A vegan version of one of my favorite summer treats—blueberry cheesecake ice cream! This healthier dessert is free of dairy, gluten, and refined sugar!
When I was younger, my grandparents used to make homemade ice cream, but it wasn’t the same as the cute little machines you get nowadays.
(I have this one). My sister, cousin, and I would be outside swimming in the pool and my papa would bring this big wooden barrel out of the garage into the backyard. We would get so excited and run over and ask a million questions, “Papa, can I help?” or “What is this, Papa?” and “Why does it do that, Papa?”.
We’d watch as he put the tin container full of the ice cream mixture into the barrel and pile layers of ice and rock salt over the top. Then he’d turn it on and we waited anxiously for it to finish so we could peak inside and see how fluffy it had gotten…and of course we were hoping he’d let us sneak a taste!
Each time I make homemade ice cream I’m reminded of those sweet childhood memories. Hopefully when my children are older, they’ll have fond memories of making these treats with me.
This vegan-friendly ice cream is adapted from my No-Bake “Cheesecake” recipe, since cheesecake ice cream has been one of my favorite flavors since I was a kid! I used blueberries, but you could easily use a different berry if you’d like.
Because this ice cream doesn’t have many of the same ingredients as regular ice cream, like heavy cream, sugar, and corn syrup (which all help it to stay soft and scoop-able) it’s usually pretty firm when it first comes out of the freezer. Just place the container into the fridge 10-15 minutes before serving, so it can soften a bit or use a scoop which has been sitting in hot water.
I hope you enjoy this healthier ice cream as much as we did! If you make it please tag me and use the hashtag #wifemamafoodie in your photos on Instagram! I just love seeing your creations!!
- 1 cup Raw Cashews (soaked in water overnight, drained, and rinsed clean)
- 1 cup almond, cashew, or coconut milk
- 1 cup Coconut Cream (NOT cream of coconut. Can also replace with full-fat coconut milk)
- ⅓ cup soft pitted Dates
- ¼ cup Maple Syrup (or organic granulated cane sugar, for softer ice cream)
- ¼ cup melted/softened Coconut Oil or olive oil
- juice of ½ lemon
- ½ tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- pinch of salt
- *The ice cream base works best if you have a high powered blender. If not, I'd recommend straining it before pouring it into your ice cream maker to remove any large chunks of cashews and/or dates. Make sure to pre-freeze your ice cream machine bowl at least overnight. Place pre-soaked cashews, milk, coconut cream, dates, maple syrup, coconut oil, lemon juice, vinegar, vanilla extract, and pinch of salt into your blender. Blend until mixture is smooth. Strain if any large pieces remain.
- Pour mixture into your ice cream machine (I use this one) and churn for 30-45 minutes, until it's scoop-able, like soft-serve.
- While the ice cream is churning, prepare your blueberry swirl. Place ¾ cup frozen blueberries and maple syrup into a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook until the berries come to a simmer, mashing them up to create a sauce.
- Mix together cornstarch with the water to make a paste. Pour into the blueberry mixture and cook until sauce thickens. Remove pan from heat and stir in remaining ¼ cup whole blueberries. Refrigerate until ready to use.
- Pour soft-serve ice cream into a loaf pan or small freezer-safe container. Place dollops of blueberry filling over the ice cream and swirl in with a butter knife or off-set spatula. Smooth ice cream across the container, cover, and freeze until firm.
- Because this ice cream doesn't contain lots of granulated sugar or fat from heavy cream, the ice cream may be hard when you first remove it from the fridge. Use an ice cream scoop which has been sitting in hot water to help with scooping or place ice cream into the fridge for 10-15 minutes prior to scooping, to help it to soften a bit.
2. You can replace coconut cream with heavy cream if not vegan or dairy-free.
3. If you can't have cashews, you can try to replace them with macadamia nuts, but I haven't tested it myself.
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