Dairy Free Healthy Gingerbread Ice Cream
Yields: about 3 cups Prep Time: 15 minutes Total Time: about 6 hours
This rich and flavorful dessert is loaded with healthy ingredients! Iron and potassium rich dates add sweetness, making this dish completely free of refined sugar, and yet a perfect hint of cinnamon and ginger to make for a delicious frozen treat!
1/2 cup dates, pits removed (softened in water or with heat)*
1 cup almond milk
1/2 cup avocado
1/2 cup oats
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
2 ice cubes
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
*1. Soak the dates for a few hours until soft, or heat for about 10 seconds in the microwave.
2. Add dates, avocado, oatmeal, vanilla, ginger, cinnamon to a high-speed blender or quality food processor.** Process for about a minute until well blended.
**If using a food processor, depending on the processor, you may need to pulse the oats alone prior to adding the rest of the ingredients.
3. I prefer to use parchment paper as a liner and use a traditional loaf pan, 1.5 quarts (6 cups). Pour the blended mixture in a parchment paper lined loaf pan. It will be about half filled. Place in freezer.
4. Freeze for at least 6 hours until solid. Remove from freezer and let sit out for 10-20 minutes prior to serving to help soften.
5. Scoop with an ice cream scoop in to a bowl. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar, sprinkles or whipped cream. Enjoy!
I’m definitely a sucker for so-called “holiday flavors.” You know, pumpkin spice in the fall, chocolate peppermint in the winter, and of course, gingerbread is right up there. There is something about these flavors that just makes eating them feel like a special occasion.
That said, my take is a tad different. I really appreciate lighter foods, meaning dishes that are lightened up in the fat and sugar categories. I even try to boost the nutrition by adding in extra nutrient dense ingredients. And that is what this “ice cream” is all about.
Dates are not only naturally sweet, they add extra iron, potassium and fiber. Avocado is loaded with healthy fats. Maple sugar and almond milk are also ingredients that keep out refined sugar and saturated fat. Ground oatmeal is a natural thickener, and also adds fiber, iron and protein. Because of these health benefits, we have not only had this treat for dessert, it even made it to the table for breakfast. And that makes me very happy.
To be clear, this does not taste like dairy rich, creamy, sugary ice cream. It is lighter, but definitely sweet and a bursting flavor of cinnamon and light hint of ginger. For our dessert, we have added homemade whipped cream before. Whipped cream is an indulgence that we happen to love. Our girls always start out so excited to whip it themselves. However, by the time it gets to the third child, everyone is tired of whisking and gladly pass it to an adult.
There is always room for indulgence here and there, yet overall, we keep it healthier and nutrient dense. Everyone seems to feel better and no sugar crash!