Why can’t a Diabetic enjoy ice cream?
Something that bothered me about my Diabetes diagnosis was the things I had to give up. Ice cream is one of those things. Nothing says summer like a nice bowl of ice cream. Today’s post will attempt to bring back what Diabetics are forbidden to have: Ice Cream!
I recently had the displeasure of eating what passed as “ice cream” for diabetics at an ice cream stand. Trouble was, it tasted like plastic. The experience wasn’t all that great, but it got me to thinking:
What is ice cream?
Basically: air, cream (or milk for those misguided fat-free crowd), sweetener, and eggs.
Of course, it goes without saying that sugar as a sweetener is what gives us Diabetics the most trouble.
What if we used another sweetening agent instead? There are so many different products to sweeten with that I decided to make a Facebook Page just for Diabetic Ice Cream experiments.
What follows is today’s experiment, using an awesome ice cream machine, the Cuisinart ICE 50-BC (link goes to my Amazon store page). Of course, you don’t need a fancy machine to make this ice cream, but it sure helps.
Here is the experiment:
Today I will experiment with Splenda. The results will be at the end, with the recipe.
Wait! You mean you are not going to cook them? Before you balk at not cooking the eggs, remember that if your eggs are fresh, it’s okay to eat them raw. For example, you would eat raw eggs when you eat mayonnaise.
Why not cook them like all those other recipes say? The reason is the mixture would thicken like a custard, and have a cooked flavor. There is enough fat in this mixture that we can enjoy the fresh taste of the cream and milk. Besides, I don’t like to heat Splenda from the packets. In coffee it is fine, but I have never had success with other heating applications with the packets. Perhaps the bulk Splenda is different.
Some recipes will call for milk. I replaced it with half-and-half to up the fat content. Understand this people – the fat in ice cream is not what makes you gain the weight. It’s the sugar!
A quick aside here… I love Martha Stewart! Seriously, I love her magazines. I recently took a quiz on her site to see if I was a “master chef or a novice cook?” I got 9 out of 10! One of the questions was on how you measure liquids. You can see I did not really measure this at eye level. I will tell you a secret though – we don’t use liquid measurements in a professional kitchen. We use a scale. But I digress… back to the ice cream at hand!
Yes, it’s a shortcut. Thing is, I could probably make some double strength espresso, incorporate it into the mix. Truth though, this way isn’t so bad. Sometimes you can make a compromise and not affect the flavor. In this case, the flavor is superior to the espresso.
My favorite cacao powder is Barry Extra Brut. You can get it by clicking on that link that goes to my Amazon store. I like to put it into a plastic container so it will keep almost indefinitely.
Wow! You’re asking yourself, “Why doesn’t he just add in the baking Splenda?” Good question. I didn’t feel like buying a whole box of the stuff, and I had some leftover for my morning coffee before I discovered Stevia, so why not use them up? Find out how that turned out later…
Don’t get too carried away about blending the mixture. The eggs are coming next, you’ll get another chance. The main problem is incorporating the cacao powder with the liquids…
Pour the eggs into the chocolate mixture. Why use another bowl to whip the eggs WDC?
I think it is only to annoy my wife. See, she hates it when I have so many different dishes for one recipe. I really can’t think of another reason.
Here’s your second chance to mix the works up. Once the mixture is homogenized, you can stop. (I just had to slip that big word in there!)
Taste the mixture. Keep in mind that it might be a little sweeter than you are used to cold. The sweet sensation will dissipate with the cold, so keep that in mind. You may have to adjust the sweetness with another packet or two of Splenda. Of course, I always use that as an excuse to “test” things out. See if it works for you!
Worth every penny folks! This machine will pay for itself in, uhh, 2 or so years. The best part? You don’t have to freeze the bowl to make ice cream. It has it’s own refrigeration unit inside. The downside? It weighs a tonne, and can’t exactly go on your counter.
Another bad point is your significant other might curse it when they trip over it in the kitchen floor. But… back to this post!
The machine is loud, but if your significant other just turns up the T.V., all will be well in the household. Alternately, you could put the machine in the bathroom with the door closed. Excessive, but if it avoids an argument? Why not!
The number 1 ingredient in ice cream is air. The reason it tastes so light and fluffy is because of the air that is worked into it. If you don’t have a machine, the ice cream won’t be as nice because the ice cream mixture will freeze into crystals. The paddles on the machine break the crystals as they freeze, and incorporate more air into the mixture as they swoop through the mix.
The amount of air added into the ice cream is called “overrun”, and is the main reason you see gums and thickening agents added to commercial ice creams. Enough theory!
If you don’t have a fancy machine, you can opt for the freezer method. Put the bowl into the freezer, and set a timer for every 5 minutes. When it goes off, pull out your bowl and whisk the ingredients together. Repeat those steps until the mixture resembles a slightly melted ice cream. It will not be as nice, and it will be a major pain in the ass. (Especially if your significant other is trying to catch up on their PVR shows and the alarm goes off every 5 minutes!)
No, your ice cream is not ready yet! It will need some curing time in the freezer first. If you must, you could give out a few tablespoons here and there as a taste, but avoid eating too much. It will be too soft!
The ice cream turned out a little bit grainy. I think it was due to the Splenda. The cream base just did not lend well to the smoothness that I usually like with ice cream. It could be that I left the mixture too long in the bowl as well. Overall, the ice cream was not bad, certainly better than plastic! I think I will try with some Sweet n’ Low next time and see what happens.
Diabetic Mocha Ice Cream
Inspired by Ben & Jerry’s Homemade Ice Cream & Dessert Book pg 72
Calories per serving (4 oz): 275
Carbohydrates per serving: 6.37 grams
- 2 free-range chicken eggs
- 1 cup half-and-half cream
- 2 cups whipping cream
- 2 tablespoons Barry Extra-Brut cacao powder
- 4 tablespoons freeze dried coffee
- 18 packages Splenda
- Whisk eggs together until frothy. In a separate bowl, combine half-and-half cream, whipping cream, cacao powder, instant coffee and Splenda together. Whisk the mixture until incorporated, then add in whisked eggs. Whip the mixture together until the mixture is homogeneous.
- Set up ice cream maker according to instructions; add the ice cream mixture to the bowl while it is spinning. Process according to your ice cream makers instructions. (It should take almost 30 minutes to an hour.)
- Alternately, if you do not have an ice cream maker, you can put the bowl into the freezer with a whisk inside. Set a timer for 5 minutes, whisk the mixture, and replace it into the freezer, resetting the timer for 5 minutes. Repeat as necessary until the ice cream mixture is soft.
- Remove the ice cream from the maker, and place it into a container with a tight-fitting lid. Make sure to put a layer of plastic on top of the surface of the ice cream to avoid ice crystals from forming. Freeze for a couple of hours to let the ice cream set.