When people think of dairy-free ice cream, especially mint chocolate ice cream, spinach and ripe avocados are not the ingredients they are looking to find. As a professed lover for mint chocolate ice cream, hubby seemed to have cringed to the idea of incorporating vegetables in a dessert, let alone an in an ice cream. The truth is its difficult and nearly impossible to make a dessert healthy while using a lot of eggs, cream, butter, and sugar. Plus using these ingredients would involve cooking them and using heat for making a frozen dessert seems like an oxymoron and counter-intuitive to me. I’ve probably mentioned to you a million times how much I love a good ice cream. I am always looking to healthy alternatives and shortcuts to making ice cream. The last thing I need is a recipe that is time consuming and complicated. Even though most ice cream recipes require an ice cream maker. I decided to embark on experimentation and freeze the bowl of my blender for a couple of hours prior to making my mint chocolate ice cream as you normally would with a bowl from your ice cream maker. It wasn’t as effective but the results were satisfactory enough for me (as long as the ice cream is smooth and creamy). Back to the vegetables in ice cream, I used ripe avocados and spinach for the sole purpose of giving this ice cream its creamy texture and authentic green hue. Even though the idea of using these vegetables seems a bit beyond odd to some, I can nearly guarantee that you won’t be able to taste any of these particular ingredients. I know from having hubby taste test my “concoction”. Even though, he enjoyed my ice cream immensely, he did succinctly expressed his preference for using “normal ingredients” if I should make ice cream again. If you are looking for a dairy-free and soy-free ice cream recipe that involves raw ingredients and a frozen bowl of a blender or food processor, I’ve got the perfect solution for you. I hope you enjoy it because this is my last ice cream recipe for the summer unless something pressing surfaces.
For this recipe, you will need:
- 1/4 cup of frozen spinach (you can use kale instead if you like or green food coloring if neither ingredient appeals to you)
- 2 large ripe avocados (not when they are already browning)
- 3 drops of pure peppermint extract
- 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- scant 1/16th teaspoon of salt
- 1/4 cup of corn syrup, honey, or agave nectar
- 1 cup of milk of choice
- 1/2 cup of cashews, macadamia nuts or blanched almonds that have been soaked for 6 hours (optional)
- Bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate chips/chunks (reserve some for garnish)
- 1 cup of ice cubes
Combine all ingredients in a food processor or high-powered blender. Mix until very smooth.Transfer to a shallow container and freeze for 30-45 minutes chilled all the way through. Freeze the bowl of your blender again if you don’t have an ice cream maker. Remove mixture from the freezer and blend again. Once done place the ice cream in bowl and stir in chocolate chunks. Smooth top and cover. Return to freezer and allow 2-3 hours for the ice cream to harden. Remove from freezer and let thaw 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with a bit of chocolate chunks and fresh mint leaves for presentation.