It was when I was developing recipes for our Big Traveling Potluck that I discovered two of my favorite frozen sweet treats are actually dairy-free. Because we had lactose-intolerant attendees at our event, we wanted to make sure they could enjoy as many flavors as possible at Saturday afternoon’s ice cream bar. We decided that three of the five would be dairy free. We settled on raspberry sorbet and dairy-free coconut and avocado ice creams.
Sorbet I knew, but dairy-free coconut and avocado ice creams were new flavors for me. Even before pouring the coconut base into the freezer I knew it was a winner, not only for its taste, but also for its ease of preparation. No custard to make. I simply dissolved sugar in a can of regular coconut milk, flavored it with vanilla and a pinch of salt, and it was ready for churning.
To make it dairy-free avocado, I just folded a couple of mashed avocados flavored with lime juice and a little more sugar into the coconut ice cream. You don’t need to add the pistachios, but they add great texture and flavor. If you want to make coconut ice cream, just double the base—two cans of coconut milk, a cup of sugar, a couple of pinches of salt and 4 teaspoons of vanilla extract. And if you make that double batch of coconut ice cream, you can split it and have both flavors– Dairy-Free Coconut Ice Cream and Dairy-Free Avocado-Pistachio Ice Cream.
All the ice creams were a big hit at the Big Traveling Potluck, but the coconut and avocado flavors were especially popular. Since then I’ve served both flavors to friends and family, and they can’t believe they’re dairy-free.
- 1 can (13.5 ounces) regular (not lite) coconut milk
- ½ plus 2 tablespoons sugar
- Pinch salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 avocados, peeled and pitted
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- ½ cup coarsely chopped pistachios
- Whisk coconut milk, ½ cup sugar, salt, and vanilla extract in a medium bowl. Refrigerate until ready to churn, and then freeze in an ice cream freezer according to the manufacturer’s directions. Meanwhile puree avocados with lime juice and remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar in a food processor. Fold into coconut ice cream until thoroughly combined. Fold in pistachios. Scrape into a covered container and freeze to desired texture. Serve.
A couple of weeks ago I had friends over for an impromptu dinner. I only had one can of coconut milk, but figured a pint would be enough for the four of us. As we were all scraping the bottom of our bowls, my friend commented that he’d love to have some more. Sadly I had to disappoint him. I’ve learned my lesson—don’t ever make a half batch of ice cream!