Black Ice Cream: An Activated Charcoal Treat for Detoxification

This article was originally published by Dr. Axe

You may have noticed a new food trend recently: black everything. From dark lemonades to coal-like pizza crusts, darkened foods are popping up everywhere. What’s giving these foods their dark hue is activated charcoal, and, I have to admit, it’s a fad I’m into.

And it’s not because of the color — activated charcoal is a terrific, natural way to rid your body of toxins. One of my new favorite ways to ingest activated charcoal is through ice cream. That’s right, black ice cream is a thing; it tastes good, and it’s good for you!


What Is Black Ice Cream?

Black ice cream is just a simple ice cream recipe that incorporates activated charcoal. My black ice cream recipe is also made from ingredients that you likely have on hand: canned coconut milk, condensed coconut milk, arrowroot starch, vanilla extract, cacao powder and, of course, charcoal.

As you can tell from the ingredients list, not only is this activated charcoal ice cream super healthy, it’s also dairy-free! You can even swap the honey for an alternative sweetener like maple syrup to make this black charcoal recipe vegan, too.


Black Ice Cream Health Benefits

Now, when you think of ice cream, “healthy” probably isn’t the first word that comes to mind. But the ingredients in this activated charcoal ice cream make it a guilt-free treat.

Let’s start with the main ingredient: activated charcoal. It’s a powerful detoxifier that’s often used in hospitals to treat patients who have overdosed or poisoned themselves. (1)

The charcoal binds to toxins and chemicals and draws them out of the body. The best types are made from coconut shells or identified wood species with fine grains and don’t have added artificial sweeteners.

Activated charcoal is handy to have in the medicine cabinet as it helps alleviate gas and bloating and can even help the morning after too many cocktails. (2) You can use it to whiten your teeth; in fact, you’ll find it in many natural toothpastes. It also promotes a happy digestive tract.

One of the most versatile kitchen staples, coconut milk, is featured in this black ice cream recipe. Coconut milk gives this dessert a creamy texture and a little natural sweetness. It’s also known to lower bad cholesterol levels and help you lose fat. (34)

Cacao powder is a type of dark chocolate, so it’s packed with antioxidants. In fact, dark chocolate is often considered a superfood and helps lower blood pressure and increases blood flow to the heart. (5)

And instead of refined sweeteners, this black ice cream recipe uses honey, a natural sweetener option. Honey is full of enzymes, antioxidants and minerals that you just don’t get with table sugar. It’s also a lot easier on your blood sugar levels.


Black Ice Cream Nutrition Facts

Activated charcoal has no calorie count, but how does the rest of this black ice cream stack up? One serving contains about: (6)

  • 271 calories
  • 33 grams carbohydrates
  • 13 grams fat
  • 12 grams protein
  • 180 grams sodium
  • 7 grams sugar

How to Make Black Ice Cream

Intrigued about making this activated charcoal ice cream? It’s pretty easy to do, so let’s get churning.

You’ll want to pre-plan this charcoal recipe and stick your ice cream maker’s freezer bowl in the freezer for about 9 hours; I find it’s easier to just place it overnight.

The next day, put a medium saucepan on the stove and add the coconut milk, condensed coconut milk, arrowroot starch, honey, vanilla extract, cacao powder and activated charcoal. Keep watch over it so it doesn’t come to a boil.

Next, pour the black ice cream mixture into a bowl. Cover it and place in the refrigerator for at least an hour before making the ice cream.

Assemble the ice cream maker and turn on the rotating freezer bowl. Next, pour the black ice cream mixture into the bowl and churn for 15–20 minutes or until the ice cream reaches your desired consistency.

If you’re a fan of thick ice cream, pour the mixture into a container. Cover it with parchment paper and store in the freezer for about an hour.

Then scoop the ice cream into a bowl. Serve the black charcoal ice cream with your favorite toppings.

I chose pistachios and Himalayan pink salt. Enjoy!

 

Black Ice Cream: An Activated Charcoal Treat for Detoxification

TOTAL TIME: PREP: 15 MINUTES; TOTAL TIME: 1 HOUR AND 15 MINUTES
SERVES: 4–6

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 cups full-fat coconut milk
  • 2 cups condensed coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons arrowroot starch
  • 2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3–4 tablespoons activated charcoal powder
  • 3 tablespoons raw cacao powder

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Freeze the freezer bowl for at least 9 hours, or overnight.
  2. In a medium-size saucepan, on medium-low, mix milk, condensed milk, starch, honey, vanilla extract and cacao powder. Don’t let this mixture come to a boil.
  3. Pour mixture into a bowl, cover and place in the fridge for at least 1 hour before making ice cream.
  4. Assemble ice cream maker and turn on the rotating freezer bowl.
  5. Pour ice cream mixture into the freezer bowl and allow to churn for 15–20 minutes or until desired consistency.
  6. If you like your ice cream thick, pour the mixture into a container, cover with parchment paper and store in the freezer for about 1 hour.
  7. Serve with your favorite ice cream toppings.


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Dr. Josh Axe, DNM, DC, CNS, is a doctor of natural medicine, doctor of chiropractic and clinical nutritionist with a passion to help people get well using food as medicine and operates one of the world's largest natural health websites: www.DrAxe.com. He is the author of the groundbreaking health book Eat Dirt, which uncovers the hidden causes and cures of leaky gut syndrome. Dr. Axe is an expert in digestive health, functional medicine, natural remedies and dietary strategies for healing. He has been featured on many television shows, including the Dr. Oz Show, CBS and NBC, and has his own Eat Dirt program running on select PBS TV stations. Dr. Axe founded one of the largest functional medicine clinics in the world, in Nashville, TN, and has been a physician for many professional athletes. DrAxe.com is one of the most visited websites worldwide for healthy recipes, herbal remedies, nutrition and fitness advice, essential oils, and natural supplements.