The Ice Cream Maker: Vegan, Dairy-Free Ice Cream Is Easy to Make at Home!
Homemade, Delicious Frozen Treats
Whether you are dairy-free due to allergies or vegan for ethical reasons, the ability to make your own ice cream can be a dream come true!
When I became vegan, I struggled because I desperately missed ice cream. It was the one thing I truly felt I was denying myself in my otherwise easy life as a vegan. There were a few commercially available vegan ice creams (and more have hit the market since then), but they were quite expensive and came in tiny containers.
I wish it hadn't taken so many years for the thought to occur to me, but I finally realized that I could easily and inexpensively make my own vegan, dairy-free ice cream at home with an ice cream maker! I have had my Cuisinart ICE-20 ice cream maker for seven years now, and I couldn't be happier. In fact, my ice cream maker is my favorite small kitchen appliance! (Yes, I do rank them -- my electric griddle is #2.)
In addition to having access to delicious, inexpensive, vegan ice cream at my convenience, I also enjoy being able to use just a handful of simple ingredients. No weird chemicals! There is also less waste, since I reuse my good-quality containers to store the ice cream in my freezer.
The Cuisinart ICE-20 Ice Cream Maker - It also makes frozen soy yogurt and sorbet
This is the ice cream maker I've had for more than eight years. It has brought as much joy to my life as a small kitchen appliance ever could! I have made numerous flavors and countless batches of vegan ice cream with this gem.
The only complaint I have about this ice cream maker is that it's rather loud. This is a fairly common remark in reviews about both the Cuisinart ICE-20 and the Cuisinart ICE-30. You can definitely hear it churning for the 20 minutes it takes to make the frozen dessert. While somewhat annoying, I certainly would not describe it as being painfully loud.
The Cuisinart ICE-20 has been replaced by the Cuisinart ICE-21.
Both the Cuisinart ICE-21 and Cuisinart ICE-30 get 4.5 stars out of 5 on Amazon's product reviews, and with good reason!
They are reasonably priced.
They are easy to use and clean.
They do not require ice or rock salt to operate.
How Does the Ice Cream Maker Work?
Simple instructions for operating the appliance
Prior to making the ice cream, the freezer bowl from the ice cream maker must be prepared. This is simply a matter of placing it in the freezer at least 24 hours before use. It is best to wrap the freezer bowl in a heavy plastic bag to help prevent ice particles from attaching to the bowl. (You can use the bags in which the ice cream maker is packaged for this.)
Most recipes for homemade ice cream require using a blender to thoroughly combine all of the ingredients before pouring the mixture into the ice cream maker. (Keep scrolling down for recipes!)
After the ingredients are blended, remove the freezer bowl from the freezer and place it on the body of the ice cream maker, which houses the motor. Place the mixing arm in the freezer bowl and put the clear plastic lid on top. The lid has a wide opening to add the ingredients. Plug the unit in, turn it on, and pour the ingredients into the ice cream maker.
It takes approximately 20 minutes for the ice cream to thicken. If you're adding extras, such as chocolate chips, chopped nuts, raisins, or other goodies, simply drop them through the opening in the ice cream maker's lid as the ice cream is nearing completion. It will take just a few minutes for these extras to be combined into the ice cream.
When everything looks good, switch the machine off and unplug it. Using a rubber spatula, scoop the ice cream into a freezer-safe container. The ice cream will be rather soft at this point but will become properly frozen after several hours in the freezer.
Although ice cream makers can, of course, make dairy-based frozen desserts, I am focusing on dairy-free, vegan recipes here.
Below are several websites and books dedicated to vegan ice cream recipes.
Dairy-free Ice Cream Recipes Online - Here are a few good links to get you started
There are many, many recipes for dairy-free, vegan ice creams online. Here are some fairly simple recipes that demonstrate a variety of bases.
- Chrissa's Very Vegan Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
This is my all-time FAVORITE basic recipe for vegan ice cream! It's very easy to make and is absolutely delicious! It uses silken tofu and soymilk as the base.
- Basic Vanilla Coconut Ice Cream
Using full-fat coconut milk as a base gives the ice cream a fantastically rich creaminess and incredible flavor.
- Banana Ice Cream
Bananas and your choice of non-dairy milk. Add some sweetener and vanilla and you're all set for a delicious frozen treat!
There are different basic recipes for homemade dairy-free ice cream.
Some use cashews as a base. Others use tofu, soymilk, or coconut milk.
They vary in the amount of work required to prepare a batch of ice cream.
Decide for yourself what meets your dietary needs and tastes best to you!
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Here are links to my numerous articles about vegan living. I've divided them into several categories: Getting Started, Family and Community, and Recipes. I've also included links to other websites.
Vegan Ice Cream Recipe Books
There are three great recipe books for homemade vegan ice creams. Everything from basic vanilla to fancy and exotic flavors!
Are you excited about making your own ice cream?
Once you are comfortable with a basic recipe, it becomes very easy to experiment with new flavors.
For example, you can add things like peanut butter, canned pumpkin (along with pumpkin pie spice!), bananas, or carrot cake.
The sky's the limit!
I Love My Ice Cream Maker (Really!)
Having the ability to make my own vegan ice cream -- any flavor I want -- with wholesome ingredients has been a joyful experience for me!
The Cuisinart ICE-21 and Cuisinart ICE-30 are exceptional products that appear to have no equals in their price range.