Carrot Almond Icecream

I know its the nick of time for the ‘Health Nut Challenge – I Scream for IceCream’ challenge. Ever since, I came to know about this event, I have been on the quest for the perfect healthy ice cream, and also one that does not require an ice cream maker. I had narrowed down my choice to avocado icecream. But, Priya beat me to it. And then my quest continued…and this time, I wanted to make an ice cream out of a vegetable and not a fruit. I was bent on using yogurt and not eggs and cream for the custard. I decided to make a carrot ice cream.

As I started looking for recipes for a good carrot ice cream, I stumbled across this amazing article that describes how to make ice cream and other exotic spiced frozen desserts using nut and grain milks. It had a recipe for a carrot ice cream that used almond milk and yogurt, and also a vegan recipe. This article also gives you the basic formula for making a ‘gluten free’ icecream and/or a ‘vegan’ icecream. If you are looking for a healthy frozen dessert recipe, try these formulas. This is a great find, and I am glad I stumbled on it.

I am glad I tried it, because it turned out creamy and delicious. Here is the recipe:

Ingredients:
2 cups almond milk
14 oz greek yogurt (I used 2 7 oz containers Yoplait Greek-style thick nonfat yogurt)
1/4 cup whole almonds
1 tbsp whole cashews
2 cups carrot juice
1/4 cup clover honey
1 tsp rose water
1 tbsp besan
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cardamom powder
1/4 tsp of saffron threads
chopped green pistachio nuts
2 tbsp golden raisins

Method:
Toast the raw almonds and cashews in a pan over low heat. Cool and pulse them in a small food processor until roughly chopped and almost mealy. Set aside.

Warm the almond milk in a saucepan over medium heat. When warm, remove a couple of ladlefuls of the almond milk into a bowl. Add the ground nuts, cardamom, cinnamon, besan and saffron. Whisk to combine. Add this mixture into the saucepan and keep whisking to avoid lumps. Add the honey, raisins and keep whisking. This will be the custard base for our ice cream. So, cook this mixture until it reaches the custard consistency. What you are looking for is for it to coat the back of a wooden spoon. Remove from heat when it reaches this stage.

Let it come to room temperature and whisk in the yogurt and rose water. Whisk in the carrot juice. Transfer this mixture to a bowl. Chop the pistachios into fine pieces and add it to the top of the carrot mixture. Chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours.

At this point, if you have an icecream machine, churn the above mixture in the machine, to make the ice cream. I don’t have one. So, I chilled it in the refrigerator and mixed it a couple of times as it set, every 4 hours or so. Alternatively you can blend it or mix it in the food processor.

Scoop into dessert bowls and enjoy!

Verdict: Sweet, tangy from the yogurt and creamy. The nuts and raisins add an interesting texture to the ice cream. To think that this was achieved with no added sugar, with all natural ingredients is a great bonus. The cardamom, saffron and rose water give a great aroma to the ice cream. Truly healthy and delicious!

I am also sending this to the ‘Vegetable Marathon’ Event started by Silpa and featuring Carrots this month, hosted at ‘Seduce your Tastebuds’.

Also sending this to ‘Cold Desserts’ Event at TorviewToronto.

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