Dairy-Free Peanut Butter Ice Cream with Chocolate Magic Shell

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Vegan peanut butter ice cream with magic shell

When I cut dairy out of my diet five years ago, ice cream was one of those things I didn’t think I’d ever be able to eat again. Sure there are non-dairy alternatives, but none of them ever lived up to the variety chock-full of whole milk. Not to mention, most dairy-free ice creams available at supermarkets contain guar gum, and I try to avoid that as often as possible as it’s not the easiest thing to digest.

A few years ago I decided to get an ice cream maker, and I can say with 100% certainty that it was one of the best things I’ve ever purchased for my kitchen. The bowl now has a permanent spot in my freezer. Whenever I get a craving, all I have to do is whip up an ice cream base and within a few hours I’ve got myself a bowl of creamy, dairy-free goodness that I know isn’t filled with a bunch of additives and other not-so-natural ingredients. But even if you don’t have an ice cream maker, I’ve got a way around that so long as you don’t mind giving the mixture a good blend every 30 minutes for about 4 hours.

Vegan peanut butter ice creamVegan peanut butter ice creamMaking magic shellVegan peanut butter ice cream with magic shell

Although I’ve gone the peanut butter route here, you could swap the peanut butter for almond butter, cookie butter, or chocolate hazelnut spread. Or you could omit the peanut butter altogether and use 1/2-3/4 cup of mashed berries or fruit puree. If you’d prefer to go the liquid sweetener route, I’ve tried this recipe with maple syrup in place of the cane sugar and it turned out delicious – just substitute equal parts maple syrup for the cane sugar. If you’d prefer to use coconut or agave nectar, 1/4 cup should do the trick as they’re both a bit sweeter. I used almond milk because that’s what we keep in the fridge, but soy or coconut milk would substitute just as well. Unfortunately, due to the high water content, I do not recommend using rice or oat milk. As for the starch, corn starch and arrowroot powder are suitable substitutes for the potato starch.

Dairy-Free Peanut Butter Ice Cream with Chocolate Magic Shell

Makes 4-6 servings

Ice cream

  • 1 can full fat coconut milk, refrigerated overnight
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 2 cups non-dairy milk
  • 2 tablespoons potato starch
  • 1/3 cup cane sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Magic shell

  • 3 tablespoons raw cacao powder
  • 2 tablespoons powdered cane sugar
  • 1/3 cup refined coconut oil, melted

Open the can of coconut milk and scoop the white, solidified layer of cream off the top and into a medium size saucepan set over medium heat. Discard the water or save it for later use in smoothies. In a small mixing bowl, stir together the sugar and starch until the starch is evenly distributed. Stir the sugar mixture and peanut butter into the coconut cream and cook just until it starts to bubble. Once bubbling, whisk for about one minute, then remove from heat. Stir in the non-dairy milk and vanilla extract then transfer to a large mixing bowl to cool for 30 minutes. Once cool, cover with plastic wrap then transfer to refrigerator to chill for 2-3 hours. Once the mixture is cold, transfer it to the bowl of your ice cream maker and mix according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer ice cream to a freezer safe container and freeze for 3-4 hours, or until solid.

If you don’t have an ice cream maker, transfer the mixing bowl to your freezer and mix ice cream with a hand mixer on high speed every 30 minutes. Repeat until mixture is frozen, but still soft. This process will take upwards of 4 hours, but it’s one way to get around making homemade ice cream without an ice cream maker. Once the ice cream becomes the consistency of soft serve, transfer it to a freezer safe container and freeze until ready to serve.

To make the magic shell, sift together the cacao powder and powdered sugar, then stir in the coconut oil. When ready to serve ice cream, scoop into bowls then drizzle magic shell over top. Leftover magic shell can be refrigerated in an air tight container for up to 6 weeks. To liquify, simply submerge in a warm water bath for a few minutes.

Photo credit: Ashlae Warner

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