Jan 29, 2012

Low Carb Ice Cream

Low carb ice cream is something I had thought about making before but somehow never got around to. This last week, however, things changed. A family member was recently put on a low carb diet for medical reasons so suddenly the carbohydrate level of food and drink came under close scrutiny.

Where does ice cream come into this? First of all, let's take sugar. Given that sugar is a carbohydrate and that most good, palatable ice cream has a good chunk of sugar in it, then this diet simply rules out ice cream from the menu. Think about it .... a good, creamy custard base ice cream needs lots of sugar to mix with the eggs in making the custard; a good sorbet needs a syrup base which, again, requires a lot of sugar.

Now let's take milk. You might not think it but milk has plenty of carbohydrate. A cup of full cream milk has about 11g carbohydrate, a cup of light (single) cream about 7g and a cup of heavy (double) cream about 6g (it can vary from brand to brand). Most ice cream recipes need more than a cup of milk so, added to the carbs in the sugar of the ice cream mixture, this all makes for an unacceptable level of carbohydrate for a dessert when on a special, low carb diet.
Nevertheless, I was determined to make some homemade low carb ice cream. I read lots on the web, studied notes and lists from the dietician and then simply looked at how I could replace my usual ice cream ingredients 'like for like'. I studied one or two of my vanilla ice cream recipes and then concluded what to do.

Here's what I did ....

I made a custard base using unsweetened soya milk, egg yolks and artificial sweetener (granular form). It didn't taste anything like custard made with full cream milk and natural sugar of course BUT it still produced a nice, creamy consistency that I felt would work well in an ice cream mixture. When thoroughly chilled, I added 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract and some heavy cream. I studied the labels carefully on all the ingredients and noted the carb level in ratio to the amount of each ingredient used. The total carbs for the whole mixture came to 32g so, logically, if I split the ice cream into 8 portions, 1 portion would have just 4g carbs. I put the mixture into my ice cream maker and waited .... 20 minutes later (5 minutes earlier than usual), my low carb vanilla ice cream ready to serve. According to my family who tried it, was 'quite acceptable'. Here it is, served with some sugar free (low carb) jelly.

More of my low carb vanilla ice cream photos

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