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Vegan Ice Cream

Vegan Ice CreamIn my mind, a good vegan ice cream recipe is an essential part of any happy vegan's diet! Many vegans report that giving up ice cream was the hardest part of becoming a vegan.

Not to worry though! There are plenty of ways to make tasty nutritious ice cream in lots of yummy flavors that are compeltely dairy-free.

It does take some adjustment to new textures and flavors, but you'll find that once you really get dairy out of your system, the options for vegan ice cream are as delicious and varied as regular ice cream.


The Cuisinar Ice Cream and Sorbet MakerThe Cuisinart Ice Cream and Sorbet Maker

The Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker will do a great job of making your vegan ice creams and sorbets smooth and creamy. You can quickly and easily make up to 1-1/2 quarts of your favorite frozen desserts - enough to serve 4-5 people!

To make your own vegan ice cream, you will need a good ice cream maker (I recommend the Cuisinart above), and you'll need to make a bit of space in your freezer for the cylinder - depending on how frequently you want to make ice cream.

It takes quite a while for the cylinder to freeze - about 24 hours - so if you plan on making ice cream frequently, then it's best to find a permanent home for it. This way you can just pull it out ready to use when you need it rather than having to plan way ahead.

There are several ways to make an ice cream base that is suitable for vegans. Many people use soy, but as it can be harmful to your health, it's better to use a nut base for raw ice creams, or coconut milk.

Here's a great coconut milk base:

You'll need:
2 cans organic coconut milk (refrigerated overnight)
1 cup Turbinado (What's this?)
1/2 tbsp organic alcohol-free vanilla
1/4 cup organic coconut oil

This makes a great basic vanilla ice cream on its own. To create different flavors, try some of the ideas below:

  • Chocolate - Add 4 -5 tablespoons of raw cacao powder, raw carob powder or both.

  • Mocha - Follow the directions for the chocolate ice cream, but replace 2 tablespoon of the chocolate with 1 tablespoon of instant coffee granules and add 1/4 cup of strong brewed coffee.

  • Oreo - Hand mix 1 cup coarsely crumbled Newman O's into basic mixture or into a chocolate or mocha mixture.

  • Strawberry, Blueberry, Cherry - Add 1/2 cup of fruit, fresh or frozen and reduce sugar to 1/2 cup. Hand mix 1/2 cup of the chopped fruit into the mixture after it is blended and just before you place it in the canister.

  • Chocolate Chip - After blending the main mixture, hand mix in 1 cup of vegan chocolate chips.

  • Mint Chocolate Chip - Add 1 1/2 - 2 teaspoons peppermint extract to the main mixture and then hand mix in 1 cup of vegan chocolate chips. You could also add a few drops of natural green food coloring.

Vegan Sorbets

Although the term vegan sorbets might be a bit redundant - sorbets are by definition made without dairy - it is accurate if it describes the substitution of processed white sugar, which is not vegan.

I often find that my vegan smoothie recipes make great bases for vegan sorbets. All I do to make mango sorbet is throw my mango smoothie recipe into the ice cream maker and voilá!

For a basic sorbet you'll need:
4 cups fresh or frozen fruit, thawed
1/4 cup agave nectar or turbinado

Blend the fruit and sweetener in a high-speed blender until you have a smooth, thick mixture. Remove to an ice cream maker and process until frozen. If you're using frozen fruit, it's best to thaw it out first. Also, do not add juice as you want as thick a mixture as possible.

Pear and Ginger Sorbet

Pear Ginger SorbetYou'll need
6 ripe pears (a little over-ripe is actually the best)
1/4 cup turbinado
1 -2 tsp fresh grated ginger (depending on how much "kick" you like!)

Blend ingredients in a high speed blender until the mixture is smooth. Pour into an ice cream maker and let it run until the mixture is firm. Remove to a container and freeze for 1-2 hours until the mixture is completely firm. Serve with slices of pears and garnished with blueberries.

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