My friend D has been gamely following the diet prescribed by Dr. Richard K. Bernstein in Dr. Bernstein’s Diabetes Solution. Bernstein is himself diabetic (Type I) and has been controlling his blood sugar successfully for 65 years. The program works. The minute D strung together four straight days on the low carbohydrate/high fat regimen — reminiscent of the Atkins diet — his blood glucose numbers fell by half.
The problem is that they don’t stay there.
The villain of the story is ice cream. Ice cream calls to D like a Siren luring him to the rocks. “Just a tiny cone,” the voices sing, or “— just a McDonald’s sundae…” One small slip will elevate his blood sugar for days.
Obviously I had to come up with something.
I have a cow. I have a Cuisinart ice cream maker. I have a book of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream recipes. Eh, voilà!
LOW-CARB BEN & JERRY’S FRENCH VANILLA ICE CREAM
2 large eggs
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup milk (whole milk is marginally lower carb)
2 teaspoons imitation vanilla extract (imitation has fewer carbs)
18 drops liquid sucralose (EZ-Sweetz; 6 drops = 1/4 cup sugar)*
1. Whisk your eggs in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Whisk in the liquid sucralose, then continue whisking until completely blended. Pour in your cream, milk, and vanilla and whisk to blend.
2. Transfer the sweet mixture to your ice cream maker, and freeze while churning. Without the heft of sugar, it will take a few minutes longer to solidify, but it will get there.
* Liquid sucralose is easy to find by mail, and important for diabetics who can’t tolerate carbohydrates. Sucralose was created by manipulating sugar molecules. Splenda is a well-known brand of sucralose that has been made into powder form. It is sold in packets and can be used in recipes cup for cup as a replacement for sugar. Unfortunately the bulking agents used in this process are maltodextrin and dextrose, both sugars. While Splenda is low calorie and useful for dieters, it has carbohydrates that will affect the blood sugar of anyone with diabetes.
By simply substituting liquid sucralose for sugar, the carbohydrate count in the ice cream dropped from 23 to a mere 3 carbs per serving. (It appears to me that one can do the same to produce low-carb Ben & Jerry’s Chocolate and low-carb Ben and Jerry’s Coffee ice cream.) My husband and Lucy were my taste testers. They thought it was great.
When the fresh ice cream was creaming out of the top of the Cuisinart, I stopped the machine. Because D lives and works across town and I will be dropping these off with his weekly lunches, I scooped the ice cream into individual serving cups.This also helps anyone keep in mind the size of a serving (1/2 cup).
I had nothing disposable on hand but cheap plastic party cups, which I don’t recommend. I will have to find paper ice cream cups. The plastic becomes brittle and shatters easily when cold.
And this low-carb Ben & Jerry’s gets very cold. It is delicious, and very close in taste to the real thing, but its “mouth feel” is different. Though ice cream manufacturers boast of their creamy products, it turns out that the granularity of sugar contributes to some of that scoopable softness. Pure cream is mostly water and can freeze almost as hard as an ice cube.
The solution is to either eat it fresh, or let it soften at room temperature for five or ten minutes — if you can wait that long.
D dug into his trial serving with a spoon.
He looked up. “It’s good!” he said, and then gave me a small, naughty smile. “Where’s the chocolate sauce?”
Here is the nutritional breakdown for Low-Carb Ben & Jerry’s French Vanilla. The recipe makes 8 servings, each slightly over 1/2 cup.