As with most foods, the healthiest way to enjoy ice cream is to make it at home. This way, you have total control over the ingredients. Sometimes this is called “N’ice cream,” and there are tons of recipes online and in plant-based cookbooks.
When making your own ice cream, avoid added sugars if possible. Fruit contains natural sugars that may contribute enough sweetness on their own. (Hello, frozen bananas!) Fruit is the healthiest natural sweetener you can find. When you make it yourself, you can also control the other main ingredients. For instance, you can use nuts, nut butters, and homemade nut milk made with cashews, almonds, or pistachios and filtered water.
Lastly, just because it’s homemade doesn’t mean that it has to be boring! You can add toppings like fresh fruits — such as blueberries, strawberries, or mangos — coconut flakes, dark chocolate, nuts, and seeds like chia, flax, or hemp.
Homemade ice cream can be as easy as mixing ingredients in a high-speed blender and eating it as soft serve. Or, you could take it one step further and pour the ice cream into a glass baking dish, then pop it in the freezer. You could also try out an ice cream maker like this one.
Homemade Ice Cream Recipes
Making your own ice cream can be really simple — plus, it’s SO tasty. Try some of these non-dairy ice cream recipes we love.
This recipe only calls for six simple ingredients and a high-speed blender to mix them together. You can then add a number of healthy mix-ins to adapt the final flavor to your liking.Creamy Almond Butter Ice Cream by Unconventional Baker
One Ingredient Banana Ice Cream by thatcleanlife
It doesn’t get much easier than this. The only ingredient is bananas, which you puree and freeze. You can add optional ingredients to personalize the flavor, like non-dairy milk, nuts, peanut butter, or dark chocolate.
If you like using cashews to thicken up soups or make your own sauces, this ice cream recipe takes it to the next level. To make this ice cream, you blend together raw cashews and Medjool dates with water, cinnamon, and cacao nibs.Raw Cacao Ice Cream by Oh Lady Cakes
Although this recipe calls for frozen mango, you could use almost any frozen fruit as the base. Using water to thin, dates to sweeten, and lemon juice to add some tang, this recipe is healthy and refreshing for the whole family. Mango Lemon Sorbet by Simple Vegan Blog
Peachy Keen “Ice Cream”
This is my family’s favorite go-to dessert when we want something fast, tasty, and nutritious. There are infinite variations. Most people enjoy this one in “soft serve” style, or you could eat it in a cone. You’ll want to start by freezing ripe bananas today so that you have them ready to make this dessert any time the urge strikes.
- 2 large ripe bananas, peeled, sliced, and frozen
- ½-¾ cup non-dairy milk
- 1 seedless navel orange, peeled and chopped
- ½ cup frozen peach slices
- ¼ cup frozen mango slices
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ¼ cup raw walnuts or cashews (optional, but fabulous for giving a creamier texture)
- Place all ingredients in a blender, and blend until pulverized. You should eat this ice cream immediately (refreezing will leave you with a solid icy block).
We All Scream For It
We all need fun and pleasure in our lives. And for many people, that’s what ice cream provides. But with a little creativity, you can enjoy sweet, cold, creamy deliciousness without compromising your health.
Note: A Tool For Making Your Own Non-Dairy Milk
Want to make your own non-dairy milk (as a base for ice cream, or for any other reason)? The Almond Cow is a plant-based milk maker that allows you to create milk from any nut, seed, or grain in minutes with easier cleanup and no nut milk bags required. The machine uses a cold blending process to protect the nutrients, so it doesn’t apply heat. You can check it out here. (Use the code FOODREVOLUTION for a special discount.)