Eat something green this Sunday, St. Patrick’s Day, March 17th or be pinched. No I’m just kidding. But in honor of this Irish tradition, celebrate the day with this oh so yummy green vegan pistachio ice cream.
Why is it that we must wear green or fear the pinch on this fun and festive day? St. Patrick’s Day has become a global celebration of all things Irish, and green is the color most representative of Ireland with its lush rolling landscape, the bit of green on its flag, and of course green is the color of the shamrock – the St. Patty’s Day symbol. Wearing green on St. Patrick’s Day in honor of the great country of Ireland began because rumor had it that those who donned the color green were invisible to leprechauns – the tiny little mischievous men that scurry around pinching all of those who forget or refuse to wear green. St. Patrick’s Day started as a show of Irish patriotism with parades on March 17th, and it has grown into a world-wide party with traditional foods like corned beef and cabbage.
So as an ode to all things Irish, I am making this green vegan pistachio ice cream. And it is gooo-oood! I am a lover of all things creamy (as you probably already know), so this indulgent treat hits the spot.
I started out with a huge bag of roasted pistachios, still encased in the shells. My first step was to shell the little guys (you can purchase them in the bulk section at Whole Foods already shelled if you’re smarter than me), which turned out to be no small task, as my raw fingertips can attest. Next, I soaked my pistachios in filtered water overnight. Not only does this part of the process make it easier to remove the remaining skins, but it also softens them up, so processing them into a paste becomes easier. After soaking my pistachios, I gently ran them under water and rubbed them between my fingertips to remove excess skin (for those of you really smart ones, you can also purchase pistachio paste, and use 1 cup in this recipe).
The last step in preparing my pistachios is to grind them into a paste using my Vitamix, although a food processor or coffee grinder would both work equally as well.
After achieving a smooth paste, I added the avocado for a little more green color and creaminess (why not, right?!), coconut milk (I chose Native Forest because it’s organic and comes in a BPA free can), juice from a lemon, honey, vanilla, and almond extract to my Vitamix. After blending on high until the mixture is smooth and creamy, I poured my pistachio pre-ice cream into my ice cream maker. I have a Cuisinart ice cream maker, and I love it. So easy to use – I just store the bowl in the freezer all the time, so it’s frozen and ready for ice cream making.
The ice cream maker turned my green mixture into this creamy treat after about 30 minutes of churning. I garnished the ice cream with a few sprinkled pistachios on top and a bit of olive oil (sounds unappetizing, but it brings out the nutty taste of the pistachios, so don’t skip this step!). Fantastic! Happy St. Patrick’s Day to everyone!
- 1½ cups shelled pistachios, soaked and skins removed
- 1 avocado
- 3 cans organic coconut milk
- ⅔ cup honey
- juice of ½ a lemon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon almond extract
- optional: garnish with pistachios and a drizzle of olive oil
- Process the pistachios in a blender or food processor until a paste forms.
- Transfer to a large blender container, and add avocado, coconut milk, honey, lemon juice, vanilla, and almond extract.
- Blend until mixture is smooth and creamy.
- Pour into an ice cream maker, and turn on to churn until mixture is frozen, about 30 minutes.
- Serve immediately, and transfer what is remaining to a container for storage in the freezer.
- Optional: garnish with pistachios and a drizzle of olive oil