Chocolate Cherry Ice Cream (vegan, dairy-free) 🍒🍫

As the festive season approaches, the quest for delightful and memorable recipes intensifies. 🎄 What better way to conclude your Christmas or New Year’s Eve dinner than with a homemade chocolate cherry ice cream? 🍒🍫

This chocolate cherry cashew ice cream recipe is not only simply irresistible, but is also fully vegan, gluten-free, and can be easily prepped with or without an ice cream maker. The ice cream is naturally sweetened with date syrup, which adds a pleasant caramel note to the mixture. Plus, it is packed with antioxidants and is made with awesome nutritionally-dense ingredients, such as cashews, cherries, cacao nibs, and raw cacao powder. A true treat for the tastebuds, but also the body!


Chocolate Cherry Ice Cream: a Powerhouse of Taste and Nutrition 💣

Together with my Almond Joy Nice Cream, this chocolate cherry oat milk ice cream is by far one of my favorite frozen treat recipes! I find it is the right compromise between taste and nutrition. Everybody falls in love with the rich flavor and velvety texture of this ice cream, which is achieved with a balanced combination of raw cashews, cacao powder, oat milk, and frozen cherries.

Each of these ingredients boasts incredible properties, from the heart-healthy fats in cashews to the antioxidant-packed cacao nibs, the vitamin-rich cherries, and the mood-boosting elements of cacao powder. Let’s unpack their main nutritional benefits, along with some useful tips to keep in mind when buying them.

Cashews:

  • Cashews are a nutritional powerhouse, providing a good source of healthy fats, including monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.
  • They are rich in essential minerals such as magnesium, copper, and phosphorus, cashews support bone health and overall metabolism.
  • The presence of antioxidants may contribute to reducing inflammation and oxidative stress in the body.
  • Pro tip: Choose raw, unsalted cashews for optimal nutritional content. Look for organically sourced cashews to ensure they are free from unnecessary additives.

Cacao Nibs:

  • Cacao nibs are a minimally processed form of chocolate, packed with antioxidants that can help combat free radicals in the body.
  • They are high in flavonoids, which may contribute to heart health by improving blood flow and reducing the risk of cardiovascular issues.
  • They contain theobromine, a natural compound known for its potential mood-boosting effects.
  • Pro tip: Opt for unsweetened and organic cacao nibs to reap all the benefits of this true superfood.

Cherries:

  • Cherries are a rich source of vitamins, including vitamin C, which supports immune function and skin health.
  • The natural compounds found in cherries, such as anthocyanins, have anti-inflammatory properties that may aid in reducing muscle soreness and joint pain.
  • Cherries contain melatonin, a hormone that regulates sleep, potentially contributing to better sleep quality.
  • Pro tip: Make sure to use frozen cherries without added sugars. If using fresh cherries, go for organic varieties to reduce exposure to pesticides and ensure the fruit’s natural goodness.

Cacao Powder:

  • Cacao powder is a rich source of flavonoids, known for their antioxidant properties that help protect cells from damage.
  • The presence of serotonin precursors in cacao may contribute to mood enhancement and overall well-being.
  • Cacao contains minerals like iron, magnesium, and zinc, which are essential for various bodily functions, such as energy metabolism and hair, muscle recovery, and skin health.
  • Pro tip: Choose organic, non-alkalized cacao powder to retain the maximum amount of antioxidants and nutrients. This ensures a rich chocolate flavor without the processing that can strip away some of the cacao’s health benefits.

Oat Milk:

  • Oat milk is a nutrient-dense milk alternative that offers essential vitamins and minerals, including vitamin D, vitamin B12, and calcium.
  • Oats contain beta-glucans, which may help lower cholesterol levels, promoting heart health.
  • Oat milk is naturally free of lactose and suitable for those with lactose intolerance or following a vegan diet.
  • Pro tip: Opt for varieties with minimal added sugars and additives to keep the ice cream as wholesome as possible.

Date Syrup:

  • Date syrup is a natural sweetener derived from dates, offering a rich and complex sweetness without the need for unhealthy refined sugars or artificial sweeteners.
  • Plus, it has a lower glycemic index compared to refined sugar, potentially resulting in a slower rise in blood sugar levels.
  • Pro tip: Look for date syrup that contains only dates as the ingredient, avoiding additional sweeteners or additives.

Chocolate Cherry Ice Cream: Some Tips for a Rich, Velvety, and Easily-Scoopable Frozen Treat! 🍨

Here are some of my best-kept secrets for a rich, velvety, and easily scoopable vegan chocolate ice cream. You can follow them whether you decide to use or not an ice cream maker. Consider them as my own, little Christmas gift for you! 🎁

  1. Soak your Cashews:
    • Ensure cashews are adequately soaked in warm water to achieve a smoother and creamier texture.
  2. Let Aquafaba Make its Wonders:
    • For an exceptionally velvety consistency, don’t forget to incorporate some aquafaba, i.e. the liquid from a can of chickpeas. Aquafaba acts as a remarkable egg substitute and contributes to a smoother and creamier texture while keeping the ice cream completely plant-based.
  3. Don’t Skimp on the Alcohol:
    • The alcohol contained in the liquor prevents the ice cream ingredients from over-freezing. Here I opted for some Cherry liquor, which goes well with the other ingredients of this vegan chocolate ice cream!
  4. Achieve the Right Churning Consistency:
    • I am sure nobody has ever told you this secret! When using an ice cream maker, ensure the mixture reaches a soft-serve consistency before transferring to the freezer for final firming. To do that, I suggest leaving the mixture in the fridge for a couple of hours, preferably covered with a lid or some food film. (Here is the link to the ice cream maker I used for this recipe).
  5. Or Stir Regularly:
    • When making ice cream without an ice cream maker, regular stirring during the initial freezing stage helps achieve a smoother texture.

Are you ready to impress your guests with this scrumptious oat-based vegan chocolate cherry ice cream? I surely am! Happy Holidays and don’t forget to let me know in the comments how you liked this amazing recipe! 🥂💗

chocolate cherry ice cream

Chocolate Cherry Ice Cream (with and without the ice cream maker)

As the festive season approaches, the quest for delightful and memorable recipes intensifies. 🎄 What better way to conclude your Christmas or New Year’s Eve dinner than with a homemade chocolate cherry ice cream? This chocolate cherry cashew ice cream recipe is not only simply irresistible, but is also fully vegan, gluten-free, and can be easily prepped with or without an ice cream maker. The ice cream is naturally sweetened with date syrup, which adds a pleasant caramel note to the mixture. Plus, it is packed with antioxidants and is made with awesome nutritionally-dense ingredients, such as cashews, cherries, cacao nibs, and raw cacao powder. A true treat for the tastebuds, but also the body!

Prep Time 10 minutes

Resting time 5 hours

Total Time 5 hours 10 minutes

Servings 6

Calories 289 kcal

Prevent your screen from going dark

With the ice cream maker

  • Soak the raw cashews in warm water for a couple of hours. Drain and rinse.

  • In a blender, combine the soaked cashews, frozen cherries, cacao powder, aquafaba, oat milk (or almond milk), date syrup (or agave syrup), and cherry liqueur (if using). Blend until smooth and creamy.

  • Transfer the mixture to a bowl, cover, and let it sit in the fridge for a couple of hours for optimal consistency (optional).

  • Pour the chilled mixture into an ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions until it reaches a soft-serve consistency.

  • Add cacao nibs during the last few minutes of churning to distribute them evenly.

  • Transfer the ice cream to a lidded container, sprinkle some extra cacao nibs on top (if desired), and freeze for at least 4 hours, or until firm.

  • Scoop and serve the chocolate cherry cashew ice cream. If desired, top it with some frozen cherries, or some chocolate sauce and vegan whipped cream Enjoy!

Without the ice cream maker

  • Soak the raw cashews in warm water for a couple of hours. Drain and rinse.

  • In a blender, combine the soaked cashews, frozen cherries, cacao powder, aquafaba, oat milk (or almond milk), date syrup (or agave syrup), and cherry liqueur (if using). Blend until smooth and creamy.

  • Transfer the mixture to a bowl, cover, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight to chill. Once the mixture is chilled, stir in the cacao nibs.

  • Pour the mixture into a lidded container and place it in the freezer. Every 30 minutes for the first 2-3 hours, stir the mixture with a fork to break up ice crystals.

  • After stirring a few times, let the ice cream freeze completely for at least 4 hours or until firm.

  • Scoop and serve the chocolate cherry cashew ice cream. If desired, top it with some frozen cherries, or some chocolate sauce and vegan whipped cream Enjoy!

Nutrition Facts

Chocolate Cherry Ice Cream (with and without the ice cream maker)

Amount per Serving

% Daily Value*

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Keyword chocolate cherry ice cream, healthy dessert, plant-based dessert, vegan dessert, vegan dinner, vegan ice cream

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