Wednesday, 15 June 2011

We All Scream for Ice Cream!

Gelato di Avocado, Arancia & Menta
Avocado, Orange and Mint Ice Cream

It is true- everybody loves a nice creamy ice cream- it is just one of those things! What could be more refreshing on a hot Summer day (or night)? Especially if it is all-natural, healthy and home made, as well as being totally creamy and delicious! Creamy and delicious without the cream and fat? Now your talking!

I remember a wonderful dessert that a Spanish girlfriend of mine made me a while ago... it was a blend of orange juice, avocado and sugar that what whipped-up into a light mousse and it was really wonderful. She served it in a bowl, with crispy dessert waffles to dip and enjoy it with and it was pretty delicious! This is basically the same thing, with the addition of fresh mint, only this is frozen and "scoopable" rather than being soft and creamy. Both are wonderful- but sorry Maria- this one wins hands-down in the flavor stakes! The mint brings out the best of the avocado and emphasises the coloring too- it keeps it fresh and green and "cleaner" tasting. And on a hot Summer night, after a great meal... it really makes for a memorable and refreshing finale to treat your guests to... and a very easy to make one at that!
This is an easy one to remember- I used 3 avocados and 2 oranges, 2 tablespoons of powdered sugar and around 1 cupful of fresh mint. No cream, no butter, no eggs and no stress! That sounds like a good starting point to me! The first thing to do is to shave the zest off the oranges, peel and chop them coarsely. Make sure to remove any seeds or the white pith from the middle if there is any there. Into your blender they go! Now add the  mint leaves and the avocado and turn your blender on to "pulse"- just to make sure that all of those chunks of orange get drawn down and finely ground. Now you can add the sugar and give your avocado cream a final blast to get everything nicely blended. Taste and swoon! 

As you can see- there are many fun ways you can serve this... but patience, patience my sweet-toothed eager beavers! This needs to go into your freezer first! After 2-3 hours, take a look at your mixture and give it a good stir with a fork. The outer surface may have oxidized a little and gone a slightly darker, "off" color, but this soon disappears when you stir it together. Repeat this procedure 4-5 times and make sure that the ice cream freezes for a good 24 hrs. Of course, you could use an ice cream maker if you have one to speed things up... but I don't and it did take a good 24 hrs for mine to become nice and firm. 
The nice thing about this is that you get the smooth, buttery texture of the avocado as well as the fruitiness of the orange and the freshness of the mint... it is the best of three worlds!

One way to serve is to cut off the top 1/3rd of an orange, scoop out the flesh with a teaspoon, fill and re-freeze until you are ready.

The quarter slices I made by filling half oranges with ice cream and then cutting the filled halves in half again. You will need to scrape the edges flat with your knife to make them look perfect- but it's not difficult!

I mean- I managed to do it after all!

And you will too!

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