until the mixture bubbles and thickens, taking care not to let the mixture burn.
Continue to whisk, add the coconut milk and allow to cook for another 1-2 minutes.
Remove from heat and allow to sit at room temperature or place in refrigerator until you are ready to use it.  It will thicken significantly as it cools, which I love.  It is however, equally delicious served piping hot straight out of the pan.

 Once your ice cream is ready, scoop yourself a big 'ol bowl, ladle on some delicious sauce, and adorn with some candied walnuts or pecans if desired. 





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