If you're a chocolate fanatic like I am, this Guilt & Dairy-Free Dark Chocolate Ice Cream is for you. I could literally eat an entire tub of chocolate ice cream and not even flinch, you guys. Since commercial dairy and I just don't agree (nor do I want to be enormously overweight), I decided it was time to make a healthier option for my chocoholic self.
Let's talk a little about the amazing super-food called cacao. It is indeed super, considering it is high in age and disease fighting vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. But first you need to understand the huge difference between traditional cocoa or chocolate and cacao (pronounced cu-COW").
Traditional non-organic chocolate and cocoa powder has been roasted and chemically processed, which removes most of the antioxidants, flavanols and other vitamins/minerals. Then, additives, sugar and milk are added after they have stripped it of all the good stuff. To top it off, Oxfam estimates that over 70% of the world's cocoa is grown in indigenous communities in West Africa, where child slavery and poverty are widespread due to unfair wages. (1) Hopefully that is a big incentive for you to look for the fair trade label next time you're buying chocolate!
On the other hand, cacao is a term that refers to the substance that is derived directly from cacao pods (from a Thombroma Cacao tree). It is so full of disease fighting properities you won't even believe it you guys!
Here are just a few striking facts about cacao:
- It contains 40 times the amount of antioxidants of blueberries - (2) I am truly blown away by this. Blueberries are known worldwide for their antioxidant powers. To think cacao multiplies their antioxidant strength by 40 is just pure crazy. Antioxidants rid the body of heavy metals and other unwanted toxins that cause disease and wreak havoc on our central nervous system.
- It is the highest plant-based source of Iron - a whopping 7.3 mg iron per 100mg! (2) Higher than a serving of beef, lamb or spinach. I'm sure most mamas know that iron deficiency is widespread in the US. This is why it is commonplace to do periodical iron checks at the pediatricians office. Pregnant woman need even more than your average recommended daily value of iron.
- It is one of the highest plant-based sources of Magnesium - I'm always raving about why we all need more magnesium in our life. It helps your sleep, calms the nervous system and aides in digestion. Did I mention magnesium is one of the most deficient minerals in the western world? It is estimated that about 80% of Americans are deficient in magnesium. (3)
- It contains more calcium than cows milk -It contains 160mg calcium per 100g vs only 125mg per 100ml of milk. (2) For those of you who don't drink milk, this is very exciting news!
I wanted to put an exclamation point at the end of every bullet point because each of those facts are so incredible. Okay, now hopefully you understand why it most definitely deserves the title of a superfood. Also, hopefully you now won't feel guilty indulging yourself in dark chocolate!
My tip is to always look for organic-fair trade dark chocolate that is at least 70% cacoa.
So without further ado, here is a delicious guilt and diary free dark-chocolate ice cream made with our new friend, cacao.
- 1 can organic full fat coconut milk
- 2/3 cup organic raw honey
- 3 tbsp organic cacao powder
- 2 over-ripe bananas, chopped into smaller pieces if frozen (fresh or frozen)
- 1 tsp vanilla
- dark chocolate chips for the topping
- Spread coconut oil on bread pan prior.
- Add all ingredients to a blender until smooth.
- Pour into pan.
- Add chocolate chips.
- Cover with plastic wrap to prevent freezer burn.
- Let it freeze for about 4 hours.
- Let it sit for at least 5 minutes once you take it out because the consistency is much more firm than normal ice cream.