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How To Make Homemade Vegan Ice Cream—Plus Some Unique Flavors To Try

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With so many wonderful vegan ice creams on the shelves, why bother making it? Well, there’s still nothing finer than eating your own made-to-order frozen goodness, created with ultra-fresh homemade almond cream, especially since you can make delicious uncommon flavors by adding just a few ingredients. (You do need an ice-cream maker, though.) Here’s my dairy-free spin on some New England favorites: Grape-Nuts (yup, the cereal) ice cream, which has a soft crunch and malty notes; Rhode Island–style coffee milk ice cream; and a vintage-inspired frozen pudding ice cream with bits of rum-soaked fruit.

Almond Cream Ice Cream

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  • 1/4  cup raw (unroasted) cashew pieces
  • 1 cup freshly made almond cream*
  • 1/3 cup organic sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. refined coconut oil, melted
  • 1 – 2 tsp. flavor extracts (pure vanilla, almond, coconut, etc.), optional
  • 1/8 tsp. salt 

Cover cashew pieces with 2 inches of water and soak for 1 hour. Drain and transfer to a blender with the almond cream and sugar. Pulse until silky smooth. Add refined coconut oil (virgin coconut oil has a strong flavor that can overwhelm this mild-tasting base), flavor extracts if using, and salt. Pulse until blended. Pour into a container, cover, and chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours. 

Set up an ice cream maker and add the cold ice cream mixture. Churn according to manufacturer’s instructions, or until ice cream has firmed up to your desired consistency, and serve immediately or transfer to a freezer-safe container with a lid. Freeze for 1 hour for firm, easier-to-scoop ice cream. 

Grape-Nuts Ice Cream

Stir in 1/4 cup of Grape-Nuts cereal before chilling; the cereal will soften and flavor the ice cream. Churn ice cream until firm, then fold in another 1/4  cup of Grape-Nuts. 

Coffee Milk Ice Cream

Whisk 2 Tbsp. coffee syrup or 2 tsp. decaf instant coffee into the ice cream base. Chill for 1 hour then churn.

Frozen Pudding Ice Cream

Combine 1 cup finely chopped mixed dried fruit (raisins, apricots, pineapple, pears, or cherries are best) with 1/2  cup dark rum and soak overnight. Add to ice cream base along with 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract. Chill thoroughly before churning. 

*To make almond cream: Cover 1 cup raw, whole almonds with 2 inches of water and soak for 6 hours. Drain, transfer to a blender, add 1 1/4 cups water and a pinch of salt, and pulse until very smooth. Pour contents into a nut milk bag and firmly squeeze, “milking” as much cream as possible from the bag. (Set almond pulp aside for baking or DIY face scrubs!). Keep chilled up to 3 days and shake well before using.

By Terry Hope Romero

Photographed by Nikole Herriott and Michael Graydon 

This article originally appeared in the June/July 2018 print issue of BUST Magazine. Subscribe today!

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