Whole Living Daily

Summer is Time for Good Things in Moderation! Yoga off the Mat

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Actually, in my opinion, healthy moderation is always good.  Something I enthusiastically indulge in during summertime is ICE CREAM.  Rich, delicious, hard or soft serve ice cream.

1 of 2

1 Basil ice cream, made without a machine, topped off with dark chocolate and pink and black sea salt.

2 The intermediary step requires freezing the partially complete ice cream mixture in ice cube trays.

Last week, I was at a loss about what to make for dessert to accompany an Indian dinner I was cooking.  My brother, Chris Herbert, was so happy with basil ice cream he had recently made without a machine and suggested I do the same.

I took his advice, making a few adaptations, like the substitution of buckwheat honey for some sugar. I was so thrilled with the decadent result that I wanted to share it with you!

Additionally, the toppings really did us in—melted dark chocolate (which becomes hard again after it's poured) with a pinch of black and pink coarse sea salt. This stuff is super rich, so a little goes a long way.

The recipe, which was adapted from one posted on Seriouseats.com by J.Kenji Lopez-Alt, is quite simple.

You’ll need:

-       Large mixing bowl

-       Medium saucepan

-       Eggbeater or standing mixer

-       Whisk

-       2 ice cube trays

-       Quart size container

-       A cooking thermometer

* For the best flavor, I recommend buying the highest quality, most organic/farm-fresh products possible.

Ingredients (for 1 quart)

-       8 large egg yolks

-       ¾ cup sugar (or sugar in the raw)

-       About 1/8 cup buckwheat honey (or more, according to taste)

-       2 teaspoons high quality vanilla extract

-       2/3 to 1 cup basil, finely chopped by hand or in a food processor

-       ¼ teaspoon kosher or sea salt

-       1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk

-       2 cups heavy cream

In a large mixing bowl, use an eggbeater/mixer to whisk the egg yolks, sugar, buckwheat honey, vanilla, basil, and salt for about 5 minutes.  The mixture should be pale yellow and fall off whisk in thick ribbons.

Set aside.

In a medium saucepan, heat evaporated milk on stovetop, stirring constantly, until it comes to a simmer.

Remove from heat and slowly add hot milk to egg mixture, whisking constantly by hand until fully incorporated.

Transfer mixture back to saucepan and heat, whisking constantly, until it reaches 180˚F (it should be thick and custardy). Be sure NOT to overheat eggs, as they will begin to scramble.

Remove from heat and let cool completely.

Using the eggbeater/mixer, whip 1 cup of heavy cream until doubled in volume and thick peaks form.

Fold whipped cream into egg mixture until no lumps remain.

Pour mixture into 2 ice cube trays and freeze for 4 hours, or until solid.

Once frozen, remove from the trays and into a food processor (I used my new Vitamix!) with the help of a dull knife or spoon.

Add the remaining heavy cream and process for about 30 seconds, or until smooth (it took longer in the Vitamix). Scrape down sides and break up lumps as needed.

Transfer into quart container and freeze for at least 4 more hours.


I highly recommend melting dark chocolate (I used 85 percent) in a double boiler and then pouring some on top of the ice cream. After this, add a pinch of sea salt (as mentioned, I used a combo of black and pink course sea salt. I imagine barbequed sea salt would be great, too!)


Sophie Herbert is an alignment focused yoga teacher (and perpetual student), a singer-songwriter, and a visual artist. She has lived, studied, and volunteered extensively in India; teaches yoga in Brooklyn and Manhattan; and recently released her first full-length album, "Take a Clear Look." Please visit her website at SophieHerbert.com.

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Comments (2)

  • Basil Ice Cream! Sounds terrific! I am going to try this because we have eggs from our own hens and a greenhouse full of beautiful basil. I seem to be drawn to recipes that have weird and wonderful combinations of ingredients you wouldn't think would work. They always do! The other day my daughters sauteed fresh picked and roughly chopped radishes in a little brown sugar and butter until they caramelized into a nice sauce and had that over vanilla ice cream. They said it was delicious. I haven't tried it yet to say I agree but I will! :)

  • Hi Plexy,
    Enjoying making it! Your daughter's creation sounds so interesting!!! I'd like to try that.

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