As far as I'm concerned, ice cream is the perfect dessert. There's nothing more relaxing and comforting after a hectic day with kids and work than a little hillock of lush and frosty ice cream sitting in a bowl. But lately my cholesterol has been creeping a little higher, making my nightly indulgence unsustainable. So after some months eating mostly store-bought sherbet and frozen yogurt, I decided to try something new -- almond milk ice cream -- and I'm so glad I did.
Now no one would ever proclaim me a vegan -- after all, I have far too many recipes on Bay Area Bites that use pork shoulder as a main ingredient -- but I do love the idea of cutting cholesterol and fat from my diet. So, noticing refrigerated almond milk at Trader Joe's, I started to wonder how it would fare as an ice-cream base. The container claimed it was "rich and creamy" and I also saw it was free of cholesterol and saturated fat. So far so good, but would it taste like ice cream? As someone who's never really liked soy ice cream -- it has too much of an aftertaste for me -- I was skeptical but ready to give almond milk a try.
I made three types of ice cream and, no surprise to many vegans out there but sort of a surprise to me, they were all amazingly good, exceeding my expectations on every level. My ten-year old daughter Maddie even exclaimed about the chocolate version "This is better than store-bought ice cream! It's my favorite!" I have to agree. My three flavors were almond, strawberry and chocolate (recipes below). All are vegan. The first two were delightful but the chocolate was really special, and all are cholesterol and fat free. But don't make these because they're healthy for you; make them because they are creamy and luscious. Basically they are everything that ice cream should be, minus the artery clogging component.
Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 20 min
Total time: 35 min
Yield: 4 servings
- 2 cups frozen strawberries
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1 Tbsp orange juice or water
- 1 1/2 cup almond milk
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 2 tsp corn starch
- Heat 1 1/2 cups strawberries in a small pot with the sugar and water or juice. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool and then puree in a blender. You can cool the strawberries in a bowl set on top of another bowl of ice water to speed things up.
- Mix 1/2 cup almond milk with the corn starch and set aside.
- Heat the remainder of the almond milk plus the vanilla in a medium pot until simmering and then add in the corn starch infused almond milk. Stir on low heat while whisking for five minutes to thicken.
- Strain almond milk to remove lumps and then let mixture cool to room temperature. Mix into pureed strawberries and then set in the refrigerator until cold (about a half hour).
- Chop up the last 1/2 cup of strawberries and then add to the almond milk mixture. Place in your prepared ice-cream maker and let it run for 20 minutes. Place ice cream in a container until ready for use.