Ice cream is one of the worlds' favorite comfort foods. It just seems to make everything better, don't you agree? This vegan berry ice cream is smooth, rich, creamy, and fluffy. It's also scoop-able and so easy to make.
Many people don't realize that the mouthwatering world of vegan ice cream even exists. There are so many flavors you can choose from and no, I am not talking about icy, flavorless frozen dairy substitutes. Vegan ice creams, including this vegan berry ice cream, can be as creamy and delicious as the real deal.
The gold standard in vegan world for mimicking the mouth feel of dairy are full-fat coconut milk and coconut cream. Thick, creamy, and milk-like. The only caveat here is the flavor - coconut cream does impart coconut flavor to the ice cream. That's not necessarily a bad thing if you're making coconut ice cream or if you love coconut. But what if you want some different flavors, like vanilla, chocolate, berry? Or what if you don't like coconut?
That's exactly what Jennifer Newman, the owner of Cashew Cow Parlor, asked herself when creating a dairy-free ice cream. Studying different vegan ice-cream formulas (mostly based on coconut cream), she came up with a genius idea - using raw cashews as the base. Curious how it's done? Continue reading ...
Tips for Making Vegan Berry Ice Cream
The base for this vegan berry ice cream is made from cashews. Cashews provide a faint richness without any overpowering flavor. This means that they're easy to mask and you would never guess that there is no cream. As Jennifer Newman shared in one of her interview, "the consistency is really rich and creamy and I would put it up there with with Häagen-Dazs".
Another ingredient that gives ice cream its creamy and smooth texture is oil (in this case, I used coconut oil). Coconut oil is has an advantage over other fats in that it slows down the melting of ice cream. Since I didn't want my ice cream to taste like coconut, I used a very tiny amount, which is all you need.
The flavoring comes naturally, from whole fruit, in this case strawberries and raspberries. However, you could you use any berries you like. I was actually thinking of making triple berry ice cream but then decided to keep it simple.
For the sweetener, I recommend maple syrup (or another liquid sweetener). I prefer liquid sweeteners because they dissolve easily even in cold ingredients. The primary purposes for using a sweetener in ice cream are: to provide sweetness and enhance flavor, to develop smooth and creamy texture, and to make ice cream softer and easier to scoop. How? In general, increasing the sweetener level increases creaminess as a result of the reduction in the size of ice crystals. Smooth and creamy ice cream requires the majority of ice crystals to be small. If many crystals are large, the ice cream will be perceived as being coarse or icy. So sugar in general (be it fructose, glucose, sucrose) is really important.
Yes, I do own an ice cream machine and absolutely love it. If you love ice cream, I would highly recommend getting one. The benefit of using an ice cream machine is that it freezes the ice cream mixture while churning it to aerate the mixture and keep the ice crystals small (less than 50 μm). The result is smooth, creamy, and fluffy ice cream every single time. So if you have an ice cream machine, use it!
If you don't, you can make ice cream even without an ice cream machine. Freezing anything from liquid-to-solid means you’re creating hard ice crystals (= icy ice cream). So as your ice cream mixture freezes, you want to break up those ice crystals as much as possible. I would recommend pouring your ice cream into a shallow pan, put it in the freezer, and keep checking on it every 30 minutes. As it starts to freeze near the edges, remove it from the freezer and stir it vigorously with a spatula, whisk, or a hand mixer (a hand mixer will give you best results). Really beat it up and break up any frozen sections. Return to freezer. Keep checking periodically and stirring (by hand or with the electric mixer) while the ice cream freezes until completely frozen. It will likely take a few hours to be ready.
Tools You'll Need
1. Blender (Vitamix 5200) | 2. Ice Cream Maker (Cuisinart ICE-70) | 3. Measuring Cup (2 Cups, Glass) | 4. Loaf Pan (Lodge, Cast Iron) | 5. Measuring Spoons (Set of 6, 1Easylife, Stainless Steel) | 6. Cookie Scoop (Solula, Stainless Steel)
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Vegan Berry Ice Cream
Strawberry Ice Cream Base
- 5 cups strawberries
- 1 ½ cups raw cashews, soaked*
- ⅔ cup maple syrup
- 1 Tbsp. coconut oil, melted
- ½ vanilla bean
- 1 cup raspberries
- 1 Tbsp. maple syrup
Strawberry Ice Cream Base
- Place the ice cream maker freezer container in the freezer 24 hours prior to making the ice cream.
- Blend all the ice cream ingredients in a high-speed blender into a smooth consistency.
- Pour the strawberry ice cream into an ice cream machine and let it churn according to the manufacturer's instructions (the churning should take about 20 minutes).
If you don't own an ice cream machine but still want to make this recipe, I would recommend pouring the ice cream mixture into a shallow pan, put it in the freezer, and keep checking on it every 20-30 minutes. As the ice cream starts to freeze near the edges, remove it from the freezer and stir it vigorously with a spatula, whisk, or a hand mixer (a hand mixer will give you best results). Really beat it up and break up any frozen sections. Return to freezer. Keep checking periodically and stirring (by hand or with the electric mixer) while the ice cream freezes until it reaches a soft-serve consistency.
- Blend the raspberries with maple syrup into a smooth consistency.
- Pour half of the churned strawberry ice cream base into a loaf pan (or a freezer-safe container, top with the raspberry puree and swirl the two mixtures together, not stirring too much. Then pour in the other half of the ice cream, top it with the remaining raspberry puree, and swirl again. Place plastic wrap, parchment or wax paper directly on top of the ice cream, cover and freeze for 1 hour for soft-serve consistency. For firmer ice cream, freeze for a few hours. (The time will depend on how firm you like your ice cream and how deep/shallow your ice cream container is - anywhere from 2-6 hours). If you aren't using an ice cream machine, once the ice cream base reaches a soft-serve consistency, pour the raspberry puree over the ice cream and gently swirl the two mixtures together. Return to freezer and periodically stir (beat) the ice cream until completely frozen. It will likely take a few hours (from start to finish) to be ready.
- Store leftover ice cream in an airtight container in the freezer for 1-2 weeks.
**Prep time does not include soaking the cashews (8 hours).
Love your website! Can’t wait to try your recipes.
Thank you so much Mary! I hope you enjoy the recipes 🙂
Petra I am addicted to ur channel..;)
I have made many of ur recipes, no sweets for me, and they r right up my alley! Easy, mostly raw, delish, and made with unprocessed ingredients. Can u please make a vegan CHEESE that actually tastes good and is not made with cashews? Also, a vegan LASAGNA....;)
Health & Happiness❤️
Hi Maria - so good to hear from you! I just uploaded a video for vegan (and paleo) cheese that is made from blanched almonds (no cashews). Will that work for you? Also, thank you for your kind words. I am so happy you're enjoying the videos/recipes! It's always very encouraging to read comments like this so thank you! Oh and lasagna is in the works - I have gotten a few requests for lasagna video so now I just have to find some time to film it, lol. But it's coming!
Thank you for sharing. Always look forward to your videos.
Aw, thank you so much, Hazel. You're too kind❤
Great recipes!Absolute in love with this site! 🙂
Thank you so much, Angela! So happy you're enjoying the recipes ❤
I just made this ice cream and it is delicious. Thank you so much. I looked every where for a recipe without Coconuts as the base and this just fitted the bill. I shared it on FB and Instagram. I didn't do the raspberry as I was too busy cooking for the week. I follow you on Youtube and love your recipes. Thanks again
Thank you so much for taking the time to comment and share your feedback, Mariam! I appreciate it more than you know. So happy you liked the recipe ❤️
How many grams of strawberries is 5 cups? The ice cream looks great and I'm hoping to try it out!! Just don't want to get the measurements wrong fan from Singapore..
Hi Matthias - if you look at the recipe box, there are two headlines - "ingredients" and "instructions". Right above the "instructions" headline, there is a green text that says "US Customary - Metric". If you click on the "metric", the measurements will change to grams and milliliters. Hope it helps 🙂
I haven’t tried any of your recipes yet. I just discovered your YouTube channel today. Videos are very easy to follow and makes you want to run to kitchen to try recipes.
I am wondering if the ice cream setting on the vita mix may be used in place of an ice cream machine?
So happy you're enjoying my videos, Pamela. I am gonna disappoint you, but no. The ice cream setting on the Vitamix is there for ice cream that is supposed to be consumed immediately. (For instance, you can blend frozen fruit in the Vitamix, which will result in a soft-serve consistency. If you tried to put the soft-serve into the freezer, you would get something like granita because the Vitamix ice cream doesn't contain the ingredients necessary to hold the emulsion and prevent crystallization). I am using Vitamix for the Berry Ice Cream to blend all the ingredients together. However, freezing anything from liquid-to-solid means you’re creating hard ice crystals (= icy ice cream). So as your ice cream mixture freezes, you want to break up those ice crystals as much as possible. This is why you need an ice cream machine - it churns the mixture as it freezes. Please, let me know if you have any questions 🙂
Although I usually do not prefer fruity or berry tastes in ice cream,I decided to make that strawberry ice cream (without rasberry)because I had a lot of strawberries at home.
So - the taste was unbelievable!!! Soft, smooth, very rich taste of strawberries , extremely refreshing! I was really surprised that I liked it so much!!
We ate it on it's own and with chocolate foundain.
Definitely going to make it again!
Pictures of it were sent to your e-mail :))
Dear, Petra could you kindly advise me if I can make Mango gelato ice cram (no churn) exactly with the same directions/ingredients as the strawberry ice cream, without coconut milk?
Thank you so much for your help!!!
I love that
Awesome! Thank you so much for the feedback 🙂
I just made this ice cream and I liked it so much. It's really good.
Awesome! Thank you so much for the feedback, Jessica! I really appreciate it. ❤️
Hey can I use Frozen berries
Hi Shyma - yes, but thaw them first.
Hi Petra! I love this recipe and all other recipes. You are so calm I really enjoyed watching them. A quick question, can I use a food processor instead of a Vitamix? Thank you and God bless you and your family.
Thank you so much for the kind words, Beulah!❤️ If you have a powerful food processor that can essentially turn nuts into nut butter (you need to cashews to be completely smooth), a food processor should work just fine.
Hi Petra thank you for responding and for your advice. All the best and God bless you and your family.
I want to know if the weight of the cashews is for soaked or unsoaked?
Hi Kay - it is for unsoaked cashews.