Chickpea Ice Cream
I am mighty proud of my results. I have been trying for quite sometime, tinkering with improbable ingredients. The flavors are awesome, and the texture, although still a very advanced work in progress, are very promising.
Huh? Chickpeas? Yup! You would be amazed at the silky texture it leaves behind. You end up with a dessert that is not just delicious but actually nourishing.
Vegan Ice Cream
We encounter with increasing frequency people who swore off all dairy products. And ice cream is what they miss the most. Too often I find that the flavors in vegan ice cream lack some vibrancy and definition. Even when the brand nails the textures, it doesn’t fully address the essential question of flavor. And flavor is everything, is it not? This is precisely where I come in. This is how Chickpea Ice Cream is born. Hey, this is the age of hip funky artisanal foods, and chickpea is a big darling in that space. Just look at my chickpea soup recipe!
Chickpea Ice Cream Sounds ….
Did you want to say… strange, or weird, maybe? Yeah, it does sound a little funky and off the wall. But wait till you taste it! The chickpeas leave none of their pulse-y flavor, you would never even guess they are there. They give me the bulk and the unctuousness I pine for, with none of the objectionable flavor. We do love the flavor of chickpeas in Hummus, curries and other savory treats, but we don’t exactly look forward to encountering it in desserts. That’s why I can’t wait for you to make this: you’ll see how versatile the mighty chickpea is.
The liquid from the chickpeas (cooked fresh or canned) does the job of whipping egg whites in an uncanny way. Bless the heart of the wizard who discovered this. I for one did only recently. And even then I practically ignored it, telling myself, oh come on, get real, whip chickpea liquid? But YES: it works, and beautifully at that.
No Churn Chickpea Ice Cream
Full disclosure: I am most resistant to the use of ice cream machines. Of yes I bought them, several premium brands even. But after just a couple runs, I would inevitably tell myself: there’s absolutely nothing wrong with the ice cream maker. It’s just that I find making homemade ice cream in an ice cream machine a lot more tedious than the instructions let on. The cryptic line “follow manufacturer’s instructions” just leaves the whole process in the air.
I am the no-churn girl. And not one bit embarrassed about it (chutzpah, I know, right?)
So, what do I do instead? I use a super high power blender: love my Vitamix. I highly recommend it. You will quickly amortize its high prize: there’s nothing this monster can’t turn to pure cream or pure powder.
Choose your container judiciously
Err on the shallow side, you will control the texture better. We home cooks don’t have access to the same amenities and machinery ice cream manufacturers do, so freezing the ice cream in a shallow container will make it much easier for you.
Sugar Vs Erythritol
Sugar is the sweetener that will give you the best smoothest texture. Even so, many of us are sugar restricted and would love to allow themselves a sugar free treat. Enter erythritol, definitely my alternative sweetener of choice. Dear diabetic friends, this may be for you: check with your doctor! It has the volume we want, and a very decent nutritional profile, but no objectionable flavor. And it is well tolerated by most people, in reasonable amounts. I recommend staying away from monk fruit, because most sweeteners called monk fruit are insanely expensive, and are nothing but…. erythritol with smidgens of monk fruit, hence their insanely expensive prices.
Erythritol is only about 80% as sweet as sugar, so we use about 25% more of it when we use it instead of sugar.
Here’s my basic recipe
All included variations start with this basic batch and go on to include your selected flavor.
- 1 15 oz can chickpeas, liquid and all. Separate the liquid (called aquafaba) from the chickpeas
- 2 tablespoons tapioca flour or arrowroot
- 2/3 cup sugar (sugar restricted friends: use 1 cup erythritol)
- 1 can full fat coconut milk
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil, light olive oil or coconut oil
- Selected flavor (list below)
The list below is just a guide, to get you started. Any other add ins look outrageous to you (preserved ginger, matcha, lavender, caramel/sea salt, peanut butter, coconut, marshmallow etc) go ahead and throw them in, using a short and sweet add ins selection.
Always starting with the basic recipe
Add 3-4 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
Add 3 tablespoons instant coffee, decaf OK
Add 2/3 pure cocoa powder. Add a little more sugar to counteract the bitterness of the cocoa.
Add 3 tablespoons instant coffee, decaf OK, and 1/3 cup cocoa powder. Optional: fold in a dozen finely crushed espresso beans and double up on the coffee awesomeness.
Add 3 tablespoons cinnamon.
Skip the sugar. Add 3 tablespoons vanilla extract and substitute 2/3 cup pure maple syrup for the sugar. Fold in 3/4 cup finely chopped toasted pecans.
Add 3 tablespoons vanilla extract. Mix 1/2 cup golden raisins and 1⁄4 cup dark rum, let the mixture stand a few minutes to get the raisins nice and plump, then fold it in just before freezing.
Add 3-4 tablespoons crème de cassis. Fold in 4 cups coarsely crushed strawberries, fresh or frozen and slightly thawed.
Add 3-4 tablespoons hazelnut liqueur and 1/4 cup cocoa powder. Fold in 3/4 cup finely chopped roasted hazelnuts just before freezing.
Add 1 tablespoon peppermint oil, 3-4 tablespoons Crème de Menthe, and 1/4 cup parsley (it will get all blended and impart a beautiful green color, and no discernible flavor). Fold in 2/3 cup grated bittersweet chocolate just before freezing.
Heat up the aquafaba to just below boiling, in the microwave on on a stovetop. Pour the hot aquafaba and the starch in the blender. Starting at low speed and then turning it up to the max, whip the mixture until it gets very white and gains a lot of volume, a full minute.
Pour the sugar gradually, with the motor on, until the mixture looks nice and firm, a full minute.
With the motor still on max speed, gradually pour in the chickpeas, the coconut milk, the oil and your selected flavor.
Stop the motor. If you selected a flavor with an ingredient that must be folded in, now is the time to do it. Fold it in by hand with a spatula, right in the blender.
Pour the mixture into a shallow mold sprayed with vegetable spray.
Place the mold in the freezer. Give it a few hours to firm up. If it got too firm at serving time, let it soften a little at room temperature before serving.
Yields about 1 quart. (6 cups for the strawberry flavor)