When I tell people that I don't use chocolate or food coloring to make this ice cream, they flip out. In fact, the only flavoring I use is homegrown organic chocolate mint. When you steep the mint in the organic milk, the natural green color from the mint leaves gives the custard a beautiful sage color.
You do need a lot of fresh chocolate mint to make this ice cream. Luckily, mint grows like a weed, so plant it in a pot, and you'll always have it on hand. In our household, it's my hubby, John, who wields the green thumb. I wouldn't say I have a black thumb, exactly...so let's just say it approaches grey. Mint, however, I can handle.
Digression: If you can find organic, free-range farm eggs at your local farmers market, grab them. The extra richness and elegant flavor really elevate this recipe, and nothing beats a farm egg for nutrition, color, and ecological mindfulness. Chickens need lots of dirt, dust, bugs, and pecking opportunities with each other. I can always tell when an egg is conventional; dealbreaker ethical concerns aside, factory chickens are typically fed unnatural diets loaded with grain instead of tasty insects. This results in bland taste. (To learn more about this topic, we recommend checking out the work of the Center for Biological Diversity.)
Now that I've digressed about all things huevo, I'd be remiss if I didn't provide a vegan alternative! If you're vegan with a hankering for a cool, creamy treat, or if you're simply wanting to avoid dairy and eggs, don't miss my vegan ice cream recipe.
You'll want to use good tools for this. Two of my favorite kitchen tools to use (and I've been making ice cream since I was about eight years old, I love it that much) are the KitchenAid stand mixer and the Cuisinart ice cream maker, both available at Williams Sonoma. As a trained chef and longtime ice cream aficionado, I've found these two kitchen appliances to be the best.
But back to the mint, lets make fresh chocolate mint ice cream!
- Prep Time
- 2 1/2 cups whole organic milk
- 3 1/2 cups fresh organic chocolate mint
- 5 large organic egg yolks
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1 cup organic heavy cream
In a medium saucepan, combine the milk and fresh chocolate mint. Bring the mixture to a gentle boil, cover, and remove the pan from the heat. Steep the mixture for 30 minutes. Strain, the milk and discard the mint or solids. Set milk aside.
Combine the egg yolks and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat on medium-high speed until very thick and pale yellow, about 3-5 minutes.
Return the milk to a simmer.
Prep an ice water bath by placing ice cubes in a bowl and filling halfway with water.
Temper the egg yolks by slowly adding half of the warm milk mixture to the egg yolk mixture while stirring constantly until blended. Return to the sauce pan with the remaining milk. Heat, stirring constantly, over low heat until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon.
Remove the saucepan from the heat and immediately stir in the cream. Place an empty bowl over the ice water bath. Strain the mixture through a fine mesh strainer into the empty bowl to chill immediately. Chill for at least 3 hours to overnight.
Freeze the custard in the ice-cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions. Store in an airtight container, or loaf pan, in the freezer until ready to eat. This recipe makes about one quart of ice cream.
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