I had to tinker around with the idea of ice cream sweetened only with dates before it became the creamy, delicious, seriously as good as ice cream with sugar, recipe that it is today.
The first time I tried it I threw dates straight out of the pantry into the blender with the other ingredients. It's not hard to imagine what happened there. We had mildly sweet ice cream with bits and pieces of dates throughout.
EDITED TO ADD: I have more recently found mushier dates on Amazon that can be thrown straight into the blender without pre-soaking.
The next time I tried it I planned to soak the dates in milk overnight in the refrigerator to make them a little mushier. Well, overnight tuned into three or four days, because I just didn't get to it the next day.
When I opened the jar I had mushy dates in a sweet creamy syrup, the very thing to sweeten an ice cream I felt good about giving my kids!
For this recipe you will need:
Milk for soaking dates (or coconut milk or water for the dairy free option SIDE NOTE: I always use the coconut milk from Trader Joe's because it is the only one I know of that uses only coconut and water, and no weird ingredients.)
2 cans of organic coconut milk (I use Trader Joe's. See above. )
1 stick of grassfed butter (or 1/2 cup coconut oil if making the dairy free option)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup cocoa powder
3 egg yolks
Soak the dates in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours or up to three days (unless you bought the mushier kind. see above.).
Place all ingredients in the blender and put it on high speed for about a minute. When you think you are done blending, go a little longer. It will turn out creamier this way.
Put it in your ice cream maker for 25 minutes or in the freezer overnight, if you do not have an ice cream maker. I would highly recommend purchasing one, though. They are awesome.
I use this one by Cuisinart.