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This low carb Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream has an authentic “storebought” texture and stays scoopable in the freezer! It’s an S for Trim Healthy Mamas and doesn’t contain any artificial food coloring!
Mint chocolate chip was never my go-to ice cream flavor, although I did enjoy it growing up. (I have an ice cream cone in my website logo…let’s face it: I enjoy pretty much any ice cream.) However, my mom and one of my sisters were always mint chocolate chip fanatics. The flavor and texture of this ice cream is so good that I may be joining Mom and Nikki as a mint chipper. My favorite way to eat it: on the melty side with some natural peanut butter on top.
The texture of this ice cream is amazing. Authentic. Like a high quality storebought ice cream. Even the crunchy chips of chocolate are reminiscent of the mint chocolate chip ice cream I ate growing up! And there are LOTS of chocolate pieces. (One of my personal pet peeves is when ice cream is supposed to have stir-ins but there aren’t enough pieces of goodness to go around.)
My ice cream stayed scoopable in the freezer long term! I like to store it in a shallow 2 L Tupperware rectangle Modular Mate container. These containers have great seals, let ice cream thaw quickly if it does happen to get too hard in the freezer, and are the perfect size for my ice cream recipes! (Approximate dimensions are 2 1/4″H x 7 3/8″W x 11″L).
How This Recipe Compares to My Other Ice Cream Recipes
This recipe is a little higher in fat than most of my other ice cream recipes, which is one of the reasons it stays completely scoopable when frozen long term (at least in my freezer). This means it’s a little richer and higher in calories than most of my other recipes (especially my really old recipes, which usually only call for about 1/2 cup of cream!).
I like to have a variety of ice cream recipes on my website for various occasions. Those older recipes are great to make and eat larger portions of as a soft serve, but they don’t keep as well long term in the freezer (at least you have to let them thaw out for awhile before you can dig in). Some of my newer, richer recipes are better for making and eating in smaller portions over a longer period of time. I wanted this mint chocolate chip ice cream to be on the decadent side, so I didn’t hold back with the fat. You really don’t need much to satisfy your sweet tooth! Savor in small bites.
You can totally make my other ice cream recipes decadent and scoopable like this one (and I may eventually convert some of them over to this format myself), they’ll just be higher in calories.
There are a few factors that contribute to the scoopability of this ice cream:
- Relatively high fat content
- Cooked custard base (takes more time, but worth it!)
- Xylitol for sweetening (has unique anti freezing properties that you’ll miss out on if you substitute for this sweetener)
- Vegetable glycerin (another unique ingredient without substitutions that I’m aware of)
The Mint Equation
As y’all probably know if you have any experience with peppermint extract – it can be strong stuff. It’s also peppermint, not the plain mint found in mint chocolate chip ice cream. I found that using a combination of real dried mint (for that authentic minty taste) along with some peppermint extract (for that menthol bite) gave me the perfect combination of mint flavor that is typically found in mint chocolate chip ice cream!
I purchase dried mint at a local Middle Eastern/Mediterranean grocery store fairly cheaply. Check local ethnic grocery stores, health food or bulk food stores, or online (CLICK HERE). I haven’t tried using fresh mint in this recipe, but I’m sure it would work if you have it on hand! I’m not sure how much you would use, although I do know that dried herbs are usually more potent than fresh. (I’ve heard that dried herbs are about 3x stronger, so theoretically you would need 6 tablespoons fresh chopped mint in this recipe.)
Someone asked a great question about whether “dried mint” refers to spearmint or peppermint, and whether or not mint from a tea bag would work. My answer: “The dried mint I bought doesn’t specify, but I *think* it’s spearmint. I know it’s not peppermint. You’re welcome to try mint from a teabag but that’s probably going to be peppermint and I don’t think you’ll get the same flavor (or quality).”
Here’s what the dried mint looks like:
What to do with leftover egg whites?
You can CLICK HERE to see some of my recipes that use egg whites (since you use 4 yolks in this recipe). I personally just used mine in a pan of scrambled eggs with ham chunks. Make an egg white omelette or use the egg whites in a baked goods recipe that calls for them, like this Apple Pie Baked Oatmeal!
No Articifial Food Coloring!
Spinach colors this shake naturally – no artificial food coloring! You don’t taste it, but you down some leafy greens!
Where to Find Ingredients:
A lot of the ingredients in this ice cream can be found at your local grocery store! Here are some that you may need to find online (but may also be able to be found locally). Click on the links to check them out!
- dried mint
- vegetable glycerin
- THM Pure Stevia Extract Powder
- sugar free chocolate chips
- refined coconut oil
Helpful Equipment for This Recipe:
You may also enjoy:
- ¾ cup unsweetened almond or cashew milk
- 4 egg yolks
- ⅓ cup xylitol
- ¾ teaspoon glucomannan
- 2 tablespoons dried mint
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 2 cups half and half
- 1 ½ cups heavy whipping cream
- 1 ½ cups loosely packed fresh spinach
- ¾ cup low fat cottage cheese
- 1 tablespoon vegetable glycerin
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ¾ teaspoon peppermint extract
- ¼ teaspoon THM Pure Stevia Extract Powder
- Whisk together the almond milk, egg yolks, xylitol, glucomannan, dried mint, salt, and half and half in a saucepan on the stovetop. (Add the glucomannan slowly while whisking so it doesn’t clump. I find it easiest to add the half and half last.) Cook mixture over medium-low heat, whisking often (continuously towards the end) until the mixture reaches 160* F. This will cook the eggs properly. If you don’t have a thermometer, watch for the mixture to thicken and bring it up nearing a boil but don’t let it come to a boil. When in doubt, low and slow.
- Take the pan off the heat and let the mixture steep for 5 minutes.
- Add the rest of the ice cream base ingredients to the hot mixture and blend until smooth. I used an immersion blender for this because blending hot liquids in a sealed blender can cause pressure buildups. Taste and adjust the mint/peppermint and sweetener as desired. I used McCormick brand peppermint extract; peppermint extracts can vary in strength so you may want to start with less than the recipe calls for, then taste and add more as desired. Feel free to add more of either xylitol or stevia if desired. Keep in mind that the flavors will settle out with chilling.
- Run the mixture through a fine mesh strainer to remove any flecks of spinach or mint (or foam). Let cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate overnight to chill completely.
- Once the base has chilled completely, churn in a 1.5 quart automatic countertop ice cream churn (LIKE THIS) according to manufacturer’s directions. Transfer to a shallow airtight container and allow to firm up in the freezer for 1-2 hours before adding chocolate.
- Melt the sugar free chocolate chips and coconut oil together in a microwave or double boiler. (Melt in 30 second intervals in the microwave, stirring between intervals.) Whisk together until smooth. Pour the chocolate mixture over the ice cream and quickly swirl the chocolate into the ice cream with a fork to create “chips” before it hardens. Smooth the ice cream out in the container and continue freezing until the desired texture is reached.
- My ice cream stayed scoopable in the freezer long term! I like to store it in shallow Tupperware containers.
- SERVING SUGGESTIONS: with Bri’s Best Fudgy Brownies (Convenient Food); in the Ice Cream Cake or Ice Cream Sandwiches from Necessary Food; topped with Reddi-wip, natural peanut butter, and/or Peanut Butter Hot Fudge Topping (Necessary Food)
Glucomannan is a natural thickening agent. (I like THIS ONE.) If you don’t have it you could try substituting xanthan gum in its place.
I purchase dried mint at a local Middle Eastern/Mediterranean grocery store fairly cheaply. It’s used as a seasoning in cooking and also as a tea. While mine wasn't labeled as such, I believe it's spearmint, not peppermint. Check local ethnic grocery stores, health food or bulk food stores, or online (CLICK HERE). I haven’t tried using fresh mint in this recipe.
Any fat percentage of cottage cheese will work. The cottage cheese adds creaminess and protein without a lot of calories. I don’t recommend substituting Greek yogurt in its place (too tangy).
I don't recommend omitting the vegetable glycerin. It helps keep the ice cream from sticking to the ice cream maker and vastly improves the creamy texture of the ice cream. I like THIS BRAND.
If you have too much ice cream base to fit in your ice cream maker, make a few popsicles with the remainder!
Nutrition and allergy information calculated for the ice cream alone as written (no toppings). Be sure to use noncontaminated ingredients. Gluten free, try carton coconut milk for a nut free version if you can have coconut products (also contains coconut oil)
Please note: this recipe is very different from the Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream recipe on page 223 of Necessary Food. That one uses a combination of fresh mint and peppermint extract for flavor. Since it’s much lower in fat and doesn’t have a cooked custard base, it’s best eaten as a soft serve (or will need awhile to thaw on the counter if frozen long term). It’s lower calorie than the recipe in this post, but the texture won’t be as good.