Maple Walnut Dairy Free Ice Cream is delicious creamy goodness for a hot summer's day! In fact, it's a great treat anytime! This healthy version is made with coconut milk, Medjool dates, and pure maple syrup.
We've had a bit of a heat wave around here. After the long, cold winter we've endured, warm weather is especially welcome! Given that I had just visited our local maple syrup producer and picked up our annual jug, plus more for our expat kids, it seemed like the perfect day for some Maple Walnut Dairy Free Ice Cream.
- Coconut Milk from a carton - doesn't even have to be coconut milk. This could be almond milk, cashew milk, or any other nondairy milk beverage.
- Coconut Milk from a can - the full-fat kind makes your ice cream rich and creamy
- Gelatine - a flavourless, colourless, translucent powder derived from collagen. It helps your ice cream to thicken up.
- Medjool Dates - soft dates add natural sweetness, but need a high speed blender to incorporate them into smooth ice cream
- Maple Syrup - Pure, natural maple syrup has some health benefits.
- Walnuts - Use fresh walnut pieces as walnuts can quickly become rancid and taste bad.
How Do You Make Dairy Free Ice Cream?
After dissolving the gelatine, process everything but the walnuts in a high-speed blender. Chill this mixture and then process it in an ice cream maker.
Dairy Free Ice Cream Tips
The tricky thing about homemade ice cream, and I've had this problem with both dairy and nondairy recipes, is knowing when to remove your ice cream from the machine. The ice cream maker operates on the principle of a frozen bowl chilling the ice cream while your mixture is constantly being stirred. You want to allow the process to continue until your ice cream is as thick as possible. However, if you wait too long, the bowl will get warm from the heat of the motor. It can actually reach a point where your ice cream begins to soften again. For best results, be sure your mixture is well chilled in the refrigerator before you begin to process it in the machine. Then, as it gets near to finishing, after about half an hour, watch it closely so you can remove it at it's thickest.
I take my ice cream from the machine and store it in an airtight plastic container in the freezer. After a couple of hours, mine is perfect for scooping!
However, there is nothing wrong with eating it straight from the ice cream machine, either!
Canned full-fat coconut milk is great for ice cream because it imparts a creamy richness. In addition to that, cashew milk is very nice. Almond milk is good, and coconut milk in the carton is a great nut-free option.
High Speed Blender
This recipe utilizes a high speed blender and an ice cream machine. Both were purchases that I had put off for years because of price. However, we have worn out more than one cheap blender. I must say that had I started with the good blender, I could have been enjoying smooth smoothies all along. With a high speed blender, things like the dates in this ice cream blend nicely rather than leaving little flecks and pieces in my liquid.
Ice Cream Machine
The ice cream maker was another purchase that I had considered for a long time. My reasoning for buying one was that I could make healthful, whole food ice cream with "real" ingredients and no artificial additives and preservatives. Now that I eat mostly dairy free ice cream, the machine is even more valuable to me.
Keep your ice cream in an airtight container in the freezer.
More Recipes to Love!
Maple Walnut Ice Cream
- 1 cup coconut milk from carton (or other dairy free milk), divided
- 1 packet gelatine (enough to set 2 cups liquid)
- ¼ cup boiling water
- 8 soft Medjool dates, pitted
- 1 400 mL 13.5 oz can full fat coconut milk
- ½ cup pure maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup walnuts pieces
- Sprinkle gelatine over ¼ cup cold coconut milk (from carton). Stir in ¼ cup boiling water until gelatine is completely dissolved.
- Add remaining ¾ cup coconut milk, canned coconut milk, dates, maple syrup, vanilla, and dissolved gelatine mixture to a high speed blender. Process until smooth.
- Chill this mixture in the refrigerator for an hour.
- Process the coconut mixture in an ice cream machine according to manufacturer's direction.
- When ice cream has finished processing, stir in walnut pieces.
- Either enjoy some soft ice cream right away, or store it in an airtight container in the freezer. After a couple of hours, stir it up and eat it or return it to the freezer.