The day has finally arrived: date sweetened vegan ice cream is here! I am so excited to share today's healthiest vegan ice cream recipe with you guys!
Ice cream is a classic favorite in my family. Growing up we honestly ate an absurd amount of ice cream, like every night was ice cream night. However, once I went vegan this obviously came to an end. During the early vegan days I ate a lot of "healthy" vegan ice creams such as halo top. I loved these in my early vegan days.
However it wasn't until I really started digging deeper into whole foods plant based vegan versus vegan that I realized a lot of vegan foods were simply marketed as healthy. It turns out that in reality they really aren't all that healthy.
After swearing off all ice cream for a period of time, I decided it was time to embark on the mission of creating the healthiest vegan ice cream ever. Well friends, I did it! I present a vegan ice cream sweetened with dates to you all today!
Keys To Making Healthy Vegan Ice Cream:
There are plenty of "healthy" vegan ice cream recipes out there. However many of these are loaded with highly processed oils and refined sugars, neither of which you will ever find here at Theallnaturalvegan.com.
I was very intentional about making this recipe with the simplest most natural ingredients out there. This naturally sweetened vegan ice cream recipe is made sweet using my all time favorite natural sweetener: dates!
I love using dates because they are a low glycemic sweetener, they are high in fiber, and loaded with vitamins and minerals. Therefore dates are not only helping you stay away from unhealthy sweeteners, but they are health promoting, and that is what I am all about here.
I always thought dates were way too expensive, but recently I found the best way to get bulk dates, I am talking 4.4 pounds of premium quality medjool dates for $24!! I am a huge fan of buying bulk foods in general. Things like dates that I use so often in my healthy desserts are normally pretty pricy at the store, so I have completely shifted over to buying dats online.
Can This Date Sweetened Ice Cream Recipe Be Made No-Churn?
Although this healthiest vegan ice cream recipe is made using an Ice Cream Maker, it can technically be made without one. I say technically, because I would still strongly recommend using an ice cream maker. If you do not own an ice cream maker, take this as your sign to invest in one.
I use mine all the time in the summer. Not only is it great for making homemade ice cream, but it's also great for making super thick smoothie bowls and nice cream.
If you do choose to go the no-churn route for this whole foods plant based ice cream, there's a few things you must keep in mind.
First of all, it will be a bit more time consuming. Not significantly more, but just something to keep in mind.
Second, you will need a high quality blender. You need a blender for this recipe regardless if you make it no-churn or not, but you will need one again to make this no-churn. You will also need ice cube trays.
Last, but not least, you will need a quality vanilla extract. It's important to use an extract, because the small amount of alcohol with help keep the ice cream from turning into a solid block.
To make this healthiest vegan ice cream recipe no churn, you have to follow the recipe instructions until you get to the ice cream churning part. Instead of churning you will pour the ingredients into the ice cube trays and then freeze. Wait a couple hours, then remove from the freezer. Add cubes of ice cream to the blender and blend until smooth. You will need to scrape the edges down throughout this process, but in the end it will come out like creamy soft serve!
Why Make Oil-Free Vegan Ice Cream?
There are way too many vegan ice cream recipes out there that contain highly processed oils to substitute for the fat from the cream. With that said I knew I needed to find something with a healthy fat content for this healthiest vegan ice cream recipe.
I went with the beloved raw cashews and coconut milk for this ice cream. This healthy vegan ice cream recipe is by no means low-fat (that is in the works though). However it is made with whole foods plant based ingredients and is high in fiber! Remember it's more important to eat whole foods plant based foods than low-fat/low-calorie diet foods!
Ingredients For This Date Sweetened Ice Cream Recipe:
How To Make This Whole Foods Plant Based Ice Cream:
One of the many reasons I am so obsessed with this date sweetened ice cream is because it is very easy to make. Since I have yet to see a pre-made WFPB Ice cream in stores, making it myself is the only healthy way to satisfy this craving. However if the recipe is too complicated I simply wouldn't make it.
Luckily this recipe only takes a couple steps. First, make sure to soak your dates and cashews. You really only need to soak them for a few hours. However I usually let them soak overnight so I don't have to think about it.
Once soft, add cashews, dates, and the water they were soaking in to a blender. Add the vanilla extract and coconut cream. Blend until silky smooth.
Once smooth, pour into your ice cream maker and churn for about 45 minutes. You can either enjoy right away as soft serve, or pour into containers and enjoy as scooped ice cream.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What Does Date Ice Cream Taste Like?
You may be thinking that since this ice cream is sweetened with dates that it might have an overwhelming date flavor. It does not. This ice cream will remind you of your favorite childhood vanilla ice cream. The dates are blended up so fine that you won't even be able to taste the date flavor, just the sweetness!
How Long Is Homemade Ice Cream Good For?
Homemade vegan ice cream has a surprisingly long freezer life if stored properly. Since this date sweetened vegan ice cream is dairy-free it won't go badly as quick as regular ice cream. However since you are making it at home, it's important that all the tools you use are super clean to prevent any bad bacteria getting int the ice cream.
It's also important that the date sweetened ice cream is also stored properly. If stored poorly this ice cream can develop freezer burn. To avoid that I store mine in ice cream containers. I then top the ice cream with parchment paper to ensure that the top isn't openly exposed to air. If you follow these steps your ice cream will last for at least a month in the freezer (although I doubt you can stay away for that long)!
Is Vegan Ice Cream Healthier?
Vegan ice cream is healthier than dairy ice cream. This is due to the ice cream being dairy-free. Therefore it is lower in saturated fat, and free of the cholesterol building ingredients found in regular ice cream. However most vegan ice creams are loaded with refined sugar. For this reason I stay away from them.
This date sweetened vegan ice cream recipe is special, because it is naturally sweetened. This ice cream has all the sweetness you know and love in ice cream, but is free of all the processed ingredients. That's why I say it's the healthiest vegan ice cream ever!
Healthiest Vegan Ice Cream
- Begin by soaking the cashews and the dates in the 1 ½ cup water for at least 8 hours, or overnight. Place the coconut milk can in the fridge overnight as well. ensure the your ice cream bowl and maker is ready for use as well.
- Once the cashews and dates have soak, make sure the you save ½ cup of the water(I personally save it all, and use the extra in smoothies for a little sweetness, but make sure you save ½ cup for this recipe).
- In a high speed blender, add the cashews, dates, vanilla extract, the ½ cup of soaking water, and the white coconut cream scooped off the top of the can. Blend the mixture for 2 minutes until everything is blended up and you get a super smooth cream mixture.
- Pour the mixture into your ice cream maker a churn for 45 minutes. It should be soft serve ready! If you want it to harden up more you can place it in a plastic or glass container for about 2 hours, and you will be able to scoop it (as seen in the picture). Either way, enjoy!