There was a time when I liked my ice cream an unnatural shade of green, served in a cardboard container, purchased from the freezer isle of the grocery store. There was also a time I preferred neon orange macaroni made out of a blue box.
I haven’t had any exciting pregnancy cravings to report. Although, by 9:30 at night, my stomach is growling again. Dinner has been cleaned, minus several dishes that always seem to linger until the next day, and leftovers have found their way into the fridge for tomorrow’s lunch. I’m left with only one option to cure the hunger—dessert, which usually takes the form of ice cream these days. Baby needs extra calcium. Or so they say.
Before the weather turned warm and the inaugural batch of ice cream had been churned, I asked Kev to pick up some ice cream on his way home. (I think I mentioned this in a post recently. I’m becoming that lady that tells the same story over and over again.) He came home with Mint Oreo, a combination of my favorites—mint chocolate chip and cookies and cream. Good man.
A couple bites in, though, and I turned up my snooty, homemade loving nose. It wasn’t nearly as good as I remembered. Far too fluffy in texture. Had I let it completely melt, I think it would have resembled a deflated marshmallow rather than the coveted ice cream soup that makes bowl-licking an acceptable gesture. So many fillers, so little taste.
I’ve yet to make a box of the Blue Box Blues, although, there are days when my pregnancy brain promises me it’ll taste as good as I remember. Those commercials have a way with me. However, I’m not listening to her anymore. The cardboard contained ice cream taught me a lesson.
I’m not sure how and when my taste buds became “refined”—liked when I started asking for my Mom’s macaroni instead of Kraft’s, or when dark chocolate began replacing the milk chocolate bars in the cabinets. Even over the last several months, this ice cream craving lady has turned a pivotal corner. I’m on to tangy-er, not as sweet flavors, like this herbally Fresh Mint Froyo with deep Dark Chocolate notes. I guess it’s just part of the Circle of Life—it moves us on. Though, it’s had zero effect on my Pizza Hut cravings birthed from early childhood. Have mercy on me.
This recipe is adapted from Sara Forte’s book The Sprouted Kitchen, a must buy in my opinion. It’s got the creaminess of ice cream and the slight tartness you’d expect from a frozen yogurt. I adapted the recipe, modeling it after my typical ice cream recipe complete with eggs yolks, pure cane sugar, and sea salt. This froyo is far from being low fat but it’s oh so good with all the benefits of greek yogurt. The fresh mint leaves an incredibly refreshing flavor in your mouth. It’s the grown-up version of my favorite fake-green Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream from childhood.
1 c. pure cane sugar
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1 1/2 c. heavy cream
1 c. mint leaves, roughly chopped
2 large egg yolks
1 tsp. peppermint extract
3 c. whole milk greek yogurt
1/2 c. half and half
1/2 c. dark chocolate, roughly chopped
Into a small sauce pan, add sugar, salt, heavy cream, and mint leaves. Turn to medium heat and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally until sugar is dissolved, about 5 minutes.
Meanwhile whisk egg yolks in a small bowl until pale in color, about 1 minute.
Slowly add 1/2 cup of the simmering cream mixture to the egg mixture to temper, whisking constantly so as not to curdle the egg. Add tempered mixture back into the saucepan stirring constantly for about a minute to continue cooking.
Turn off heat, and allow to steep for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally to keep a film from forming.
Pour mixture over a fine mesh sieve into a large bowl, removing all the mint leaves. Add in peppermint extract and slowly fold in yogurt and half and half until evenly combined. Cover and place in fridge to continue to completely cool.
Once cooled, churn the froyo in your ice cream machine, following the manufacturer’s instructions. In the last minute of churning, add in chocolate. For a soft serve consistency, serve immediately. For a thicker consistency, place in a freezer-safe container and freeze for 1-2 hours. When serving leftovers, remove container from freezer about 15 minutes before serving to soften.
• I’ve found plastic containers work best for freezing ice cream. Check out this tip for more info.