A chocolate blender ice cream recipe! Only 4 ingredients. Dairy-free, vegan and no bananas! The perfect homemade ice cream and it contains an ingredient that helps boost your metabolism!
Chocolate Blender Ice Cream
Blender ice cream is creamy, easy and you don't need an ice cream maker. And my method is fool-proof!
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And no bananas are in my recipe. I mention that because a traditional way to make plant-based vegan ice cream is with frozen bananas. While I respect that also fast method, we have an intolerance to bananas in our family so we must also find alternate routes.
And we have!
A perfect substitute is full fat coconut milk from a can. It's the best thickener for ice cream, and the healthiest. No, it doesn't make the ice cream taste like coconuts. I'll get to that in a minute.
Ingredients Needed for Blender Ice Cream
Before we discuss any one ingredient, I'll give you a quick list right here:
To make my chocolate blender ice cream, you'll need:
- Canned Coconut Milk. This recipe requires two cans, high fat, unsweetened. I use Whole Foods 365 brand or Thai kitchen or Nature's Valley
- Maple Syrup to sweeten
- Cashew butter, but any nut butter is fine
- Cocoa powder, Valhrona provides an awesome flavor but it is expensive so Hershey's is fine. Cacao is also awesome, a bit less chocolate flavor, but it's less processed than cocoa powder so it's healthier but also expensive so you choose.
How to Make Blender Ice Cream
The secret to making ice cream in a blender is to blend it a couple of times.
Step 1. First you blend up ingredients, then you freeze them a short time. I freeze the mixture in ice cube trays, but you can also just fill 1 gallon zip lock bags and lay them flat in the freezer.
Step 2. This step requires only a short freeze, only 1 hour, then either pop the ice cubes in a blender or break up the 1 gallon zip lock bag panels into chunks and put those in a blender.
Step 3. Then blend again.
Step 4. Now pour this mixture into a loaf pan or ice cream container and freeze for four hours.
To scoop, allow the ice cream to thaw about 20 minutes. It's still pretty hard, so you might want to add a tsp of vodka to the mixture to help keep it softer to scoop.
How to Thicken Homemade Ice Cream
The best thickeners for homemade ice cream is cashew butter. Or any nut butter or even Sunbutter if you need the ice cream to be nut-free. You can make your own cashew butter but just blending raw nuts, or buy a quality brand like Whole Foods 365 or Barney Butter or ONCE.
Don't skip this ingredient, if you can help it. It really makes a creamy difference.
Another important ingredient to make homemade ice cream is coconut milk.
About Unsweetened Canned Coconut Milk
In this recipe, and most that call for "coconut milk", they are referring to canned and full-fat coconut milk, or milk fresh from a coconut. Rarely do recipes call for the processed coconut milk now appearing along side almond milk in the refrigerated grocery store sections or room-temperature boxed milk sections of most grocery stores.
When you buy canned, typically you want to buy brands that are free of other ingredients. Although admittedly guar gum is hard to avoid in many canned foods. [source]
The good news is it's actually rather nutritious, being a plant-based thickener that has fiber. [source]
How to Use Canned Coconut Milk For Blender Ice Cream
For this recipe, however, a brand with guar gum is fine. Where that ingredient becomes troublesome is when you are trying to make coconut whipped cream because the guar gum sometimes interferes with the whipping texture.
And with this recipe, you don't have to refrigerate the can before the recipe. You want to shake up the can at room temperature. For some recipes calling for coconut cream, you would refrigerate the can overnight to separate the coconut cream (solid) from the milk (liquid).
How Does This Blender Ice Cream Taste?
It depends on the brand of coconut milk you use. Lite coconut milk never imparts a coconuty flavor to recipes, but you need full fat here to make the ice cream creamy. However, depending on the can, the strength of the coconut flavor can vary even between brands. The Whole Foods 365 full fat brand doesn't impart a coconut flavor in full force.
If you really want to kick any coconut flavor to the curb though, you could try powerful flavor additions such as cold-brew coffee or even cayenne pepper to move it into Mayan chocolate territory.
How Healthy is Coconut Milk?
Unsweetened canned coconut milk is high in saturated fat, which normally would not be good for you, however, coconut's saturated fat is special. It is made up of something called MCTS that are easy for the body to transform into energy.
Studies done on MCTS (medium-chain triglycerides) show consumption actually supports weight-loss without trying, especially belly fat, primarily because of their ability to boost energy and help you feel full.
And calories are relatively low, however you should still be aware that the recommended amount of saturated fat you should eat a day is about 13 gms, about the same amount in one cup of this coconut milk. This recipe uses about 3 cups, so you decide how much of this ice cream to eat per day!
How Nutritious is Blender Ice Cream?
And the nutrition in this ice cream doesn't stop with healthy coconut milk.
Cashew butter is one of the healthier nut butters, with most of its fat being heart-healthy unsaturated. And most processed cashew butters - especially quality brands like Whole Foods 365 - contain little to no sugar, and less additives than, say, peanut butter.
Of course, you can always make your own nut butter - it's pretty easy. Just blend raw nuts until the oil is released and they turn into butter. Just be sure you are buying a quality brand of nut.
Other Ways to Make Blender Ice Cream
You can also make this blender ice cream in an ice cream maker!
Questions People Ask About Blender Ice Cream
Apparently people are curious about blender ice cream and here are a few questions that are often googled.
Can you blend ice cream in a blender?
Use this 4-ingredient recipe! Just blend up coconut milk, maple syrup, nut butter and cocoa powder, freeze one hour, blend, and freeze again.
How do you make ice cream from scratch in a blender?
Just add all ingredients to your blender, pour mixture into ice cube trays or zip lock bags and freeze for one hour. Then blend again and freeze in a loaf pan or ice cream container for 4 hours. You have ice cream!
How do you make ice cream in a mixer?
The same as blender ice cream only instead of a blender to combine all ingredients, you use a mixer.
How do you make homemade ice cream without an ice cream maker?
You blend all ice cream ingredients in a blender, freeze them for one hour, blend again, and freeze for good.
Other Healthy Ice Cream Recipes
Chocolate Ice Cream (with bananas) For those of you who can eat bananas!
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Chocolate Blender Ice Cream (no bananas)
Makes 2-3 cups
- 2 cans (13.5oz/398ml) high-fat, unsweetened coconut milk (I use this brand)
- 3 tbsp maple syrup
- ½ cup cashew butter
- 5 tbsp cocoa powder Valhrona provides an awesome flavor but it is expensive so Hershey's is fine. Cacao powder is also awesome, a bit less chocolate flavor, but it's less processed than cocoa powder so it's healthier but also expensive so you choose.
- 4 tbsp cold coffee (or less) (to overpower any coconut flavor and turn it into mocha chocolate - add 1 tbsp at a time and stir the mixture. Stop if the texture is becoming too watery)
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper (to overpower any coconut flavor and turn it into Mayan Chocolate - you should taste-test and add more if you'd like)
- Chocolate Chip Cookie - mix in chunks of vegan chocolate chip cookie dough (my Edible Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough recipe here.)
Make Ice Cream
- Don't chill the can of coconut milk overnight or it will separate into liquids and solids. Keep it at room temperature and shake hard before blending.
- Blend up all ingredients until smooth. Taste-test to be sure it is sweet enough. Add more maple syrup if it is not. Add any additions now.
- Spoon mixture into ice cube trays, and freeze for at least 1 hour. Blend the cubes again and pour into a parchment-lined loaf pan. If you intend to add mix-ins, such as chips or cookie dough chunks, do it now.Cover and freeze another 3-4 hours or until you reach the texture you want.
- Once frozen overnight, let thaw 20 minutes before scooping.
- Top with homemade chocolate sauce or a melted chocolate bar! Enjoy!