Dairy-free Chocolate Orange Ice Cream

When I was thirteen or so I spent a few sunny Saturdays at Golden Gate Park.  A typical Bay Area weekend destination, right?  I’d agree, except my days weren’t spent riding the carousel, climbing the beautiful Strawberry Hill, or watching the buffalo graze.  Instead, I was at the casting pond with my dad, learning how to fly fish (or, more accurately, f*&king around with a rod and fishing line and biding my time until we could drive past the buffalo again.)

I remember going back to the casting pond at least a handful of times, though.  No, it wasn’t because I developed a passion for the sport.  I think you’d be hard-pressed to find any thirteen year old girl eager to fly fish.  My return to the pond was built upon the promise of post-casting visits to Swensen’s, an old-fashioned ice cream parlor.  Apart from the kitschy atmosphere, Swensen’s offered one thing that you wouldn’t find elsewhere: the coveted Swiss Orange Chip flavor, reminiscent of those foil-wrapped chocolate oranges you find during the holidays.  So, while my dad never instilled in me a passion for fishing, he did pass on his good taste in ice cream flavors.

Though there’s no ice cream maker involved, this simple dessert sets up beautifully.  The bit of fat from the coconut milk allows it to retain its creaminess in the freezer.

If the chocolate orange flavor profile isn’t your thing, change it up!  Leave out the orange and/or chocolate, add a different type of fruit, or drop in a few spoonfuls of peanut butter for my favorite classic variation.  I know banana ice cream has been featured just about everywhere, so there’s no lack of ideas around the internet.
Chocolate Orange Banana “Ice Cream”

  • 4 ripe bananas, sliced and frozen
  • 3 or 4 tbsp cocoa powder
  • zest of one orange
  • 1/4 cup full fat canned coconut milk
  • pinch of salt
  • optional: chocolate chips and sweetener – sugar, agave, stevia (Depending on your tastebuds and the ripeness of the bananas)

1.  Place all ingredients in food processor and grind until smooth and creamy.

2. If too thick, add more coconut milk.

3. Taste and adjust sweetener to your liking

This can be eaten immediately or stored in the freezer.  After freezing, allow the ice cream to sit out for 5-10 minutes to thaw out a bit, as it will be difficult to scoop straight out of the freezer.

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4 thoughts on “Dairy-free Chocolate Orange Ice Cream

  1. The ice cream looks so rich and creamy! This is gonna be a verrry long night, it’s close to midnight here and if I’d already had the frozen bananas nothing would stop me from having a late night (or rather early morning) dessert. Luckily I have all the ingredients, so this will be a truly luxurious breakfast:) I need to ask, were the pictures taken before or after freezing (if after, how long did you keep it in the freezer)? I want to try and get the same texture, it looks fantastic. Thank you so much for sharing the recipe.

      • This ice cream was fantastic! I am a huge fan of the chocolate-orange combination and in this ice cream the orange flavour came through wonderfully. I used 4 Tb cocoa powder but I didn’t get the same dark colour, did you add the optional chocolate chips here? Or maybe it was just the cocoa brand… I’m definitely making it again. Thank you so much for the recipe and for the extra details.

      • Awesome, I’m so glad you liked it!
        You’re right – the color difference is probably due to using different brands of cocoa. I did add chocolate chips, but only after blending the ice cream.

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