Chocolate cherry ice cream is rippled with fresh cherry compote and chocolate chunks. Make with or without an ice cream churn, and know you are eating a nutritious treat high in protein, dairy-free and vegan, full of disease-fighting tools.
Vegan Cherry Compote Ice Cream
It’s cherry season and it’s ice cream season, two of the best times of year for me.
I have been branching out with my ice creams lately. I’ve been trying to add flavors and ingredients that are not typically associated with ice cream.
So this flavor today of cherries during cherry season is pretty tame.
But delicious. The base is soaked cashews and coconut milk. And the fresh cherry compote is very easy, just lemons and cherries and a quick whir in the processor.
The ultimate flavor is fruity and a bit tart because of lemon juice. There is definitely a tropical air to the flavor as well, just a hint of coconut. For those of you who would prefer no coconut flavor, you can try to use lite coconut milk but it will be less creamy.
And guess what? I used an ice cream churn for this recipe.
You probably know if you have been following me that I am a big fan of no-churn ice cream recipes. But they are a lot of work, with all that freezing and breaking up and blending and refreezing.
To Churn or Not to Churn
So I decided I think there is room in the world for both types of recipes, churn and no churn.
I bought a churn that is pretty basic because I don’t like spending a lot of time learning how to use complex appliances.
And I found using a churn pretty easy. You just put the ice cream churn bin in the freezer at the night before. I know people who always keep their ice cream churn bin in the freezer so it’s ready in case the make-ice-cream urge hits!
So is this ice cream healthy? Pretty much. The ingredients are certainly plant-based and vegan. And if you choose a coconut milk that doesn’t have added gluten, then it is gluten-free.
Still, it’s fairly high in fat. The fat is healthy but you shouldn’t eat the whole quart in one sitting. Haha.
How Healthy Are Cherries?
Regarding overall nutrition, the cashews and coconuts bring protein, fiber and a slew of other nutrition.
But the star of the show are the cherries!
Cherries are considered among the healthiest of fruits.
Primarily, they are full of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds.
They also slow aging, and ward off illness.
They promote sleep and lower cholesterol.
And they reduce workout soreness by supporting muscle recovery.
Pretty cool nutrition for an ice cream.
How To Make Cherry Compote Ice Cream
It’s very easy! To start, though the night before set your raw cashews submerged in water in the refrigerator. You want to soak them to increase the creaminess of the ice cream, as well as make them more digestible. Nuts have enzyme inhibitors and phytic acid; soaking removes the enzyme inhibitors and breaks down the phytic acid.
Once the cashews are soaked, throw everything in your blender and put the mixture in the refrigerator to chill while you make the cherry compote.
Then run the mixture through the churn, stir in the cherry compote, pour into an ice cream container or parchment-lined loaf pan and freeze!
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Vegan Cherry Compote Ice Cream
For Ice Cream
For Cherry Compote
- 1 cup fresh pitted dark cherries
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp maple syrup
- 1/2 cup dark chocolate chunks
Make Ice Cream
- Blend ingredients for the ice cream base until smooth, put in freezer to chill for at least one hour before churning. Meanwhile, prepare the compote.
- Pulse in a food processor 1 cup of fresh pitted dark cherries so they are chunky but not syrupy. Pour in a bowl and add 1 teaspoon lemon juice, 1 teaspoon maple syrup, and manually stir until thoroughly mixed. At this point, you could bubble this mixture in a sauce pan for a few minutes to create a jelly consistency, but you'd have to let it cool to room temperature so if you don't have time, leave that step out.
- If you don't want to use an ice cream maker, put the base in a solid bowl with cover and put it in the freezer. Every 30 minutes for about 3 hours, take it out and use a spatula to break up the edges that are starting to freeze, and stir, stir to make it creamy.
- If you ARE using an ice cream maker, set it up. (if your maker has a base that needs to be frozen ahead of time, do that first)
- Pour in your blended ice cream base that was waiting in the freezer (should be very chilled, though hopefully not frozen when you pour it in to make and churn the base according to the ice cream maker directions.
- Stirring in the compote in the last 1 minute or so and churn to ripple through, but not blend thoroughly. Fold in chips. At this point your ice cream is going to have the consistency of soft serve.
- Transfer the mixture into a parchment-lined loaf pan, and freeze for 2-3 hours before serving!
Dee Dine is founder of Green Smoothie Gourmet, a plant based recipe blog, and author of the recent cookbook, Crazy Healthy with 4 Ingredients . 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. More about Dee Dine here.