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Mint chocolate chip avocado ice cream

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Here’s a recipe for those of you who love mint chocolate chip ice cream and want a healthier version that you can make at home. Purely Twins offer their vegan, dairy-free version made with avocado. I know—avocado doesn’t sound that great in ice cream, but wait until you try this before you pass judgment. This recipe contains 2 avocados and a banana, along with a couple of other ingredients, and the texture you end up with is very similar to that of real ice cream. Plus, you really don’t taste the avocado as long as you get avocados that are at the correct stage of ripeness—neither brown and softly overripe nor hard and underripe. When you get a perfectly ripe avocado, all you’ll experience is the buttery rich avocado smoothness. When in doubt, opt for an avocado that is slightly underripe rather than too ripe; it will have a more subtle flavor.

This is a super easy recipe to make—so easy that if you like it you’ll be able to whip it up on the spur of the moment whenever you want. Throw some ingredients into the Vitamix, whir for a few seconds, spoon it into a bowl, toss in the chocolate chips, and put it in the freezer. Then you stir it every half hour until it’s done, which could be within an hour if you just make half a batch. Or if you have an ice cream machine, you could make it in that instead.

I think you’ll like this recipe as long as you don’t do what I did. As I was measuring out the peppermint extract over the mixing bowl, I fumbled the measuring spoons, and the extract poured right past them onto my hand and directly into the ice cream ingredients. Instead of a tablespoon of peppermint extract—which is quite a bit to begin with—I ended up with a much larger unknown quantity. The extract on my hand gave me that chilly feeling you get with peppermint; it feels like ice water except the cold doesn't go away until you wash it off. I looked at the bottle of extract, and there was only a tiny bit left, so I knew I’d poured way too much in. The extract was almost the last ingredient in the recipe, so I didn’t want to dump out the whole batch because of it, and I thought, “How bad can it be?”

Eating a spoonful of of this super-minty ice cream was like inhaling the fumes from a York Peppermint Patty the size of a major planet. I felt the peppermint chill in every cell of my body. When I inhaled, my lungs felt like I’d inhaled a jar of Icy Hot. My cheeks flushed bright pink. Actually, it was worse than that, but I can’t think of any words pepperminty enough to describe it. It was incredibly bitter too. Fresh peppermint leaves always have a slight tinge of bitterness in them, and this was magnified about 4,000 times. It was mega bitter. I was ready to throw it all away after the first spoonful, but since it had chocolate in it, I decided not to give up just yet. I added some more maple syrup and tried it again. Still terribly bitter. Then I added a little pinch of stevia. Better, but not good. Finally, after doing all I could to salvage it I pitched it, remaining chocolate chips and all. The fact that I threw out actual bits of chocolate should give you some idea how bad this was.

So! Just use the right amount of peppermint extract and you’ll be fine. Despite my accident with the extract, I could still tell that this recipe is a keeper. I’ll be making it again, and this time I won’t measure the extract right over the bowl. Lesson learned.

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