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Friday, November 27, 2009

Cranberry Ice Cream

Ice cream is just one of those things I can't give up. White sugar and white flour have been no big deal for me, but ice cream (and all it's heathen saturated fat) will never leave my diet. Instead of eliminating it, I just try to find ways to reduce the amount of heavy cream while still keeping a reasonably palatable final product. I've recently started using agave nectar in ice cream, in place of sugar, and realized that the agave really keeps the ice cream soft. It was an unexpected, but very welcome, bonus.

So, what to do about the cream. I don't like to use more than 8 ounces (1 cup) of cream (in a batch that yields 4-5 cups of ice cream). I try to keep it down to 4 ounces. Previously, I made up the remaining volume with fat free half and half, and whatever milk we had, either 2% or skim. Fat free half and half, I've decided, has too many chemicals for me to using it on such a regular basis, so that ingredient had to go. But making up the rest with milk would yield some very crystal-y (yes that is now a word) ice cream.

Enter: tofu. Firm silken tofu, to be exact. I started this time with 4 ounces, blended up with 1 ounce of milk. I was reserving the remainder of the package for another dish, so 4 ounces was all I had to spare for the ice cream experiment. I also decided to make it part custard by making an egg yolk base with 4 ounces each of cream and milk, and two egg yolks.

The comparison of the nutritional information from the original recipe to mine is startling. The calories per serving were cut in HALF! Total fat was reduced by over 15g, saturated fat by over 11g. Even the cholesterol was reduced! On the plus side, I increased the potassium, fiber, and protein content. All around, a huge win for ice cream!

I almost forgot - how does it taste?  It's pretty awesome.  There is a perfect balance between tart cranberry and sweet agave nectar!

Cranberry Ice Cream
Yield: 5 cups

1 package (12 ounces) fresh cranberries, washed and picked over
1/4 cup water
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 ounces heavy cream
18 ounces milk (I used 2%), divided
2 egg yolks
4 ounces firm silken tofu
1/2 cup agave nectar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of salt

1.  Heat cranberries and water in a small saucepan until boiling. Cover, reduce to a simmer and cook 10 minutes, until the cranberries pop and become soft. Let cool 10 minutes.  Pour into a food processor and pulse until finely chopped, but not pureed.  Add cinnamon and set aside.
2. Scald cream and 4 ounces of milk in a small saucepan.  Place egg yolks in a small bowl.  Add 4 tablespoons of heated cream, 1 tablespoon at a time while whisking constantly, to warm up the yolks.  Add yolks back to pan with heated cream.  Stir gently with a wooden spoon until custard thickens, coating the back of the spoon.
3.  Blend tofu and 1 ounce of milk in food processor until smooth.
4. Combine cranberries, custard, tofu, salt, agave nectar and remaining 13 ounce of milk in a large bowl and blend well.  Chill at least 4 hours, or overnight, then freeze in an ice cream maker.

Nutritional Information, per 1/2 cup serving:

Reduced Original

Calories: 153.4 310.7

Total Fat: 6.5 22.2

Sat. Fat: 3.8 15.4

Poly Fat: 0.1 0.0

Mono Fat: 0.4 0.0

Cholesterol: 62.5 88.0

Sodium: 66.8 22.0

Potassium: 3.8 0.0

Carbohydrate: 20.3 23.3

Fiber: 0.9 0.0

Sugar: 14.7 19.2

Protein: 3.3 0.1


Shari 3 boys said...

i have been using your ice cream recipes for awhile now..but like you i try to eat lower calorie and am actually in a deficit right now so this sounds perfect.
CAn you tell me what a serving size is for the macros you got there?
Is that a cup size or 1/2 cup size serving?
Thanks so much will def be trying....
Hey could you try one with PB2 Or Pb in it?
THat would be amazing to get that made in a lower calorie!!!

TPOX said...

So sorry I forgot to list the serving size! Yes it's for 1/2 cup and I updated the entry. Thanks!

I have never seen PB2 in the store (I shop at Target and a produce store), but I will have to look for it. I've been hearing a bit about how good it is. I do have one peanut butter ice cream in the blog, that I make for my husband. I think I am going to transition that recipe over to a method similar to the cranberry one, so I can stop buying egg beaters and half and half! I'll be sure to post whatever I come up with!

Shari 3 boys said...


I believe you can only buy PB2 online at
bellplantation.com or amazon etc

I use alot in smoothies etc.

Thanks for the info on the cranberry ice cream....Looks great!