Vegan Ginger Carrot Ice Cream
Ever since I bought an ice cream maker years ago, I have pretty much always made my own ice cream at home instead of buying store bought. Because not only can I make sure good quality ingredients go into it, it is also fun to make my own flavors and there is nothing like home made ice cream! Last weekend I decided to make some Vegan Ginger Carrot Ice Cream! It may sound a little odd to someone that just likes classic flavors like vanilla or strawberry (not that there is anything wrong with those), but actually it is no more odd than say, making a pumpkin spice ice cream in the fall (which I have made and it is delicious).
I like to experiment with new ingredients and flavors in my ice cream and I had just made some carrot cake and thought those flavors would be lovely in ice cream! I didn't call it carrot cake ice cream though, since instead of adding in shredded carrots, and nuts I wanted a smooth ice cream with the same flavors. I started with a coconut milk and cashew butter base to make it nice and creamy, then added in mashed, cooked carrots. In case you are wondering why I cooked them, it is because I did not want the raw carrot texture to be in the ice cream I wanted it more smooth. Also, if you cook them they are softer and easier to blend plus the ice cream will have less moisture. You don't want excess moisture because it results in ice crystals in your ice cream which means it won't have that smooth melt in your mouth texture.
I sweetened this ice cream with dates because they give the ice cream a nice caramel flavor which goes well with the rest of the ingredients, plus they don't add excess moisture to the ice cream, they just contribute to its soft texture. I love adding dates to desserts instead of sugar when I can, or when I want something to be more natural. They are so delicious and do such a good job of sweetening things. They are like nature's candy, and sometimes when I am craving caramel I just eat a few of those and they do the trick!
Lastly, to the ice cream I added some vanilla, ginger, cinnamon and a little cardamom. I used the most of the ginger, and added the other spices to balance it out and give it a carrot cake like flavor. The ice cream base was delicious, so I knew the ice cream itself would be too! It was rich and creamy and tasted like carrot cake in smooth ice cream form! This would be perfect alongside some carrot cake if you are a cake and ice cream kind of person. If you enjoy the flavor of carrot cake, then definitely give this Vegan Ginger Carrot Ice Cream a try!
Vegan Ginger Carrot Ice Cream
Makes 3 cups
- 1 15 oz can full fat organic coconut milk or coconut cream (unsweetened)
- 1/2 cup raw cashew butter or almond butter
- 1 cup cooked mashed carrots
- 3/4 cup soft, pitted medjool dates (if they are not soft, soak them in filtered water for 30 minutes before using and drain well)
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp ginger
- 1/4 tsp cardamom
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
- Pour into an ice cream maker and process according to directions. Alternatively, if you do not have an ice cream maker, pour it into a bowl, and whisk every half hour until it is to the consistency of a thick malt.
- Pour into a freezer safe container with a lid, and continue to freeze until firm enough to scoop (at least 4 hours or overnight). If it becomes too firm, simply let it sit out for 15 minutes before serving.