Pistachio and Almond Milk Ice Cream Recipe

Pistachio and Almond Milk Ice Cream

It’s not often that one gets to create something unique in the kitchen. Most of our recipes are based on those created by others, with modifications and adjustments to ingredients and quantities. An ice cream or gelato recipe easily falls into this category whereby most approaches are derived from basic vanilla, but I think my almond milk ice cream (more correctly almond milk gelato) is bordering on the invention side. Well, perhaps. The great thing about using almond milk for gelato or ice cream is that almond milk is healthy, nutritionally dense, vegan and lowers your cholesterol. The trick, however, that while normal cow’s milk is totally understood when it comes to the frozen dessert, there are no easily available resources out there that explain how almond milk reacts in ice cream making.

Almonds and Almond Milk

As you may know, successful ice cream and gelato making is all about achieving a balance between sugar and fat, both of which play a part in ensuring the ice cream does not freeze to a solid block full of huge ice crystals and that it has a good, creamy mouth feel. Egg yolks add to the fat content and are the key distinguishing factor between an ice cream (contains egg yolks) and gelato (contains no egg yolks). Additives such as sahlep, cornstarch, xanthan gum or guar gum increase the ratio of solids to liquids in an ice cream, which lowers its freezing point without adding too much in terms of fat derived calories. Alcohol and egg whites are also useful, but result in a “slushy” ice cream if not carefully balanced. And so, my key target was to naturally raise the content of “good” fats in the ice cream by extracting concentrated, rich almond milk, and by further enriching it with the fats from the pistachio nuts. Then the sugars need to play their normal part. I used 80 grams of sugar and 80ml Agave nectar. I like Agave because it is low GI and it is already in a liquid state, which assists in lowering the freezing point. Thickening the mixture with cornstarch is standard gelato business and the result is a smooth, nutty and 80% healthy almond milk and pistachio gelato. Enjoy it before it gets too cold.

Pistachio and Almond Milk Ice Cream Recipe


  • 2 cups rehydrated almonds (soaked in water overnight)
  • 1 cup rehydrated pistachios (soaked in water overnight)
  • 80 g white sugar
  • 80 ml Agave nectar (or an extra 80 g sugar)
  • 4 cups water
  • 20 g cornstarch


  • Put nuts and water in a blender and wizz away
  • When well processed, strain in a cheese cloth, extracting every bit of liquid possible
  • Create a slurry by whisking the cornstarch with half a cup of the extracted milk
  • Heat the rest of the milk with the sugar and Agave and bring to a simmer
  • Add the cornstarch slurry and mix well. It will thicken very quickly, but you must keep stirring for around 2 minutes over the low heat
  • Put in a container, wait for the mixture to cool down and then refrigerate overnight. It will have a wobbly pudding like consistency
  • Churn according to your ice cream maker’s instructions and store in the freezer
  • If it is too thick, and your machine is not up to the task, give it a helping hand by stirring the ice cream in the machine with a wooden spooon. My machine has a crappy engine, and always needs a hand


  • Sounds delicious! I have told myself I won’t get and ice cream churner because of all the ice cream I will subsequently eat, but this healthy version may change my mind.
    Your photos are getting better and better!
    .-= lili – pikeletandpie´s last blog ..Vientiane Dining =-.

  • I love making my own almond milk — and pistachio ice cream is my favorite! Never stumbled upon a vegan alternative to the delicious creamy treat but this… this looks so good.
    .-= Samantha´s last blog ..Lunch =-.

  • This sounds wonderful and I love that you used whole almonds and not pre-fab almond milk. I’ve been looking for the perfect non dairy ice cream recipe and I think this might be it, thanks!!

  • Thanks! My high cholesterol level makes me sooo guilty when I indulge in ice-cream..which is more often than I should. Your recipe makes me so happy.

  • Hey Lili – i can’t tell you how often i use my ice cream maker, and usually i go for making sorbets rather than full fat ice creams. i think it’s well worth it as an investment, but possibly in retrospect I should have bought something with a bit of a more powerful engine (for the rotation)

    Hi Samantha – thanks for visiting. I think almond milk is AWESOME. it looks and tastes good 🙂

    Hi myrecessionkitchen – thanks for your comment. i’ve actually never seen almond milk in shops here, though I’ve looked for it. But almonds soaked in water are such a lebanese thing, and a cheese cloth is part of our repertoire to make labneh, so it’s just logical to make your own 🙂 Let me know if you make it and how you go

    Hi TP – isn’t it great? ice cream that lowers your cholesterol? hehehehe

    Hi Dirtygourmet – let me know how you go 🙂

    Hi Reemski – i took the plunge and haven’t looked back since 😛

    Hey Scott – my machine is a sunbeam gelateria. i should have bought something a bit more robust. the advantage over the one you are looking at is that it has an internal compressor, which is fantastic. it’s also around 5 times the price of ones without a compressor, so it is a serious investment.

  • Wow! I dunno what else to say really. And you seem to have gotten down to the information about ice cream making. One thing I really like about your blog Fouad is the info you always offer in your posts. Very interesting and educational. Keep them coming 🙂
    .-= Viviane´s last blog ..Seafood Jambalaya for Easter Lunch =-.

  • Such a great idea to use almond milk for this non-dairy alternative. Love your simple explanation of how the ice cream making process works. I’m ready to lower my cholesterol anytime!

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