Summer is a season that is decorated and advertised with melting popsicles and other frozen treats. It’s a time, especially in Tempe, AZ, in which we try to quench our thirst with anything we can. Our days and adventures are sunny and sweaty, and our water bottles don’t seem to refill as quickly as we need them to. So we find that having a freezer that’s stoked with frozen goodies is a crucial survival skill for our Arizona summers, something we’ve learned from our days as little sun burnt rascals running around our blowup pool.
When we were little ones, our mom and us would set up a swimming pool on our carport, one that had the blowup rim which always got way too hot for our backs to rest on. As the pool would fill up with water, we would do our best to remove all the creases from the plastic bottom so it wouldn’t bother our pruned feet (not always successful). When the pool was full and ready for play, we would strap on our tie-dye swimsuits and spend the afternoons burning our exposed shoulders and backs by playing countless pool games that always involved sharks, dolphins, or make believe water monsters.
After hours of playing and exhausting ourselves from laughing and running around the pool that always felt much bigger than it looked, we’d retreat to our towels and lay out on a shady spot on our sidewalk. Mom would come outside and ask us if we wanted lunch and the summer favorite for years was a plate of nachos (seriously, we were so easy to please: chips + cheese, heated up for 1 minute in the microwave, topped with chunky salsa = satisfied for life). But! The most important part of this post-pool recovery and pre-nacho eating was the otter pops. We’d volunteer the driest sibling to rush inside the house and snag three otter pops (who would often times jokingly return with grape flavored ones which is of course the least desirable flavor, Abbey kids agreed) and would snip the tops off with a sticky pair of craft scissors. We’d chill out for a couple of minutes and enjoy the cooling sensation of these otter pops, trying to push up the flavored ice goodness without it dripping down our chins.
We still desire cooling treats today, especially when we come home from a sticky day of doing errands around the city. Days when it feels our cars’ AC does not adequately counteract the sun rays and we’re basically sweating off our makeup (seriously, waterproof mascara is a true friend).
And so we bring you a frozen, comforting treat: coconut almond ice cream!
This is a dairy and sugar free frozen treat that has subtle and delicious hints of almond and cinnamon. The dates in this recipe provide natural sweetness to the ice cream and the coconut cream from the coconut milk cans serve as the creamy ice cream base. We also just used a blender to combine all of the ingredients and needed no ice cream maker! Easy-peasy!
This ice cream freezes nicely and is topped with almonds for a crunch, and if in the need for a more decadent sweet treat, try topping it with dark chocolate chips!
Inspired by Laura Miller
8-10 dates pitted and soaked for about 10 minutes
1 cup almond milk
2 cans coconut milk, chilled overnight*
1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
1/2 tbsp almond extract
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup slivered almonds for topping
1. Add dates and almond milk to blender and blend until smooth (you may also use a food processor).
2. Scoop the coconut cream from the coconut milk cans and place into a mixing bowl (you will not need to use the liquid from the can, but if you would like to keep it and use for something else, store in an airtight container in the fridge).
3. With a mixer, whip up the coconut cream until creamy (about 2-3 minutes). This will help to give your final product that creamy ice cream texture.
4. Add the coconut cream to the blender along with the vanilla and almond extract and cinnamon. Blend.
5. Pour the mixture into a bread pan or you may use any type of container (plastic Tupperware, metal container, etc.) to store ice cream.
6. Place ice cream in the freezer and freeze for about 4-5 hours or overnight before eating.
7. Once ice cream has frozen, scoop into serving bowls and top with slivered almonds!
*When placing in the fridge, turn the cans upside down as it will allow the creamy part to go to the top which will make it easier for you to separate and remove, leaving the liquid part alone.