Want vegan ice cream that practically makes itself?
All you need is 5 minutes, 6 ingredients, and a food processor. No churning needed!
Yup, in no time you’ll have a scrumptious soft serve that tastes like cherry sorbet and chocolate ice cream had a baby. It’s a sinfully delicious and healthy, so you can satisfy your sweet tooth and still feel saintly.
Which is good, because in the interest of science, I’ve made this recipe about 20 times now. (You can’t be too careful.)
Desperate times, delightful results
The idea for this ice cream came to me on one of those scorching DC days; it was 94 degrees and 1000% humidity at least. Needless to say, I was dying for something cold and chocolatey. Now, normally in that situation, Jeff and I would run to Whole Foods and split a pint of almond milk ice cream. Hey, we’re only human!
However, Jeff was out of town, and I wasn’t about to spend a night at home alone with a pint of store-bought ice cream. (I think we all know how that would end.)
Moreover, I wanted my fix RIGHT THAT MINUTE, and Whole Foods is easily 10-minutes away. Too far, given the ice cream craving I was having.
I was going to have to make something myself.
I mean, if you’re in the mood for cooking, great. But if you want ice cream rightthisminute? Having to make it yourself is a drag.
Worse, I didn’t have any “normal” vegan ice cream ingredients on hand. The only thing that seemed remotely like it might work was a bag of frozen cherries. So I chucked everything I could think of that would go with frozen cherries in a mini food processor and prayed.
Well! The angels were smiling upon me, because I ended up with delicious chocolate-cherry ice cream before I could say black forest. It was sweet and creamy with little chewy bits of cherry. It had a scrumptious soft-serve texture. And of course, it had lots and lots of chocolate.
Sometimes, it’s better to be lucky than good. 😉
Of course, I’ve tinkered with the recipe a lot since that day, but honestly, the final version is pretty similar to the original. Why mess with a good thing?
Sinfully good…and good for you
Speaking of good, while it tastes like a dietary disaster, this ice cream-sorbet hybrid is healthier than what most Americans eat for breakfast. Truth!
The base is frozen cherries, which sounds weird, but cherries are actually a perfect partner for ice cream. They’re naturally sweet, blend up smoothly, and taste amazing with chocolate. (Especially when you mix in a little almond butter.)
What’s more, sweet cherries are rich in antioxidants and pack an anti-inflammatory punch. (Learn more about that in this quick article.) Which means I can have ice cream and my feet—which normally get achy and ouchy when I eat junk food—still feel great.
Moreover, this you can sweeten this vegan ice cream with either dates or maple syrup. That means you can join the in frozen fun if you’re following Eat to Live. There’s also a fat-free version for McDougallers. Honestly, I’ve tried this recipe every which way, and it’s always good.
My favorite part of this vegan ice cream, though? It’s coconut- and banana-free, which makes my stomach—with it’s “unique” sensitivities—very, very happy.You'll love this #DairyFree #Vegan Chocolate-Cherry Ice Cream. Ready in 5 minutes! Click To Tweet
Quick and easy
OK, I lied. 😉 My favorite thing about this ice cream is that it’s fast. All you need is 5 minutes and a food processor. So you’re never far from your [sinless] ice cream fix.
Of course, this quickie ice cream comes out with the texture of soft serve. You can scoop it, yes, but you need to eat it right away. (Which is sort of the point, right?) If you’re a purist, though, you can freeze it for 2-3 hours or overnight to get traditional ice cream texture. For example, I froze it overnight to get the photos in this post (bought me a little extra pre-melt time), but I usually just make it and eat it. (See spoon picture above.)
If you don’t feel like sharing…
You can make a single serving of cherry-chocolate ice cream with this ridiculously useful Cuisinart Immersion Blender Set.
The mini food processor is the ideal size for one serving of ice cream. (See recipe notes for directions.) In fact, I used mine for the first ~10 rounds of recipe testing. (Sorry, Jeff! 😉 )
Also, I love the stick blender so much that it’s probably the tool I’d rescue if my kitchen were on fire. I use it to make homemade salad dressing at least twice a week, and it can handle cashew-based dressings with no soaking. Small but mighty!
Bonus: Do you love strawberries?
You’re in luck! You can make this ice cream with strawberries or cherries. (See recipe Notes.) In fact, when I road-tested both versions with a couple of friends, they loved both, and couldn’t decide if they liked cherry or strawberry better.
So if you need a sweet treat and you need it now, cool your craving with this cherry (or strawberry) chocolate ice cream.
Heavenly and healthy—what could be better?
Vegan 5-minute cherry chocolate ice cream recipe
- 1 lb (4 slightly heaping cups) frozen pitted cherries (See Notes for strawberry version)
- ¼ c cocoa powder
- ¼ c almond butter (see Notes for fat-free version)
- ¼ c maple syrup OR ¼ c + 2 Tbsp date paste
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ tsp almond extract
- Pulse frozen cherries and cocoa powder in a food processor until cherries are broken up into small pieces. (About the size of peas.)
- Add remaining ingredients to food processor. Pulse, scraping 2-3 times as you go, until almond butter is just incorporated. Don't overmix!
- Serve immediately for soft serve texture. Or, transfer to a storage container, place plastic wrap directly on the surface of the ice cream, and freeze for 2-3 hours or overnight for a more traditional ice cream texture. (See Notes.)
-Strawberry version: Use 1 lb strawberries instead of cherries. Add an extra 2 Tbsp maple syrup (or 3 Tbsp date paste). Add an extra ½ tsp of almond extract.
-For firmer ice cream: Freeze 2-3 hours or overnight with a piece of plastic wrap pressed directly onto the surface of the ice cream. If freezing overnight, thaw on the counter for 15-30 min, or microwave for 15-20 sec before serving for easier scooping.
-Single serving: Use a mini food processor and divide all ingredients by 4. For the cherry version, that's:
1 c frozen cherries (4 oz)
1 Tbsp cocoa powder
1 Tbsp almond butter
1 Tbsp maple syrup OR 1½ Tbsp date paste
¼ tsp vanilla extract
⅛ tsp almond extract
- What do you eat when your sweet tooth strikes but you’re in a hurry?
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Correction, 7/8/16: Grapes, not cherries, contain erythritol, the sugar-like substance found in Truvia. Sorry to goof on that one!