For a simple, homemade plant-based ice cream, give this versatile coconut milk ice cream a try. It makes
the perfect base recipe for any add-ins — nuts, fruit, carob or chocolate — whatever you like!

8 (1 cup) servings
Cook Time: 1 hour
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

1 can coconut milk
1 cup raw cashew nuts
1/3 cup liquid sweetener
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup pitted dates
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon guar gum or xanthan gum (optional)
6–8 cups ice cubes, or more

1. Place all ingredients except ice in the blender and blend until smooth. Add ice and blend. Stop as needed to stir. Blend just until smooth but not too long — overblending will heat the mixture and make it runny.

2. The ice cream in your blender should now be the consistency of a thick smoothie, or thicker. You want it to be as thick as possible without being too grainy with ice. If making a fruit-flavored ice cream (see variations), add frozen fruit at this point and blend briefly just to chop the fruit to the desired consistency. Pour into containers (3–4 pint-sized containers work well) and freeze about an hour, or store in the freezer for future use. If frozen ice cream is too hard when ready to use, leave at room temperature until soft enough to scoop. Or soften ice cream in the microwave 30 seconds, then stir until it’s the consistency of soft ice cream. Serve immediately.

This recipe works best in a high-speed blender. If you have a smaller blender, try cutting the recipe in half for best blending results. Or, don’t thicken the ice cream with ice; instead, blend it thinner by adding soy milk or water. When mixture is blended smooth, pour into containers and freeze. It will be somewhat crystalline in texture, but that can be fixed by thawing the mixture slightly and blending a second time, carefully pushing the frozen mixture into the blades while running (be careful not to go too deep!) and using a little nut or soy milk to get it blending. Pour this thick mixture back into the containers and freeze until ready to use.

If you have an electric ice cream maker, blend mixture with less ice and more water or soy milk (soy milk makes the mix a bit richer; however, the recipe is rich enough if you choose not to use it). Pour into canister and freeze according to manufacturer’s directions.

Cherry Variation:
In Step 1 above, add 1/2 can (12 oz.) frozen cherry-apple juice concentrate. At the end of Step 2, when mixture is blended, add 1 cup frozen, pitted cherries and blend briefly just to coarsely chop the cherries.

Strawberry or Other Berry Variation:
In Step 1, add 1–2 cups frozen strawberries, raspberries, or blueberries. If fresh berries are used, more ice can be added until mixture is thick and creamy.

Carob Ice Cream:
In Step 1, add 1/2 cup dark carob powder and 1 teaspoon Roma or other coffee substitute.

Other Variations:
Instead of coconut milk, consider using one of the following:

  • Soy milk
  • 1 heaping cup cashew pieces
  • 1 heaping cup blanched almonds
  • 3/4 cup cashew pieces and 1/2 cup cooked rice

In all these variations, soy or nut milk may be used for a richer ice cream, but only add enough liquid to make a total of 3 cups mix (in Step 1) before adding ice. Follow directions as given.

calories 262.16, fat 16.58g, sat fat 10.38g, cholesterol 0mg, sodium 135.84mg, carbohydrates 28.25g, fiber 1.62g, sugar 21.48g, protein 3.75g