As soon as you saw this black ice cream on Buzzfeed or Huffpost Taste, you thought “WTH?!” But admit it, behind the shock you’re intrigued enough to try it out. So what’s in it? And should you be eating it?
I was thousands of miles away from home and my head had been spinning for at least a half hour. “Ugh..food poisoning again!”, I said to my Antiguan friend. “Want to try some activated charcoal?”, she asked and pulled an ashy Ziploc bag out of her suitcase. All it took was one spoon in a glass of water and within the hour I was back to my bubbly, hungry self. Years later and this life saving substance has transcended into the highly instagrammable dessert we’re going to talk about today.
Activated Charcoal is pure carbon that has been heat-treated to increase its adsorptive properties. That means when consumed it binds toxins and other poisonous substances found in your stomach. For instance (God forbid) if someone swallowed poison or overdosed, you can drink it while awaiting medical services. It even reduces flatulence thankfully. Here’s the problem: Since it doesn’t have a mind of its own, nutrients and active medical ingredients also have a harder time entering the blood stream.
Adding Activated Charcoal to Food
Ice cream isn’t the only food item with activated charcoal. Bread, pancakes, macaroons, lemonade and coffe have all gone through the goth make-over. Can this substance fulfill our vampy fascinations and still carry out its original detox/antidote intentions? Let’s consider a couple things:
- The recommended dosage as a supplement is 5g but can increase to as much as 100g when used in the case of poisoning. However, as little as 2 g is needed in a batch of pancakes. And I’m pretty sure no one’s eating black pancakes everyday.
- Dairy, sweeteners and low temperatures ‘deactivate’ the charcoal rendering it useless medically but I wouldn’t advise eating on an empty stomach.
- If you’re on prescription medicine or supplements of any kind, allow 2-3 hours before or after to ensure it has a fair chance of being absorbed into your bloodstream.
- The appearance of charcoal remains unchanged as it passes through the digestive system. And just in case that wasn’t clear, if it entered black, it will also exit black.
Taking all that information into account I was extremely excited that Spice Isle Frozen Yogurt introduced a Charcoal Coconut flavor. Did I forget to mention that charcoal is odorless and tasteless? That means unhindered coconut and hints of nutmeg (from the waffle cone) made this food blogger quite content. There was a slight tingling afterwards but I chalked that up to skipping lunch. Unfortunately, they are offering it for a limited period. So if you’re as enthusiastic as I was, don’t miss your chance!
That’s good, bad and in between. Are you ready to try activated charcoal as a supplement or dessert? Or do you still have some reservations? Let’s discuss in the comment section below!