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Fresh Mint Ice cream for the summertime!

I've been quiet... for almost 2 months.  Did you miss me?  We've been busy here.  Mark's job is taking us to Massachusetts.  Which means that we have to sell the house.  That means that we had to clean the house top to bottom and sort through... stuff.  Lots and lots of stuff.  We've only been here for 5 years.  How did we get so much stuff?

But now it is just wait and see... Who wants to buy a house?

Fresh Mint and Chocolate Chip ice cream

In the meantime I have a small problem.  One son who loves ice cream... and can't eat milk or eggs.  So we need vegan ice cream.  And he can't eat soy which is how most vegan ice cream is made.  (Technically it isn't ice cream unless it has cream in it.  But non-dairy frozen desert sounds rather unappetizing doesn't it?)  And it is summertime.  Summertime demands ice cream...
 So what to do?

I have a book.  (My husband will chuckle when he reads that.  I have LOTS of books.)  The Vegan Scoop by Wheeler Del Torro is what prompted me to start thinking about making vegan ice cream.  Most of his recipes use soy milk and soy creamer for the milk and fat portion of the ice cream.  However he has some fantastic flavors.  The first one I tried was the peanut butter recipe using sunbutter.  It had a weird kinda bitter aftertaste.  Hershey's syrup alleviated that.  So it still needs some tweaking.  (Just wanted you to know that not everything is a "win" the first time around.)

But I did make a fresh mint ice cream and chocolate chip that was pretty yummy.  It wasn't the mint that you're used to thinking of for mint chocolate chip ice cream.  It was a softer fresher mint with a fruity note to it.  It was both more subtle and more potent than your run of the mill mint chocolate chip ice cream.  Something you have to taste to understand.  It was peppermint and spearmint combined.  One son didn't like it too much.  (He didn't like the secret ingredient.)  One son did like it very much.  Mark said it was good...  if it is around he'll eat it but he's not going to bug me to make it.  I enjoyed it.  Probably one I'll make again for me.  And if you're over for our ice cream social this summer, it'll be on the list of flavors for you to try.

So here it is... minty, fruity, with chocolate chips.  A good start to summertime.

Fresh Mint Ice Cream
- vegan

2 cups rice milk
2/3 cup agave syrup
1 cup fresh mint leaves (I used peppermint and spearmint since that is in the garden)
1/2 Haas avocado (the secret ingredient.  Lends a fruity note to the ice cream and adds color and a bit of fat.)
1/2 cup chocolate chips (Enjoy Life brand) optional

Heat the milk, agave syrup and mint until the mixture just comes to a simmer.  Turn off heat and allow mint to steep.  Transfer to a container and chill the mixture.  (I stuck it in the freezer in a metal bowl until good and cold but not frozen.)  Strain the mint leaves out and discard.

Peel and pit avocado and with 1/2 cup of chilled milk blend until smooth.  Adding more milk if necessary.  Pour the avocado mixture and the rest of the milk into the freezing container of an ice cream freezer, add chocolate chips, if using, and freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Note:  After freezing it in the ice cream freezer and them placing it into the freezer for a couple of days it hardens to between a gelato and a sorbet hardness.  Because this has very little fat in it, especially as compared to full-on dairy and egg ice cream, it is icier and harder to scoop straight out of the freezer.  Allow it to stand a bit to soften and then scoop. 

It's a desert, so all things in moderation and all that.  But with the agave syrup to sweeten it and the avocado providing the fat it is a fairly healthy desert.  So grab a spoon!


P.S.- If you're wondering what to do with the other half of the avocado try making a small avocado salad.  A nice light meal.

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