Can you think of a better way to celebrate the end of summer than an ice cream party? Well, a vegan ice cream party for little bunnies like me, but still, come on, doesn’t it sound like the best idea ever?
Ice cream is actually something I struggle with on a regular basis. Most shop-bought vegan ice cream is… at the very best tasteless. Till now only hazelnut and chocolate Alpro has lived up to its hype; and I must not be the only person in Oxford who is obsessed with it as it is almost never in stock in Tesco’s anyway. So… yeah.
And I am kind of tired of eating just sorbets. I love sorbets. I really do. I just need some change, please.
So here I am with my suggestions for a vegan ice cream party to end the least summery summer the UK has ever seen. But since I do not own an ice cream machine (I may actually buy one once we move… just not now), these recipes are all churn-free on top of all the other –frees.
As always in my Let’s try series, I have picked a few of the recipes from my Pinterest boards and tried them out so that you don’t have to! This will be a short but delicious one. Prepare your virtual taste buds!
Cotton Candy Vegan Ice Cream by Andrea (Earthy Andy)
Putting cotton candy into ice cream may not be an idea I would subscribe to, regardless of my love both for ice cream and cotton candy. But the faux cotton candy effect from this recipe by Andrea caught my attention straight away.
The photos of her ‘cotton candy’ vegan ice cream still make me hungry every time I look at them. So delicious looking, no? And the colours are so pretty!
I must admit I was almost heartbroken when I finished preparing my one. The… thing that emerged from my freezer looked nothing like Andrea’s glorious fluffiness! Sure, I expected it to be a different colour since I could not find papaya anywhere (shopping for fruits is sometimes so tough in the UK, I swear), but I still wanted it to be creamy – and ice cream-y, in fact.
I don’t know when I went wrong as I followed the recipe exactly and ice cream, even vegan ice cream, recipes are rather straight forward. But my final result is just a watermelon sorbet. I don’t even want to know how it would look like without the bananas in it (they were marked as optional)… Probably just like red water.
Don’t get me wrong. Watermelons are delicious! It is just that… Yeah.
Creamy mint chocolate vegan ice cream by Andrea (Earthy Andy)
Ok, I know this is not how we usually roll here, but the second recipe I have chosen… Also comes from Andrea.
I JUST LOVE HER PHOTOS, OK?
I know, I know, it kind of defeats the point of this series, but since it is a summer party we’re talking about, we can let a few things slip between the cracks, right? Right. I felt like Andrea’s ice cream ideas deserved another shot – and once I saw this gorgeous chocolate mint one, I knew they would get another shot no matter what.
I am glad they did, actually.
Using cashews instead of coconut cream worked wonders for the texture. I did wish I had a better blender so that cashews would actually turn out creamier (my never-ending battle with making cream sauces with my blender…), but this was not the recipe’s fault.
It looked like ice cream. It even smelled like ice cream. Crazy, right?
Putting spinach into it reminded me of the day my friend criticised me for using green pasta in our pasta and strawberries salad – as it would spoil the sweet taste somehow. Spinach is the best green colouring around, and in small quantities it does not affect the overall taste at all. Add spinach to your heart’s content.
Final verdict? I really missed sugar in these. Yeah, yeah, it’s less healthy but without it I feel like the cashew overpowered everything else and the entire ice cream turns more into a cashew than mint affair. A good dash of maple syrup is in order!
Seriously Good Mango Ice Cream Bars by Trinity (Trinity’s Conscious Kitchen)
Do you know how hard it is to find dried mango when one needs some…?
I was shocked not to find it even in the ‘healthy’ shops around Summertown; and very disappointed that I was not able to follow Trinity’s recipe at its most crucial part. Stupid grocery shopping.
This being said I was actually quite surprised how not watery this vegan ice cream turned out to be. Sure, because of the fresh mangos in it, my version turned out a bit more on the sorbet side, but it was still a solid effort into ice cream land – and one I will definitely repeat once I find some dried mangos somewhere…
Covering the bars in chocolate was pretty fun too. Working under time pressure may not be number one of my life skills, but this weird race to keep chocolate even a bit spreadable did turn out quite ok, even if I say so myself.
Also – just for the sake of being an annoyance, I tried to freeze half of my bars on baking paper and half without and… yeah… Just believe your recipe maker when they tell you something just works better, please!
What is your favourite ice cream flavour? Choc and mint over here! Not making it up, just ask my cat, you can trust him not to lie to you (unless his nomming time is at stake).