Visions of large marble slabs and tiny compartments of different candies, chocolates, sprinkles, breakfast cereals and syrups were dancing around my brain before this photo shoot.
As much as I am the type of person that values whole foods, nutrient density and a paleo-esque way of eating -- I still think there is something so magical about those ice cream experiences waiting in line at a beach front for a giant cartoon-like swirl of your favourite soft-serve -- or waiting impatiently at a Cold Stone Creamery to add in your favourite mix-ins.
I am getting old ( late 20s you are the WORST) and as a result I find myself getting overly nostalgic but still overly concerned over the state of my body and how to improve it while that's still somewhat manageable (OK I KNOW I AM BEING DRAMATIC).
Cue: Allergen friendly ice cream. Made with coconut milk, dates, fleur de sel and almond milk but it tastes absolutely decadent and creamy.
I was pouring through the internet trying to find the best way to sweeten it when I came across recipes using date paste - thank you internet!
I have used date paste in my healthy Twix Bars and Protein Crunchy Caramel Bars. OH and my Healthy Snickers Bars, too! So I was beyond happy to pull out my bag of dates again.
The weather the past few weeks has been wonderfully warm. Maybe too warm, at times. But I am not complaining -- laying out on my deck getting some pretty weird tanlines has always been my favourite summer-time activity ;)
BUT with the heat comes craving some cold treats. Iced coffees (dolla dolla drinks, y'allll!) and ice cream and popsicles and anything else to keep cool, really.
I LOVE Oreo McFlurry's. Honestly if I could eat them everyday without consequence, I would. I have no shame.
But sadly outside of the sugar content the dairy causes me intense stomach pain. Kind of like I am being stabbed. Whaddup lactose intolerance!
My Aunt introduced me to some paleo-friendly ice cream from the supermarket but honestly....this stuff just blows it out of the water. I wish it didn't. I wish I could go pick up a tiny overpriced tub of what tasted like vaguely flavoured coconut water BUT ALAS I CANNOT BECAUSE IT SUCKS IN COMPARISON TO THIS STUFF.
I can't wait to turn this into an ice cream cake because DQs ice cream cakes are my jam and they similarly torture my soul with their siren's song.
WELL SCREW YOU POPULAR ICE CREAM ESTABLISHMENTS! I HAVE THE SOLUTION!
And don't worry. Now that I know how easy it is to make no-churn ice cream at home without an ice cream maker I will be coming up with lotsssss of fun variations for you ;)
I chose Salted Caramel Brownie to start because the date paste is already caramel-y. I added some caramel flavouring but you don't have to! And brownie because those protein bars are SO delicious and even better to have a healthy brownie mixed in, right?!
Salted Caramel Brownie No-Churn Vegan Ice CreamServes 4-6
Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Vegan, Refined Sugar Free
- 1 Vegan Protein Brownie Recipe (or your favourite GF/Vegan brownies! I just suggest my recipe because they are no-bake! You can leave off the chocolate topping if you want!
- 1 recipe of No-Churn Caramel Vegan Ice Cream (below)
- Additional add-ins: Extra sprinkle of Fleur De Sel or fine sea salt, Dark chocolate chunks, Broken pieces of gluten free pretzels, raw cacoa nibs -- the sky is the limit!
For the Salted Caramel No-Churn Vegan Ice Cream
- 2 cans Coconut Milk, Refrigerated for at least 24 hours or over night (I used Thai Kitchen!)
- 20 pitted dates, soaked in hot water
- 1/4-1/3 cup almond (or other non-dairy milk)
- 1/4 teaspoon Fleur De Sel (if you want the Salted Caramel flavour)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or good quality vanilla extract
- 3-4 tablespoons maple syrup
- Optional: 1/4 teaspoon caramel flavouring or a few drops English Toffee Stevia Drops
- Place your mixing bowl in the freezer -- this is the bowl for our coconut milk and it needs to be cold!
- If you have not already, place your dates in boiling hot water (enough water to cover them -- we are draining most of this out!) and set aside
- After dates have been soaking for 5-10 minutes drain 80% of the liquid and blend in the strongest blender or food processor you have! I added the almond milk, maple syrup and flavouring directly to my date paste to help cool it down and help it blend. You want a thick but smooth date paste.
- Open your cans of coconut milk and scoop out ONLY the thick white cream on top which should have separated from the coconut water in the fridge. You can keep the coconut water aside for your own personal use!
- Scoop the thick coconut cream out, remove your bowl from the freezer and toss it in with Fleur de Sel and additional flavouring if you are using any!
- With either a hand mixer or stand mixer, start whipping your coconut cream until it gains volume ( 3-4 minutes)
- Before it's full whipped add in your date paste mixture
- Continue whipping until your mixture has stiff peaks -- do not over whip! It will not be super thick but it should be the consistency of a slightly loose yogurt.
- Once whipped, chop your vegan protein brownies into small chunks and fold into your ice cream. You may also choose to add in chopped walnuts, dark chocolate chunks, more sea salt, cacao nibs or other fun -add ins at this stage!
- Line a deep loaf tin or baking dish with plastic wrap (not 100% necessary, you can just plop it into your tin -- I did use wax paper and it totally fell apart so I don't recommend it!) and scoop in your ice cream.
- Cover your tin/dish with tin foil and freeze at least 4 hours before serving for a soft ice cream, or overnight for a firm ice cream (in the case of the latter you will need to let it sit 15-25 minutes before serving!)
- Use wherever ice cream is called for!
- Keep ice cream covered in the freezer for between 7-10 days
As you can probably tell, I added some extra walnut pieces and dark chocolate to the top as well as some vegan Enjoy Life chocolate chips throughout. SO GOOD!
It its nice to have the chewy brownies, crunchy walnuts, dark chocolate and sweet and salty caramel. SO GOOD!
If you are freezing it overnight make sure to let it sit on the counter for 15 - 20 minutes or scooping will be impossible!
Or you can use your brute strength to try and get it out earlier. Which is what I did because I was so damn impatient. It didn't work, BTW.
Nearly broke my wrist AND would have missed out on the ice cream. Worst.
Scoop it up and share with 4 people. Or 6 people who are REALLY good at sharing.
So 4 people.
Enjoy the creamy decadent deliciousness that is your new favourite treat. You're welcome!
Happy Ice Cream Scoopin'!