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I will be the first to admit that I have never tried any almond milk recipes in the past. This is my first foray into cooking with almond milk but I can promise that it will not be my last. These last few days here in Montana have been downright summer-like with temperatures running into the high 70ies so my thoughts have been turning to thoughts of the refreshing cooling sweets of the season like ice cream, sherbet and sorbet. Since almond milk is dairy free – and gluten free for that matter – you can’t really call any frozen treat made with it ice cream so I am calling what I made with it sherbet. But first let me tell you how pleasantly surprised I was with the almond milk itself!
I was fortunate enough to try two delicious flavors of Silk Almondmilk – one with Protein and Fiber and the Almond Coconut Blend. Each had its own unique flavor; the almond milk with protein and fiber was sweet with a distinct almond taste. The Almond Coconut Blend was like a light coconut milk with a slight nutty aftertaste. I can envision utilizing both in a number of recipes going forward – in fact I have to make up a bunch of Belgian Waffles to freeze. I keep them handy for the hubby’s breakfasts and I will use the protein and fiber Silk almondmilk in my next batch giving them the healthy benefits of almond milk – including 50% more calcium, lower cholesterol, fewer calories and less fat.
I had a friend coming over for dinner and she can’t have dairy so when I was given the opportunity to create recipes with Silk Almondmilk it was as if the stars aligned. I could create a nice dessert for her since the product is dairy free! The Silk was easily found at my local Safeway in the same refrigerated case as the regular milk.
I decided to make two different sherbets with distinct flavors that could be eaten together or separately. The almond milk would not freeze into a creamy texture like traditional ice cream so with a bit of research I learned that by adding banana I could get a better mouth feel. There is a balance in how many you add depending on if you want the banana as part of your flavor profile. All in all I was very pleased with both desserts!
Follow along to see how you can create delicious cold treats for your family that taste quite like ice cream but with the healthy benefits from the added almondmilk and bananas. They are also gluten and dairy free if you have to deal with these allergy issues.
Orange Creamsicle Sherbet
1 quart (4 cups) Silk Almondmilk Protein and Fiber
6 oz orange juice concentrate
1 11oz can Mandarin Oranges, drained
zest of two oranges
1 vanilla bean or 1 TBS pure vanilla extract
pinch of salt
I have a 1 1/2 quart ice cream maker so this recipe worked in that with a little bit leftover.
Pour the Silk Almondmilk into a large bowl. Add the orange juice concentrate – if it is still frozen that is fine – the mandarin oranges and the zest. Crush the bananas with your hands and add them to the bowl. Cut the vanilla bean open and scrape out the seeds and add them to the bowl (or add the extract if using that.) Using an immersion blender make a smooth mixture out of the ingredients. If you do not have an immersion blender use a food processor or blender to make a smooth base.
Chill the base to be sure it is very cold before you put it into the ice cream maker. When it is ready pour it into the machine and let it do the work. When it is ready put the sherbet into a container to fully freeze.
As I mentioned I did have some left over and I treated it as I would have a granita. If you don’t have an ice cream machine you can use this method as a fallback. Pour the mixture into a freezer safe container. It should be large enough that the sherbet base does not fill it so high as to take too long to freeze. Place it in the freezer. Every half hour pull it out and run across it with a fork to break it up until it is fully frozen and resembles an Italian ice.
It was so delicious on its own – like one of those creamsicle treats that everyone loves. The ones with the orange ice on the outside and the vanilla ice cream in the middle. I dressed it up with a quick salted orange caramel and some chocolate covered orange and almonds. Both of these did add a touch of dairy in that I used butter but as I mentioned it didn’t need the embellishment. Some plain mandarin oranges would have worked just as well.
My second sherbet included chocolate – of course. I adore chocolate. The Silk Coconut and Almond Blend was not as sweet as the Protein and Fiber so I knew I would have to add a sweetener of some kind. I chose honey instead of sugar and then I really let the chocolate sing.
Chocolate Covered Banana Sherbet
3 cups Silk Almond Coconut Blend
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup honey
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
pinch of salt
Pour the Silk Almond and Coconut Blend in a large bowl. Crush the four bananas with your hands and add them along with the cocoa powder, vanilla and salt. Use an immersion blender, food processor or blender to make a perfectly smooth base. Chill the base until it is very cold and then add it to your ice cream maker and process per its instructions. Place the finished sherbet into a freezer safe container until ready to use.
I served this with some sliced bananas. I LOVE this sherbet! It is rich in flavor and while the chocolate is predominant the banana still comes through and it tastes like a chocolate covered banana! It’s creamy, delicious and a somewhat adult dessert as it’s not overly sweet but rather chocolately decadent.
I can see utilizing Silk Almondmilk when the goats aren’t providing milk; it works well in frozen desserts as I have shown and I am sure it is going to enhance the waffles I make later today. I am going to try it in a cake I think as well and I can only imagine how delicious smoothies with almond milk would be. I do love experimenting! The benefits that the almondmilk provides are many and the goats don’t always give me milk year round.