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There’s almost nothing better than a big scoop of ice cream on a hot summer day. The creamy, satisfying texture and rich mouthfeel is hard to beat! Dairy-free frozen dessert alternatives to traditional ice creams are rising in popularity, and they continue to pop up in pints in the freezer section of grocery stores. In honor of National Ice Cream Month (and National Ice Cream Day on July 21!), the iTi Innovation Team would like to share the benefits of utilizing coconut cream as an alternative to dairy milk in your frozen dessert applications.
Here are 3 tips and a base recipe to make dairy-free frozen treats that are so delicious, your customers won’t even miss the dairy!
1. Create your base:
If you desire a final product that is ultra-creamy, silky smooth and decadent, then using a base with a higher fat content, like coconut cream, is your best bet. Since fat has a different rate of freezing than water, your finished product will have a creamier, smoother texture that is less icy.
iTi Tropicals offers 24% fat coconut creams that will provide your dessert with a smooth and rich texture. The higher fat content provides flexibility to create a finished product that suits your desired nutritional profile, with options to dilute the coconut cream with water, coconut water or even fruit juice for an extra pop of flavor!
2. Select your Sweetener:
Your sweetener options can be selected based on your label and desired target consumer. A granulated sweetener like cane sugar or coconut sugar is a good choice. When working with granulated sweeteners, be sure to dissolve the sugar in the base before churning it – which means you’ll also have to chill the base for longer before being able to make your finished product. Alternatively, you can opt for a liquid sweetener like honey, maple syrup, or agave.
When using eggs to create ice cream, you’re essentially making a custard base which then gets churned and frozen. Custards tend to be extra creamy with a very smooth, thicker texture. The lecithin in egg yolks acts as an emulsifier – the proteins in the yolk bind with water and fat molecules in the milk, which results in a stable and creamy end product.
However, the dairy-free consumer is often avoiding eggs as well. By using a natural thickener, such as xanthan gum, you can create the same mouthfeel and experience you get with dairy and egg- based ice cream using just coconut milk. The coconut milk does double the work in non-dairy frozen desserts, providing both the body and the stability for the product.
Give dairy-free frozen desserts a try by starting with this easy base recipe!
Dairy Free Frozen Dessert Base Recipe
13.5oz Coconut Milk, Full Fat
2200 iTi Tropicals Coconut Cream 24% + Water
8 oz. Almond milk or cashew milk
150g Liquid sweetener, such as honey or tapioca syrup
2.5g Xanthan gum
0.5g Kosher salt
- Blend all ingredients with a high shear mixer until combined.
- Chill and follow the directions for your ice cream maker on the length of time to churn.
- Add complementary flavors such as vanilla extract or iTi tropical purees after blending base ingredients.
- Inclusions such as cookies and nuts can be added 5 minutes before churning is complete.
Tags:  Ice Cream ice cream applications national ice cream day non-dairy non-dairy coconut cream