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Dairy Free Pumpkin Ice Dream with stevia

by Chef Rachel Albert
(Phoenix, AZ)

Dairy Free Pumpkin Ice Cream alternative with stevia

Dairy Free Pumpkin Ice Cream alternative with stevia

Dairy Free Pumpkin Ice Dream with stevia (Ice Cream)

Hands-on: 20 minutes/Churning: 20 to 25 minutes/Yield: 3 1/2 to 4 cups; 8 servings

For best results, use sweet winter squash. Frozen squash or canned pumpkin (which often contains some squash) will work well, too. Read labels to insure that you’re buying solid-pack pumpkin rather than pumpkin pie mix; it should be free of added sweeteners or spices. Top it off with Chocolate, Fudge, or Caramel Sauce (see The Ice Cream Cookbook for recipes).

How to shop for winter squash: Choose Hokkaido pumpkin, kabocha, buttercup, honey delight, or butternut squash that feels heavy in relation to its size. Kabocha, Hokkaido, and buttercup squash should have dark green skins; any spots should be bright orange, not pale or yellow. A ripe butternut squash will be orange all over with no hint of green. Store all hard winter squashes at room temperature.

How to cut and cook hard winter squash: Cut off the stem. Place a folded dish towel on a cutting board (this will keep the squash from slipping). Lay the squash on the towel. Cut in half from top to bottom, rocking the knife back and forth. Scoop out and discard the seeds. Bake squash halves cut side down on a rimmed baking sheet, uncovered, in a 400° F oven for 35 to 50 minutes until fork tender and juicy. Scoop out the flesh and discard the skin. Puree the flesh in a food processor, or force it through a medium mesh sieve or the medium disk of a food mill. Freeze what you don’t plan to use within 3 days.

Note: If apple or pumpkin pie spice is not available, substitute ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon, ½ teaspoon dried ginger powder, ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg, ¼ teaspoon dried orange zest, and 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves.

Ingredients:
1/3 cup cool or cold filtered water
2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin or 3/4 teaspoon agar agar powder (not the flakes)
1/4 cup honey or agavé nectar, or 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons maple syrup; additional 2 tablespoons as needed
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon pure stevia extract powder or 1/2 to 1 teaspoon clear stevia extract liquid (start with less; add more only if needed)
1/8 teaspoon finely ground, unrefined sea salt
1 1/2 teaspoons apple pie spice or pumpkin pie spice (see note above)
2 1/4 cups unsweetened, preservative-free coconut milk (regular, not lite) thoroughly blended
1 cup frozen or canned pumpkin, or baked or simmered and mashed winter squash (See Shopping for winter squash above)
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract or alcohol-free vanilla flavoring
2 tablespoons coconut rum or dark rum, optional


1. Add 1/3 cup orange juice to a small saucepan. Slowly sprinkle with gelatin or agar agar powder. Let stand for 2 minutes until it softens and dry spots disappear. Warm over medium-low heat, without stirring, until gelatin or agar agar dissolves. Scrape the mixture into a blender, Vita-Mix, or food processor. Cover and process until smooth.
2. Add honey, stevia, spice, and sea salt. Blend. Add coconut milk, pumpkin or squash, and vanilla. Blend. For a sweeter taste, add an additional 1/8 teaspoon stevia and/or 1 tablespoon honey. Blend, taste, and repeat if needed.
3. Pour into one or more wide mouth jars. Cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hours before churning or use an ice bath to chill faster.
4. Scrape the chilled custard into the canister of your ice cream maker. Add the optional rum. Churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
5. Serve immediately or spoon into several 8- to 16-ounce containers. Cover and freeze for 3 or more hours for a firmer texture.
6. Soften solidly frozen dessert in the refrigerator for 45 minutes or on the counter for 20 to 30 minutes before serving.

1 serving (regular): 174 calories, 2 grams protein, 16 grams carbohydrate, 11 grams fat, 61 milligrams sodium

1 serving (half lite): 134 calories, 1 grams protein, 14 grams carbohydrate, 8 grams fat, 51 milligrams sodium


Variations:

* Lite Pumpkin Ice Dream: Replace half of the coconut milk with lite (reduced fat) coconut milk. Alternatively, use 100% lite coconut milk, but plan to use the batch immediately or within 24 hours before it becomes hard and icy.

* Pumpkin Orange Ice Dream: Zest 1 medium orange (colored part only) and set aside. In step #1, replace 1/3 cup water with fresh orange juice. After sweetener has been added to taste (step #2), stir in orange zest. Proceed as directed above.

* Pumpkin Nut Ice Dream: Add 1/2 cup toasted, coarsely chopped almonds, pecans, or macadamia nuts when Ice Cream reaches the soft-serve stage. Run the machine for 1 or 2 more minutes. Note: Every 1/2 cup of nuts adds 400 calories, 14 grams protein, 4 grams carbohydrate + 3 to 8 grams fiber, and 36 grams fat. The calorie count will be slightly higher if Pralined Pecans (Page 000) are used.

Source: The Ice Dream Cookbook: Dairy-Free Ice Cream Alternatives with Gluten-Free Cookies, Compotes & Sauces by Rachel Albert (Planetary Press, 2008). Recipe used with permission from Rachel Albert at The Healthy Cooking Coach.

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