Friday, October 7, 2016

Sugar free and diabetic friendly ice creams - Home made

Being a Type 1 diabetic, I often try to make my own sugar-free or low-sugar versions of store bought stuff, and ice-cream is no exception. There are a number of diabetic ice-creams already available in the shops and some of them like Frank's are pretty damn good, but many are still very high sugar (see: Frank's) or use things like Sorbitol as a sweetener which is a heavy laxative, or even worse just plain taste awful. As with most things, home-made is always better unless you're paying through the nose, so here are some sensible tips and things you can do to make your own low sugar and diabetic friendly icecreams.

1. Sweetener Choice

As mentioned, Sorbitol is an infamous laxative in large amounts and since Ice Cream requires a lot of sweetness to offset numbing from the lower temperature, it's just a horrible choice which should be avoided whenever possible. The reason so many companies tend to use it is because it tastes somewhat similar to sugar and is very cheap, none of which stops it from being a poor choice. Stevia is a great natural option which, although fairly expensive, is zero-carbs, great for diabetics. The only issue with Stevia is that it's not as strong as sugar-alcohol sweeteners and may require large amounts. Erythitol is a fantastic tasting sweetener and some even prefer it to sugar. It also works wonderfully in ice creams and is fine in any quantity. It's a little more expensive but it's one of the best options and can be substituted 1:1 for sugar in any recipe. Xylitol is also fairly close to sugar and cheaper than Erythitol, it's also actually good for your teeth! However it's a little gritty and usually large grain for ice cream, so use a mortar and pestle or whizz it in a blender first. Also note that it has 40g of carbs per 100g so may not be suitable for large quantities or if you're diabetic. Here's a sugar free ice cream recipe.

No Sugar Nutty Mint Ice Cream

INGREDIENTS 2 cups double/heavy cream ¼ cup unsweetened nut milk (Almond, cashew, even soya will work great) 4 egg yolks 2 Tbsp Peppermint essence or flavor 2 finely diced mint leaves or 1 tsp mint powder 2 tsp Stevia Combine your nut milk and heavy cream in a good sized bowl and microwave for 2 minutes. Mix all other ingredients in another bowl then add fold in the heated milk-cream and stir until combined then stick back in the microwave for another minute and every 30 seconds after, stopping and stirring every time. If you don't take your time your eggs will scramble. You can also do this on the stove top if you don't trust the microwave, but be equally careful about keeping a low temperature for your eggs. Next, strain everything into a chilled bowl to remove any lumps and chill overnight in the fridge, or pop in the freezer for 20 minutes until cold. Add to your ice cream maker and then eat soft or freeze until even firmer.

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