Mention dessert, and most people won’t immediately picture a big bowl of something green, creamy, and optionally dairy free, but perhaps they should. Avocado ice cream wasn’t on most cooks’ horizons even just a few years ago. Today, it is taking the culinary world by storm. A mundane-sounding combination of pureed avocado, lime juice, and a little sweetener magically transforms into avocado ice cream with a splash of tequila. Coconut milk or heavy cream versions are equally fabulous.
Ice cream is no longer off limits for folks who don’t do well with milk or eschew it for other reasons. A super simple avocado treat begins by processing water, lime juice, and tequila with the pulp of several avocados along with sugar or another type of sweetener. After refrigerating for at least an hour, the mixture hangs out in an ice cream maker in the freezer and is ready to churn into a big bowl of yummy.
A more complex but more richly flavored dairy-free avocado ice cream includes cherries and dried dates as well as coconut milk. Cashews that have been soaked in water add bulk, while lemon juice provides a little sun-shiny zing. Agave syrup can be used for extra sweetening, and some cooks like to toss in a little chopped dark chocolate to provide depth.
Folks who prefer a traditional, dairy-based ice cream have many options. A good basic recipe for avocado ice cream that contains milk products typically also calls for eggs, lime juice, and sweetener. A vanilla bean adds a nice touch, as does shredded coconut. This version is popular throughout Brazil, where avocados, well, grow on trees.
An even richer version of the creamy stuff skips the milk and heads straight for some heavy cream as well as sour cream instead. Rich and very creamy, this version isn’t for anyone watching their weight, but a little goes a long way, and for a special once-in-a-while treat, it’s a winner.
Anyone with a middle-of-the-night craving for ice cream with none at the ready can create a cheater's avocado ice cream simply by peeling and pitting and avocado then freezing it with a dribble of lime juice and just a little sugar. The resulting frozen puree will, with some effort, whip into a creamy frozen dessert in the food processor. Avocados freeze into an extremely hard substance, so the wise cook knows a high-powered food processor is necessary for this one to work.