Dairy-free ice cream is a delicious dessert

Not long ago, ice cream consisted of whole eggs, milk, cream, nuts, fruit and cane sugar. It was an occasional family treat, joyfully cranked on the old-fashioned ice cream maker.

Not long ago, ice cream consisted of whole eggs, milk, cream, nuts, fruit and cane sugar. It was an occasional family treat, joyfully cranked on the old-fashioned ice cream maker.

by Stan Kalson — 

Summer heat begins our chant, “We all scream for ice cream.” Ice cream is one of the most popular comfort foods, but what can a person who’s allergic to dairy do about enjoying this treat? There is an alternative to one of life’s small pleasures — dairy-free ice cream.

Your local health stores have many brands of dairy-less ice creams and sorbets, but the adventurous can create their own and experiment with many possible flavor combinations. Bonuses in this ice cream adventure are the choices that arise when you use non-dairy and natural ingredients.

Not long ago, ice cream consisted of whole eggs, milk, cream, nuts, fruit and cane sugar. It was an occasional family treat, joyfully cranked on the old-fashioned ice cream maker. Unfortunately today, many commercial ice cream brands contain strange-sounding ingredients like diethyl glucol (an emulsifier used in place of eggs), piperonal (a vanilla substitute), benzyl acetate (imitation strawberry flavoring), ethyl acetate (artificial pineapple flavor), etc. Without a doubt, this chemical overload has sparked the return to real ingredients in many of the expensive gourmet ice creams.

People want the real thing, but if you are allergic to cows’ milk, dairy-less ice cream is a practical solution.

The following equipment will make the job easier: a champion juicer, food processor, hand-crank ice cream freezer and/or high speed blender — or the latest find from TV, the Magic Bullet. Many local health and discount stores stock these items.

Try the following recipes as a healthy substitute for the regular dairy variety. The texture of these desserts closely resembles soft ice creams or sorbets.

 

Pure Fruit “Ice Cream”

Ingredients:

  • Bananas
  • Pinapple
  • Strawberries

Instructions:

Pre-freeze pieces of banana, pineapple, strawberries, etc. Put the frozen fruit through a juicer (with the homogenizer plate inserted) or use a food processor, blender or Magic Bullet. The result is a natural fruit sorbet.

 

Basic Recipe for Dairy-less Ice Cream

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup ground coconut
  • 4 ounces tofu
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cups frozen fruit of your choice
  • 2 tablespoons agar-agar flakes (for a smooth texture)
  • 1/2 cup water

Instructions:

Blend the first six ingredients, until creamy. Simmer agar-agar in 1/2 cup water until dissolved. Add the dissolved agar-agar water to mixture. Pour into ice cube trays or ice cream maker and freeze. Process the cubes with one of the above-mentioned machines before serving. Utilizing ice cube trays can supply a steady portion of fruit cubes for processing. If you would prefer strawberry ice cream, omit the vanilla and fold or whip in one cup fresh or frozen strawberries. Add two tablespoons honey for each cup of berries.

 

Avocado Lime Sherbet

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon agar-agar flakes
  • 1-1/4 cups pineapple juice
  • 1/4 cup lime or lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup honey, raw light
  • 1/4 cup cashew nuts
  • 1 medium avocado, ripe
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon slippery elm powder

Instructions:

Soak agar-agar flakes in water for one minute. Boil one minute. Cool one minute. Blend the pineapple juice and cashew nuts until smooth. Add the agar-agar preparation, lime juice, honey, salt and slippery elm. Blend well. Add the avocado. Blend and freeze. Serve before it gets too hard.

 

Milkless Date Ice Cream

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups water
  • 15 almonds or cashews
  • 2 tablespoons carob
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon agar-agar flakes

Instructions:

Soak agar-agar flakes in water for one minute. Boil one minute. Cool one minute.  Blend all ingredients until smooth, then freeze. Serve before it gets too hard.

 

Stan Kalson is the founder and director of the International Holistic Center, Inc. and has been active in the Greater Phoenix holistic community for 28 years.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 24, Number 4, August/September 2005.

 

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