Today’s Suite of Sweets for Sweethearts (SSS) entry is another recipe in the gluten-free, dairy-free (and more) ice cream/sherbet category—Toasted Coconut Banana Walnut Chocolate Chip Ice Cream. It shares some traits with Ben & Jerry’s beloved Chunky Monkey ice cream, but the inclusion of toasted coconut and coconut sugar takes this ice cream up a notch in my opinion … in both taste and appearance. Plus my version is also dairy free and more-free.
This recipe was not on my SSS slate at all, but when I flipped through my massive stack of recipe ideas when looking for a misplaced recipe card for a recipe that is on my agenda, I saw a page that I’d saved from an old Country Living magazine. It featured a “semi-homemade” ice cream. Their idea was to mix sliced banana, toasted coconut, and bittersweet chocolate into softened store-bought vanilla ice cream and refreeze the concoction. I knew I had to make the ice cream immediately, but I also knew that I could do better making my own homemade dairy-free+ version. About 25 minutes later, I was eating this ice cream and while I obviously never tasted the magazine’s version, I know mine is better … the proof is in every bite! And, of course, I had to share the recipe with you all for Suite of Sweets for Sweethearts!
In other very sweet news, you may have noticed the pretty little blue star on my sidebar. That’s because I’ve been nominated for Best Gluten-Free Blogger in Triumph Dining’s 2012 Best of Gluten-Free Awards! Wow, huh? Yes, I am honored! You’ll find some of my favorite gluten-free bloggers and yours right there with me, too. If you have a moment, please cast your vote for not only your favorite blogger, but also your favorite cookbooks, favorite flour mixes, favorite products, and more. It’s an opportunity to voice your opinion and let others know what/who you find valuable in our wonderful gluten-free community! If you should happen to vote for me, well, thank you very, very much!
Also, don’t forget that the 25% discount on Caveman Cookies—set up exclusively for my gfe readers—continues on through Valentine’s Day, February 14th.
Enter GFESweets when ordering to receive the discount.
I’m loving this year’s SSS event … hope you are as well!
Toasted Coconut Banana Walnut Chocolate Chip Ice Cream (Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Refined Sugar Free+)
- 1 can coconut milk (full fat, not lite), chilled for several hours (preferably overnight)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup coconut flakes, divided
- 2/3 cup coconut sugar (or palm sugar; see notes for more options)
- 1 cup banana, very ripe and at least partially mashed (about two bananas; see notes regarding mashing or not)
- ½ cup semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate chips (optional; for dairy free, Enjoy Life minis] or [mega chunks] are good, or a [quality gluten-free, dairy-free chocolate bar] broken into pieces, for refined sugar free as well, use [unsweetened chocolate bar broken into pieces and increase coconut sugar to taste)
- ¼ cup chopped walnuts
- Spread coconut flakes on baking sheet and toast in preheated 400F-degree oven for about 3 minutes. Stir every minute. When coconut is fragrant and some of the coconut flakes are a lovely golden brown, remove from oven. (You don’t want to wait until all the coconut flakes are brown, because if you do, some of the coconut will burn and may ruin the taste of the rest.) Set coconut flakes aside to cool for a few minutes.
- Add coconut milk, vanilla extract, ½ cup toasted coconut flakes, coconut sugar, and banana to the pitcher of your blender. (See my notes on banana options before adding.) Blend on high until fairly well mixed, just about a minute.
- Add to frozen ice cream tub. Turn ice cream maker on. Pour contents of blender pitcher into tub. Pour chocolate chips, walnuts, and any additional banana slices slowly into tub via the top opening as ice cream churns. Churn about 20 minutes.
- Ice cream can be served immediately or frozen for later. For the prettiest presentation and best taste, scoop ice cream and roll each scoop into remaining toasted coconut flakes before serving.
If you eat refined sugar, you should be able to substitute brown sugar or granulated sugar for the coconut sugar or palm sugar. Brown sugar is a better substitution if you want the same caramel coloring. White sugar will give you more of a vanilla coloring and, similarly, a more “vanilla” taste. I’m sure honey would be wonderful in this recipe, too. With honey, the coloring would be somewhat “in the middle.” I decided to mash both bananas to make one cup. However, if you’d like you can mash half of the banana (half a cup), but save a number of slices (to equal half a cup) to add as you start churning your ice cream. I just grabbed a small handful of the walnut pieces from the bottom of my walnut bag, versus taking the time to chop some.
Oh my, this ice cream looks incredible. My husband used to love Chunky Money – haven’t had it in ages. Now that he’s lactose intolerant, I’ll have to make this for him.
Hi Jeanette–Coconut-based ice cream is such a treat for those who eat dairy free or lactose free. I think this ice cream is especially fabulous eaten right after it’s made. 🙂
Ina Gawne says
Shirley – another winning ice cream…Yeahhhh! Dear Shirley – you most happily have my vote! 🙂
Hi Ina–Thanks on both counts! You’re a dear! 🙂
this sounds soooo good, i can’t wait to try it!
Hi Colette–It looks like you are new here–welcome! 🙂 Thanks on the ice cream. Hope you like it!
Oh yum! I think this is my favorite of the week. I love the combination of coconut, banana and chocolate.
Hey Linda–Thanks, dear! 🙂 That is a hard combo to beat, isn’t it? 😉
Ooh, yum. Can we put black walnuts in this too, Shirley? 🙂 You and I can split a big ol’ bowl.
Oh, Alta, I like that idea of adding the black walnuts versus English walnuts in this recipe! And yes, we can share! 🙂
Beautiful Dessert, Shirley!
I already cast my vote…there’s no one more deserving!
Thank you, Mary! You are most generous! 🙂
Ohhhh, definitely on my must-make list! Yumm..
InTolerant Chef–It’s yummy stuffy for sure–thanks! I don’t use my ice cream maker that often, but I do love creating tasty frozen concoctions using it. 🙂
Kim (Cook IT Allergy Free) says
I do not even know what to say, except that Chunky Monkey is one of my FAVORITE ice cream flavors EVER!! Did I ever tell you that? You and your ice cream flavors are amazing! I suppose now I have another recipe of yours to add to my must-make list. 🙂
Hi Kim–No, you didn’t tell me, but it’s a good thing you’ve never opened any in front of me … it’s not pretty, let me tell you! 😉 I think this is a recipe that each time I’ll make it, I’ll get it a little closer to Chunky Monkey yet better, know what I mean? I’m thinking just a tad more banana slices and chocolate shavings added right at the end next time. 🙂 And of course, like most dairy-free ice cream, this is best right when it’s done churning.
I made this tonight for dessert and OH MY!!! It is so delicious! I have had quite a few ice cream disasters but this is a recipe that I will make over and over. A big hit with my whole family, thank you so much for sharing the recipe!!
Hi Tracy–It’s wonderful to see you here at gfe again! And even better to get this fabulous feedback—thanks so very much! 🙂 You’ve totally made my day and I so appreciate you taking the time to comment!
Tom @ Tall Clover Farm says
Making this tomorrow, still deciding if I’ll share or consume a ‘test’ batch for myself. 😉
Hi Tom–Fingers crossed that you loved this one! In one way, it’s hard to stop with this recipe. On the other hand, it’s rich and satisfying so not much is needed. Since it’s dairy free ice cream, I suppose you could have even let your four-legged friends have a teeny taste without too much worry, or at least allow them to lick up any errant drops. 😉
Ellen (Gluten Free Diva) says
Shirley – this looks SOOOO good. I can’t wait to try it!!!! I’m so thrilled to find a recipe for ice cream made with coconut milk. Yum yum yum yum yum!!!!
Hey Ellen–I think you will love this ice cream. I shared it with my support group this month for our ice cream social event at the end of our meal. It was loved!! Coconut milk and a few simple ingredients can make for some very tasty ice cream! 😉
Ok, so I just made this and yes I realize it’s past midnight…. 🙂 this is out of this world delicious!!!! You have outdone yourself with this and I agree with the reader that mentioned it is just like chunky monkey – except I think it’s way better still!!!
And yes, a blog on this is coming soon to a computer near you…. 😉
Oh, Angela, coming home to this comment last night made me so happy! Thank you and your taste testers so very much for making this ice cream recipe and for declaring it the best ever! 🙂 I’m so pleased!
Big thankful hugs to you!
And here is the blog…. 😉 http://angelasommers.wordpress.com/2013/06/30/how-homemade-ice-cream-can-help-you-take-charge-of-your-thoughts/
One more thing, Shirley: this ice cream has just been pronounced as the best ice cream EVER, by my testers, and I have to agree!!!
One more thing: just had to make it again for July 4 – used coconut sugar instead, and no coconut, and that version disappeared just as fast – not sure they even noticed anything changed….no leftovers…..only requests to make more 🙂
For first time makers of icecream it would be useful to know how much it is going to make. I want icecream for 8 but do not know how much this receipe is going to make.
Shirley Braden says
Hi Marie–Welcome to gfe. 🙂 I use my Cuisinart 1 1/2 quart ice cream maker. Most folks who are making enough ice cream to serve more than 5 people usually purchase a second freezer bowl so they can double a recipe and make two tub fulls back to back. That said, it also depends on how large of a serving that you want for everyone. When I was leading my gluten-free support group, I found that a batch of ice cream often went pretty far because most members didn’t want a large serving. This is a rich and creamy ice cream and I try to eat a small serving. 😉 Hope that info helps!
Your emails are no-reply so I’m having difficulty communicating.
We use Internet Explorer. And yes all print attempts return the same thing and no I cannot copy/paste anything from your website. Makes it tough.
Shirley Braden says
So strange. I mailed you directly so there should not be a “no reply” factor and I’ve never heard of anyone not being able to cut and paste from my site before. 🙁 I am sorry about the frustration factor here but thanks so much for the additional information!
I did successfully copy the recipe awhile ago. I had tried before but it looked like it copied but ‘paste’ had nothing in it.
This is your email return address as received: gfe–gluten free easily
gfe–gluten free easily
gfe–gluten free easily
Shirley Braden says
I believe you, Gretchen. It’s just very odd because that’s not how any of it works for me. I have been able to cut and paste all along and I can reply to an email from my feed, gfe-gluten free easily, and the reply automatically goes to my email address, [email protected]. I am switching to a new recipe plugin soon. I hope that will solve all the issues for you. Btw, you might wish to switch to Chrome. I know Internet Explorer is eventually going away.
Have a good Tuesday!