Welcome to the inaugural “Sweet Splurges” column for the new Healthy Aperture blog! Just a quick intro – I’m Deanna, a food –loving dietitian who blogs at Teaspoon of Spice with my business partner, Serena. Our tagline is “two dietitians who love food as much as you do” so we definitely are dessert lovers, too. Along with Regan Jones, the creative mind behind Healthy Aperture, we also are the founders of The Recipe ReDux - a delicious, nutritious recipe challenge and healthy food blogger community.
So, I’m thrilled to be able to share my sweet tooth with you along with my quest for tweaking desserts to be a bit healthier whenever I can. And since it’s the middle of a hot hot summer where I live (I’m not complaining, really), I knew I had to go with a super, cooling treat.
The inspiration behind this ice cream pie came from a local gelato shop in Philadelphia. Capogiro makes the most delicious gelato this side of Italy and it was love at first bite when I first tried their avocado gelato. I found a similar recipe in the beautiful My Sweet Mexico cookbook by Fany Gerson so I started testing ways to lower the calorie content a bit – which I did by cutting back on the sugar using a reduced-fat milk and adding in some nonfat Greek yogurt.
Avocados provide a decent amount of fat, however, it’s mainly monounsaturated fat – the kind that is better for our hearts - plus they provide almost 20 vitamins and minerals – a pretty healthy gem of a fruit in my book. (And yep, they are considered a fruit, which should make it a no-brainer when it comes to including them in desserts.)
After making this avocado ice cream a few times with my 6-year-old daughter (she loves to scoop out the avocados – though she’s still a strictly vanilla or chocolate ice cream kind of girl), I decided to create an icebox dessert version and came up with this super easy chocolate coconut pie crust.
If you prefer, you could skip the crust all together and simply freeze it in a pie plate or popsicle molds. As long as you have a decent blender, you don’t need a special ice cream maker with this one – just your trusty freezer to work its magic.
Avocado Lime Ice Cream Pie with Chocolate Coconut Crust
- For the Crust:
- 3 tablespoons virgin coconut oil or unsalted butter
- 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate
- 1½ cup unsweetened coconut, toasted
- Ice Cream Filling:
- 3 avocados, pitted and without skin
- 1 cup 2% milk
- ¾ cup sugar
- ½ cup nonfat Greek yogurt
- ¼ cup lime juice (about 2 limes)
- Pinch of salt
In a small saucepan over low heat, melt coconut oil (or butter) and chocolate, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and mix in coconut.
In a greased 8-inch pie pan, pour in the crust mixture and gently press until bottom and sides are covered. Chill in refrigerator for 1 hour.
In a blender or food processor, add avocados, milk, sugar, yogurt and lime juice. Blend until smooth. Pour into and spread over pie crust. Freeze until firm (at least 2 hours.) Let stand at room temperature for 5 – 10 minutes before cutting and serving.