Everyone had a total fit when Halo Top announced it was coming to Canada. Hell, even I got excited. I’ve seen so many Instagrammers posting about their low-sugar ice cream treats, and I loved how many dairy-free options there were (of course, I always hope that a company will take the queue from the popularity of dairy-free options and just ditch dairy all together). Unfortunately, when I saw the list of flavours available here, I was super disappointed: non-dairy fails to make it north of the border yet again.

I mean c’mon, we’ve already surrendered most of our Gardein goodness, don’t have access to Ripple’s entire line of amazing dairy-free foods and, of course, we don’t have Trader Joe’s.

But you know what we do have? Our creativity.

I’d be a damn fool if I weren’t planning on taking advantage of this lack of low-sugar, dairy-free ice cream (okay, there are actually quite a few options in Canada still, but let me board this hype train without incident). After all, it’s warming up (right?) and we’re looking for something creamy and sweet (but not too sweet).

Enter coconut milk and hemp hearts. Yeah, that’s right, hemp hearts. Those grassy little buds actually thicken up any liquid quite well. You might think the taste isn’t ideal for ice cream, but all you have to do is add a little bit of natural sweetness with a liquid sweetener and some rich, creamy tahini. Add a pinch of espresso powder, and well, you’ve got a sweet caramel macchiato flavour on your hands!

I use coconut nectar here, which helps to give the distinctly tart, caramel-like taste. However, maple syrup or agave will do in a pinch.

No churn, no-effort ice cream, makes about 2.5 cups

Information

  • Vegan
  • Gluten-free
    • Grain-free
  • Nut-free
  • Refined sugar-free
  • Prep time: <5 minutes, >4 hours to freeze

Ingredients:

  • One can full-fat coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup hemp hearts
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 tbsp coconut nectar (or liquid sweetener of your choice)
  • 3 tbsp tahini
  • 1-2 tsp ground espresso
  • Pinch of fine-grain sea salt, to taste

Instructions

Combine all of the ingredients besides the sea salt in a blender and blend on high until perfectly smooth. Portion into ice cube trays (note: try not to use overly large, silicone ice cube trays. The larger cubes are harder to blend, believe it or not)!

Freeze for at least two hours. Once solid, empty the cubes in a food processor and blend again until all of the chunks are gone. Add in a pinch of fine grain sea salt, mid-blend, to bring out the espresso flavour.

You can either serve immediately for a soft-serve texture or scoop into a shallow, freezer-safe container and freeze for an additional two hours, which will give you a more solid ice cream.

That’s it! Why buy ice cream when you can make your own? I don’t know about you, but I had all of this stuff in my kitchen — why don’t you do a sweep of your cupboards and see what you can pull together in terms of sweets?