Move over Häagen Dazs! This dairy free, egg free, sugar free, gluten free, palm oil free gorgeous vegan vanilla ice cream is a little piece of heaven!
And when served with a ridiculously healthy almond & oatmeal cookie and some fresh fruit, it all just comes together in one of those WOW! moments.
You can choose to serve the cookie as one large one sliced into wedges or as smaller individual cookies. Either way they are delicious and super healthy.
I have experimented a lot with ice creams since we got our ice cream maker as a wedding gift back in 2003 (phew! Time flies when you are having fun!) and this particular recipe is my crowning achievement. So what makes this one so special?
It’s all about the dates. And in particular Medjool dates.
Other types of dates will give you the sweetness, they will give you flavor, but not that deep luxurious caramel flavor which is so characteristic of the Medjool type.
I have to admit I came late to the Medjool date. Living in Southeast Asia, Medjool’s just weren’t something I came across at any of my regular markets. Sure there were dates, particularly around Ramadan, but they were mostly one of the smaller drier varieties commonly eaten in the Middle East. And when on that rare occasion I did stumble upon a package of Medjool’s they were EXPENSIVE! So it took me a while to realize their potential.
But with this vegan vanilla ice cream recipe I’m making amends and putting the glorious Medjool in the driving seat.
So, without further ado I give you: My Favorite Vanilla Ice Cream served with Almond Oatmeal Cookies.
Vegan Vanilla Ice Cream on an Almond & Oatmeal Cookie
- An ice cream maker gives the best results but is not essential.
For the Almond Crust
- 100 g raw almonds
- 3/4 cup rolled oats
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 3 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla essence
- A pinch of salt
- 3 tablespoons brown rice flour
For the ice cream
- 200 ml coconut milk
- 300 ml almond milk (unsweetened)
- 6 Medjool dates pits removed
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla essence
- 1/4 teaspoon guar gum or xanthan gum
- Fresh fruit of your choice
- Fresh mint if you like
To make the crust:
- Turn the oven on and set it for 200ºC (400ºF).
- In a food processor blend the almonds until finely ground. Transfer to bowl and add the oats, baking powder, milk, syrup, salt, vanilla and rice flour. Mix it all well until you get a slightly sticky dough.
- Spread the dough evenly on the bottom of an 18cm (7”) diameter spring-form which has been covered with a piece of baking paper. Alternatively, divide the dough into 12 balls. Place the balls on a baking sheet and use the backside of a spoon to flatten them a bit.
- Bake in the middle of the oven for 12-15 minutes or until lightly browned. Set aside to cool down completely before using or storing in the refrigerator in a sealed container for up to a week.
To make the ice cream:
- Mix the milks, dates, and vanilla together in a blender and blend well. Make sure the dates are thoroughly blended. Add the xanthan gum, blend for a few seconds more, and transfer immediately to an ice cream maker and process according to manufacturer's instructions. Use immediately or transfer to a sealed container and freeze until needed. If you do not own an ice cream maker see the process description below.
- If you have to leave the ice cream in the freezer for a long time before serving (several hours) it will go completely solid due to the minimal amount of fat it contains. If this is the case you'll have to remove it from the freezer well ahead of serving; in some cases up to 45 minutes before. But you'll have to feel your way with this as it is not an exact science. Alternatively, you can place it in the microwave on the lowest setting and zap it for 30 seconds. Check and zap again as needed. I don't necessarily recommend this method as the risk of all of a sudden ending up with an all liquid mess is quite high.
- To serve, simply place a piece of almond crust on a plate and top with ice cream and fresh fruit.
Manual freezing method:
- If you do not have an ice cream maker you can freeze the ice cream manually like this: Pour the mixture into a container, with lid, which fits into your freezer. A wide and shallow container makes for the quickest result. Leave the mixture to freeze for 30-45 minutes, then stir it up well. Back into the freezer for another 30-45 minutes before stirring again. Repeat this until the ice cream reaches the consistency you like. The freezing-stirring sequence helps to break up the ice crystals and gives you that smooth texture. If you just stick it in the freezer and forget about it the consistency will be more like a granito, full of ice crystals.