The weather the last few days has been so gorgeous – incredibly chilly, but gorgeous. And this morning…it snowed! I’m totally NOT ready for it to be winter yet. Our trees have almost lost all of their leaves (sniff, sniff) and we’ve turned on the heat. The cold weather clothes are now out of storage and in our closets and drawers. And now we wait for the snow. It feels a little strange to be talking about ice cream! But truthfully, ice cream season never ends at our house. Even when it’s freezing outside and it would be more appropriate to have a cup of hot chocolate in hand and not a frosty bowl of ice cream. I can’t help myself! (I’ve even written an ice cream cookbook – more on that to come!) I’m working on creating a collection of healthier ice cream recipes and this Vegan Pumpkin Spice Ice Cream has been one I’ve tinkered with the last few weeks. It is incredibly creamy and rich, but made without dairy, eggs, and it’s naturally sweetened with maple syrup. It may not be a traditional ice cream, but it’s still pretty darn tasty!
The base is made with cashews. It originally started out with a silken tofu base that was incredibly creamy and had a great mouthfeel. But I eventually landed on using cashews. I just really liked the way their mellow flavor melded with the pumpkin and spices. But don’t worry, there’s still plenty of coconut milk in there too. I also added a good amount of my pumpkin pie spice blend. I love this time of year!
I am amazed at how satisfying a “healthy” ice cream can be. I find that I prefer it over traditional ice cream or pretty much any of the super sweet desserts that I used to reach for. (Except that Cranberry Lemon Curd Tart. I am not disclosing how many slices I ate of that amazing tart. So don’t even ask.) If you’re in search of a healthier, yet still fulfilling Thanksgiving or fall dessert, check this one out and see what you think. I think you’ll love it.
Other vegan ice cream recipes to check out:
Chunky Monkey from Namely Marly
Date Almond Ice Cream (my recipe)
Chai Coconut Ice Cream from Cookie + Kate
Apple Pie Ice Cream from My Whole Food Life
Toasted Coconut Ice Cream from Baked Bree
Coconut Cinnamon Ice Cream from Healthy Green Kitchen
Almond Joy Coconut Ice Cream from Naturally Ella
- 1½ cups raw cashew pieces
- Filtered water
- 14 ounce can full-fat coconut milk (without additives)
- ½ cup pumpkin puree
- ⅓ cup pure maple syrup (or more, if desired)
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- ⅛ teaspoon sea salt
- Have an automatic ice cream maker ready to go.
- Place the cashew pieces in a medium glass bowl. Cover them with plenty of filtered water as some of the water will be absorbed. Let stand about 8-10 hours. Drain and rinse well. Place into a high-speed blender with the coconut milk, pumpkin puree, maple syrup, vanilla, pumpkin pie spice, and salt. Puree until smooth. Taste and if desired, add a little more maple syrup to make it sweeter.
- Pour the mixture into an ice cream maker and churn according to manufacturer's directions.
- Transfer the mixture to an airtight container. Freeze until firm enough to scoop.
16 ounces of silken tofu can be used instead of the soaked cashews.
The ice cream can be made without an ice cream maker. Transfer the mixture to a container and freeze for one hour, then whisk, return to freezer and whisk every hour or so, until mixture is thick and frozen enough to scoop.
This freezes pretty solid. Let thaw 10 minutes or so before serving so it's easier to scoop.