This past summer was a summer of ice cream for us. Since I bought an ice cream machine five years ago, I haven’t been buying ice cream in stores – it all seems too sweet to me. The only exception is specialty, like mochi and other types of Japanese ice cream.
This summer, it all began with Tarragon and Mint Ice Cream inspired by my home region in the springtime. Then I came across these amazingly perfumy guavas and turned them into ice cream. There were also Balsamic-Strawberry, Basil and Blackberry frozen treats. I believe that there is very little limit when it comes to flavors in ice cream – so many things take on an intriguing taste when frozen.
Bee pollen is one of my breakfast staples – I sprinkle it on yogurt, smoothies or porridge and love its taste and magical immune boosting, digestive aiding health benefits. The idea of including it into an ice cream came to me recently, when I tried Manuka honey for the first time. Generally, I’m not crazy about eating honey straight up and the most important quality that I look for is subtle sweetness – the kind of sweetness I remember from my childhood, when tasting young spring honey. Manuka honey, a honey made by New Zealand bees from the nectar of the native manuka tree, has the kind of flavor I crave – a complex and subtle taste. Apparently, it’s exceptionally good for you when it comes to types of honey, especially when combined with bee pollen. And if you’re anything like me, the first chill in the air won’t stop you from making a batch of this, dare I say, warming ice cream.
Manuka Honey and Bee Pollen Ice Cream
2 cans full fat Thai coconut milk
scant 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons Manuka honey
2 tablespoons bee pollen
1/2 teaspoon xanathan gum or 1 tablespoon arrowroot powder
pinch of sea salt
1 tablespoon vanilla extract – optional
1. Blend coconut milk, 1/4 cup Manuka honey, 1 tablespoon bee pollen, xanathan gum, salt and vanilla (if using) in a blender until smooth. Chill well in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight.
2. Process in an ice cream machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Spoon 1/3 of the ice cream into a chilled container, even it out and drizzle some of the remaining 2 tablespoons Manuka honey over. Sprinkle with some of the remaining bee pollen. Repeat with the rest of the ingredients.
3. Freeze for at least 4 hours or overnight. Let sit at room temperature for 10-15 minutes before scooping and serving.