In my nutritionally sordid past, I made snow ice cream with little more than snow and a can of that sweet goo known as sweetened condensed milk. It was tasty and I enjoyed every last bite of it, knowing it was a treat that could only be enjoyed with Mother Nature’s cooperation. Now, trying to take better care of myself and make healthier food choices, I still find myself craving snow ice cream. With an abundance of snow on the ground, I set out to create a Healthy Snow Ice Cream that still had the same sweet and satisfying flavor of the original version.
This recipe is super simple. I’ve got just a few notes to share on ingredients before sharing the complete recipe.
*The recipe calls for 2/3 cup of full fat coconut milk. This is the amount in the small 5.6 ounce cans of coconut milk, the ones similar in size to a can of tomato paste. I seek out this size can of coconut milk, fewer leftovers this way!
*I use vanilla bean paste instead of vanilla extract, although either will work. I prefer vanilla bean paste for the richer vanilla flavor and the pretty flecks of vanilla bean it adds to the ice cream.
*This recipe works with either honey or maple syrup. It will have a slightly darker color if you use maple syrup, more the color of caramel.
Healthy Snow Ice Cream (gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, refined sugar-free
- 8 to 12 cups of snow
- 2/3 cup full fat coconut milk
- 1/2 cup raw local honey OR maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
In a small bowl, combine coconut milk, honey or maple syrup and vanilla. Set aside.
Take a large container outside to collect 12 cups of snow. It is best to collect snow from the highest point in your yard, not a valley. It's also best to collect as far from the street as possible. Scoop a thin layer off of the top and collect snow from the middle layer of fallen snow.
Add 8 cups of snow to a large mixing bowl. Add liquid mixture and fold together using a spatula.
Add more snow until the desired ice cream texture is achieved.
This may be served immediately or kept in the freezer.
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Heather @Gluten-Free Cat says
I’ve heard of snow ice cream but have never made it. I don’t think I’ll try with city snow. 🙂 Must save this for the next time I’m in the country for Christmas. 🙂 I love how you made it healthier!
Thanks, Heather! If this weather continues, I’ll box up some Midwestern suburbia snow and send it your way. 😉
Shirley @ gfe & All Gluten-Free Desserts says
I know I’d love this Snow Cream, Johnna! Btw, I have never seen small cans of coconut milk! I’m always thrilled to have leftovers actually though because they prompt me to make green smoothies or dairy-free sauces that I might pass by on otherwise. 😉
You are the second person to mention never having seen the small cans of coconut milk, Shirley! They really are little cans, like tomato paste cans and I find them at the Asian market. My primary reason for keeping them is to make whipped cream. One can makes just enough for two!
I shared this on FB and a friend of mine said, “Don’t eat the snow! Today’s snow has pollutants in it. Did you see the article that some snow can even burn? Chem-trails!”. Darn! Nothing is like it used to be. The best would be to make your own snow (by grating/crushing ice) and use that.
Thanks for your comment, Faith! I did research this a bit before sharing the post, as I, too, had seen warnings about the dangers of snow ice cream. In my post, there is a recommendation to collect not the top layer and not the bottom layer of snow, but to scoop from the middle. That is to limit the amount of potential ground water runoff polluting the bottom layer and to limit the amount of pollutants that settle on the top. I also read a research study from Brigham Young University, which found that snow is fine to consume in ice cream. I also water my garden with rainwater, which would contain the same potential pollutants as snow. For me, I’m fine with it, but we each have to decide for ourselves since as you said, nothing is like it used to be. Thanks again for your comment!
We never got all fancy like that. We just poured maple syrup on top. This sounds super yummy though, and we’ve had so much snow lately I’m pretty sure I could collect some clean fresh stuff soon enough. Mmm…
(I also have never seen the small cans of coconut milk. I haven’t been to the Asian store recently. Perhaps a trip is in order.)
I must try this with maple syrup only, Deanna! I think I should take a photo of these small cans of coconut milk so folks know what to look for. Super handy!
My mom, a farm girl raised during the depression taught us to just go outside when there was fresh deep snow and drizzle (homemade) maple syrup onto the snow. We would scoop up the snow and maple syrup and eat it right out our mittened hands.
Oh, how good this sounds! And you are a talented writer, Kat. I could just picture this scene in my head and almost taste the maple syrup!