I’m really excited to bring this gluten free & Vegan Chocolate Pecan Ice Cream Recipe to you for many reasons. This ice cream is so good! Delicious, the best, and it happens to be filled with healthy ingredients. It’s a homemade rich premium ice cream that you can DIY with the help of a blender and an ice cream machine.
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Please let me know if you have any questions about this recipe. I read all the comments myself and I try to help as soon as I can. I have readers from all levels of comfort and experience in the kitchen on my site, and I’ve tried to answer some of your questions already in the post. But if I’ve missed anything, please feel free to leave a comment and ask.
Delicious Vegan Ice Cream
Of course I’m excited because it’s delicious. I try to make sure that all the recipes I bring you are delicious, but this one is like super-duper delish! Like A+++ yummy. Like, make a batch right now and sit down and devour it! I had the husband taste the ice cream, and he said he couldn’t even tell that it was dairy-free or that it was made with coconut milk. It just tasted like a rich premium ice cream. Awesome! Win!
But that’s not the only reason I’m so into this recipe.
Dairy-free Ice Cream
Sure, it’s a healthy treat. It’s diary-free (which means it’s good for you lactose intolerant peeps and it doesn’t give that bloated dairy after-feel), it’s Paleo, it’s vegan, it doesn’t have any processed sugars in it. Coconut is rich in fiber, vitamins C, E, B1, B3, B5, B6, iron, selenium, and calcium. But those aren’t the only reasons that I’m so excited by it.
And, yeah, it comes together really quickly with the help of the Vita-Mix, and it’s no cook (which is all super awesome!!).
How I came up with this ice cream
But, the main reason I’m really excited about this recipe is how I came up with it!
I have my bloggy friends, Shelley and Gretchen, over at Two Healthy Kitchens to thank for the inspiration. If you haven’t checked out their blog, do yourself a favor, and hop over. They have yummy kid-friendly (and kid-tested) healthy recipes. Go ahead, take a look now, I’ll wait!
See, aren’t they awesome! And funny!
Well, about a month ago they posted a recipe for Kentucky Derby Chocolate-Pecan Cookie Bars.(And, formerly I had called this Kentucky Derby Chocolate-Pecan Ice Cream, but I’ve since changed the name of the recipe.)
And in the post Shelley tells how her son asked for these cookie bars as his birthday treat (that’s a huge kid-endorsement!), then he proceeded to ask for some healthy ice cream to go with the cookies. Well, inspiration just stuck me that their cookie recipe could be turned into and ice cream! What fun, chocolate, pecans, healthy, and ice cream! Yummers!
Recipe Creation Details
So, here’s what I worked up; I tried to keep the ingredients as close as possible to their recipe. Pecans and dates stayed the same. I changed the brown sugar into maple syrup because I wouldn’t be cooking the mixture, so I wanted something that didn’t have to dissolve. And, I cut back a little on the amount of the maple syrup. The egg, flour and baking soda became unnecessary. Then, I decided that for the ice cream base, I wanted to use canned coconut cream for richness and thickness, and coconut milk to round it all out. A couple batches later, and it works like a dream!
Fully cool the pecans
One thing I did learn in making one of the batches, was that you want the pecans to be fully cooled. If you add them while they’re still warm, little ice crystals will form around them in the final ice cream, and it’ll change the texture, not horribly, but noticeable.
If you follow a strict vegan diet be sure to check your chocolate chips for milk/dairy. You could use chocolate shavings or chunks from a vegan chocolate bar instead if you’d rather.
I think all of these ingredients are pretty easy to obtain except, perhaps the canned coconut cream. I get it at 99 Ranch Market, an Asian market in California and Washington. I’ve looked at the other local international market and at my grocery store, but they don’t carry coconut cream, so I’m guessing it may be hard to find. Maybe Trader Joe’s, Sprouts, or Mother’s might carry it. At least, you can find coconut cream on Amazon (affiliate link).
Or you can make your own: coconut cream is the thick, creamy portion of canned full-fat coconut milk that separates from the coconut water, and rises to the top of the can. Chill the canned coconut milk for at least 24 hours, carefully open the can without shaking, and scoop the thick cream off of the top. You’ll need 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons coconut cream to make 9 ounces, and each can of coconut milk varies in its yield.
I know that this nutrition analysis is taking general numbers, and that the specific ingredients you use might be more or less, close or far, from the ones I used, but when I calculate the calories based on the ingredients that I used I come up with 400 calories per serving of this ice cream. So, just know that there might be some differences in actual numbers.
maple syrup: 420
coconut cream: 810
coconut milk: 420
chocolate chips: 350
divided by 8 servings: 399 calories per serving.
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Vegan Chocolate Pecan Ice Cream
Vegan Chocolate Pecan Ice Cream Recipe
- In a Vita-mix (or other high-powered blended) or food processor, process ¾ cup pecans, dates, and maple syrup until smooth, about 30 seconds on high in the Vita-mix, or pulsing for about 3 minutes in a food processor, scraping sides as needed.
- Add vanilla, salt, and coconut cream, and process until smooth, about 30 more seconds (at this point, if you’re using a food processor you may need to transfer to a blender so the liquid doesn’t leak out). Add coconut milk to mixture and process until smooth, just a really quick blend.
- Transfer mixture to frozen and ready ice cream maker and follow manufacturer’s instructions (mine takes about 20 minutes to churn), adding ⅓ cup of mini chocolate chips and ⅓ cup toasted pecans in the last minute of mixing. Transfer ice cream to a freezer safe container, and cover and freeze. Straight from the machine, the ice cream is soft, like the texture of soft-serve. Freeze for a couple hours or overnight for a firmer texture.