I got my hands on a large bunch of fresh mint last week, and although I used some for drinks, I thought it would make some marvelous ice cream! I thought about simply making vanilla mint, since I love that flavor, but since I would be sharing it with my chocolate loving boyfriend Eric, I thought I would add a chocolate element as well.
Not chocolate chunks or swirls though, I did that already this summer. This time it would be minty cookies and cream! I can remember eating cookies and cream ice cream as a kid and cookies and cream blizzards and loving them...so I thought this was a fabulous idea! I knew it would be way better too because of the mint, and because my cookies and raw ice cream are way better than any Oreos.
I made it plenty minty (since I love that in the summer so refreshing), adding 1 cup fresh mint. I decided to go for a nut free base this time, using fresh coconut meat and avocado to create a silky texture, and it ended up being better than the usual! It was so silky and smooth, a perfect balance with the raw crunchy cookie bites that I folded in once it was done churning. It was so heavenly Eric and I polished it off in no time!
Makes about 6 cups
2 cups raw finely shredded, dried coconut
8 soft medjool dates
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup raw cacao powder
1 tsp peppermint extract
1/8 tsp sea salt
1 cup coconut water
2 cups young coconut meat*
2 1/2 cups diced avocado
1 cup fresh mint leaves
1/2 cup raw agave nectar or raw honey or raw coconut nectar
seeds of one vanilla bean
a pinch of sea salt
1 tsp pure peppermint extract (optional, to make extra minty)
For the cookies, combine all ingredients in the food processor and process until the mixture is very fine crumbs that hold together when squeezed. Press out onto a foil lined sheet pan, 1/4 inch thick and place in the freezer until hard. Once hard, break into pieces. Set aside.
For the ice cream, add coconut water to a food processor, along with avocado, young coconut, mint, agave nectar, vanilla, and sea salt and peppermint extract. Process until smooth, Pour the mixture into an ice cream maker and process according to directions. Remove from ice cream maker, and stir in raw cookie chunks. Pour the frozen ice cream mixture into a freezer safe container, and cover. Let sit in the freezer for at least four hours or overnight to firm up to scoopable consistency.
*If young coconut meat is unavailable, you can substitute with 2 cups finely shredded, dried coconut and 1 cup coconut water. But, you MUST have a high speed blender to do this or it will never become smooth. Blend the coconut first until it becomes butter, using the tamper to press it into the blades until it is liquidy, then add the coconut water and blend until combined. Add this to the ice cream base in place of the young coconut meat.