When spring comes and the weather becomes hot, there is no better dessert than a scoop or two or three of your favourite ice cream. It is the ultimate sweet for everyone. As a matter of fact, a lot of people eat ice cream even when it’s out of season. Hence, you can find ice cream in the market or in some of the bigger local ice creams shops even in the winter.
How can you not love ice cream when it has a mouth-filling taste and it’s literally melting in your mouth? But there are people who don’t or can’t eat dairy products due to being vegans or have some health issues, such as diabetes or lactose intolerance. That means they can never taste the super-delicious taste of ice cream. Well, actually, they can, because they can eat a dairy free ice cream.
Copyright: Unsplash / author: brookelark / I License: CC0 Public Domain
What is Dairy-free Ice Cream?
As the name suggests itself, dairy-free ice cream is ice cream that doesn’t contain any dairy product in it. In fact, they contain non-dairy milk, cream, and/or butter, depending on the recipe and preferences.
That means that this type of ice cream is the same as the regular one, but it’s healthier, vegan, and can be consumed by people who can’t eat dairy products. Although this type of ice cream doesn’t contain any dairy product, it contains ingredients that make it look and taste the same or very similar to the regular ice cream.
- Coconut milk – it’s used as a base for ice cream. It’s first shredded and then soaked in hot water. After that, it’s strained through cheesecloth to produce a liquid that is similar to whole cow’s milk. Due to the similarity between coconut and cow’s milk, the dairy-free ice cream is almost the same as the regular ice cream.
- Coconut cream – apart from using coconut milk, you can also use coconut cream to make ice cream. The process of making coconut cream is similar to the previous one, with the only difference that less water is used in order to create a thicker product.
- Avocado – ok, so this probably never came to your mind, but avocado can also be used to make ice cream. The main reason why this fruit is used for making ice cream is its fat and creaminess. And, let’s not forget that it’s one of the healthiest products in the world.
- Almond milk – it’s made by soaking almonds in water, then blending them with water. After that, it’s strained through cheesecloth to produce the milk. It’s as simple as that. When making ice cream using almond milk, some of the healthy oils, such as coconut oil, are added to the ice cream to add more fat and less icy texture.
- Cashew milk – in order to produce cashew milk, you should follow the same steps as when producing almond milk.
Apart from these alternatives, a few others are used to make dairy-free ice cream. They include rice milk, soy, and pea protein. In terms of rice milk, we can say that it was the first dairy-free milk that was used decades ago as a milk replacement. It was given even to babies when their mothers didn’t have milk to breastfeed them. So it’s pretty understandable that rice milk is a great milk replacement.
As mentioned previously, apart from dairy-free milk, there are additional ingredients used to make dairy-free ice cream. These ingredients include:
- Inulin – it’s a type of prebiotic fibre found in plants and it’s used to give it a gel-like texture by absorbing water. But, be aware because it can cause bloating and gas.
- Guar gum – it’s derived from legumes and it’s used to make the ice cream thicker and prevent forming of ice crystals.
- Locust bean gum – it’s derived from carob tree seeds and it’s used to thicken the ice cream texture.
Copyright: Pixabay / author: RitaE / I License: CC0 Public Domain
Can You Make Dairy-free Ice Cream at Home?
Although it’s believed that making dairy-free ice cream is very hard, you can definitely do it as home. And, you don’t need any special cooking skills to do it. You just need to find a good recipe, the ingredients you need, and several minutes to make it. Here’s one recipe our hundreds to prove that.
Nutella Banana Ice Cream (2 Servings)
- 2 ripe bananas
- 1/3 cup paleo or vegan Nutella
- 2 tbsp coconut sugar (or more if needed according to your taste)
- Optional: cocoa nibs, for garnish
- Peel and cut the bananas into tiny pieces.
- Freeze them for an hour or two to be completely frozen.
- Add the frozen banana pieces and the vegan/paleo Nutella into a blender and blend until fully incorporated and smooth.
- Garnish with cocoa nibs, if you want.