These homemade iced treats for warm days are sure to go down a treat, when the weather’s hot and people want something to cool down. Empower yourself and make your own. Raspberry Ripple Ice Cream (Minimalist Baker) is made with cashews and coconut milk and a whole heap of thawed frozen (or fresh) raspberries.
Keep these ice-creams away from pets as they contain chocolate, nuts, soy etc. Never buy/make sweet foods with pet-toxic xylitol (harmful from tiny spilled amounts of food, gum or in toothpaste if licked from your mouth or around a sink).
It’s simpler to buy a small ice-cream maker (just chill the bowl, add your mix, turn it on and it’s ready in 20). You can then create your own recipes using different fruits. To serve, run a quality ice-cream scoop under hot water.
Most good ice-cream is made with soaked cashews or coconut milk (Biona is free from monkey harvesting – also in a light version). Add extracts at the end to retain flavour and use a shallow container to freeze). If you prefer to buy, Cecily’s is a good brand.
Try a Homemade Vegan Mcflurry
McFlurry is just vanilla ice-cream in a cup The problem with modern society is that (like swapping nuclear power for wind power), everyone seems to just want to replace same with almost-the-same. Now the rage is for a vegan McFlurry. It still means supporting a company that kills over 300,000 cattle a year to make burgers, polluted the planet with plastic straws (attracting a petition of over 50,000 people to go back to plastic, as the paper ones ‘went soggy in their McFlurry’) and until recently, even used animal fat in their French fries. Even the original actor who played Ronald McDonald is now a vegetarian activist, saying he could not in good faith tell children the food came from ‘happy cows’. Why not just enjoy some nice plant-based ice-cream instead and eat it from a bowl?
The Oreo McFlurry contains palm oil, and although the company now uses paper straws (after a redesign when it was found the first ones did not biodegrade), the company still keeps plastic spoons on the McFlurry’s. It was only due to a big campaign by the 12,000 members of the British Hedgehog Preservation Society that they agreed to change the design of their lids, due to hogs getting stuck in them, after people threw the containers on the ground. Hedgehogs would crawl in the opening (attracted by the sweet smell) and then could not get out, due to their spines.
John Robbins is a vocal campaigners for a plant-based diet. He walked away from his family fortune, in order to do so. He grew up in the Baskin-Robbins family, with an ice-cream-shaped swimming pool!
Incredible Vegan Ice Cream is a book by a New York mother who founded her own ice-cream chain, after inventing healthy versions for her young family. These use a unique coconut milk base that is blended with fresh ingredients and natural sweeteners.
Simple Vegan Ice Cream Recipes
Easy Banana Ice Cream (Minimalist Baker) is super-simple and you can make 10 variations. The secret is to chop and slice and freeze the bananas, before you put them in a good food processor.
Golden Milk Ice Cream (Minimalist Baker) is a unique blend of cardamom, ginger, cinnamon and black pepper, with turmeric for the yellow hue.
Vanilla Coconut Ice Cream (Minimalist Baker) is as simple as it gets.
Creamy Vegan Chai Ice Cream (Minimalist Baker) combines creaminess with Indian spice. Think ginger, cinnamon, clove, cardamom and black pepper.
No-Churn Vegan Chocolate IceCream (Minimalist Baker) is for anyone with a sweet tooth. Like all of Minimalist Baker’s recipes, this is simple to make. Mint Brownie Ice Cream (Minimalist Baker) is the ideal alternative to mint choc chip. This uses fresh mint, which you won’t find in a tub of Wall’s.
Vegan Soft Serve (aka Mr Whippy)
This has a new name, and it’s called N’ice Cream. The homemade versions are usually based around frozen banana. This recipe at Eat This takes just 5 minutes (the blog is German, so just right-click to translate the recipe into English). Many people eat this for breakfast, as the sweetness of the bananas replaces the need for sugar. It’s important to use a good and powerful blender or food processor, as adding too much water will ruin the recipe. And frozen bananas need a good blender to turn them into ice-cream.
You can now buy vegan soft serve as a powdered mix (vanilla or chocolate) for cafes and ice-cream bars. Free from most major allergens, it’s free from palm oil and you just mix with hot water and pour into your ice-cream machine. At home, you can make it yourself. In the US, Elmhurst 1925 (above) is also selling dairy-free soft serve mix for retail and wholesale, made with oat and chickpea milks.
A Vegan Ice Cream Van!
The future’s looking bright. Already in the US there are several exclusively plant-based ice-cream bars, and they are thriving. In New Zealand, Vice Cream is one of the world’s first-ever vegan ice-cream vans, which sells coconut soft serve, real fruit ice-cream, sorbet and gelato to customers in its friendly colourful van. This small family business launched in months, and already has hundreds of fans, who queue up eagerly.
4-Ingredient All-Fruit Popsicles (Minimalist Baker)
Make your own ice lollies, to avoid all the chemicals in most conventional brands. Of course, the best way to make your own lollies is to use up seasonal fruits. If ever there was a way to get some fresh fruits into your child, it’s through a lolly (lolly sticks are choking hazards for people and pets, so keep them out of reach, and always supervise).
Never sweeten lollies or sorbets with xylitol – just a amount spilled or dropped (even in muffin crumbs) can be lethal to pets. Also found in gum, muffins, chocolate and some toothpastes. Also keep lolly sticks safely away from pets and children, they are choking hazards.
Try these Summer Berry Coconut Milk lollies are from the wonderful book The Seasonal Vegan, by Welsh chef Sarah Philpott. All you do is stir a 400ml can of coconut milk with a punnet each of hulled strawberries and raspberries, add chopped mint (remove stalks), then freeze in moulds. Make with Biona Organic Coconut Milk (no monkey-harvesting)
If you like those Rocket multi-coloured rainbow lollies, then check out Pip Organic Rainbow Fruit Lollies. These even have hidden veggies, made with butternut, carrot, purple carrot and spinach. Or make natural rainbow popsicles which are sweetened with maple syrup and packed with fruit (plus a little hidden Swiss chard for the green layer). If you give your child those mini fruit juices, this company has switched over to paper straws.
Silicone Lolly Moulds
If you want to make your own, just use a silicone lolly maker. This is made partly from sand (with fossil fuels, so not perfect) but lasts years and less likely to break down into microplastics (invisible pieces that get accidentally ingested by marine wildlife when they fall down storm drains and go into the sea). Fill with fresh fruit or vegan yoghurt (to make ‘milk lollies). Or fill with mint and lime, for gin-and-tonic ice cubes.
Lickalix Lolly brand
Lots of ice lollies are vegan, but most contain chemicals (often you’ll find hyperactive children running around the beach with blue tongues!) Far better to choose an organic brand or make your own to keep in the freezer. The best brand in England is Lickalix (all organic and vegan, in compostable packaging). Flavours include strawberry lemonade, citrus burst, mango raspberry swirl, oh so berry, natural cola and simply chocolate.
Slushies are given different names, depending on where you live. Basically a blend of shaved ice with sugar and fruit, the original granitas were created in southern Italy, as a refreshing treat in high summer. Known as snow cones in the US, here you likely know them as Slush Puppies, those frozen treats sold in newsagents that go round in a machine. But they are made with sweeteners and artificial flavours and colours. The blue (raspberry?) version contains E133, a food dye banned in many countries (Austria, Sweden, Switzerland, France, Germany and Norway) due to concerns over health. It’s also found in cans of peas (who knew peas were blue?)
It’s also good to make your own, as many frozen slushies and granitas are coloured with dead beetles, for the red or pink colours. These are labelled as cochineal or carmine (the American spelling). Instead, try this homemade Coconut Lime Watermelon Slushie (Minimalist Baker – use with Biona Organic Coconut Milk (no monkey-harvesting). Simple to make and hydrating too. Or go for a Cherry Lime Slushie (even contains protein and calcium, due to the cashew butter).