This dairy free Honey & Fig Chocolate Crunch Ice Cream is rich and creamy with delicious chunks of fig and crunchy chocolate ripples swirled throughout—it’s the perfect dairy free frozen treat! Also, easy and effective ways to keep your homemade ice cream soft and easy to scoop.
I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream! Too much? Sorry, I get a little carried away sometimes. But, really—who doesn’t love ice cream? The hot weather wouldn’t be bearable without this delicious and creamy frozen treat to help cool us off. I purchased an ice cream maker a couple years ago after having to cut dairy from my diet for several months. It was a great investment, along with my reusable popsicles molds, as I love creating new flavor combinations and having control over the ingredients.
One issue I hear people have with homemade ice cream—especially dairy free—is that it freezes into a rock solid block after a couple of hours in the freezer and forms a lot of ice crystals. Another complaint I often come across is that the consistency is different from the store bought variety that often uses stabilizers and commercial thickening agents. I’m hoping to help you solve these problems by sharing some tips and options for keeping your homemade ice cream creamy and scoopable.Xanthan or Guar Gum
Xanthan and guar gum are both emulsifiers and thickening agents that are most often used in gluten free baking to replace the elasticity that is lost from removing gluten. These gums also work really well in frozen treats by thickening your mixture and also helping to prevent the formation of ice crystals. Simply add 1/2 teaspoon to your ingredients.
Unflavored grass-fed gelatin
I learned this tip from Kelly’s blog and it has been one of my favorite ways to help not only thicken my ice cream, but also keep it easy to scoop. Simply dissolve 1 tablespoon of gelatin in 1/4 cup boiling water and add to your ingredients just prior to churning.
You may have noticed that alcohol does not freeze. This option won’t thicken your ice cream, but it will assist in suppressing the freezing point and preventing the formation of ice crystals. Simply add 2-3 tablespoons of alcohol to your ingredients. Note: Vodka is a good “neutral” option if you don’t want to add any additional flavor to your ice cream.
Lots of heavy cream and eggs help keep dairy ice cream creamy and scoopable. There are many healthy dairy free fat options that can be used as well, including: full fat coconut milk (canned), homemade nut milk, cashew cream and avocados. Note: I would avoid using dairy free milk from a carton on its own as it does not have a high enough fat content.
A few more simple tips I’ll share from my experience are:
- It’s best to store your homemade ice cream in a shallow dish to reduce freezing time and assist with thawing when ready to serve.
- Always cover the surface with plastic wrap to help further prevent those pesky ice crystals.
- Allow your ice cream to sit on the counter for 10-15 minutes prior to scooping and serving.
The recipe I’m sharing today utilizes the above tips and tricks and is also made without dairy, gluten, refined sugar or eggs making it perfect for many different dietary needs. Full fat coconut milk makes for a rich creamy base, while honey and figs lightly sweeten the ice cream and swirls of chocolate add a nice decadent crunch. This ice cream reminded me of a delicious gelato I had years ago while visiting the lovely beach town of Laguna Beach, CA and while it has a more grown up flavor profile, it also received two thumbs up from my best friend’s 3 year old daughter.
So pick up some figs and get your ice cream scoops ready—because it’s
always ice cream time!
- 1 can full fat coconut milk (13.5 ounce can)
- 1 cup almond milk
- ½ cup honey
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- Pinch of sea salt
- ½ teaspoon xanthan or guar gum (or other optional thickener)
- 1 cup fresh or frozen figs, cut into ½ inch pieces
- ½ cup enjoy life chocolate chips
- 1 teaspoon coconut oil
- Add coconut milk, almond milk, honey, vanilla, cinnamon, sea salt and optional thickener to a high speed blender. Blend until smooth and thoroughly combined. Refrigerate until cool, about 30 minutes.
- Melt chocolate chips and coconut oil in a double boiler or microwave until melted. Set aside and allow to cool.
- Process ice cream mixture in an ice cream machine according to manufacturer's instructions. After about 15 minutes, slowly add in chopped figs and then pour in melted chocolate in a stream. Continue churning for about 5 more minutes.
- Serve immediately (for a soft serve type texture) or store ice cream in a shallow dish in the freezer with plastic wrap covering the surface until ready to serve.
Dairy Free, Soy Free, Egg Free, Gluten Free, Refined Sugar Free Paleo, Vegan
Have you ever made homemade ice cream? And, what’s your favorite ice cream flavor? Let me know in the comments below and maybe I will feature it on the blog!
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