Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Mint Chocolate Chip "Ice Cream"

I am a firm believer in the saying, "You eat with your eyes first."  I remember when I was a kid, my mom once brought home some mint chocolate chip ice cream, but it was a different brand than I was used to, so it was white instead of green.  Now, mint chocolate chip was my favorite flavor so I was the mint chocolate chip connoisseur; and I could tell just by looking at it that the white kind was not gonna work for me.
Sure enough, I tasted it, and was unimpressed.  After all, there's a reason why the typical color of mint ice cream is referred to as "minty green."  Hence, I was ruined for white-colored minty foods forever (sorry peppermint patties, you just didn't cut it).

When I contemplated making a paleo version (or semi-paleo version) of mint chocolate chip, I struggled with the idea of leaving it white as I flashed back to my childhood "minty white" experience.  But I really did not want to add any food coloring to it, either.  So, I decided to add…spinach! …Before you wince in distaste, hear me out.  I use a lot of greens in smoothies, and the fruit always masks the taste of the greens completely.  I figured spinach would work much the same way in ice cream, especially with the mint flavor, which tends to dominate other flavors anyway.

And sure enough, I was right.  So, there you have it!  Green mint chocolate chip ice cream that tastes delicious and even has some fruits and veggies blended right into it.

Mint Chocolate Chip "Ice Cream"

Ingredients (for 2 - 3 servings):
• 2 frozen bananas, peeled
• 2 Tablespoons coconut milk
• ½ cup spinach
• ¼ teaspoon mint extract
• 2 Tablespoons of chopped dark chocolate (I used mint flavored)

1. Blend bananas, coconut milk, spinach, and mint extract in a blender (and be amazed by the pretty green color).
2. Mix in chopped dark chocolate.
3. You may need to freeze the mixture for 10-15 minutes after blending depending on how thin it gets.
4. Spoon into individual ramekins, and serve.

What are your thoughts on food coloring?  What natural methods have you used to color foods?