Adventures in Almond Land

So, this ride on the gestational diabetes merry-go-round, I decided that I wanted to go even lighter on the whole dairy thing than I did when I was pregnant with Baby.

Okay.  I don’t really want it.  But, with my numbers looking like they live on a pogo stick in spite of the insulin shots, I’m willing to try nearly anything.  (I refuse to try eel.)  This isn’t that big of a deal.  I limit my dairy intake to tiny amounts of cheese, cream cheese, and margarine.  The killer is that I’ve been craving ice cream.  I want cold.  Creamy.  Yumminess.  It may be less than 40 degrees outside, but I want it.  Plus, I got my ice cream maker for Christmas, and I want to use it, dang it.

So far, I’ve tried making three different recipes for actual almond milk ice cream.  The first one I made came from the first recipe of the three listed and consists of almond milk, greenish bananas, cocoa powder and Splenda.  That one’s really good…although it’s more of a sorbet than ice cream in my opinion.  I’ve made it twice with the bananas, and then yesterday, I substituted 15 ounces of pumpkin purée for the bananas.  (Pumpkin has a lower sugar content + higher fiber that seems to = lower blood sugar for this girl.  However, the side trip to Pumpkinville is a topic for another post)  That tasted pretty good as well, although I probably could have (read should have) made it a little sweeter.  Pumpkin is pretty mild, but apparently when mixed with unsweetened cocoa, it morphs into an almost coffee-like flavor.

I’ve also made the “normal” vanilla ice cream base in my Better Homes and Gardens cookbook just substituting almond milk for the dairy stuff.  Good, but I still wasn’t terribly happy with the texture.  Almond milk makes weird custard, apparently.  Who knew, right?

Remember how I was pondering how to make instant pudding with almond milk last post?  No?  That’s okay…neither did I.  Anyway, I gave it a shot today.  Apparently, if you halve the liquid called for, it instantly achieves extra-thick pudding-y goodness.  I made a double batch of white chocolate pudding using that method, then decided upon reflection that it was a little too thick.  (It started strangling my blender, so…)  I added an extra cup of milk, plus a teaspoon of almond extract and 2 tablespoons of Splenda, and BOOM!  Great flavor without the wateriness of almond milk.  I let it set for about 10 minutes, and then ran it through my ice cream machine.

My husband was really happy about his dessert tonight.  So was I.  I have all kinds of pudding boxes with various flavors in my cabinet…let’s hear it for finding a use for them!

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