As far as I’m concerned, ice cream is the perfect dessert. There’s nothing more relaxing and comforting after a hectic day with kids and work than a little hillock of lush and frosty ice cream sitting in a bowl. But lately my cholesterol has been creeping a little higher, making my nightly indulgence unsustainable. So after some months eating mostly store-bought sherbet and frozen yogurt, I decided to try something new — almond milk ice cream — and I’m so glad I did.
Now no one would ever proclaim me a vegan — after all, I have far too many recipes on Bay Area Bites that use pork shoulder as a main ingredient — but I do love the idea of cutting cholesterol and fat from my diet. So, noticing refrigerated almond milk at Trader Joe’s, I started to wonder how it would fare as an ice-cream base. The container claimed it was “rich and creamy” and I also saw it was free of cholesterol and saturated fat. So far so good, but would it taste like ice cream? As someone who’s never really liked soy ice cream — it has too much of an aftertaste for me — I was skeptical but ready to give almond milk a try.
I made three types of ice cream and, no surprise to many vegans out there but sort of a surprise to me, they were all amazingly good, exceeding my expectations on every level. My ten-year old daughter Maddie even exclaimed about the chocolate version “This is better than store-bought ice cream! It’s my favorite!” I have to agree. My three flavors were almond, strawberry and chocolate (recipes below). All are vegan. The first two were delightful but the chocolate was really special, and all are cholesterol and fat free. But don’t make these because they’re healthy for you; make them because they are creamy and luscious. Basically they are everything that ice cream should be, minus the artery clogging component.
I am a writer, editor, mother of twins, and enthusiastic home cook. I was raised by an Italian-American mother who, in the 1970s, grew her own basil (because she couldn’t find any in the local grocery stores), zucchini (for those delicious flowers), and tomatoes (because the ones in the store tasted like “a potato”). My mom taught us to love all kinds of food and revere high-quality ingredients. I am now trying to follow in my mother’s footsteps and am on a mission to help my daughters become adventurous eaters who have a healthy respect for seasonal food raised locally. My daughters and I grow vegetables and go to the farmers’ market. We also love to shop at Piedmont Grocery and Trader Joe’s. When I’m not hanging out with my daughters or cooking, I like to contribute to cookbooks (including Williams-Sonoma’s Food Made Fast and Foods of the World series), work as an editor, and write about food for Bay Area Bites and Denise's Kitchen. My food inspirations are M.F.K Fisher, Julia Child, and Alice Waters — three fabulous women who encompass everything I love about food.