Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Vegan pistachio ice cream

vegan pistachio ice cream

You know me. I am a cake person. Not an ice cream person—oh no, not in the least. That would be why my only frozen dessert recipe on this blog (meaning, the only instance of me making something remotely related to ice cream) is a chocolate cookie dough ice cream cake, a recipe whose primary purpose is to deliver the consumer a large quantity of cookie dough. And in that purpose it succeeds. Yes, there’s a little bit of chocolate chia ice cream in there, but that’s beside the point.

But when I heard about the Cupcake Project’s ice cream cupcake contest, I was intrigued. The contest calls for contestants—bloggers and non-bloggers alike—to create the ultimate combination of ice cream and cake and compact it into the portable, handheld form of a cupcake. Pretty unique contest, if you ask me. I decided to enter and was on the hunt for some good ice cream recipes to go with my cake when I stumbled upon this pistachio ice cream in that trusty old cookbook, Vegan Desserts.

This ice cream ended up not getting used in my final ice cream cupcake, but I’m okay with that. It was worth making simply to make it. Of course I was skeptical, at first. Could an ice cream made with such strange ingredients as tofu and avocado be good? 

Well???

The answer is an emphatic yes. First of all, you can’t taste the tofu. It’s just not there. Under the weight of the homemade pistachio butter (which can be made by simply grinding up pistachios in a food processor), the already-weak flavor of the tofu just evaporates. And secondly, the avocado might be a little more detectable, but the wonderfully creamy texture and color it adds to this naturally-green ice cream is worth it.

And besides: vegan ice cream will never taste exactly like non-vegan ice cream. That’s just...common sense, you know? Using an entirely different set of ingredients will have an effect on the flavor, for better or for worse. This ice cream does a terrific job of substituting those tricky-to-replace ingredients like heavy cream and egg yolks in that it achieves a creamy, smooth texture without any animal products. Personally, I’m not too huge a fan of the flavor of coconut milk either (I know, I know—I just don’t like it too much, although I can stand it since coconut products are used in so many vegan baking recipes), so I was glad that it didn’t rely on full-fat coconut milk for creaminess. Feel free to use whatever milk you like here. 

I'm such a pleb, storing my ice cream in Tupperware.

And plus? It’s pretty damn healthy too. There’s all the healthy fats and proteins from the pistachio butter, plus the protein from the tofu, plus more healthy fats from the avocado—and on top of that, it is sweetened with agave nectar, which some folks claim is healthier than regular sugar (I’m not confirming or denying that claim, just throwing it out there). It’s basically nutrition central. So don’t feel bad about eating a giant bowl of this for breakfast.

Or least that’s what I tell myself. Here’s the recipe.

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Vegan pistachio ice cream

Adapted from Vegan Desserts by Hannah Kaminsky

Ingredients

124 grams • pistachio butter • ¾ cup

340 grams • extra firm silken tofu • 12 ounces

110 grams • avocado • 1 small

15 grams • lemon juice • 1 tablespoon

366 grams • nondairy milk • 1 ½ cups

168 grams • agave nectar • ½ cup

4 grams • vanilla extract • 1 teaspoon

2 grams • salt • ¼ teaspoon

62 grams • pistachios, toasted and chopped • ½ cup

Directions

In a food processor, combine pistachio butter (feel free to make homemade pistachio butter, as I did!) and tofu until you have a completely smooth mixture. Add avocado, lemon juice, milk, agave, vanilla, and salt. Blend until everything is completely incorporated and smooth.

Add mixture to an ice cream maker and process according to the manufacturer’s directions. In the last 3 minutes of freezing, toss in chopped pistachios. Transfer ice cream to a container and freeze for another 5 minutes before serving. Keep frozen (obviously).

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I'm not an expert at scooping ice cream. Clearly.

For more pistachio and nut recipes, see the below links.

Salty sweet pecan pie bars with bourbon caramel sauce. A more portable version of pecan pie.

Banana caramel cake with candied pistachios. The pistachios add a delightful crunch to this cake.

Orange rhubarb bundt cake with pistachio sauce. That pistachio sauce would go amazingly on this ice cream.

20 comments:

  1. No way, I didn't even know pistachio butter existed!!! Nor did I have a clue that you could make ice cream with tofu! This is amazing! Pistachio was one of my favorite flavors when I was a kid..I was legit obsessed with Baskin Robbin's pistachio almond ice cream. I've been meaning to make it myself for so long and now I have your awesome recipe to go by!

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    1. Yeah it's crazy right?? You can basically make butter out of anything these days. I hope you do try this, it's super delicious and pretty easy too :)

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  2. you got me with another vegan recipe. . I love this!! so intrigued by the tofu!! I am going to try this!!!

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    1. Yay I hope you do try it! The tofu works really well in here, you can't really taste it at all!

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  3. I so would not have picked this as having tofu and avocado in it! That is crazy. Looks like such a good way to make a healthier ice cream though, even if I will probably never be able to bypass the old cream & egg traditional ice cream base haha!

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  4. What a fun recipe, June! Pistachio just so happens to be my wife's favorite ice cream flavor, and somehow I have yet to make homemade pistachio ice cream. Guess I'll just have to fix that little problem! :-)

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    1. Yes you should totally try it! It is surprisingly easy :)

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  5. And to think pistachio happens to be my favorite flavor!! Pretty much falling head over heels for this!

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    1. Thanks Joanne!! Pistachio is one of my favorites too :)

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  6. I am all for healthy desserts! This is gorgeous!

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    1. Thanks Ashley! Healthier treats like this are always good :D

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  7. wow the silken tofu gives this ice cream such a creamy texture, what a nice recipe.

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  8. Pistachio ice cream is my absolute favourite! It is really popular in Norway, but hard to come by here in the UK... This looks lovely, and I love the rich colour of it as well :D Yum! x

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    1. Yeah the natural color of the avocado really comes through here!! You ought to try making homemade pistachio ice cream, it's a lot of fun :D

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