Make this healthy cauliflower ice cream two ways, as an ice cream shake, and as scoopable ice cream. You cannot taste the cauliflower! And this recipe is an incredible way to get one of the most nutritious vegetables on the planet into your diet.
4-ingredient Cauliflower Ice Cream & Smoothie
As you know, I am a big proponent of smoothies without bananas.
I love bananas actually, and their intriguing ability to turn into dairy-free ice cream is indeed remarkable, but we have a daughter who can't eat bananas so we have to work out recipes that also include those without bananas.
If you are familiar with my recipes, you know that I use frozen zucchini quite often in smoothies as a thickener. And today, I am using frozen cauliflower!
To be honest, I didn't boil/steam my own cauliflower and chop and puree. Instead, I bought frozen cauliflower rice and microwaved it to cook it. Then I cooled it and measured out what I need for this recipe.
It's just ridiculously convenient and the frozen cauliflower rice is just cauliflower so I'm quite excited about it.
Of course, it's a just a few extra steps to boil fresh cauliflower, chop and cool and puree, so don't be deterred if that is the route you want to take. Plus, the colors of cauliflower - purple and orange - provide a lot of fun color potential, don't you think?
How Healthy is Cauliflower?
Now, just to re-assure you, my smoothie does not taste like cauliflower, I promise! The cashew butter has a strong influence which proves cauliflower is actually the perfect blank slate. You can use your imagination and adapt it the way you want.
And so your final result with be creamy and delicious, and rich in all the good things cauliflower is known for, including vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, pantothenic acid, vitamin B6, choline, dietary fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, manganese, phosphorus, and biotin.
And while this recipe is primarily for an ice cream smoothie bowl, so many visitors clamored for a way to go further and convert this smoothie to actual cauliflower ice cream so I obliged! It was quite easy actually, and involved the addition of only one extra ingredient.
How to Make Cauliflower Ice Cream
You start by microwaving or steaming the cauliflower - either store-bought cauliflower rice or fresh cauliflower. Chop it up, blend it into a puree with milk, and allow the mixture to cool in the refrigerator.
There is at least one overnight task, so read the recipe the night before you want to make it!
On cooking day, to make the smoothie shake, blend all but one of the ingredients.
To make the ice cream, blend up the ice cream ingredients.
Now...if you intend to use an ice cream maker. And I suggest you consider buying on if you make homemade ice cream often - it really reallly improves the creamy texture. Makes it less icey. The one I recently purchased is in my Amazon store if you want to check it out.
And if you do intend to use an ice cream maker, remember to put the ice cream machine's tub in the freezer overnight. We keep our tub in there all the time so we are always ready to make ice cream.
On cauliflower ice cream making day, put frozen cauliflower cubes in your blender jar about a half-hour before you intend to blend so they thaw a bit and are easier to blender.
Add in the rest of the ingredients, blend until creamy and taste-test, adjusting for sweetness.
If you are using an ice cream maker, pour that mixture into the ice cream maker and churn according to the machine's instructions.
It will be like soft-serve when complete, and you can either eat it that way or freeze in a parchment-lined loaf pan for 2-4 hours so you can scoop it! If you intend to freeze, take a moment to sprinkle toppings before you put it in the freezer. Cover the loaf pan to avoid freezer burn.
If you are not going to use a ice cream maker, pour the blended mixture straight into the parchment-lined loaf pan, cover and freeze one hour. Take it out, chop it up, blend again, and restore it to the loaf pan, cover, and freeze again. The more you do this, the creamier it will get. Sometimes we do it only once, haha. And then eat..It's up to you.
So there you have it.
A cauliflower smoothie and a cauliflower ice cream recipe. Enjoy this healthy dessert for breakfast!
Like working with recipes with sneaky nutritional ingredients? Here are two other recipes that use white beans:
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4-ingredient Cauliflower Ice Cream Smoothie
Cauliflower Smoothie Shake
- 1 cup cauliflower (boiled fresh, or store-bought frozen cauliflower rice)
- ½ cup almond milk (or your choice)
- 4 tbsp cashew butter
- 3 tbsp maple syrup
Scoopable Cauliflower Ice Cream (Fills 1 loaf pan)
- 1 cup cauliflower (boiled fresh, or store-bought frozen cauliflower rice)
- 1 ½ cup almond milk (or your choice)
- 2 cups cashews, unsalted and raw
- ¼ cup maple syrup
Overnight Prep Steps
- Put the cashews in a 2-cup measuring cup, and fill with water. Refrigerate overnight. The next day, rinsed them. This step is to remove any phytates and improve digestibility.
- This recipe can be made without an ice cream maker, but if you want to use one to make it creamier, remember to put your ice cream maker tub into the freezer overnight - most machines require that.
- Cook the cauliflower and let it cool.If you buy frozen cauliflower rice - most grocers stock it bags in the freezer area. Cook the rice according to instructions - typically in a microwave. Then pour it into a bowl, drain the water, cover it and refrigerate it.
If you are working with a fresh cauliflower head, cut it into florets, boil them in water for 10 minutes, drain and allow to cool.
- Once your cauliflower is cooled, add it to a blender, and blend until it is pureed. You can add up to ¼ cup of almond milk to help it blend.
To Make a Cauliflower Smoothie
- To make the smoothie, add the cauliflower puree to your blender, along with other ingredients. (Notice the smoothie recipe does NOT use the cashews, those are for making ice cream)
- Blend until creamy. Taste-test for sweetness - you can add more maple syrup if need be.
- I poured mine in smoothie bowls to spoon as a smoothie bowl. But you can add a bit more milk and make it straw-friendly as well.
Make Cauliflower Scoopable Ice Cream
- First, line a 8-inch by 4-inch loaf pan with parchment paper. Then drain and rinse the cashews.Take your cauliflower out of the refrigerator and press down on it with a paper towel to drain excess moisture. The less moisture, the less ice crystals will form. Then addto your blender jar the cauliflower and the other ice cream ingredients, including the cashews, soaked the prior night and rinsed. Blend until creamy. Once blended, taste-test to see if it is sweet enough for you. Add more maple syrup to increase sweetness.
WITH an ice cream maker
- If you are going to use an ice cream maker, follow these steps:Once blended, pour into the ice cream maker tub that you had stored in the freezer to chill overnight. Run the ice cream maker according to instructions. Basically, that probably means you will just put on the cover, flip the on switch and wait. Anywhere from 20 to 30 minutes of churning, depending on the machine.Once completed, the ice cream will be like soft-serve. You can either eat it that way or freeze in a parchment-lined loaf pan for 2-4 hours so you can scoop it! If you intend to freeze, take a moment to sprinkle toppings before you put it in the freezer. Cover the loaf pan to avoid freezer burn.
No-Churn, WithOUT an ice cream maker
- If you are not going to use a ice cream maker, pour the blended mixture straight into the parchment-lined loaf pan, cover and freeze one hour. Take it out, chop it up, blend again, and restore it to the loaf pan, cover, and freeze again. The more you do this, the creamier it will get. Sometimes we do it only once, haha. And then eat..It's up to you.
Dee Dine is founder of Green Smoothie Gourmet, a plant based recipe blog, and author of the recent cookbook, Crazy Healthy with 4 Ingredients and another immunity-boosting smoothie shot book, 4-Ingredient Smoothies + Juices , due out in January 2021. On this blog you'll find incredibly easy recipes with hidden veggies for anyone wanting to eat healthier, regardless of diet. Dee has graduate degrees in sciences and journalism, editor at The Feedfeed and a nutritional expert at WikiHow. More about Dee Dine here.