Now, I know this blog is supposed to be full of healthy recipes, but it’s also about the real-life day-to-day things I do. Once in a while those things include full-fat ice cream, bacon, or chocolate for instance. And sometimes those things might include all of the things.
All the things.
All the delicious things made more delicious by being combined with other delicious things.
I think that’s enough rambling for now. My point is that this ice cream is so worth it and sometimes you just need the real deal. So how about some coffee ice cream with chocolate covered bacon and cocoa nibs!?
Now I will preface this recipe by letting you know this is by no means a low fat treat. (Duh)
And I will also say that I was dying to tweak it to make the base a lot healthier, but it was the first time the Chef and I attempted to make ice cream and he wanted to go traditional with a creme anglaise base which includes milk, sugar and egg yolks, so we compromised. He got his creme anglaise, but I insisted on organic, local everything, hormone-free eggs, rBGH-free dairy and humanely-raised bacon. If we were going to use milk, dairy, eggs and meat this is the only way I would agree. If you are unfamiliar with any of these terms or just want a refresher, here is a breakdown and why they matter to me:
Organic: Foods produced without the use of hormones, pesticides and antibiotics.
- Pesticides, antibiotics and synthetic hormones wreak havoc on the immune system and build up toxins in the body.
- Studies show that organic foods have more nutrients and antioxidants than their non-organic counterparts.
- Organic is better for the environment, better for our bodies and tastes better.
Local: I love to support local farms and businesses in my area. Keep in mind that we vote with our dollars. I feel better knowing my dollars are going towards local, often organic food from people who care about quality and sustainability.
Hormone-free: It is standard practice in the food industry for farmers to administer artificial growth hormones to their livestock. The increased hormones cause the animals to grow larger than they would in nature and at an alarming rate. Elevated estrogen and testosterone levels are a concern, but no conclusive studies have been done to see what effect this could have on humans.
Researchers are concerned that artificial growth hormones could be linked to:
- Breast, vaginal, prostate and colon cancer
- Reproductive and developmental complications
rBGH: Recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone or Artificial Growth Hormone. Monsanto and other such companies manufacture this hormone to forcefully extend milk production in dairy cows. Due to unnatural constant lactation, many cows develop mastitis-inflammation of the udders. If the affected milk gets into the food supply this becomes a matter of public health. Because mastisis is so common in cows treated with rBGH often times higher levels of antibiotics are administered.
Possible Health Risks Associated with rBGH:
- Increased rate of breast, prostate, lung and colon cancers
- Increased rate of fraternal twin births
- Antibiotic resistance in humans
- Here is a great resource if you want to read up on all of the controversy surrounding rBGH.
Humanely-raised: I made the choice to eat vegetarian mainly because I was made aware of the horrific conditions of the standard livestock industry in our country. I became extremely interested in meat industry practices and did a lot of research on labels and what each one meant for the quality of life for the animal. Most didn’t completely satisfy me until I came across the label “Certified Humanely-Raised”. To adhere to Certified Humanely-raised standards farms must provide nutritious feed free of antibiotics and hormones, shelter and adequate roaming space and the ability to engage in natural behavior. Most farmers adhering to these practices care deeply about their animals and the environment they live in.
A paragraph from HumanelyRaisedMeat.com:
What does humanely raised mean to us? It means that all animals are pasture based and raised as close to nature as possible; no one is ever caged, or confined to a barn with a concrete floor. Chickens do not get their beaks clipped, or their combs dubbed. Roosters roam with the flock, protecting their hens from predators, and calling them to tasty morsels that they scratch up. Pigs do not have their teeth or tails clipped; their noses are not rung, and they farrow on pasture rather than being confined to a farrowing crate. Ducks are free to raise up their clutches of ducklings, and to teach them how to preen and swim. Cattle are never fed anything other than grass, hay and water, and they are not separated from their calves. All this takes a little more time and effort, but we feel this is the right way to raise livestock, and we would not do it any other way.
<3 This is a highly personal choice, but if I am going to purchase meat I feel immensely better supporting a farm with this level of care, passion, responsibility and respect for the animals and the environment used to sustain them.
Okay, I think I’ve said all I want to say for now. How about that ice cream!?
Coffee Ice Cream with Chocolate Covered Bacon and Cocoa Nibs
Coffee Ice Cream Base:
2 cups heavy cream
2 cups whole milk
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla or half of a scraped vanilla bean
6 egg yolks
1/2 cup crushed coffee beans (use your favorite and crush just enough to open the bean)
1 package bacon
1 bar high-quality dark chocolate (I like 70%)
1/4 cup cocoa nibs
In a saucepan over medium heat combine all ingredients except eggs.
In a bowl whisk egg yolks.
When cream mixture comes to a boil remove from heat. Whisk small amount of hot cream to egg yolks. Pour yolks into saucepan and whisk until smooth. Return to medium heat and cook, stirring, until mixture coats the back of a spoon. At this point, follow directions on your ice cream maker.
In the meantime, place bacon on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, checking for desired crispness every 5 minutes thereafter.
Melt chocolate over a double boiler. Break up bacon and add to chocolate. Coat pieces and lay on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Refrigerate until solid.
When ice cream is 12-15 minutes from being done add in bacon and cocoa nibs.