Gelato is one food I would probably eat even if there wasn’t a way to make it healthy. When my husband and I first started dating, we traveled to Europe with some friends (in the days before five kids when that was possible!) and he introduced me to Gelato…
It was love at first spoonful and I’m pretty sure that is about all I ate for the entire trip!
Gelato is essentially a thicker, richer and often healthier version of ice cream. It contains less air than ice cream and the churning process is somewhat different, but the texture can be replicated without a special gelato maker.
This recipe reminds me of the wonderful memories I have of getting to know my husband and of Europe. It is actually a pretty healthy dessert full of nourishing healthy fats, and if you are dairy sensitive, you can create the same texture with coconut milk and coconut oil (see notes below).
- 2 cups of milk (or coconut milk if dairy sensitive)
- 1 cup of heavy cream (or ¼ cup butter or coconut oil)
- 4 egg yolks
- ½ cup raw honey or maple syrup (or stevia tincture to taste)
- 2 cups of fresh strawberries with stems and tops removed, pureed (frozen will also work if defrosted first)
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- ½ tsp lemon zest (optional)
- Combine milk and cream in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
- Simmer, stirring constantly, for about 4-5 minutes.
- While that is simmering, whisk egg yolks, salt and honey or blend in a blender until smooth and creamy. I prefer to do this in a blender to make the next step easier.
- While whisking briskly or with blender on low speed, very slowly add the warmed milk mixture to the egg yolk and honey mixture. Do not do this quickly or you will have scrambled eggs!
- Return the entire mixture to the saucepan and stir constantly over medium low heat for about 10 minutes or until it starts to thicken.
- Add pureed strawberries and lemon zest and mix well.
- Chill the mixture for at least 4-5 hours in the refrigerator or until is is completely cool. Refrigerating overnight will create an even more intense flavor.
- When it is completely chilled, the mixture can be made in to Gelato in an ice cream maker by following manufacturer instructions. If you don’t have an ice cream maker, you can freeze for 2-3 hours, put in a food processor or blender and pulse until smooth, and then re-freeze for 3-4 hours until hardened.
- This process is time consuming but will create the authentic gelato texture. If you prefer, you can simply blend all ingredients in a blender or food processor and pour in to an ice cream maker to create strawberry ice cream.
Have you ever had Gelato? What was your favorite flavor?