This ice cream is so easy to make! You don’t need any fancy equipment or special ingredients. All you need is a blender, a freezer, and a handful of basic ingredients you can find at any grocery store. As long as you have those things, you have vegan ice cream in your future!
I’ve been making nice cream – blended frozen bananas – for longer than I can remember, but today I felt like making propper vegan ice cream, aka dairy-free ice cream. You might be wondering: What’s the difference? Well, one is a semi-frozen smoothie that should be eaten as soon as it’s ready, and the other is a frozen dessert that can be stored in your freezer and eaten at your leisure – sorry, didn’t mean for that to rhyme.
You can make this recipe three different ways: without sugar, with sugar, or with dates. I made it with sugar because that is how real ice cream is made. I also don’t have any dates at the moment. The reason real ice cream doesn’t freeze into a solid block of ice can be summed up in one word: sugar. It changes the freezing point. Salt also does this, but salt is not something you want to add in large quantities to ice cream – unless that’s what you’re into for some odd reason.
Without sugar, the mixture would turn rock-hard in the freezer, rendering it inedible; so I used some. Well, a lot. But you don’t have to use sugar. Considering dates contain high amounts of sucrose – the kind of sugar ice cream makers like to use – they should also work just fine. Of course, the berries and bananas have sugar in them too, but not enough to substantially lower the freezing point of the ice cream – hence why they freeze easily on their own.
Now, let’s talk about flavor and texture. More specifically: sweetness and smoothness. If you’ve ever tasted melted ice cream – of course you have – you may have noticed it tastes overly sweet. It basically tastes like flavored sugar-cream. That’s because when foods get cold, the flavors are dulled. So, ice cream that is a little too sweet when it’s melted, tends to be just right when frozen. Fat is another major ingredient that makes ice cream taste so good. In fact, by definition ice cream is supposed to contain at least 10% fat – anything less, and you effectively have gelato. Fat also adds smoothness to the texture. Normally, this fat comes from milk, but in our case, the coconut cream supplies a sufficient amount. It lacks the emulsifying properties of milk fat, but it still works well. If you want a better emulsification, you can add a little bit of guar gum, which will aid in preventing the fats from separating, ensuring an evenly smooth and creamy consistency.
Lastly, and this should probably go without saying, you can make this ice cream using any fruit you like in place of raspberries. Enjoy!