Ice cream. As I’ve admitted before, I’m a recovering ice cream addict. Used to eat it every day. “Hook me up to an IV and intravenously feed me ice cream, don’t even care what flavor”–used to be my thought process.
I still like ice cream. But now it’s vegan ice cream, and while I get excited over it, I no longer need it daily or in large amounts, to function. Just to prove that I haven’t turned into a total Spartan though, I will share with you a deliciously rich creation of mine.
You’re probably wondering why I don’t just let it freeze in the freezer instead of going to all the trouble of freezing it in an ice cream maker. The benefit of the ice cream maker is that it makes the ice cream “fluffy” instead of a rock hard mass that has to be chipped away with an ice pick.
I know, I know. You can buy a vegan ice cream at most places nowadays, especially at a natural food stores where they have literally dozens of flavors and varieties to choose from (my favorite low fat vegan ice cream is by SoDelicious, which is fruit juice sweetened). So, this begs the question, if this is true, why bother to make your own vegan ice cream?
7 Reasons to Make Your Own Vegan Ice Cream
1. It’s not as complicated as you think once you have the right ingredients.
2. It’s so much fun to decide the flavor you want, add mix-ins, make it your own. I consider it art that you can eat, a truly splendid thing.
3. You decide what you want in it. You control the contents.
4. It will be something you can feed your kids in good conscience and not feel guilty if they want seconds or you give it to them after they’ve eaten all their breakfast (I’VE NEVER DONE THAT BEFORE….).
5. You can make vegan ice creams made from ingredients that you’d never be able to buy at the store. Besides soy and rice based ice creams, you can use almond milk, coconut milk, and cashews as a base.
6. You’ll be the coolest gal/guy on the block. I mean, who makes their own ice cream, vegan AND delicious at that?
7. It can be done at at least half the cost of store bought ice cream. Consider, a pint (2 cups, or 4 servings) can cost anywhere from $3-5 or more, you can easily make double that for the same price.
I’ve been experimenting with various flavors and milk bases, and here’s a recent one that I absolutely adore. It’s rich and decadent. Who does not love chocolate and who does not love peanut butter (save those who are deathly allergic to the stuff)? When you combine the two, something magical and transcendent happens.
So what are you waiting for? Get your ice cream maker out of storage, dust it off, and give this recipe a try. Your taste buds are waiting.
Almost Reese’s PB and Chocolate Vegan Ice Cream
I’m not going to lie here. This stuff is NOT low calorie. Or low fat. Not in the slightest. It’s the vegan ice cream version of a Reese’s Peanut Butter cup. Just the right kind of dessert for that extra special occasion (you know you have to have a few of these kinds of recipes up your sleeve).
It is dairy-free and refined sugar free, and can be made soy-free as well if you use chocolate chips that are soy-free. Also, many people are surprised to see me eating or making chocolate things, assuming that no way can chocolate be vegan. Chocolate, or cocoa, rather, comes from the cocoa bean, a plant. So straight up chocolate/cocoa (which doesn’t taste all that great, incidentally) is inherently vegan. Milk chocolate, on the other hand, is not, as milk and usually many other ingredients are added.
I liked using two different milks, but feel free to use the same milk, just be aware that it will change the outcome just slightly. The only truly exotic ingredient in here is the xantham gum, which is sold in most natural food stores, and even some savvy places like Safeway. Xantham gum is used a lot in gluten-free baking and acts similar to fat, having a binding and smoothing effect.
- 2 c. carob rice milk OR plain rice milk
- 1 c. almond milk (I used the unsweetened kind)
- 4 TBS. organic peanut butter
- 1/4- 1/3 c. cocoa powder (depending on the level of rich chocolate flavor desired)
- 2/3 c. raw cashews
- 1/2 c. pitted dates
- 2 TBS. agave nectar
- 1 tsp. green leaf stevia (OPTIONAL, just makes it a bit sweeter w/out added calories)
- 1/2 tsp. xantham gum
- 1/2 tsp. large Celtic seal salt OR 1/4 tsp. fine sea salt
- 1/2 c. chocolate chips (pulse in a food processor a few times to make smaller pieces)
To make: Blend all ingredients except for the chocolate chips, on high until smooth and creamy. In my Blendtec, I ran it through 2 cycles of whole juice. Allow to cool in the freezer for a few hours, or until soft and semi-solid, then put into ice cream maker and make according to the manufacturers directions, or skip this step and go straight to the ice cream maker. Add the chocolate chips about 5 minutes before the ice cream is done.