Topics » In The Kitchen » How to Make Dairy Free Ice Cream Treats at Home
T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies

Hot summers and frozen desserts are made for each other. It’s so much fun to create your own favorite flavors at home.

Not that you can’t find endless varieties of dairy free ice creams in grocery store freezer sections these days. You can. But so often, they’re really disappointing! Maybe it’s because the ingredients can include (as did one vanilla soy ice cream label I read recently) things like soybean oil, guar gum, carrageenan, and locust bean gum. Not appealing, right?

Why not whip up a batch of fresh vegan ice cream or sorbet in your own kitchen, for nondairy frosty fun at home? Using your favorite very hand-selected whole food plant-based ingredients, enjoy frozen desserts – without the guilt, ultra-processed ingredients, or extra saturated fats that usually come along for the ride in commercial varieties.

Nowadays, you can buy an automatic ice cream machine at just about every price point, starting around $30. Almost any ice cream machine will probably do a good job of freezing ingredients, and even the least fancy can last for ages. I’ve had mine (a Cuisinart) for over 10 years.

But even without an ice cream machine, you can manage to make freezer treats at home with just a few extra steps. Just mix and freeze ingredients in an air-tight container until almost solid. This step can take up to several hours. When the mixture is almost solid, remove container from freezer, break mixture into icy chunks with a fork, and immediately place frozen chunks into a high-speed blender or food processor. Whirl together for a few seconds. The texture will be grainier, but the flavor will still be great.

I love experimenting with seasonal favorites all summer long. Sometimes I become so inspired that my family has to endure taste testing for me, batch-after-batch. Yes, it’s a tough job, but somebody has to do it.

Here are a few favorites

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