Vegan Almond Milk Ice Cream: 3 Recipes

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lick smacking almond milk ice cream

As far as I’m concerned, ice cream is the perfect dessert. There’s nothing more relaxing and comforting after a hectic day with kids and work than a little hillock of lush and frosty ice cream sitting in a bowl. But lately my cholesterol has been creeping a little higher, making my nightly indulgence unsustainable. So after some months eating mostly store-bought sherbet and frozen yogurt, I decided to try something new — almond milk ice cream — and I’m so glad I did.

Now no one would ever proclaim me a vegan — after all, I have far too many recipes on Bay Area Bites that use pork shoulder as a main ingredient — but I do love the idea of cutting cholesterol and fat from my diet. So, noticing refrigerated almond milk at Trader Joe’s, I started to wonder how it would fare as an ice-cream base. The container claimed it was “rich and creamy” and I also saw it was free of cholesterol and saturated fat. So far so good, but would it taste like ice cream? As someone who’s never really liked soy ice cream — it has too much of an aftertaste for me — I was skeptical but ready to give almond milk a try.

I made three types of ice cream and, no surprise to many vegans out there but sort of a surprise to me, they were all amazingly good, exceeding my expectations on every level. My ten-year old daughter Maddie even exclaimed about the chocolate version “This is better than store-bought ice cream! It’s my favorite!” I have to agree. My three flavors were almond, strawberry and chocolate (recipes below). All are vegan. The first two were delightful but the chocolate was really special, and all are cholesterol and fat free. But don’t make these because they’re healthy for you; make them because they are creamy and luscious. Basically they are everything that ice cream should be, minus the artery clogging component.

Recipe: Rich Chocolate and Banana Almond Milk Ice Cream

Summary: Not to toot my own horn, but this ice cream rocks. I know I’m not supposed to say that. It’s unbecoming to boast that something you made is fantastic. But this ice cream inspired two pitilessly honest ten-year old girls to run around the kitchen yelling “It’s so good!” over and over. So I am breaking protocol and telling you that regardless of your thoughts about vegan recipes or almond milk, anyone who likes chocolate ice cream should make this. Really.

By Denise Santoro Lincoln

chocolate ice cream cone

Prep time: 5 min
Cook time: 20 min
Total time: 25 min
Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups almond milk
  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 2 heaping tablespoons chocolate cocoa
  • 2 Tbsp sugar

Instructions

  1. In a microwaveable bowl or cup whisk 1/2 cup almond milk with the chocolate cocoa and sugar until fully incorporated. Microwave for 40 seconds and then stir.
  2. Place bananas plus the remainder of the almond milk into a blender along with the cocoa mixture and puree for about 10 seconds.
  3. Place mixture in the ice cream maker and process for 20 minutes or until thick.
  4. Serve right away or store in the freezer for later use or to firm up a bit more if desired.
Recipe: Triple Almond Vegan Ice Cream

Summary: This one is a true winner. With almond milk, almond butter and chopped almonds, it has a burst of — yes, you guessed it — almond flavor. But unlike other almond ice creams, it tastes like real nuts and not some extract or artificial flavor that was added. This is the real almond deal. I’m actually hesitant to tell you that it is also sugar free, because hearing that ice cream is vegan, gluten-free and sugar free makes it sound like it will taste like paste, but with a banana and almond milk mixed in it had a natural sweetness that was perfect. Plus with all this talk lately that sugar is toxic it might make the recipe actually sound more alluring to some.

triple almond ice cream

Prep time: 5 min
Cook time: 20 min
Total time: 25 min
Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 3 Tbsp almond butter
  • 1/4 tsp almond liqueur (optional)
  • 1/4 cup chopped blanched almonds

Instructions

  1. Place all ingredients except chopped almonds in the blender and puree for 10-15 seconds or until the mixture looks like a smoothie.
  2. Place mixture plus almonds in the ice cream maker and process for 20 minutes or until thick.
  3. Store ice cream in a container and freeze for another 20 seconds to firm up a bit before serving
Recipe: Strawberry Almond Milk Ice Cream

Summary: My next foray into almond milk ice cream included lots of strawberries. With a velvety and smooth texture more reminiscent of sorbet than ice cream, this creation was full of a bright fruitiness as well as a hint of almond flavor. Once again using my kids as guinea pigs, I gave them each a big a helping and it was declared “really good” and both had seconds.

strawberry ice cream

Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 20 min
Total time: 35 min
Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 cups frozen strawberries
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 Tbsp orange juice or water
  • 1 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tsp corn starch

Instructions

  1. Heat 1 1/2 cups strawberries in a small pot with the sugar and water or juice. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool and then puree in a blender. You can cool the strawberries in a bowl set on top of another bowl of ice water to speed things up.
  2. Mix 1/2 cup almond milk with the corn starch and set aside.
  3. Heat the remainder of the almond milk plus the vanilla in a medium pot until simmering and then add in the corn starch infused almond milk. Stir on low heat while whisking for five minutes to thicken.
  4. Strain almond milk to remove lumps and then let mixture cool to room temperature. Mix into pureed strawberries and then set in the refrigerator until cold (about a half hour).
  5. Chop up the last 1/2 cup of strawberries and then add to the almond milk mixture. Place in your prepared ice-cream maker and let it run for 20 minutes. Place ice cream in a container until ready for use.
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Category: Bay Area Bites Food + Drink, dessert and chocolate, kids and family, recipes, vegetarian and vegan

About the Author ()

I am a writer, editor, mother of twins, and enthusiastic home cook. I was raised by an Italian-American mother who, in the 1970s, grew her own basil (because she couldn’t find any in the local grocery stores), zucchini (for those delicious flowers), and tomatoes (because the ones in the store tasted like “a potato”). My mom taught us to love all kinds of food and revere high-quality ingredients. I am now trying to follow in my mother’s footsteps and am on a mission to help my daughters become adventurous eaters who have a healthy respect for seasonal food raised locally. My daughters and I grow vegetables and go to the farmers’ market. We also love to shop at Piedmont Grocery and Trader Joe’s. When I’m not hanging out with my daughters or cooking, I like to contribute to cookbooks (including Williams-Sonoma’s Food Made Fast and Foods of the World series), work as an editor, and write about food for Bay Area Bites and Denise's Kitchen. My food inspirations are M.F.K Fisher, Julia Child, and Alice Waters — three fabulous women who encompass everything I love about food.
  • Pneiman33

    This will take more lead time but, you could make up the liquid form of the “ice cream” (with 1/2c less almond milk) and freeze it in ice cube trays. The day you want to turn it into ice cream, put your cubes in a good blender BlendTec or VitaMix, with the 1/2c almond milk you held back, and blend away.

  • Cfrazier77

    Thanks for the recipes….looking for something my son can have and not feel left out due to his dairy allergy.  These look like just the thing!

  • Tlmayer

    a print page for each recipe on its own would be nice.  11 pages of sidebars is a bit rediculous.  Thanks

  • Mandy

    What ice cream maker do you use? The recipes look amazing!!!

  • Sb

    Get a really large metal bowl, put in ice cubes and ice cream salt, get a medium metal bowl and put the icecream stuff in. Place theand medium bowlmetal inside thelooking large bowl, Continue stirring the mix with a spatula while turning the inside bowl.

    ICECREAM!!

  • aleelg

    These are wonderful!

  • Keely G

    Made the strawberry tonight and it’s still cooling/setting in the freezer.  Had to adjust for waiting on the almond milk/cornstarch to thicken and had to add a bit more cornstarch, but it did definitely thicken up when it cooled to room temp.  As with all my ice cream recipes, cooling the batch for an extended period before putting it in the ice cream maker makes all the difference.  The stuff stuck to the side of the machine we scraped out but that didn’t make it into the freezer container tasted great!  i can’t wait to try the chocolate or the almond.  We also have peaches in the freezer to try instead of strawberry next time.  

  • Boo

    Thank you for recipe wee like it a lot

  • Janet Stinson

    Did you use Original Unsweetened Almond Milk?

  • Suntanfan

    Banana chocolate ice cream is AWESOME! Was looking for a way to save some $$$ on frozen desserts for my kids who are allergic to milk, among many other things. Thank you soooooo much;)

  • Strings739

    I tried the chocolate banana one. Followed the recipe exactly, but it turned out very hard and not creamy enough for my liking. I understand almond milk has a lot less fat than cream, so I should have expected this, but what I made is more reminiscent of a low fat chocolate ice pop than creamy ice cream. Any tips to make it more like traditional ice cream without the dairy?

  • Birdsnbloomer

    Do these taste as good if you use plain silk milk?  My daughter is allergic to Almonds.

  • guest

    I used your ingredients, but with frozen bananas, and simply blended in the blender. Fantastic!

  • CC Mullins

    Thanks for the recipies. Was wondering if you could have a print recipie option to save paper and have the recipie on a single page if possible?

  • Whollyraw

    Yuuuum! I sub’d sugar for maple syrup and a little bit of salt in the ch0c banana/. So awesome. Thx for the recipe!

  • Fredbogd

    Unless you buy unsweetened almond milk, make no mistake–these recipes are not sugar free.

    For those who don’t like, or can’t tolerate, soy-based frozen desserts, try the new coconut milk–based ones. They’re tastier.

  • Jcalex

    DDid you used sweetened almond.milk?

  • Cmars2002

    I just made the almond ice cream recipe tonight and it was DELICIOUS!!!  Thank you so much!   Also I use almond extract because I didn’t have almond liquer and it worked great. I toasted my almonds before adding them at 350 degrees for 10 min.

  • Jamie

    oh yum! these are yummy!

  • Gary

    Your numbers are high cause of the meat and dairy.Go without for three weeks and eat vegan and they will drop like a rock!

  • Koriemo

    How much ice cream does each batch make?

  • sarah blackmen

    i was wondering if you could make ice cream without an ice cream maker. i guess i found a new recipe

  • Tay

    Copy and paste into a word document? It really isn’t that difficult to do. :) Plus you can shrink the image sizes or get rid of them all together and not waste as much ink.

  • wtfrunway

    So I just made the Triple Almond ice cream (sans blanched almonds)…. and woah man it is good! I ended up adding some drops of stevia to sweeten it up a little. I doubled everything (except almond butter which i left at 3 tbs.)
    …. my mom and I ate the whole thing in one sitting
    … all 8 servings……<3

  • wtfrunway

    Soo i just made a double recipe of the Triple Almond Ice Cream (sans blanched almonds and only 3 tbs of almond butter) and wow. it is good.

    …so good that my mom and i just ate the whole thing….
    …all 8 servings….<3

    Yep it's a good day.

    (I would recommend adding a few drops of stevia to make it a little sweeter)

  • Sally STewart

    Would love to know how to make this with a VitaMix instead of a stove!

  • Amanda-Beth

    Sounds good but I don’t have ice cream
    Maker

  • wildflower bug

    can you replace the sugar in the recipe with stevia powder?

  • wildflower bug

    What is the calories per 1/2 Cup ?

  • http://deniseskitchen.wordpress.com/ Denise Santoro Lincoln

    Hi Wildflower Bug — The calorie count will depend on the type of almond milk you use. Looks like there are about 20 calories in a half cup of unsweetened, which is what I used.

  • http://deniseskitchen.wordpress.com/ Denise Santoro Lincoln

    I’ve never used stevia powder so am not sure, but let me know how it turns out if you try it.

  • http://deniseskitchen.wordpress.com/ Denise Santoro Lincoln

    Hi Sally – I’ve never used a vitamix, but the reason to cook the strawberries and sugar is so the sugar melts. If you can do that in a vitamix than you can probably just skip the stove. Let me know how it turns out!

  • http://deniseskitchen.wordpress.com/ Denise Santoro Lincoln

    Hi wtfrunway – I’m so glad you and your mom liked the ice cream! I like eating it with my mom too :-)

  • http://deniseskitchen.wordpress.com/ Denise Santoro Lincoln

    Hi Sarah – I think you can but I’ve never tried it. Sorry.

  • http://deniseskitchen.wordpress.com/ Denise Santoro Lincoln

    Hi Koriemo – a little more than a pint.

  • http://deniseskitchen.wordpress.com/ Denise Santoro Lincoln

    Hi Jamie – I’m so glad you like the recipes! Thanks for writing :-)

  • http://deniseskitchen.wordpress.com/ Denise Santoro Lincoln

    Hi Cmars – so glad you liked it!

  • http://deniseskitchen.wordpress.com/ Denise Santoro Lincoln

    Hi Jcalex – no I used unsweetened almond milk, but you could just as easily use the sweetened variety (it would just taste, well, sweeter) :-)

  • http://deniseskitchen.wordpress.com/ Denise Santoro Lincoln

    Hi Fredbogd — I used unsweetened almond milk. And yes, soy and coconut-based desserts can also be quite yummy. I just really like almond milk. Thanks for writing.

  • foxylace01

    This recipe is good. I’m not a vegan but have lactose intolerance so now I can have ice cream too :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/heather.chism.5 Heather Chism

    Wow we made the Rich Chocolate and Bananna last night and it was a major hit at our house. Thanks for sharing these!

  • DLincoln

    Hi Heather – I’m so happy you liked the chocolate banana recipe! Thanks for writing :-)

  • DLincoln

    Glad you like the recipe!

  • DLincoln

    Hi Wildflower – not sure which recipe you’re referring to but just look at the back of your almond milk container for the calorie count and then add in whichever ingredients you’re using. One great thing about almond milk ice cream is that regardless of calories, the saturated fat is very low.

  • DLincoln

    I’ve never used Stevia powder but if you try it please let me know how it turns out. Thanks!

  • DLincoln

    I don’t have a non-ice cream maker recipe. Sorry.

  • Adam

    Actually, you could mix the base put it in the refrigerator. and pour maybe a cup into a small ziplock bag, then in a larger bag put ice with 5 or 6 spoons of salt along with your smaller bag of “ice cream mix” and then just keep mixing it up and playing with the bag and in less then 10 mins you should have somthing that resembles icecream texture :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/jaimie.wisnia Jaimie Wisnia

    What brand and model Ice cream maker do you have? I have never made ice cream and never had a maker so I have no idea what to buy.

  • DLincoln

    Hi Jaimie – I have a Cuisinart, which I like very much. It was a gift, however, so I have never really explored the market. I hope this helps :-)

  • Termk99

    I can’t have bananas. Can they be left out?