Thursday, November 28, 2013

VEGAN peppermint chocolate chip ice cream

Few combinations beat (or match!) mint and chocolate. I think it may be my favorite. Whether the temperatures rise or fall, I want mint and chocolate -- be it mint chocolate chip ice cream crammed into a cone on a hot summer's day or a warm cup of peppermint hot chocolate on a winter's night -- I want it. 

As a kid I associated many desserts with winter and Christmas time. My (grandma) Oma's recipes are definitely Christmas memories -- almond shortbread cookies, her special white fudge and pink cake, her peppermint chocolate bars, or her fruit cake -- the ONLY good fruitcake I have ever encountered. I also have many memories of my friends' Christmas dessert traditions. A popular one was the seasonal President's Choice Peppermint Fudge Crackle ice cream flavor. I enjoyed that ice cream in my own home every year, in my childhood best friend's house, and in my teenage best friend's house. It's a classic. Rich, pepperminty, chocolatey and amazing. I would, and have, eaten that ice cream in 20 below weather -- I'm Canadian eh?!

Today's recipe is for a healthy and VEGAN makeover of my favorite winter ice cream flavor. Allow me to introduce my sensational VEGAN peppermint chocolate chip ice cream! This ice cream is rich and creamy, very pepperminty and loaded with mini vegan chocolate chips. It is sweetened mainly with low-glycemic coconut sugar and is made of mostly coconut milk and AVOCADO! Avocado takes this ice cream to an awesome place. It makes this recipe so creamy and rich yet healthy. This peppermint chocolate chip ice cream is so virtuous that it can and SHOULD be enjoyed any day of the week, any time of year. Just look at it.


Though this ice cream will freeze solid if left in your freezer overnight, I like it best as a semifreddo -- somewhere between cold and frozen. Think soft (but not too soft) ice cream. Not freezing the ice cream solid leaves this dessert frosty and yet oh so creamy and delicious. The flavors are more pronounced when semi-frozen as well -- especially the chocolate chips which I find get too cold and numb if left to freeze too long.

Perhaps the best thing about this dessert is that it is so simple and easy to prepare. Everything blends together quickly in a food processor and then chills out in the freezer until ready to serve. Done and done.

For anyone weary of the avocado in this recipe - don't be. My husband was afraid to taste this but ended up polishing off more than half of the batch I made! The peppermint oil masks the avocado flavor, leaving only its amazing texture on your palette. I have made this recipe three times in two weeks -- that says a lot as I try not to make the same dessert more than twice!

I hope you enjoy this winter classic ice cream and the holiday season in general!

xo 
Danielle 



Peppermint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
(vegan, gluten-free, paleo)

Makes enough ice cream to feed a crowd.

 
  • 2 very large hass avocados, flesh of (or 3 average size avocados)
  • pink salt to taste (I use 2 pinches)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ⅛ tsp pure peppermint oil or ½ tsp peppermint extract
  • 1 chilled can full fat coconut milk + ½  cup full fat coconut milk
  • ½  cup dark coconut sugar + 2.5 tbsps
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ cup vegan chocolate chips or chopped extra dark chocolate (or try stevia sweetened cacao nibs for a sugar-free substitute)
Add everything except chocolate chips to food processor and blend together thoroughly until texture is smooth and uniform.
Add the ½ cup dark chocolate chips (vegan, soy-free preferable, I use Enjoy Life) or sweet cacao nibs for sugar free iingredient substitution to the creamy avocado mixture.Pulse to incorporate the chips or stir through well with a spoon..
Transfer your mixture to an air-tight container and freeze two hours before serving. Freezing for 2 hours makes this mixture into a semifreddo (creamy but not rock solid). This is my preferred freezing time. This mixture will freeze very solid if left to freeze longer than 2 hours (not recommended as the taste will be dulled). If you freeze your mixture solid, allow to thaw for a few minutes in room temperature before serving.