Chocolate Hazelnut Ice Creams

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These decadent chocolate hazelnut ice creams are not only vegan, dairy free and refined sugar free, but a great source of healthy fats to boot. If you have any avocados that need using up, these ice creams are the way to go!
Prep Time 15 mins
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Hello! How has your week been my friend? I hope amazing.

We’re slowly edging our way back into summer here in NZ, so our wee family of four has decided to return to our partial-Waihesian existence.  If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll no doubt have seen my vids of us traipsing too and from Waiheke Island, to stay with my Mum who lives at Palm Beach.  Last summer, we headed over here for four weeks, then never quite fully came back…


So here we are again, living a half mainland, half-Waihesian existence, which I must say, is pretty amazing. Basically, Mila stays on the island during the mid-week with my mum, going to an island-based preschool called Beginnings (she’s friends with all the boys – so funny). I then ferry over on a Thursday eve, work remotely the next day, and Tony comes to meet us Friday after work. We then spend the whole glorious weekend here on our island paradise!

It’s a bit more effort certainly, and I do miss Mils during the mid-week. But the time we end up then spending with her on the weekend is even more precious, and I find I’m much more able to be present.

Also, the connection she’s developed with my mum as a result is unparalleled. My own nana died before I was born, so I’m somewhat jealous of the amazing set of grandparents Mila has (seven no less, including two great grandmothers!). It’s so incredible seeing her connection with my mum, so for the summer months at least, we’re pretty happy with this crazy gypsy island lifestyle.

Speaking of island life though, I think it’s about time for some ice creams with you! These lovely luscious slabs are a total revelation.

Most dairy-free ice cream uses either coconut or cashews to make a creamy base sans-dairy, but these use a very special secret ingredient instead… Blended with antioxidant rich cacao, creamy hazelnut milk, a dash of sweetener, and pinch of vanilla, it creates the most heavenly dairy-free ice cream. Topped with a drizzle of choc and crunchy activated hazelnuts, these beauts are a chocolate lovers dream.

The kids and lads will go wild for them, but let’s be real here – I’m hoping you’ll make these for yourself!

How much fat is too much fat?
One question I’m often asked is how much fat we should be eating and how much is too much? I recently did an analysis on a sample consumption day of my own, and was surprised to find that my percentage calorie contribution from fat was in fact 54%, with carbohydrates at 34% (5% being fibre) and protein at 11%. That’s quite a high fat percentage compared to traditional dietary guidelines. In saying that, I am in a slightly more unique situation than most in that I am breastfeeding, and not trying to reduce my weight at all. And importantly, every single percentage point of that fat comes from plants, not animals.

A key starting point to consider when assessing your own diet in terms of how much fat to consume, is that fat as a macronutrient is more nutrient dense than its carbohydrate and protein counterparts. In particular, fat contains 9 calories per gram, compared to carbohydrate and protein at only 4 calories (and alcohol at 7 calories).

Chocolate Hazelnut Ice Creams

Fats are incredibly vital to the body, and despite what you were told in the 90’s (low fat, low fat!), are a fantastic and absolutely necessary part of your diet. In particular, they provide the structural components of every single one of our cell membranes, including those in our brain, enabling optimal function and the carrying of messages between brain neurons. They’re also vital for the absorption of fat soluble vitamins, including vitamins A, D, E and K. Fats are also necessary to build hormones, which regulate almost all processes in our body, including our sex hormones. This is particularly important for women, who were those most affected by the low-fat fad of the 90’s, which lead to a host of hormone related health issues such as endometriosis, polycystic ovaries, skin conditions and infertility.

Chocolate Hazelnut Ice Creams

I always begin by recommending a diet which is rich in five key food groups – vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds, legumes and whole grains. A diet based on these food groups is going to be naturally balanced in energy giving complex carbohydrates, high quality plant-based proteins, and heart healthy plant fats both saturated and unsaturated. This type of plant based whole foods diet will naturally put you at around 10-12% protein, with the remainder being made up of carbohydrates and fats. The optimal split between these last two macronutrients will then depend on whether you are aiming for weight loss or maintenance. For loss, you may want to keep your fats towards the lower end of the band (I recommend ~15% at a minimum), while for maintenance these can be higher (ie up to my 54%).

Chocolate Hazelnut Ice Creams

The protein in your diet will maintain the structural components of your body (muscle and the like), while the fat and carbohydrate combination can be used as energy. Moving your body to a state where it can effectively utilise both carbohydrates and fats as energy is an optimal place to be, as it will enable your metabolism to mop up excess body fat (adipose tissue) when it needs to, and utilise dietary fat as well as carbohydrates as fuel when body fat isn’t in excess.

Chocolate Hazelnut Ice Creams

Back to these incredible ice creams, there’s not much more to say other than – a) they’re delectable, b) they’re quick and easy, and c) you have to try them! This recipe makes enough for 8, but if your mould is smaller (4-6), you can pour the remainder into ramekins and refrigerate, to make a dreamy chocolate mousse.

Chocolate Hazelnut Ice Creams

I’ve used dried and activated hazelnuts for my topping, and store-bought hazelnut milk. You can read about drying and activating your nuts here, and if you’d like to make your own hazelnut milk, you can do that here. Otherwise, store-bought lightly roasted hazelnuts (or roast them lightly yourself, see the notes below), are also amazing.

If you make these luxuriously indulgent (but full of heart-healthy fats) Chocolate Hazelnut Ice Creams, let me know what you think in the comments below! Or if you’re a food-snapper like me, share your beauties on Instagram with the tags @begoodorganics and #begoodorganics. I can’t wait to see your versions!    Have an incredible rest of your Friday. I hope you’ve got something equally as luscious as an island-getaway planned too!

Have an incredible rest of your Friday. I hope you’ve got something equally as luscious as an island-getaway planned too!

Chocolate Hazelnut Ice Creams

Please note – if you are wanting to meet any of the specific dietary requirements below, please read my recipe notes.

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Chocolate Hazelnut Ice Creams

5 from 2 votes
AuthorBuffy Ellen
Servings 6 Ice Creams
Prep Time 15 mins

Ingredients

Ice Cream

  • 2 ripe avocados ~2 cups
  • 1 1/4 c hazelnut or almond milk unsweetened
  • 1/3 c cacao powder
  • 1/3-1/2 c coconut nectar
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil melted
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp guar gum optional
  • pinch sea salt

Chocolate Topping

  • 3 tbsp cacao butter melted
  • 3 tbsp cacao powder
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp coconut nectar
  • pinch sea salt

To Sprinkle

  • Crushed hazelnuts dried activated

Instructions

  • Blend all ice cream ingredients in a high speed blender until super creamy and smooth.
  • Pour into ice block moulds, pat down to remove any air bubbles, place an ice cream stick in the centre of each and pop in the freezer over night.
  • Run warm water over the ice cream moulds to loosen, then lay the ice creams down on a tray.
  • Whisk together the chocolate topping ingredients and drizzle over the ice creams, sprinkling straight after with crushed hazelnuts and more drizzle until it’s all used up.
  • Pop back in the freezer for at least half an hour or until completely firm again before serving. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

  • You can also use 1 tsp lecithin instead of the guar gum, to help prevent the ice creams from becoming frosty and ice crystal-y in the freezer.
  • If you don’t have dried and activated hazelnuts you can alternatively use lightly roasted hazelnuts (150 °C for 12 minutes).
  • If you don’t have homemade hazelnut milk, you can use store bought, just check whether it has any sweetener added (look in the ingredients list on the back). If so, reduce your coconut nectar by 1 tbsp. 
  • You can replace hazelnut milk with almond milk also, this just will give a slightly more neutral flavour to the ice creams. 
  • Coconut nectar can be substituted with any other sweetener of your choice – I recommend as my next top two choices brown malt rice syrup, or yacon syrup for diabetics/blood sugar management. 
  • If avocados aren’t in season, swap them out for two bananas. I’ve also done a delish combo with one avo and one banana when I didn’t have two on hand. If you use bananas, lower the coconut nectar as they will add some sweetness already. 
  • Top tip – when avos are in season, stock up! Simply remove from the skin and freeze so you can make ice cream all year round. 
  • These ice creams can be stored for up to two months in the freezer. Any longer and they start to get icy. 
  • They are also super yum topped with cacao nibs as well as hazelnuts.