What’s better than ice cream? This.

What tastes better on a summer’s evening than a big bowl of ice cream?

Not much, if you ask me.

As a kid, many of my summertime memories involve riding in the bed of the pick up truck (could you imagine doing that now? I shudder) to get a scoop from the nearby ice cream stand after we finished the evening farm work. The flavors were never fancy – mint chocolate chip, butter pecan and sometimes, if you were lucky, Superman – but much of the joy came from climbing on and around the picnic table and sharing tastes and stories.

When B was diagnosed with her milk allergy, I mourned the loss of this experience for her. Such a simple joy of childhood that she probably won’t get to experience. In the world we now live in, there is so little time and opportunity for kids to just be kids and enjoy such simple, innocent pleasures. I hate that she will miss out on something that many of my memories revolve around.

And since her little sister can’t have any, most times E misses out, too. B is at an age when she is exploring and discovering so much of her world through taste and unfortunately doesn’t understand why she can’t get a gobble of such a delicious, creamy sweet treat. To save ourselves meltdowns and tantrums and tears from everyone (your’s
truly, included), it’s easier for everyone to just skip the Ben & Jerry’s. That is, unless the kids are nestled snuggly in their beds… but I digress.

So, like any Momma on a mission, I’ve been experimenting with dairy-free alternatives. I’ve found one or two brands at local stores and although they are decent, hot dang they are pricey. I paid nearly $7 for a pint of vanilla coconut milk ice cream. Was is tasty? Yes. Did my 14-month-old love it? Sure. But for that price, we could all do without.

But, oh, dear readers. I have found the solution. Like manna from heaven, I have found a dairy-free alternative that cools our bellies and feeds our souls.

Chocolate Covered Katie has a recipe for chocolate frosting shots and I realized it could easily be turned into a delicious frozen treat.

Here’s the recipe:

- 1 can Thai Kitchen full-fat, organic coconut milk
– 2 TBSP sugar (I used white granulated)
– 2 tsp cocoa powder
– dash of salt

I refrigerated the can of coconut milk for a few hours so it would separate. When the can is opened, you’ll see the cream rises to the stop and solidifies. Scoop the solid cream off the top and drain the remaining liquid. In a bowl, mix the cream, sugar, cocoa powder and salt. I divvied it into two bowls and popped them in the freezer for a few minutes.

The result?

Creamy, chocolately, frozen goodness.

oh. my goodness. YES.

Oh, heavens. I may never eat real ice cream again. Not too much chocolate, not too sweet. It has a definite coconut flavor which is fine by me. It is so creamy, it’s more like frozen custard than ice cream. As it thaws (which it does fairly quickly) it gets a nice mousse-like texture.

Yes, it has a bit of fat but it is good fat. Coconuts are quite the amazing fruit and that have amazing health benefits. And considering that B isn’t getting a lot of fat from other sources, I am more than comfortable giving her this treat.

That was HEALTHY?! Yikes.

You could add (dairy-free) chocolate chips, toffee chips, berries, sprinkles – the mix-ins are endless. Hub thought it was so good, he tried to swipe more than a few bites from the girls. In fact, I need to go put another can of coconut milk in the refrigerator…

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