Happy solstice! Today is one of my favorite days of the year. The sun comes up before 5am and it doesn't go down until 10pm. It's crazy and it's a day that calls for ice cream. Don't you agree?
I have many fond memories growing up of mint chocolate chip ice cream. Mostly in the Summer months and always with sticky streaks of light green running down the sides of my cheeks. But I'm an adult now and the green coloring added to my ice cream isn't as appealing as it once was, nor is a face smeared with the stuff. So once again I pulled out my beloved ice cream maker and set about to make a fresh minty batch of ice cream.
Remember when I made mango sorbet. It was light, refreshing, and there was no refined sugar. I loved the idea of using dates as a sweetener and knew my Summer was going to be filled with all kinds of icy treats made using this technique. I was so excited when I took my first bite of this mint chip ice cream. Just the right amount of sweetness, no weird artificial or chemical after taste, and perfectly minty and chocolaty in every bite.
I used David's chocolate chip making expertise. It worked perfectly. You just chill the container you want to keep your ice cream in, drizzle in a bit of melted dark chocolate, cover with a scoop of fresh churned ice cream and repeat, swirling in the chocolate as you go to make chips. You'll end up with small bits of chocolate and some that are slightly larger depending on how thick you drizzle.
A packed cup of mint may seem like a lot, but you will be straining the mint out, not blending it in and it really depends on how long you let the milk and mint mixture sit to achieve your satisfactory mint potency. I let mine site for about 1 1/2 - 2 hours and it was perfect.
Mint Chip Ice Cream
makes about 3 cups
1 cup almond milk
1 14oz. can coconut milk
pinch of salt
1 cup packed fresh mint
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 oz. pitted dates, about 1 cup
about 1 cup boiled water
3 oz. dark chocolate
Heat the almond milk, coconut milk, salt, and mint in a small sauce pan over medium high heat. Let it get hot enough to where it is steaming, but not boiling.
Cover and set aside to cool for about 1-2 hours or depending on how minty of a flavor you want.
In the meantime, place the dates into a small bowl and pour the boiling water over them. Let sit for at least 15 minutes to soften, then drain.
Strain the mint leaves from the milk mixture, giving them a good squeeze with a spatula to extract more mint flavor if you wish. Place the dates and milk mixture into a blender and blend on high speed until smooth. Place everything in the refrigerator until cold, at least 2 hours or overnight.
Freeze the ice cream according to your ice cream machines instructions.
Place your ice cream storage container into the freezer. While the ice cream is churning, melt the chocolate in a double broiler, stirring until smooth.
Pull the container out of the freezer, drizzle some of the chocolate into the bottom. Then scoop out some of the churned ice cream and drizzle on more chocolate and quickly stir it in. Continue layering like this until and stirring in more chocolate until finished.
Place in the freezer until firm. Pull out 15 minutes to serving for easier scooping.