Healthy Vegan Ice Cream Recipes to Beat the Heat!

Heat wave! Here in the States, folks are sweltering in their homes. Or, at least, this is what I hear. Between you and me, Seattle is a balmy 75° F, and that after two weeks of temperatures in the low 60s. Still! It’s summer! And to help you survive the heat without having to scarf down gobs of processed sugar, I’ve come to the rescue with a couple ultra-healthy and refreshing ice cream recipes.

The recipes I have for you are 100% vegan friendly. For those who don’t know, vegans have cornered the market on making absolutely delectable foodstuffs without the help of classic ingredients, such as eggs, butter, or dairy. In my opinion, this coconut milk ice cream is one of their ultimate triumphs. I love vegan recipes!

Coconut Milk Ice Cream

close-up of a halved coconut
Image courtesy of Chandrika Nair.

Yield: 6 cups/1.5 quarts


  • 4 cups coconut milk (full fat; it’s good for you!)
  • 1/2 cup brown rice syrup, Stevia powder, or agave nectar (honey works for non-vegans)
  • 4 tsp arrowroot or cornstarch
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt or salt substitute
  • 3/4 cup cocoa or carob powder (optional)
  • 1/2 cup nuts of your choice (optional)

Ice Cream Maker Version

In a medium bowl, whisk together all ingredients except nuts (if using). You may also blend thoroughly in a blender or food processor, if you have one. Add to your ice cream maker, being careful to follow manufacturer instructions closely. Coconut milk ice cream is a little more delicate than dairy ice creams. Once mixture begins to thicken, add nuts.

Remove your delectable dessert from the ice cream maker and enjoy right away or store immediately in an airtight container in the freezer. If you freeze right away, ice cream will continue to solidify.

No Ice Cream Maker Version

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper, plastic wrap, or wax paper. Blend all ingredients as above but pour the mixture onto the cookie sheet. Carefully place cookie sheet in freezer and allow to freeze for at least 3 hours. After 3 hours, cut the frozen mixture into several squares and throw them into a freezer bag to store until you need (i.e. are ready to devour) them. When ready to enjoy, put one or more squares into a blender or food processor and blend until mixture form a ball like regular ice cream. Be prepared to do a little mixing with a spatula or spoon throughout this process. When finished, sprinkle the nuts over the top (if using) and enjoy!

Banana Ice Cream

close-up of a single banana on a white background
Image courtesy of Robin_24.

Yield: Varies


  • Ripe bananas
  • OPTIONAL: 1 TBS peanut butter per banana
  • OPTIONAL: 1 tsp vanilla extract per banana
  • OPTIONAL: 1 TBS brown rice syrup, Stevia powder, agave nectar (honey is fine for non-vegans) per banana
  • OPTIONAL: 1 tsp ground flax seed (kids’ll never know)
  • OPTIONAL: all of the above


Peel banana(s) and cut into one-inch pieces. Spread banana pieces on a plate or cookie sheet and allow to freeze for at least 90 minutes (if you have limited freezer space, putting them in a plastic baggy works, too). In a food processor or blender, add frozen banana pieces and any mix-ins. Blend, scraping down the sides as necessary. Banana pieces will produce a thick, rich, ice-cream like treat!

By Michelle Miller

Michelle Miller is a twenty-something blogger, cook, freelance writer and editor living in Seattle, Washington. She’s a feminist trying ever-so-hard to embrace her spaces, conventional or not. She looks forward to numerous bad hair days, burnt cremes, a soapbox or two, and maybe (just maybe) a yellow polka-dot bikini in the years ahead.

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