Avocados are a wonderful superfood that I can’t imagine not having around anymore. We use it for everything–ice cream, breakfast, in smoothies… The list goes on. Enjoy its goodness on its own, or add it to recipes for that splash of color and richness.
What’s great about avocado is it can be used for both sweet and savory dishes. Today, I’ll be focusing on the sweet side today because I feel like not many people realize how great avocado is for making desserts! Just check out these fabulous ideas:
- Double Chocolate Avocado Cookies – Yummy Healthy Easy
- Secret Ingredient Brownies – Lexi’s Clean Kitchen
- Avocado Lime Cheesecake – Chef Sheilla
I started using avocado more when we reduced our consumption of dairy. One of my kids is lactose intolerant, so we’ve been experimenting in the kitchen to see how we can adjust our recipes to suit everyone and the results are nothing short of amazing. My family loves our new, healthier adaptations of our old recipes.
What has helped a lot was slowly substituting the not-so-healthy with natural alternatives. We started by reducing our refined sugar intake and switching to natural sweeteners. There are serious health concerns surrounding a high intake of refined sugar, so we’ve since switched to other alternatives.
Speaking of alternatives…
This avocado ice cream recipe requires 3 ripe bananas. Personally, the sweetness from those bananas is enough for my sweet tooth, but I know a lot of you out there like your desserts extra sweet. No worries since you have plenty of natural sweeteners to choose from. I prefer using natural sweeteners because they still contain nutrients and are less likely to cause powerful blood sugar spikes.
- Agave nectar
- Brown rice syrup
- Date sugar
- Maple syrup
Aside from reducing your intake of refined sugar, there has been interest in reducing consumption of dairy for various reasons. Some are simply allergic or intolerant to dairy, so the need for dairy-free options is on the rise. But is dairy bad for you? It really depends.
How to Get the Best Avocados for Your Recipes
Waiting for an avocado to fully ripen is hit or miss. If you’re not careful, your avocado will have gone bad without you realizing it. For optimal results, here are some times for perfect avocados:
- If you’re not eating your avocados right away, make sure to select avocados in various stages of ripening. Choose 1 that looks already ripe, 1 that is 2 days away, 1 that is 3-4 days away. You can do this by feeling how firm it is.
- Ripen avocados on the counter so you can keep a close eye on them.
- If you put your avocado in a brown bag with a banana, it will speed up the ripening process.
- Once your avocado is already ripe, you can store it in the refrigerator for an extra day or two.
How Long Should You Freeze Your Avocado Ice Cream?
Unlike regular dairy ice cream which you can eat straight out of the freezer, avocado ice cream requires a slightly different approach. My personal favorite is to let it chill in the freezer for 2-3 hours before serving. Otherwise, you could serve it chilled right after you’re finished making it.
Leaving it in the freezer overnight means that you won’t be able to dig into it right away, so leave it out to thaw for a few minutes before scooping.
Do You Need an Ice Cream Maker to Make Avocado Ice Cream?
For this particular avocado ice cream recipe, you won’t be needing an ice cream maker for it to work. I do recommend using a food processor to make sure the avocado puree is very smooth. If you don’t mind your avocado ice cream being a little chunky, you could make do with just a fork or a potato masher.
What’s important is that you take the time to mash the ingredients thoroughly so that the flavors blend well together.
What to Serve with Avocado Ice Cream
Since your ice cream is already made with healthy ingredients, make sure to keep your toppings wholesome and nutritious as well. I like to sprinkle mine with a generous serving of fruit or chocolate. Here are some ideas for you to consider:
- Fresh fruit (chopped)
- Shaved dark chocolate
- Cacao nibs
- Desiccated coconut (toasted)
- Berry compote
- Coconut cream
- Chia seeds
Should You Go Dairy-Free?
Dairy is a controversial food group nowadays. Some groups promote dairy for improved bone health, both some experts disagree and say that it’s detrimental to health. According to the USDA, we should get all our nutrients from our diet through healthy food and beverage choices from all food groups such as protein foods, grains, dairy, fruits and vegetables. The USDA recommends that foods from the dairy group should retain their calcium content and may be low-fat or fat-free.
For those who do not or cannot consume dairy products, the USDA recommends the following foods that count towards total daily calcium intake:
- Calcium-fortified breads
- Calcium-fortified cereals
- Calcium-fortified almond milk
- Soy foods (soy yogurt, tofu, tempeh, etc)
- Kale, bok choy, collard greens, other leafy greens
The Importance of Calcium
Calcium is important for strong bones and teeth. It is responsible for many body functions and is especially important during childhood and adolescence when bone mass is being built.
- Improves bone health
- Decreases risk of osteoporosis
- Improves bone mass
- Maintains bone density
Is Dairy Natural?
One of the main arguments against dairy is that it’s not “natural” to consume dairy products. Cow’s milk contains nutrients that calves need to grow, much like a human’s breast milk is meant to nurture infants. From an evolutionary perspective, it appears that dairy was not consumed by humans until after the agricultural revolution, but there is evidence that we have evolved to accept dairy in our diets.
Should You Eliminate Eggs from Your Diet?
Even though this recipe doesn’t contain eggs, that’s not to say that eggs are inherently bad for you. What we’ve created in this recipe is simply an alternative for those who have opted to cut out animal products for whatever reason.
Also, since this recipe doesn’t require any cooking or heating, it’s best to leave raw eggs out of the mixture since raw eggs may contain salmonella. Don’t you worry though, you won’t miss it in this recipe!
More Healthy Avocado Recipe Substitutes:
Easy Avocado Ice Cream Recipe (No Eggs, Dairy or Added Sugar)
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Total Time: 5 minutes
- Yield: 4 1x
3 medium ripe bananas, sliced and frozen
1 ripe avocado, halved and pitted
¼ tsp peppermint extract
½ small lemon, zested and juiced
4–5 mint leaves
- Place all the ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth and creamy.
- Serve immediately for a soft-serve consistency, or transfer to an airtight container and freeze until solid, approximately 2 hours.