I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!
Frozen treats like ice cream and popsicles are a staple of summer fun with friends, just like barbecues and fireworks. But while the memories around them may be sweet, they’re not always so sweet to you in return. Packed with excess sugar, fat, and dairy, these frozen treats can leave you feeling bloated, uncomfortable, and just icky after you enjoy them.
It’s not just the sweet that makes this such an addictive treat (the average American alone eats 23 pounds of ice cream a year!), it’s the amount of fat too.
But you can make your own delicious version of ice cream at home, with just the right amount of creamy healthy fats and natural sugars. So you can still enjoy all your favorite treats without all the addictive and unhealthy “junk” you don’t want.
Beat the heat this 4th of July with these 10 vegan ice cream recipes that your kids and adults will love! Even better, you’ll love them too Beauty!
Why You Should Ditch Dairy Ice Cream
Everybody loves ice cream— especially on a hot day! But certain ingredients like cow’s milk as well as excess sugar and fat, ice cream doesn’t always love your body back— especially when you’re lactose intolerant.
The dairy in ice cream can cause uncomfortable digestive symptoms like gas, bloating and diarrhea for everyone!
Dairy is also mucus-forming, which can make you feel gunky and gross after you eat it. It can also affect your skin and cause breakouts!
Not only can it cause unpleasant short-term effects, it can contribute to unwanted long-term effects too.
Dairy is considered by many to support bone health, even claiming it helps prevent osteoporosis. However, several studies point to dairy and its ability to contribute to an acid imbalance in the body that may lead to calcium loss in your bones. So instead of preventing osteoporosis, getting too much calcium from acid-producing foods (like dairy) may lead to bone diseases like osteoporosis.
If you grew up on dairy ice cream, it can be hard to switch. But rather than eliminate ice cream from your diet entirely, and deprive yourself of something you love, you can replace it with a non-dairy and healthier version.
And you don’t have to be lactose intolerant or vegan to enjoy a spoonful of creamy delicious dairy alternative ice cream either. Today there are lots of vegan or dairy-free ice cream options in the freezer aisle. You can also easily make your own at home.
And if the health and digestive benefits alone aren’t enough motivation to give the dairy-free versions a try, how about the humanitarian reasons?
Many people are just learning about the poor treatment of cows raised on factory farms. Their milk is produced for numerous food products, including ice cream. And there’s a rising awareness about cows’ impact on the climate crisis through the production of methane as they digest their food and pass gas.
These are two more reasons why making a switch to a more environmentally friendly and pro-health version of this delicious dessert is worth the swap!
What is Vegan Ice Cream Made Of?
Dairy ice cream is made of milk, cream, sugar and other ingredients like vanilla bean, chocolate, or strawberries for flavor. As with other dairy milk-based recipes, vegan ice cream is typically made out of plant-based milks like coconut milk, soy milk, cashew milk, oat milk, or almond milk.
But oats or nut milk aren’t the only ice cream base used in dairy-free ice cream. Many kinds of vegan ice cream— especially homemade vegan ice cream— are actually made with fruit! You can make it with frozen bananas, coconut chunks, canned coconut milk or coconut cream, and even avocado!
These bases help create a smooth, creamy and satisfying dessert, but without the dairy, extra fat or sugar.
What’s the Difference Between Ice Cream, Sherbet and Sorbet?
These days plant-based ice cream is flying off the shelves. So Delicious stepped onto the scene in 1987, and since then the dairy-free frozen dessert category has exploded with lots of flavors and different non-dairy base ingredients.
In addition to ice cream, sorbet and sherbet are great dairy-free alternatives with obvious (and delicious) differences!
Here is how ice cream, sherbet and sorbet are different:
- Ice cream: Traditional ice cream is made out of dairy ingredients like milk and cream, and consists of at least 10 percent milk fat.
- Sorbet: Sorbet is a mixture of smooth ice, sugar, and fruit purees. Sorbet is more acidic than ice cream, which gives it its refreshingly tart flavor. Sorbet is also a popular dairy free alternative to ice cream.
- Sherbet: Often mispronounced as “sherbert,” sherbet is like the middle ground between ice cream and sorbet. It’s tart and refreshing like sorbet, but it also contains some dairy like traditional ice cream does.
Frozen treats like ice cream definitely taste good, especially on a hot day. That can be a major mood boost in itself! But is ice cream itself good for your mental health? One study thinks so!
Ice Cream is Good For Your Mental Health!
Have you ever watched a sad movie with a bowl— or a pint— of ice cream to keep the blues at bay? While it may seem like something you’ve seen in lots of rom-coms, there may be more to it.
High-fat foods like ice cream are known as comfort food for a reason— they’re so satisfying and can help boost your mood when you’re feeling blue. A study from the University of Leuven in Belgium took this one step further. After giving participants either a salty solution— essentially a placebo— or a fatty one, they found that their brain responses to sadness were significantly reduced when they were given the fatty solution.
This mood boost was attributed to the solutions’ fatty acids, which are well-known for not only their heart benefits, but their mood benefits too. Researchers also found that these fats could even help prevent sadness if the solution was given to participants before they looked at sad pictures or listened to sad music. 
Before the study began, 12 non-obese participants were given an MRI to establish a baseline for their mood and mental activity. After that, a feeding tube was installed in each participant’s stomach. Some participants were fed a salt solution, while others got the fatty solution.
After being given their respective solutions, participants were asked to rate their sensations of hunger as well as their mood on a scale to one— sadness, to 9— happiness.
Participants who received the fatty solution reported a better mood and less hunger. In fact, the fatty solution reduced sadness by nearly half— which is on par with prescription antidepressants! That is a huge difference.
Long story short, treating yourself can definitely be a mood boost. But before you reach for a carton of ice cream next time you feel blue, remember that moderation is key with any sweet treat. Because while you’re being kind to yourself, it’s important to be kind to your body too.
Ice Cream and the Four Cornerstones of True Beauty
Maintaining a healthy diet and your emotional well-being are vital to creating a happier and healthier you.
These two important cornerstones aren’t two separate concepts though. For the best health, it’s important to pay attention to the Four Cornerstones— Food, Body, Emotional Well-Being and Spiritual Growth. You have to nourish all of them together in order to be your whole, complete self.
So where does ice cream figure into all this? Just like I mentioned above, nourishing your body with healthy fatty acids can be just the mood boost you need to de-stress and bounce back after a hard day. This is especially true when you enjoy your ice cream without dairy or other unhealthy ingredients.
An easy way to do this is to make it yourself with wholesome, nourishing ingredients.
10 Vegan Ice Cream Recipes to Help You Stay Cool This 4th of July
There’s nothing like a cold and refreshing treat on a hot summer’s day. If you’re looking for the perfect frozen treat for your 4th of July festivities, you and your loved ones will love these!
And no one will even miss the dairy, I promise.
Blackberry Vegan Ice Cream
Packed with antioxidant-rich blackberries and alkaline-forming bananas, my blackberry vegan ice cream can help protect your body against free radicals that can make you sick while being absolutely delicious.
This blackberry vegan ice cream recipe is easy to prepare in large batches and keeps well in the freezer. So if you ever need a little something sweet, it’ll always be right there. 🙂
Remember to use frozen, fully-ripe bananas for this recipe. This ensures that your ice cream is the perfect level of creaminess, and that the bananas’ nutritional benefits are at their peak.
Kiwi Lime Coconut Sorbet
My kiwi lime coconut sorbet is amazingly tangy and healthy, and it only uses four ingredients! This guarantees that your body gets all the nutritional goodness of these beautiful fruits but without the refined sugars that come with store-bought sorbet.
Kiwis are also special fruits with much more to them than meets the eye. Kiwis are lower in natural sugar than other fruits are, and because they themselves are bursting with fertility, you can give yours a little boost too, Beauty!
Apple Mint Chip Vegan Ice Cream
This recipe may have a holiday theme, but my apple mint chip ice cream is delicious no matter what time of year you enjoy it! This cool and refreshing treat is packed with healthy fiber, which is not only good for your digestion but it can also help keep your blood sugar levels stable. Both are amazing for a healthier and more radiant you!
Feel Cool Cucumber Lime Jalapeño Popsicles
Technically not ice cream, popsicles are another perfect treat for a hot summer’s day so I felt I needed to add them to this recipe round-up.
Store-bought popsicles though are packed with too much sugar and artificial sweeteners like high fructose corn syrup. So if you want to keep cool without the sugar crash, you’re going to love my cool cucumber lime jalapeño popsicles.
These amazing pops will help you feel cool as a cucumber because they’re so hydrating, nourishing and keep your electrolytes balanced. They’re also rich in nutrients like potassium, iron, and vitamin C, which will boost your body and help you feel absolutely gorgeous as you rock your favorite swimsuit or shorts. 🙂
Vanilla Cherry Nice Cream
Want a treat that will make you feel nice inside and out? My vanilla cherry nice cream is an absolute dream, packed with tart and antioxidant-rich cherries, comforting vanilla bean, and smooth creamy bananas. Speaking of dreams, cherries are one of nature’s few sources of natural melatonin, which is vital to your beauty sleep. They’re also one of my favorite summer fruits!
While the other recipes so far can be stored and enjoyed for up to a few weeks, I recommend enjoying this one right away. That shouldn’t be too hard if you love it as much as I do though!
Blissed Out Fudge Pops
If you love chocolate ice cream, you will looooooove these blissed out fudge pops!
These amazing fudge pops forgo cocoa powder for the much healthier cacao powder. What’s the difference, you may ask? Cacao is less processed than cocoa, and has more antioxidants. It also contains anandamide, the “bliss chemical”, which helps you feel blissed out for even longer!
Cacao can also boost your memory, help you burn fat, and create healthy energy.
Raspberry Banana Acai Nice Cream
Do you love raspberries as much as I do! My raspberry banana acai nice cream combines the beautiful health benefits of raspberries and bananas to create a delicious and refreshing treat that boosts your digestion and your overall health,
Berries— including raspberries— can help you build strong hair and vibrant skin thanks to all their micronutrients and vitamins. They can also help protect your brain from memory loss and improve your learning capacity. Brains and beauty! 🙂
Creamy Pineapple Ice Cream
No summer is complete without pineapple. My creamy pineapple ice cream is packed with fiber, electrolytes and an amazing compound called bromelain.
Bromelain helps promote healthy digestion, improves circulation and removes mucus from your body. All this helps your body naturally detoxify itself, helping you look and feel amazing for years to come.
End of Summer Acai Fruit Popsicles
Don’t let the name fool you— you can enjoy these refreshing treats all summer long. My acai fruit popsicles are packed with amazing beauty foods like mangoes, peaches and of course, acai.
Acai is considered a delicious superfood— and for a good reason! Acai is full of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and healthy fat. It can help keep your body healthy and youthful while detoxing it of harmful organisms and waste that can leave you looking and feeling run-down.
Glowing Green Popsicles with a Sweet Vanilla Twist
Ever wanted to enjoy the Glowing Green Smoothie (GGS)® in popsicle form? You’ll love my glowing green popsicles with a sweet vanilla twist! Your kids will even love them. 🙂
These treats have all the nutritional benefits of the GGS, and all the frozen fun of a popsicle. Just make sure to enjoy these on an empty stomach so you can get the most out of all the beautiful fruit and fiber in them.
Do I Need An Ice Cream Machine to Make Homemade Vegan Ice Cream?
No, you don’t need any special equipment to make homemade vegan ice cream. It’s so easy to make partially because you don’t need any special equipment for it. So instead of needing a fancy ice cream maker like you would for making dairy ice cream, you can just use what tools you probably already have in your kitchen!
In fact, all you need is a food processor or a blender to blend your ingredients into a beautifully creamy ice cream mixture. For best results, I recommend using a high-powered blender like Vitamix.
Stay Cool This 4th of July!
The summer heat can be a lot— especially where I live— but it’s easy to beat the heat with a cool and refreshing treat. Especially if they’re healthy and hydrating too!
In the mood for ice cream now? I am! If you make any of these recipes for your next summer get-together, make sure you tag me on Instagram so I can see your creations! Make sure you share them with all your ice cream loving friends and family on Pinterest too. 🙂
In health and beauty,
1. Oudenhove, Lukas Van, et al. “Fatty Acid-Induced Gut-Brain Signaling Attenuates Neural and Behavioral Effects of Sad Emotion in Humans.” The Journal of Clinical Investigation, American Society for Clinical Investigation, 1 Aug. 2011, www.jci.org/articles/view/46380?key=d4c77fedce32ebbd4d8a.