There’s a wonderful new creamery that’s opened up in our town. If keeping my waistline in check wasn’t an issue, I’d be there every night. And I’d probably order their Coconut Almond Chocolate Chip…every night. But, in keeping with a healthy eating plan, I decided to create my own version using almond milk.
Creating a lower fat ice cream is nothing short of challenging. Personally, I don’t have an issue with fat exactly, but I’m usually more concerned about where it comes from. I try to use mostly plant based fats in my diet. That’s where almond milk fits perfectly. I really like unsweetened vanilla almond milk because it has a lot of flavor just on its own. I’ve made so many batches, trying different alternatives to getting a richer texture. I will admit, unless there’s some fat involved, getting a really creamy texture is impossible. My favorite batch uses a bit of almond butter to enhance both the feel and the flavor of the ice cream. I won’t tell you that this will yield a perfectly creamy ice cream, but it is an incredibly delicious frozen dessert that is light and refreshing. I tested it out on my whole family and they loved it!
Coconut Almond Dark Chocolate Ice Cream
4 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk (See notes for alternatives)
1/3 cup sugar
3 tablespoons almond butter
pinch of fine sea salt
1/3 cup shredded sweetened coconut
1/3 cup sliced almonds
1 to 1 1/2 ounce bar dark chocolate, grated with a box grater
In a medium saucepan, combine the almond milk and sugar over medium heat. Whisk frequently to heat through and dissolve the sugar. Remove from the heat and whisk in the almond butter and sea salt. Allow to cool a bit, then place in the refrigerator for about 4 hours or overnight.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
On a baking sheet, spread the coconut out evenly. Place the sheet in the oven to toast for about 2 minutes. Stir and spread evenly again and toast for another 2 minutes. Repeat the process, toasting for just another minute or so if you’d like the coconut darker. Spread the toasted coconut onto some parchment to cool. Repeat the process with the almond slices.
Remove the almond milk mixture from the refrigerator and give it a quick whisk. Pour the mixture into an ice cream maker and follow manufacturer’s directions. Once it has firmed up, mix in the toasted coconut, almond slices and grated chocolate. Scoop and eat immediately (it will be soft…but I can never wait!) or freeze in a container with a tight lid. Remove from freezer for at least 20 minutes before scooping. Keeps for about 3 days.
- Try using this recipe with coconut milk for a richer texture and more coconut flavor.
- I call for grating the chocolate instead of using chips because I think the texture is so much nicer. Chips, even those mini chips, tend to get really hard when frozen. The grated chocolate melts in your mouth.
I do not have an ice cream maker. any suggestions?
I wish I did, Holly! I know there are some great ice cream recipes that get around using an ice cream maker…but this one definitely needs one. If you need any recommendations as far as makers, let me know!
I have to say – though the pictures are gorgeous, and individually I LOVE coconut, dark chocolate, and almonds, this ice cream was very underwhelming. We decided it needed something MORE – more fats – maybe coconut oil? And also more sweetness – perhaps more chocolate, and a sweeter type? It’s just that when you take the time to make your own homemade ice cream, it has to be AWESOME, or else it’s just simpler to purchase some or try a dessert alternative. But thanks for the recipe – I may try it again with some tweaks!
Thanks so much for taking the time to comment and for your kind and honest words, Julie. I do get what you mean about wanting an awesome ice cream when putting the effort into making it from home. If I were to create this with more fats and sugar, yeah…I think it would be even better, but my goal is to develop healthier versions for those who can’t eat those things. I’d love to hear back if you get the chance to recreate this!
I can see why everyone in your family loved it. This looks just delicious. Love the flavor combination!
Fantastic recipe! Perfect for the hot summer days ahead. I love that you used almond milk! That would be so icy and creamy and smoooooth. And the addition of almond butter makes everything better. Totally craving this right now!