Cultured Blueberry Ice Cream

Every house has its staples, in my home ice cream of some sort is always necessary. I think its a very satisfying sweet treat that doesn’t necessarily have to be just a sometimes food. Since we’ve jumped into un-processing our home the rest of the way, regular store bought ice cream has been one of the things that still occasionally found its way back into the fridge. The term “probiotic” is quickly gaining in popularity, its the  word corporations are putting on yogurt (and everything else) to con people into buying junk. I can’t help but to think back to the smoking ads that pushed propaganda on mothers to smoke while pregnant for a “healthy baby.” Are we really such a processed society that all this hype seems to make sense somehow? Good, real yogurt frozen, dairy free or otherwise should have a few ingredients: Milk (and/or cream of some sort), {Live Cultures} maybe cane sugar, maybe gelatin or tapioca since non-dairy milks don’t curdle and thicken as easily, maybe fruit and vanilla. No soy emulsifiers, no corn syrup, corn starch, aspartame, sodium citrate or any of the other variety of confusing things you can’t pronounce.

Real and beneficial probiotics are best when found naturally from organically cultured foods. The health benefits of probiotic organisms are said to boost immunity, aid in digestion, control gut enzymes both good and bad and even prevent and stunt the growth of cancer cells. In one word it helps to create – Balance. These live organisms have naturally occurred in fermented dairy and other traditionally cultured foods for as long as man has been about.  Preserving and fermenting was originally a way to simply make food last longer or taste better. Things like kefir, raw cheese and other fermented foods are naturally blessed with “probiotic” beneficial microorganisms. The “health food” being marketed as beneficial simply can not hold a candle to real cultured foods. Synthetic, factory produced yogurt with aspartame and a hand full of other garbage just won’t bust through gut troubles like home made natural, raw if possible, additive free treats. Dairy free, fat free, sugar free yogurt product that has 6 or 7 ingredients you can not pronounce might be something free but it sure isn’t good for anyone but the company that gets paid for you buying it.

The great news is that it’s really not hard to make your own cultured goodies! You really can lacto-lacto-ferment-a-fy anything, easily in your own home, cheaply no matter what your dietary restrictions are. For many, many people I think Lacto-Fermentation can be a quite intimidating concept. Without messing around with any scary “rotting stuff” you can make simple treats work for you instead of against you. The simple addition of whey, starter culture or probiotic capsules to any frozen treat or condiment is a great way to get a little healthy happiness into your weebles, wobbles, spouses and friends. Your adding digestive gut buddies to the party and unlike many healthy add-ins this easy peasy mix-in is another easy trick that allows you to sneak in health without anyone knowing. If you have a family like mine they will pick a crunchy, hippie treat from a mile away… So here’s a super easy way to be the dodgy health nut without them even knowing.

Probiotic Ice Cream and Popsicles

A dairy free starter culture, a few probiotic capsules or even coconut kefir product can be used instead. Most health food stores and well stocked grocery stores carry probiotic gel capsules in the refrigerated hippie sections. In my store its somewhere between flax oil and the weird refrigerator tubes of “vegan meat and cheese” If you are interested in cultured dairy free yogurts I highly recommend this post from the spunky coconut.

If using a yogurt or kefir there is no need to add any culture or whey since it is naturally cultured already.
  • 2 cups coconut milk, yogurt or kefir (If possible)
  • 3-5 tablespoons jam or compote to taste (see note*)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2-3 tablespoons of whey or other culture
  • Pinch of salt, cinnamon -or- lemon or lime zest if desired

Combine ingredients until smooth-ish. A chunky compote will not become entirely smooth. Place mixture into an ice cream machine and freeze according to manufacturers instructions. (until mostly frozen) Serve soft or freeze for later. We like to make it as we want it.

No Ice Cream Maker Method: Place the mixture into a shallow dish and place in the freezer. Every 15 minutes use a fork to stir the mixture. After about 1 hour it should be semi-solid.

For popsicles much like cream-sicle push ups spoon the ice cream into pop molds. We use these silicone molds. I love them… unfortunately so does Kimchi. (he decided to eat one.)

Note: A simple berry compote can be made using this recipe. Any jam, compote or preserves will do. Use your favorite. If you don’t have any in your pantry- Bring to a boil 1/2 cup of berries and a few tablespoons of sugar/natural sweetener. Use a few tablespoons as needed.

WHEY- Whey is the liquid that separates from cultured dairy products. I use the whey that separates from my homemade yogurt. If you do not make your own yogurt you can make yogurt cheese that is a great substitute to regular cream cheese. Using homemade whey is much cheaper than any of the commercial “probiotic” options. Also using whey gives you your own home grown natural yeasties and enzymes.