Food & Drink

Dessert that's good for gut health

Probiotics have been all the rage since gut health hit headlines and now Australia’s largest heath retailer, Healthy Life, has introduced the next big thing in probiotics – cultured ice cream.
The retailer has begun stocking The Cultured Ice Cream Company’s gelato, which is dairy-free, grain-free, sugar-free and made from 30 per cent cultured water kefir coconut cream which may contain around four billion colony forming units of good bacteria and yeast strains in every 100 gram serve.

Naturopath and Store Manager at Bondi Junction Healthy Life Charlotte Williams said cultured ice cream was a great way to get more people eating fermented food and reaping the benefits of good gut health.
“Cultured ice cream contains a plethora of floral probiotic strains, achieved using a water kefir culture. Probiotics build the colonies of flora within our digestive tract which in turn boost our immune system and strengthen our first line of defence against pathogens,” Charlotte said.
“In addition to being a great source of prebiotics and probiotics, this ice cream is also made with natural sugar alternatives, is plant based, and contains superfoods such as berries. The result is an alkaline and nutrient-rich dessert that is true to the saying ‘food is medicine’ as it looks after the body and its health requirements, as well as feeding the mind and meeting our cultural needs. Sharing food with family and friends is an important part of our culture but this can be tricky when people have health concerns, allergies or food sensitivities. Cultured ice cream offers an alternative dessert to satisfy those after-dinner cravings for those of us who can’t consume traditional ice cream.”
After progressing from coconut yoghurt to coconut kefir and then coconut gelato, The Cultured Ice Cream Company Founder Janelle McInerney, from Cowan in Sydney’s north, said it was an “oh my god” moment when she realised her kefir was the key to making dairy-free ice cream that was good for your gut.
“It’s the answer to a healthier dessert that can also assist with digestion after a big meal. It can even be a dessert option for diabetics as it contains no added sugar, or can transform a breakfast smoothie into a serve of probiotics. Adding a scoop of cultured ice cream to a piece of cake can also turn a naughty treat into something that is helping your gut health,” Janelle said.
While Janelle said she had been making homemade ice cream for more than 30 years, she mastered the art of gelato from gelato king Nick Palumbo from Gelato Messina to ensure her version honoured classic gelato principles.
“Gelato already has less sugar and less fat than ice cream but I’ve refined the recipe over time to make sure that it’s soft and creamy, like normal gelato, because it is real gelato – just without sugar, eggs, dairy and all the other crap,” Janelle said.
Healthy Life launched The Cultured Ice Cream Company’s range at its recently refurbished Bondi Junction store with all 45 nationwide stores now stocking all five flavours including vanilla, lemon – which is second fermented in rind for a better uptake of B vitamins – mixed berry, Belgian chocolate – made using a premium 74 per cent organic Belgian chocolate – and cranberry, which is a twist on plum pudding and was created to help with digestion after a big Christmas lunch.