Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Tasty Tuesday: Goodbye Summer Hello Fall: Spicy Chocolate Chai Coconut Milk Ice Cream

Ice cream is one of those foods people adore, especially during the hot months of summer. With summer and ice cream season coming to an end, I thought I would have a last hurrah to say sayonara to my beloved summer season and hello to fall. How better to transition to fall than to marry the texture and coolness of summer ice cream with the spicy fall flavors of cinnamon and cardamom!

This recipe is born from lots of trial and error with ingredients I know my family loves plus a little something extra to make it exotic enough for me to enjoy, too. Since I am sensitive to dairy, ice cream is usually last on my list of dessert choices. I do love the coolness of ice cream on a hot summer day, so I decided to try different types of "milk" to achieve an ice cream like texture. I found coconut milk made the "ice cream" creamiest. Almond and soy milk are too watery and make more of an "ice milk" which my family doesn't like. The resulting Spicy Chocolate Almond Coconut Milk Ice Cream is a combination of sweet and spicy, crunchy and creamy. Delicious!

I enjoy a great cup of chai tea. The kick of cardamom and cinnamon wake up my taste buds. I also enjoy exotic chocolates in flavors such as cayenne and sea salt plus chocolate covered almonds so putting these flavors in an exotic flavor like coconut milk ice cream made perfect sense. I tried several versions of this recipe and this is by far the best spicy chocolate flavor I have had the pleasure of tasting.

Spicy Chocolate Almond Coconut Milk Ice Cream

2 Cans Unsweetened Coconut Milk
1/4 Cup Cocoa Powder
3 TSP Stevia Leaf Extract
1 1/2 TBSP Agave Nectar (or to taste)
2 TSP Each Cardamom and Cinnamon powder
1/2 Cup Chocolate Chips
1/2 Cup Chopped Raw Almonds
1/8 TSP Cayenne (optional)
1/8 TSP Crushed Sea salt (optional)

Add all the ingredients but the almonds and chocolate chips to a saucepan. Stir well. Here is the key: slowly bring to a boil. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Place in an airtight container and place in the refrigerator. Chill well. I let mine sit overnight. Once the mixture is completely chilled, pour into your ice cream maker and in 20 minutes prepare to enjoy. I have a Cuisinart Ice Cream maker and add the chocolate chips and almonds during the last 5 minutes of churning. Devour immediately!

Spicy Chocolate Chai Coconut Milk Ice Cream

......And its guilt-free! While I am not a registered dietician, I did add up the calories in this bad boy. I came up with about 120 per 2 cups!! Yes, I said it. TWO CUPS of ice cream under 200 calories.  Unheard of. So technically, you could eat the whole bowl and still be under 250 calories! That is so much better than 500 calories for two scoops of regular ice cream. Hurray!!

Happy Cooking!

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