Vanilla Kefir Ice Cream

by Ann Marie Michaels on June 22, 2011

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vanilla ice cream

Homemade vanilla ice cream from grass-fed cows is exceptionally healthy. Want to make it even healthier? Make it probiotic!

Culturing grass-fed milk and cream with kefir grains adds beneficial bacteria which can help improve digestion and absorption. Click here to read my 8 Reasons to Eat Fermented Foods (like kefir).

Why Grass-Fed Ice Cream?

Grass-fed cream is extremely rich in vitamin K2, which is critical for strong bones and teeth, as well as heart health.

You see, vitamin K2 is the vitamin we need to tell the body where to put the calcium we absorb. Just like we need vitamin D in order to utilize calcium, we need vitamin K2 to tell the body where to put it.

So if you have a vitamin K2 deficiency, the calcium doesn’t go into our bones and your teeth — it goes into your organs. Like your brain or your heart or your kidneys. This is why we end up with heart disease, seizures and other nervous system disorders, and kidney stones. The calcium is deposited in places where it shouldn’t be.

This is also why we suffer from osteoporosis, bone loss and dental decay. Vitamin K2 tells the body, “Calcium goes in the bones and teeth!”

But how many of us are getting enough vitamin K2? Are you eating cream and butter from cows eating green grass? Only grass-fed cream and butter is rich in vitamin K2.

So here’s your excuse to eat more cream and butter!

Recipe Notes:

For good vanilla flavor, use real vanilla extract — not that faux “vanillin” stuff they try to pass off as vanilla extract. Here’s my recipe for homemade vanilla extract. If you are on the GAPS diet, use vodka instead of rum or Bourbon to make your vanilla extract.

You can also use Vanilla Beans instead of vanilla extract. Just scrape the beans from the vanilla bean pod into the mixture. Add as much as you need to get the right flavor.

Also, if you are on the GAPS diet, use honey instead of maple syrup or other sweetener.

You can also use coconut milk (full-fat) if you are dairy-free.

You may also purchase kefir powder to use instead of the kefir grains. You may also purchase ready-made milk kefir from the health food store, if you do not have kefir grains. (However, if you are on the GAPS diet, you need to use homemade kefir.)

For more info on making kefir, read my tutorial on how to make kefir.

Vanilla Kefir Ice Cream

Difficulty: Easy
Makes 1 quart

Ingredients

Whole milk, grass-fed, raw if possible (1 cup) — where to buy milk
Heavy cream, grass-fed, raw if possible (1 cup)
Kefir grains — where to buy starters
Sea salt, a pinch — where to buy sea salt
Coconut sugar, sucanat, maple syrup or honey (1/2 cup, or more, to taste) — where to buy sweeteners
Eggs, pastured (4)
Vanilla extract, real, homemade and/or organic (1 tsp) — click here for the recipe for homemade vanilla extract

Equipment

Blender or food processor
Ice cream maker (canister style — I recommend the Cuisinart)

Directions

Milk kefir and kefired cream:
1. You will need about 1/2 tablepoon of milk kefir grains and 1 cup of whole milk to make the milk kefir. Place the grains in a clean mason jar and fill with the milk.
2. Gently stir to incorporate and cover the jar with a napkin or cheesecloth and rubber band.
3. Let sit at room temperature for about 12-24 hours, stirring occasionally. Each time you stir, taste the kefir. It should be thick and tart.
4. Once done, strain the kefir grains out of the milk with a fine mesh strainer, and transfer to another jar to make another batch, or store in the refrigerator.
5. Make the kefired cream in the same manner. (Or you can just do them both together.)

Ice Cream:
1. Place canister of the ice cream machine in the freezer for at least 12 hours.
2. Separate the egg yolks from the whites and place yolks in the food processor. Save the whites for another use if desired (egg whites freeze well).
3. Add the remaining ingredients into the food processor or blender and mix well. You can also just use a bowl and a whisk.
4. Add to the ice cream machine and run for 25 to 45 minutes (according to the directions for your ice cream machine).
5. Enjoy immediately or transfer to a shallow container and store in in the freezer.

Photo credit: wintersoul1 on Flickr
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