Can ice cream be a health food?
This hybrid of creamy gelato and frozen yogurt will keep your good little tummy bugs and your summer sweet tooth happy.
So what makes a “probiotic gelato”? Why isn’t it frozen yogurt and why isn’t it ice cream?
Frozen yogurt is typically made without heavy cream or eggs yolks, the usual base for ice cream.
Gelato can be made with heavy cream and egg yolks, but it usually includes more milk and less cream than ice cream, and is churned more slowly. Some gelato recipes also call for cornstarch to help get the right consistency. I used arrowroot powder instead of corn starch, and while I do recommend arrowroot, either will work.
This recipe has a gelato base with whole fat European-style yogurt substituted in for a portion of the milk and cream. Whole fat milk and cream, as well as egg yolks, are wonderfully nutrient-dense — especially when they come from organic, grass-fed sources.
You need an ice cream maker for this recipe. If that isn’t a possibility for you, you could try to freeze the base in ice cube trays and blend them in a blender or food processor until smooth, but you won’t have the same texture as with a slow-churning ice cream maker.
My favorite thing about this recipe is the roasted peaches. In my opinion, peaches are one of the best fruits of the season (right next to watermelon and berries). With a sprinkling of Rapadura, cinnamon, and butter slathered over the peaches, they caramelize and intensify in flavor. This gelato is rich and decadent, but the bit of yogurt we use for the “probiotic” part gives it a refreshing tang.
- 5 to 6 ripe peaches, sliced in halves, pits removed
- Rapadura, for sprinkling
- cinnamon, for sprinkling
- ½ cup honey (preferably local, raw honey)
- 2 tablespoons arrowroot powder (or cornstarch if necessary)
- ½ teaspoon fine salt
- 1½ cups heavy cream
- 1½ cups whole milk
- 2 cups whole fat European-style yogurt (not thick Greek-style yogurt)
- 8 egg yolks
- 1 vanilla bean, sliced in half lengthwise
- If you are using an ice cream maker, place freezing bowl in the freezer for 12 to 24 hours before using, if required.
- To roast the peaches, preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Place the halved peaches, flesh-side up, on a large baking sheet.
- Sprinkle brown sugar and cinnamon liberally over each peach half.
- Place a small piece of butter in the center of every peach.
- Roast the peaches for 30 to 40 minutes until caramelized.
- Let the peaches cool completely.
- Carefully remove the skins of the peaches while letting the rest of the peach flesh fall into a mixing bowl.
- Add any caramel remaining in the baking dish to the peaches.
- Roughly chop the peaches and caramel together into a very chunky mixture, then set aside.
- Whisk the honey, arrowroot powder, salt, cream, milk, and yogurt in a medium saucepan or stockpot until smooth.
- Place over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the mixture is very warm.
- In a separate mixing bowl, whisk the egg yolks with a cup of the warm cream mixture.
- Whisk the egg mixture back into the rest of the cream mixture in the pan.
- Use a small knife to scrape the seeds out of the vanilla bean, then add the seeds with the whole bean into the pan with the cream and egg mixture.
- Stir continuously over medium heat until the mixture thickens and will coat the back of a spoon.
- Pour the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a refrigerator-safe container, discarding solids.
- Stir the caramelized peach mixture into this custard base, then cover and place it in the refrigerator to chill for 8 to 12 hours.
- Carefully pour the cooled gelato mixture into your ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions, until the mixture turns into creamy, frozen, soft-serve gelato.
- Serve immediately.
- Gelato may be kept in the freezer in an airtight container but it needs to defrost a little before serving, otherwise it’s too hard to scoop or eat enjoyably.
Enjoy! Do you love gelato, too? How about probiotic gelato? What is your favorite flavor or recipe? Be sure to let us know how you like this recipe!
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