recipes for great vegan + gluten free eats

blackberry basil ice cream

blackberry basil ice cream

Oh, summer.

I hate it.  I’m sorry, I really do.  But don’t worry–I am not the kind of summer hating person who complains when it gets too cold in the winter.  Instead, I put on an extra pair of fuzzy socks and pour myself a cup of hot coffee.  The best part?  I don’t sweat when I drink a hot cup of coffee in the winter.

Perhaps my distaste for summer comes from the fact that I don’t have air conditioning in my home. This complicates my dessert options in the summertime because I refuse to turn the oven on in +30 degree weather. As a result, I am constantly searching for easy, no-bake desserts that will also cool me down.  Ice cream is a good summer dessert for hot days, but it is not something I always keep in the freezer.  Not to mention that some grocery stores don’t stock that many ice cream options for us vegans.  I’ve come across numerous recipes for vegan ice cream that I have wanted to try, but so many of them call for an ice cream maker and I don’t have one, nor do I want to buy one for the few times I’ll use it.

Thankfully, I found a way to satisfy all my needs without buying any new appliances: blackberry basil ice cream made with aquafaba.

You do not need an ice cream maker for this recipe and it comes together pretty quickly. After the 20 minutes of preparation, which is mostly spent whipping up the aquafaba, all you have to do is throw the ice cream in the freezer and take a (very) long nap.  If you have never used aquafaba before, I suggest you check out the Vegan Meringues – Hits and Misses! Facebook group.  Aquafaba, which literally means bean water, is the liquid from cans of beans and legumes.  The most popular aquafaba is from cans of chickpeas and that is all I have ever experimented with, so I suggest you use that.  This stuff is magic.  You can make everything from vegan meringues and macarons to vegan mayo and cheese, and of course, ice cream!

The aquafaba in this recipe makes the ice cream lighter than your usual ice cream. It is not too sweet, and the combination of blackberries and basil is superb. However, if that combination doesn’t sound like your thing, feel free to use strawberries instead of blackberries. And if you don’t like herbs in your desserts you can omit the basil with no issue.

blackberry basil ice cream

serves 6 (or 1, because ice cream)
active time: 20 minutes ~ total time: 6 hours and 20 minutes

This vegan ice cream recipe is easily adaptable and uses basic kitchen appliances–no ice cream maker necessary!  Feel free to use whatever berries that you have in the fridge.  Try subbing the blackberries with strawberries, or try a raspberry mint combination.


  • 1/2 cup aquafaba
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 3/4 tsp xantham gum
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups smashed blackberries
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
  • 1 can full fat coconut milk, refrigerated overnight


1. Place the aquafaba, lemon juice, and xantham gum in a large, clean metal bowl.  It is really important that your bowl is clean as aquafaba can be finicky and it only takes a little bit of oil residue to throw off your entire recipe.  With a handheld mixer (or if you’re fancy, a stand mixer with a balloon whisk) beat the aquafaba until you get stiff peaks.  Depending on your mixer, this could take up to 15 minutes.  Be patient!
2. Beat in the vanilla.  Then, one tbsp at a time, beat in the sugar. Set aside.
3. In a separate bowl, mash the blackberries and basil together.  If you don’t want seeds in your ice cream, feel free to blend the blackberries and then put the berry mixture through a sieve, mixing in the chopped basil afterwards. Set aside.
4. Now take your coconut milk and place the cream in a small metal bowl, leaving behind the liquid (save it and use it instead of water when you cook rice!).  Whip the coconut cream.
5. Gently place the whipped coconut cream into your aquafaba mixture and beat until just mixed.  Fold in the mashed blackberries.
6. Place your ice cream into a metal loaf pan.  Cover the ice cream mixture with plastic wrap, making sure the plastic wrap is pressed onto the ice cream.  Next place a piece of aluminium foil over top of the plastic wrap.  Freeze for at least 6 hours, or overnight.  Remove from the freezer 5 minutes prior to serving.

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