This chocolate mint chip ice cream is rich, creamy, and dairy-free (!!!!). It includes just the right amount of mint and espresso powder to amp up the deep chocolate flavor, and is sure to be a summer favorite whether you're limiting dairy or not.
Guys, I have something to confess. In the grand scheme of things it's not anything major, but to a food blogger it's a Big deal. Capital B 'big'. I kind of, sort of, am limiting my dairy intake, JUST in time for ice cream season. 😐 Not to bore you to tears, but I've had a few tests done to see if my sneaking suspicions of food sensitivities were in fact true. Turns out they are, and limiting dairy was the suggestion handed down. NOT eliminating completely, thank goodness, because there are a few foods within the dairy realm that I'm fine to eat (yesssss!), but I'm cutting out all gratuitous dairy-eating, saving my dairy intake for the really good stuff, and experimenting with alternatives to integrate into my diet.
I say this because one time in college, I used all that medical knowledge I picked up in my accounting classes (so, none) to convince myself I had a sensitivity to peanut butter and swore off it for two years. I really liked peanut butter, too! And guess what? No sensitivity to peanuts whatsoever. I'm still a little sad thinking about all of those missed opportunities to enjoy Reese's peanut butter cups. At least that's what I tell myself when I reach into the bag for an extra one now and then. 😉
Thankfully my issues are very mild in comparison to those who need to be strict about eliminating dairy completely, but I'm a liiiittle bit excited to use this as an opportunity to cook, bake, and learn about new ingredients and techniques currently outside of my kitchen comfort zone. You'll still see recipes with milk and cheese ("but what about the cheeeeeseee??") on My Sequined Life because cheese is positively delicious, but more often than not they will probably be dairy-flexible. You can use whatever type of milk works for you, substitute or eliminate cheeses, etc.
SO, in short, I've been experimenting with dairy alternatives, starting with ice cream (because, priorities). This post is actually a recipe remix - a dairy-free makeover of the double chocolate mint chip ice cream I shared a few months ago - and geez, is it good.
The ice cream base consists of full-fat coconut milk and unsweetened almond milk, and is creamy and has that deep, chocolate-y rich flavor that's SO one of the best things about ice cream. It has a small amount of peppermint extract (⅛ teaspoon) to give just the right amount of mint without overpowering everything. There is an optional bit of espresso powder that I find intensifies the chocolate flavor, but it wouldn't be an issue if you'd prefer not to use it. Last but not least, dark chocolate chunks are swirled into the mix to make this ice cream even more decadent. If you're truly dairy-free, you may wish to use dairy-free chocolate chips/chunks, but otherwise just use the standard variety.
No matter if your diet is dairy-free or dairy-full, this ice cream is sure to please. 🙂
Dairy-Free Chocolate Mint Chip Ice Cream
- 1 ⅓ cup plus ¼ cup unsweetened almond milk, divided
- 4 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 13.5-ounce can coconut milk
- ⅔ cup granulated sugar
- 2 Tablespoons agave nectar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅓ cup plus 3 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- ½ teaspoon instant espresso powder (optional)
- ⅛ teaspoon pure peppermint extract
- ¾ cup dark chocolate chunks or chips (choose a dairy-free variety if desired)
- In a small bowl, whisk together ¼ cup of the almond milk and cornstarch together until cornstarch is dissolved. Set aside.
- In a pot (at least 4 quarts) set over medium to medium-high heat, pour in the remaining 1 ⅓ cups almond milk, coconut milk, sugar, agave nectar, salt, cocoa powder, and espresso powder (if using). Whisk so that ingredients combine and sugar, cocoa powder, and espresso powder dissolve. Let mixture come to a low boil, then let cook for a few minutes, occasionally stirring. After 4-5 minutes, pour in the almond milk/cornstarch mixture and stir. Let mixture come back to a low boil and cook for an additional few minutes to thicken, stirring frequently.
- Remove pot from heat and stir in peppermint extract. Pour into a large plastic bag (or two small ones) and seal. Set bag(s) in a bowl filled with ice water so that ice cream mixture cools quickly. I also placed the bowl in the refrigerator to help speed the process along.
- After a few hours or whenever mixture is chilled, pour into ice cream maker and prepare according to your ice cream maker's directions. Just before ice cream is finished, add chocolate chunks. Ice cream will be soft at this point, like soft-serve. Transfer ice cream to a container and freeze.
Nutritional information is provided as an estimate. As it can vary due to many factors (brands used, quantities, etc.), we cannot guarantee its accuracy.Food Safety and Nutrition Disclaimer
Jess @ Flying on Jess Fuel says
Ooooh this ice cream looks perfect. I bet you don't even miss the dairy. Chocolate and mint is definitely the best combo!
Dear Alyssa, I just made ice cream for the very first time with coconut milk and it was fantastic! Who knew ice cream could be so equally delicious without the dairy. This looks so creamy and wonderful. xo, Catherine
Kristine @ Kristine's Kitchen says
I'm not eating milk or ice cream right now because of nursing, but luckily cheese doesn't bother my baby girl. I'd have the hardest time giving up cheese! This ice cream looks so rich and creamy, I wouldn't miss the dairy at all if I had a bowl of this!
Gayle @ Pumpkin 'N Spice says
Oh I'm loving that this is dairy free, Alyssa! It looks so decadent and delicious! Mint chip is one of my favorite flavors, so I can only imagine how decadent this must be! Yum!
Denise | Sweet Peas & Saffron says
Oh man! I had to cut out dairy when I was nursing, and I had a really hard time (mostly because of the cheese part). But if you have already figured out dairy free (and delicious-looking!!) ice cream, you're well on your way 🙂 This ice cream looks beyond amazing, I would never have guessed it is dairy-free!
Ok I am buying an ice cream maker. I can't resist this. Your photos are excellent!
Thalia @ butter and brioche says
Mint and chocolate has to be one of my favourite combinations ever.. so I totally am wanting a scoop of this ice cream right now. It looks so rich and delicious - despite being dairy free?!
Natalie @ Tastes Lovely says
I've given up dairy for loooong bouts of time before. You can totally do it! (says the girl who literally ate a cheese quesadilla for lunch 30 minutes ago, ha!) This ice cream sounds delicious. I need to pop my ice cream maker in the freezer so I can make it!
I love a good bowl of ice cream and this sounds delicious with the almond and coconut milk! I love all this chocolate-mint goodness and the espresso seals the deal for me!
Thanks Marcie! Chocolate-mint is a favorite...so is espresso! 🙂