Finally!!! After SEVEN EPIC FAILS...tadddaaa! i give you a dairy free, ZERO SUGAR ADDED, creamy delicious ice cream!
A creamy vegan, scoopable (is that a word?) ice cream with fresh in season blueberries & wild frozen blueberries. Sweetened with only 4 dates, the blueberries & a touch of stevia.

I was on a mission, not only was this ice cream going to be Vegan, I was going to add no sugar, i was determined, i was convinced... and apparently that is much more difficult then it sounds! There are 3 main elements that help an ice cream have that amazing creamy smooth texture:
1) High Fat (good fat i assure you!)
2) Sugar
3) a really expensive ice cream maker (we are talking the thousands of dollars kind), this is what aerates the ice cream.

sooo... I had 1 out of 3 :-/

These 3 factors are what prevents ice crystals from forming; cause who wants a crunchy ice cream? nope, no thank you!

After many trials and tribulations (read: EPIC fails), the key here was the combination of the right ingredients with the help of one mystery Ingredient:
Xanthan Gum.
I researched it thoroughly, it is produced through fermentation of plant based products, and added to products as an emulsifier to help ingredients blend more effectively.
In this case, it binds the fat particles in my ice cream mix, preventing ice crystals from forming.

I researched any possible negative effects of Xanthum gum, i have found none in my research, and as i only used 1.5 tsp of this, added to a dessert, which is not something we should be eating every day as is, i feel the use of this ingredient is justified... or so i tell myself. For those of you who are gluten free, Xanthum gum is almost always present in gluten free baking, as it mimics the chewiness that gluten creates in baked goods.

difficulty level: beginner

prep time: 10 minutes

"cook" time: 10 minutes, plus resting & freezing time.

equipment needed:

  • high powered blender
  • hand or stand mixer
  • ice cream machine (I have the $55 Cuisinart ice cream maker)

what you need:

  • 1 cup quick soaked cashews. Pour boiling water over the cashews, let soak uncovered fro 55 minutes
  • 1 cup canellini beans rinsed and drained. i guarantee no one will know this ice cream has beans in it, unless you tell them ;)
  • 1/4 + 3 tbsp unsweetened almond milk (plain or vanilla)
  • 4 dates chopped into little pieces
  • 2 tsp powdered stevia
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup + 1 tbsp coconut cream. place a can of full fat coconut milk in freezer for 10 minutes (do not shake), the solid white stuff at the top is coconut cream. do not discard the coconut water below.
  • 12 tbsp of coconut water left over from the can of coconut milk.
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp thawed, wild blueberries (found in the organic frozen fruit section). measure when thawed.
  • 1/2 cup fresh blueberries or berries of choice.
  • 1.5 tsp xanthum gum. I use Bob's red mill brand. You can find on Amazon or at whole foods

what to do:

phase 1:

  • The day or night before, place your ice cream churning bowl in the freezer to properly chill
  • place all ingredients in blender, whirl away 30 seconds, stop and use spatula to scrape sides, return 30 seconds more, if blender stops spinning mixture, stop, add 1 tbsp more almond milk, tap blender receptacle on counter, return and whirl.
  • once the mixture is blending smoothly, continue blending for 2 minutes, we want this custard to be super smooth. taste and adjust flavor to preference by adding a touch more stevia. blend 1 minute again if adding anything, especially if you added some more blueberries or anything solid. The important thing is to have a very very smooth finished consistency.
  • transfer custard to a tall large Tupperware, cover, and place in fridge for a minimum of 3 hours to cool thoroughly

Phase 2:

  • take out of fridge, using a hand mixer (or stand mixer) whisk the custard on high speed for at least 2 minutes, this helps to aerate the custard... and was my clever way of doing so WITHOUT purchasing a $5000 ice cream maker! ;)
  • Take your your fully frozen ice cream maker churning bowl out of the freezer, assemble ice cream maker and start it running, pour the custard into the ice cream maker.
  • let ice cream churn 3-4 minutes, it will start to thicken, slowly sprinkle in the 1/2 cup fresh berries, letting them fold into the ice cream.
  • let the ice cream churn another 3-5 minutes, gently pushing things around with a spatula if your ice cream stops spinning in the ice cream maker.
  • transfer ice cream to a tupperware, cover and let sit in freezer for 45 minutes.
  • once the 45 minutes have passed, TAKE THE ICE CREAM OUT, AND FROM NOW ON DO NOT STORE IT IN THE FREEZER. Yep you read that right, Store it in the fridge. Since this ice cream has no sugar added, it will turn into a frozen rock if stored in freezer. However, due to the beans and Xanthum gum, it beautifully keeps in the fridge, and has an amazing scoopable consistency, firmer then a soft serve ice cream.

If you prefer, you can scoop the ice cream into serving dishes and place them in the freezer for 10 minutes prior to serving for a slightly firmer consistency.