There is something about vanilla ice cream, especially in the summer, that just makes everything better. From berry pie to juicy stone fruits, this dairy-free ice cream elevates anything from average to a memorable dessert. Chia seeds pack mega-nutrients, yet these little black beads are tasteless, so why not add them? The procedure below is the traditional process for making ice cream bases and custards, and once you master it, you’ll never forget it. The most vital part is to ensure the eggs don’t curdle so make sure you cook the mixture very slowly once the eggs are added. Also, be aware that it freezes very hard so you will have to leave it at room temperature for 20 minutes or so before digging in. If you don’t have an ice cream maker you can use this as a sauce instead.
Dairy-free Vanilla Chia Ice Cream
2 c unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1/3 c coconut sugar
6 large egg yolks
2 tsp vanilla extract or seeds from ½ vanilla bean
3 tbsp chia seeds
Pecan and date crumble, for serving (optional)
Prepare a large bowl with ice. Heat milk, vanilla, and 2 tbsp sugar in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat until simmering. Whisk remaining sugar and egg yolks in a large bowl. Slowly pour half of milk mixture into egg mixture, and whisk quickly until combine. Pour egg mixture into saucepan and lower heat to medium-low. Constantly stir with a whisk until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon (it should reach about 170 degrees F). Then quickly pour into a medium bowl, place in an ice bath and stir in chia seeds. Once temperature is luke-warm (about 90 degrees F), chill in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours. Churn in an ice cream maker, transfer to a shallow container, and store in the freezer.