I am so stoked to share today's Vegan Coffee Ice Cream with you guys! This rich and decadent dessert is sure to be a crowd please amongst vegans and non vegans alike. The best part? It's super healthy and made with whole foods plant based ingredients! That means no oil, no refined sugar, nothing artificial, etc!
Why Making Homemade Ice Cream Is Worth It:
Pre-made ice cream is everywhere. It's so easy to buy a pint, why would anyone make homemade ice cream these days? Trust me, I get it. I grew up eating pre-made ice cream every day for dessert. However once you start making homemade vegan ice cream, there's no going back.
First things first, homemade ice cream is so much healthier. Even pre-made vegan ice cream brands that claim to be healthy fill their ice creams with stabilizers, sugars, oils, preservatives, etc. I have yet to see a truly whole foods plant based ice cream in a grocery store.
This is why making ice creams like this Vegan Coffee Ice Cream at home is so much better. This recipe contains only 5 all natural ingredients. The best part is that this recipe is not only free of the bad stuff, but these 5 ingredients have health promoting nutrients!
Second, making homemade ice cream is actually much more affordable (compared to "healthy" store bought vegan ice creams). I love buying my plant based ice cream ingredients in bulk at the beginning of summer and then using them to create tons of homemade ice creams all summer long. Even if you don't purchase these ingredients in bulk, it is still more affordable than a $6+ pint of ice cream.
Lastly, and most importantly, the flavor is unmatched. The other day I bought a store bought ice cream for the first time in months just to try it. Even with the added sugar, it could not compare to my homemade ice cream. The flavor is so amazing you have to try it to believe it ;)!
Ingredients For This Vegan Coffee Ice Cream:
- Medjool Dates - This is what gives the ice cream natural sweetness and a slight caramel flavor. Dates are full of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. This is why they are the perfect natural sweetener, because they don't spike your blood sugar, and they provide nutrients.
- Coconut Milk - Make sure to buy full-fat coconut milk that is free of preservatives. You can use ones that contain guar gum (that's what I used), but make sure it doesn't have anything else. You can make this Vegan Coffee Ice Cream low fat by using lite coconut milk, but the end result will be more icy.
- Raw Cashews - Make sure to use raw cashews and not roasted cashews. Roasted cashews are loaded with highly processed oils and lose a lot of their nutrients in the roasting process. If you use roasted cashews, the texture won't be as smooth, or creamy. I always get my cashews in bulk from Wilderness Poets. You can save $10 off your purchase with my code: "VEGAN10" 🙂
- Vanilla Extract - I tried Mexican Vanilla for the first time when my parents brought some back for me when they went to Mexico. I was dumbfounded. The flavor is 100x better than regular pure vanilla extract. I was ecstatic when I found the same vanilla they brought back on Amazon. It's a little pricier (keep in mind that it is a 16oz bottle), but it is absolutely worth it. I will never go back to regular vanilla again.
- Instant Coffee (espresso powder)- It is absolutely crucial that you use a quality instant coffee. If you use a low quality instant coffee it can ruin the whole recipe. If you're looking for a good brand that you can find in stores I recommend Cafe Bustelo.
- Ice Cream Cones (optional)
What You Need To Make This Ice Cream:
- Ice Cream Maker - Any ice cream maker should work, but here's a link to the one I have if you're looking to invest.
- High Speed Blender - I could not recommend investing in a Vitamix enough. They are truly worth all the hype.
- Large Bowl - You will need a bowl large enough to fit the dates and cashews and completely cover them in water.
- Ice Cream Container - If you want to make this Vegan Coffee Ice Cream scoop-able you will need to freeze it after churning. You can use any container, but I love using these for homemade ice creams!
How To Make This Vegan Coffee Ice Cream:
This Vegan Coffee Ice Cream recipe is very easy to make. However it does take time. First, begin by de-pitting your dates and adding them to a bowl along with the raw cashews. Add water to the bowl (make sure everything is covered), and place in the fridge to soak for at least 5 hours, or overnight.
Once the cashews and dates are super soft, strain them. I like to save the water and add it to my smoothies and such. It's super sweet from the dates, and contains some vitamins and minerals!
Add the dates and cashews to the blender along with the coconut milk, vanilla extract, and instant coffee. Blend until silky smooth (I blended mine with my Vitamix for about a minute and a half just to be safe).
Once smooth, pour the vegan coffee ice cream mixture into the ice cream machine and begin to churn. It can take anywhere from 30-50 minutes. Things like temperature of your house, the ice cream machine used, and more can all effect the time it takes.
Once the ice cream begins to stick to the mixing handle, it is done. You can either serve it immediately as soft serve, or place it in an ice cream container (or any container) and freeze for a couple hours and scoop it.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Can I Make This Vegan Coffee Ice Cream Decaf?
Ice cream is a dessert, and dessert is usually consumed at night time. Therefore this Vegan Coffee Ice Cream can be a problem for some people who are sensitive to caffeine (like myself). However the goods news is you can still enjoy this homemade ice cream as a night time treat without the caffeine.
You can absolutely use decaf in the place of regular coffee. I do want to point out that it is super important to use a decaf that is made by water processed. It is much healthier and doesn't contain the harmful chemicals found in standard decaf.
Can I Use A Regular Blender For This Recipe?
If you don't own a Vitamix, do not fear. You can absolutely still make this recipe using a regular blender. It may not come out quite as smooth and creamy, but you can still achieve ice cream. If using a regular blender, I would encourage you to let the dates and cashews soak overnight so that they can blend easily.
Is Vegan Ice Cream Healthier?
Whether you're vegan, or non vegan, this recipe is for you. It's extremely rich and creamy. However it is not low-fat. You are probably wondering how it could be healthier if it is still high in fat? Here's the thing: it's the type of fat and fiber coontent.
Since this Vegan Coffee Ice Cream is made with nuts, it is not high in saturated fat like traditional ice cream. It instead contains healthy monounsaturated fats. This fat is healthy, and does not lead to weight gain (if eaten in moderation of course).
Since this recipe is whole foods plant based, it also contains a lot of fiber. Traditional ice cream does not contain any fiber since the ingredients come from animal based products. Fiber is essential to a healthy lifestyle, so finding ways to incorporate it into your diet is crucial. Recipes like this make it so easy to eat more fiber!
- Peanut Butter and Jelly Ice Cream
- Mint Chocolate Chip Popsicles
- Iced Gingerbread Latte
- Cherry Almond Ice Cream
Vegan Coffee Ice Cream
- Begin by adding your raw cashews and medjool dates to a large bowl and covering completely with water. Place in the fridge to soak for at least 4 hours, or overnight.
- Once soft, strain and add to a blender (you can save the sweet water for smoothies and such!), along with the coconut milk, vanilla extract, and espresso powder.
- Blend on high for about a minute, or until silky smooth.
- Pour into the ice cream maker and churn for 30-45 minutes, or until it sticks to the mixer.
- You can either serve immediately as soft serve, or place in an ice cream container and freeze for a couple hours and scoop it. Enjoy!