While I truly am not a sweets person, I occasionally crave ice cream – which is a huge problem if you’ve been dairy free for most of your life! These Berries and Cream Ice Cream bars are so delicious, even your dairy-eating friends will be confused as to how they could possibly be completely plant-based. They are creamy, SO easy, and can be eaten within an hour, depending on how big your molds are. There is no refined sugar in this recipe, and although I’ve used coconut sugar, you could easily omit it to make it keto!
While I often use full-fat coconut milk in recipes, I’ve yet to write up a blog post about the benefits of this versatile ingredient!
Some health benefits of full-fat coconut milk
If you’ve been hanging out on this blog for a minute, you know that I often make plant-based recipes. While it would be mostly impossible for me to be completely vegan, I do enjoy making meals out of nutritious plants that have similar nutritional value to the meats they are replacing. Enter the coconut – one of the heartiest plants that I often find at the center of many of my vegan dishes.
One great (but often overlooked) quality of coconut milk is its high iron content. Full fat coconut milk contains 7.46mg of iron per cup, while one cup of cubed chicken breast will only get you 1.8mg of iron. Iron is an important mineral used by your red blood cells to make hemoglobin. If you can remember back from your high school biology days, hemoglobin is the protein that helps carry oxygen molecules throughout your body. Without proper levels of iron, a person will become anemic, feeling weak, tired, and even experience gastrointestinal issues. Another side effect of not getting enough iron is a weakened immune system and therefore a decreased ability to fight off illness. Iron plays a critical role in maintaining a healthy immune system, and full-fat coconut milk is a great way to get more iron into your diet (especially if you are eating plant-based or reducing your meat intake!).
Another great reason to incorporate more full-fat coconut milk into your diet is that it helps aid in weight loss and weight management. When you first look at the calorie content on the side of a full-fat coconut milk can, you might be skeptical: full-fat coconut milk has 445 calories per cup! The reason full-fat coconut milk is so beneficial is the types of fats it contains. There are several types of medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) that are created during the coconut milk making process.
Don’t worry – when I started reading about how MCTs were “man made” triglycerides, I freaked out thinking it had to do with some gross process. It basically is a product of both boiled/heated palm fruit and coconuts, making these MCTs not technically natural since you would never find boiled coconut in nature. Not gross at all. These MCTs actually go straight to the liver and are less likely to be stored as fat and are more likely to be used as energy. Another benefit of the MCTs found in coconut milk is the appetite suppression qualities that may lead to healthy weight loss in men. It seems that the studies conducted here specifically targeted men, but if you happen to be reading more on MCTs and fin dan article supporting them as an appetite suppressor in women, please send it my way!
I sort of had to stop myself from writing up an entire million page article about how amazing coconut milk is. There will definitely be more recipes in the future containing this incredible ingredient, so stay tuned!
How to make Berries and Cream Ice Cream Bars
The toughest part about making these bars is that you have to have some type of mold and some sort of popsicle stick. You can buy any popsicle mold at craft stores like Michael’s or even Target, but you can also use paper bathroom cups to form your mold if you don’t plan on making these often.
For the ingredients, you will need:
- full-fat coconut milk
- tapioca flour
- coconut sugar (can omit for a less sweet taste or to make this recipe keto)
- frozen berries
- chocolate chips that work for your diet (I love the brand Enjoy Life!)
In a blender, combine the full-fat coconut milk, the tapioca flour, coconut sugar, and frozen berries. Blend for several minutes until smooth.
Prepare your molds. If using a silicone mold, place something sturdy beneath the mold so that you can easily move it once it is filled. I had to clear out a big space in the freezer for these to lay flat, so I recommend doing that BEFORE you have the molds filled, although this mixture does just find if it is no longer cold. Gently fill them with the blender mixture, and place them in the freezer for about an hour.
If you leave the mixture out for some time and it melts, you can still continue to make the ice cream bars without issue. I have found that the bars freeze with a little more ice-like quality, and are much creamier and smooth if you immediately use the frozen berries, blend, and place it back in the freezer.
When your ice cream is frozen, melt some chocolate in a small container in the microwave. Remove your ice cream bars from the molds and place them on a tray with parchment paper. Drizzle chocolate over the ice cream, and then place the ice cream back into the freezer.
Once the chocolate as cooled, remove and enjoy!
Berries and Cream Ice Cream Bars (Paleo, Vegan, Keto optional)
- popsicle molds (optional – can use paper cups as a replacement)
- popsicle sticks
- 1 can full fat coconut milk
- 1 cup frozen berries
- 1/8 cup tapioca flour
- 1/4 cup coconut sugar
- 1/4 cup chocolate chips
- In a blender, combine the full-fat coconut milk, coconut sugar, tapioca flour, and frozen berries. Blend well until all ingredients are completely combined.
- Prepare your popsicle molds. If using silicone molds, place a stiff tray or other moveable item beneath the mold before filling to make moving the filled molds to the freezer easier.
- Gently pour the mixture into the molds, careful not to overfill them. If using paper cups, fill as high up as you desire!
- Place your popsicle sticks in the molds, making sure they are covered completely by the mixture so that they freeze towards the center.
- Place your molds or paper cups in the freezer. Allow it to freeze for about an hour.
- After about an hour, melt some chocolate chips in the microwave.
- Remove your ice cream bars from the freezer and place on parchment paper. Drizzle them in melted chocolate.
- Place your bars back into the freezer to allow the chocolate to harden. About 5 minutes.
- Remove and enjoy!
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 2.1g||3%|
|Saturated Fat 1.7g||8%|
|Total Carbohydrate 6.4g||2%|
|Dietary Fiber 0.4g||2%|
|Total Sugars 5.4g|
|Vitamin D 0mcg||0%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calorie a day is used for general nutrition advice.|
|Recipe analyzed by|