Since transitioning to a whole foods diet almost 3 years ago, one of the things that I realized doesn’t work well for me is dairy. Between bloating, nausea, and acne I think it’s safe to say that dairy and me are not friends. However this is a once sided friendship because I absolutely love dairy…and by dairy I really just mean ice cream. Drink a glass of milk…bleh, cheese on pizza….meh I’m over it, have some yogurt….I’ll pass. BUT sitting at Swirls & Scoops watching my family indulge in a creamy treat while I sit there and watch just feels like punishment. Sure I could get sorbet, and for the past 2.5 years that’s what I have been doing, but it’s just not the same. There I’ve said it; eating sorbet is just not the same as ice cream.
We went to Miami a few months ago to visit my brother. The kids wanted ice cream so we found a cute gelato shop. I really wanted some too but decided to pass for fear of getting sick. Then it happened, my son didn’t finish his cup of vanilla and I did what any good mom would do in that situation…I finished his cup. To my surprise and delight, while I did get bloated, I did not feel sick! I’ve since tried ice cream twice since Miami and the same thing happens. I consider being bloated a small price to pay to enjoy dessert with my family a few times a year. I notice that if I have high quality dairy that I don’t get nearly as sick. If you want to know more about what high quality dairy is, you can check out why I buy pasture raised (grass-fed) organic dairy here.
Now let’s move on to why it’s important to make ice cream. Aside from the obvious that it tastes way better than anything you can get from the store (both my kids absolutely loved this ice cream and said it was better than Swirls & Scoops)
Here are the ingredients to Breyers cookies & cream ice cream:
FROZEN DAIRY DESSERT [MILK, SUGAR, CORN SYRUP, CREAM, WHEY, MONO AND DIGLYCERIDES, GUAR GUM, CAROB BEAN GUM, NATURAL FLAVOR, CARRAGEENAN, VITAMIN A PALMITATE, TARA GUM], CHOCOLATE COOKIE PIECES [SUGAR, UNBLEACHED UNENRICHED WHEAT FLOUR, PALM AND PALM KERNEL OIL, COCOA PROCESSED WITH ALKALI, SALT, SODIUM BICARBONATE, SOY LECITHIN, NATURAL FLAVOR].
Right off the bat, do you notice the name of the food? Frozen dairy dessert-what the heck is that?! And why isn’t it called ice cream? Well… it’s all about the ingredients. According to this NY Times article:
“Ice cream requires specific levels of milk fat content, nonfat milk solids content, total solids in each gallon of ice cream, and total weight in each gallon of ice cream, while frozen dairy products do not.”
Right off the bat the 3rd ingredient is a red flag. Red flag ingredients are ingredients that you want to avoid in your food products. In my previous post, I outlined what the 4 red flag ingredients are and why you want to avoid them. Corn syrup is a cheap form of sugar and it’s a cousin to high fructose corn syrup. So when you really look at the ingredients 2 out of the first 3 ingredients are sugar. But by using two different types of sugar (sugar & corn syrup in different amounts) they are able to list milk as the first ingredient. Ingredients are listed by weight in descending order, so the most of the product is listed first and the least of the product is listed last. If you eliminated the corn syrup and just used all sugar, the weight would most likely surpass the weight of the milk and then be listed first. Knowing that this would most likely deter consumers from buying their “ice cream” they use different forms of sugar so they can be listed separately on the label.
Mono and diglycerides- are food additives used to enable fat and water to mix. They are typically used to extend a products shelf life and act as an emulsifier.
Guar gum-a fiber from the seed of the guar plant. It’s used as a laxative and used to treat diarrhea, IBS, obesity, diabetes, to decrease cholesterol, and to prevent atherosclerosis according to Web MD. In food & beverages guar gum is used as a thickener, stabilizing, suspending, and binding agent. Many people have adverse reactions to guar gum such as bloating, gas, and abdominal discomfort.
Carob bean gum- AKA locust bean gum is derived from the carob tree. This is similar to guar gum and is used primarily as a thickener.
Tara Gum-Derived from the endosperm of a legume; is a relative new food additive. Since it’s a relative new food additive there have not been any studies done on humans. This doesn’t mean it’s not safe, it just mean it hasn’t been studies. I want to know why this “frozen dairy dessert” needs so many different thickeners.
Carrageenan-Made from parts of various red algae or seaweed. In food it is used as a binder, thickening agent, and as a stabilizer.
Natural flavor- Did you ever read natural flavor on a label and ask yourself what exactly that means? Let’s just say that the label is being vague for a reason. Both artificial and natural flavors are made by “flavorists” in a laboratory by blending either “natural” chemicals or “synthetic” chemicals to create flavorings. Natural flavor could be anything from bugs (cochineal & carmine) to beaver’s butt (castoreum). castoreum.com If you want to see exactly how artificial flavor and colors are made check out this 60 Minutes video featuring Givaudan, the largest flavor manufacturing company in the world.
Soy Lecithin-Derived from soy which I avoid like the plague: think phytoestrogens & GMO’s. I wrote a post about why I avoid soy; read that post here. Or you can check out Paleo for Women’s post for a more in-depth look. Soy acts as an emulsifier (makes water & oil mix) and it helps stabilize emulsions, which extends shelf life. It also reduces stickiness and is often used as a “releasing agent,” which is integral to the effectiveness of non-stick cooking spray.
What I love about this recipe is that it’s so easy. You just have to mix the ingredients together and run it through an ice cream maker. I have the ice cream attachment to my Kitchen Aid and it’s really easy to use. If you don’t have an ice cream machine there are ways of making your own without one. This post lists 6 different ways to make ice cream without a machine.
- 32 oz. half & half
- 16 oz. heavy whipping cream
- 6 egg yolks
- 1 cup maple syrup
- 2 tsp. vanilla
- Pinch salt
- 1 package Gluten Free chocolate sandwich cookies (I use Trader Joe’s), broken.
- ¾ cup peanut butter, melted
- ¼ cup vodka* (this is optional and used to prevent ice cream from turning rock solid in the freezer)
- Using a hand mixer, wire whisk, or stand mixer, beat the egg yolks until fluffy.
- Slowly add in remaining ingredients and beat until fully mixed.
- Pour mixture into ice cream maker and process according to instructions.
- Pour soft ice cream into a freezer safe bowl, add broken cookie pieces, and mix completely.
- Drizzle peanut butter into ice cream and mix completely.
- Add vodka if desired.
- Place covered bowl into freezer until done.