Better Vegan Chocolate Ice Cream With Almonds, Cacao Nibs And Black Sea Salt
Source: Better Vegan  Category: Vegan Desserts
Prep Time: 10 min  Chill time: 1-2 hrs  Churn Time: 15-20 min   Total Time: 1-2 hrs 30 min  Makes about 5 cups
Contains caffeine
Sugar-Free option available (see notes)
Gluten Free I Refined Sugar Free
About this recipe
This ice cream is decadent, sophisticated and insanely delicious, and yet it is vegan, gluten-free and refined sugar-free. We tried to achieve a perfect balance between creamy and crunchy textures, and bitter, sweet and salty tastes. It took us three tries to get to this version, and all our tasters loved it.  We used raw organic cacao powder for this ice cream because of its amazing health benefits. Raw cacao has over 40 times the antioxidants of blueberries, is the highest plant-based source of iron, full of magnesium for a healthy heart and brain, has more calcium than cow's milk, and is a natural mood elevator and anti-depressant.* So feel free to enjoy your chocolate fix and feel good about it. One thing to be aware of though is that cacao contains caffeine, so if you are sensitive to it, avoid this ice cream in the afternoon.
Ingredients:
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/3 cup maple syrup (I use Butternut Mountain Farm, 100% Pure Maple Syrup From Vermont)
1/3 cup raw coconut nectar plus more for garnish (I use Coconut Secret Raw Coconut Nectar)
Pinch of pink Himalayan salt (I use Sherpa Pink Gourmet Himalayan Salt, 5 lbs Fine Grain)
2 cups unsweetened full-fat coconut milk from the can (I use Thai Kitchen Organic Unsweetened Coconut Milk)
1/2 Tbsp. pure vanilla extract (I use McCormick Pure Vanilla Extract)
1 tsp. xanthan gum (I use Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Xanthan Gum)
3/4 cup raw cacao powder (I use Healthworks Cacao Powder Organic)
1/2+/- tsp. black sea salt plus more for garnish (see notes) (I use Uahi Black Hawaiian Sea Salt Blend)
2 Tbsp. toasted almonds, finely chopped, plus more for garnish (I use Wild Soil Almonds)
2 Tbsp. raw cacao nibs plus more for garnish (I use Healthworks Cacao Nibs Organic)
Instructions:
1. Put almond milk, coconut milk, maple syrup, 1/3 cup of raw coconut nectar, pink Himalayan salt, vanilla, xanthan gum and cacao powder into a blender and blend until smooth. The mixture will thicken and will resemble the consistency of yogurt.
2. Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 1-2 hours or overnight. Place 1/2 tsp. black sea salt, 2 Tbsp. toasted almonds and 2 Tbsp. raw cacao nibs in a small bowl, cover with plastic wrap and chill for the same time as the mixture.
3. Turn on the ice cream maker; pour the mixture into the ice cream maker and let mix until thickened, about 15 to 20 minutes. Follow your ice cream maker's manufacturer instructions for precise timing and process (I use Cuisinart ICE-21).
In the last minute of churning add chilled salt, almonds and cacao nibs, so they are just incorporated and evenly distributed. Do not over-mix, as the salt will melt. Ice cream will have a soft, creamy texture. Transfer the ice cream to an airtight container and place in freezer for several hours or overnight.
4. To serve place one or two scoops in a small bowl, drizzle lightly with coconut nectar and top with almonds, cacao nibs and a pinch of black sea salt.
Notes:
When left in freezer overnight, the ice cream may freeze pretty hard, depending on your freezer temperature. Check it 15 minutes before serving. If it is too hard, remove from freezer about 10-15 minutes before serving.
You may use more or less salt depending on your taste preferences. If you usually do not use a lot of salt, start with 1/4 tsp. and adjust with your next batch. If you would like it saltier, add a little more salt on the topping. Feel free to experiment and adjust to your own taste.
You can easily make this ice cream sugar-free by substituting maple syrup and coconut nectar with stevia. Start with about 20 drops of liquid stevia, then adjust to taste. Keep in mind though that the ice cream will not be as creamy once you take out liquid sugar.
* From the article Cacao: 5 Little Known Benefits of this Amazonian Superfood.
Equipment needed:
Serving suggestion:
Best served on its own or paired with Better Vegan Vanilla Ice Cream.

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