With all the crazy food trends that I have seen over the last year or so (such as rainbow bagels), the one that held my fascination the most was black ice cream. Made with food grade coconut ash, the product is made from the husk/shell of the coconut which has been charred, and then ground into an extremely fine, pitch black powder. When mixed into ice cream the result is a rich, inky black summer treat.
Growing up in a holistic household, I can tell you that black coconut ash is as old as the hills. It's also known as "activated charcoal", and it saved me from many a hangover in college. After a night of drinking I would take 1-2 capsules with a large glass of water, and would wake up well slept and ready for the day without a headache in sight. It is a lifesaver should you have food poisoning: activated charcoal is an detoxifying and absorbing product - meaning it can assist in the removal of toxins and heavy metals from your stomach and bloodstream. It also works on the surface of your skin: if you get a bug bite or sting, simply create a charcoal paste by mixing the product with a little bit of water, and place over the bite. I have also shared it's teeth whitening benefits with you.
However a word of caution: with activated charcoal it is imperative that it be understood that it is possible to have too much of a good thing. black coconut ash works through the chemical process of absorption. It doesn't pick and choose between vitamins and minerals, and can therefore lead to the lowering of vital nutrients if overused. Black coconut ash also pulls water from the colon and must be consumed with large amounts of water. As with all detoxifying products, proceed with caution: it can make you sick if you ingest too much too quickly. And while activated charcoal aids in digestion, the product itself isn't digested by the body - which is why increasing water intake is so important.
So how does black coconut ash ice cream taste? Well, depends on the flavor of ice cream that you start with: if you use vanilla ice cream, you will end up with rich, slightly earthy version of vanilla. Adding extras like vanilla beans, or extract will round out the flavor. The ice cream will leave your tongue and teeth black, so again, water is important!
Because of its promoted health benefits I have seen many articles suggesting the consumption of black coconut ash ice cream is a "detoxifying" treat. No honey. It's still ice cream - and one that should be followed by a large glass (or two) of water. That being said, it's crazy cool ice cream, one that is surprisingly easy to create at home, and something that that will make a fun surprise for guests! Tip: bookmark this recipe for Halloween!
See my recipe below, and then head to your local health food store (or shop Amazon) to get started.
Black Coconut Ash Ice Cream
You will need:
- 1 pint of vanilla bean ice cream, softened (or any vanilla ice cream of your choosing - could do vegan as well)
- 18-25capsules / 2 tablespoons of black coconut ash (also known as activated charcoal)
- dash of vanilla extract (optional)
Scoop the softened ice cream out of the container, and gently fold the activated charcoal, stirring until all lumps are gone. Optional: add a splash of vanilla extract while mixing. Place mixture into a wide mouthed container, and put into freezer. Mix every 30 minutes for the first hour, making sure to scrape the edges.
Photos: Stephanie Malilong Photography