Monday, September 9, 2013


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I've been making a fair amount of vegan ice cream, gelato and sorbet this summer, and, obviously, I'm still experimenting (we are having wonderful summer weather!).  Lately, I've been playing with the gelato recipe from my book "Nonna's Italian Kitchen". I wanted to add richness, as well as making it quicker and easier to prepare. One of the changes I made  early on was to use Instant Clearjel® (see Notes about this product here) OR guar gum or xanthan gum instead of the cooked tapioca flour mixture that I originally used. (These starches or gums prevent the mixture from crystallizing and improve texture.) This new method eliminates cooking the starch mixture, which means the whole thing takes less time, and it doesn't take as long to chill the gelato mixture before freezing.

This time, along with a couple of other small changes, I modified the recipe further by using lowfat coconut coffee creamer for the majority of the liquid and added just a little bit of vegan butter (including the "tub" version) to provide even richer flavor and mouthfeel. My husband declared this the best vanilla gelato he'd ever had (and vanilla is his favorite).

PS: This gelato would be fabulous with the Fresh Pineapple Upside-Down Cake from the previous blog post.  

Printable Copy

Servings: 12
Yield: about 1 1/2 qts. 
2 cups (1 pint) So Delicious Original Coconut Milk Creamer or other not-too-sweet vegan creamer
1 1/2 cups plain "original" nondairy milk (I prefer Silk Original-- it's very creamy)
1/2 cup raw cashews or cashew pieces, soaked in boiling water for 10 minutes and drained  (OR use cut-up Brazil nuts, macadamia nuts, or soaked and drained raw shelled sunflower seeds instead of cashews.)
3/4 cup grade A (light) maple syrup OR agave nectar
3/4 cup light granulated unbleached organic sugar
2 tablespoons vegan butter, melted (try my homemade palm oil-free “Buttah”, which includes the "tub" version)
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
a slightly heaping 1/8 tsp guar gum or xanthan gum OR 2 3/4 tsp Instant Clearjel (see Notes about this product here)
1/4 teaspoon salt  
Place the creamer and milk into a blender or Vita-Mix, along with the soaked, drained cashews, and blend until VERY smooth and frothy (make sure that it is not grainy at all).

Add all of the remaining ingredients, in order given, to this mixture and blend again until it is VERY smooth.

Chill the gelato mixture thoroughly, and then freeze according to directions for your ice cream machine). Scoop into a 2-quart plastic container, cover and freeze for several hours before serving.
Nutrition Facts
Nutrition (per serving): 182.2 calories; 21% calories from fat; 4.7g total fat; 0.0mg cholesterol; 66.9mg sodium; 79.0mg potassium; 31.0g carbohydrates; 0.2g fiber; 27.9g sugar; 30.8g net carbs; 1.7g protein; 4.0 points.



Veganosaurus said...

Sounds deliciously smooth and creamy! I make a lot of ice creams but I've never tried working with gums before. My ice creams are creamy on the first two days, then they often start to turn icy. Thanks for the ingredient ideas to keep the ice creams creamy. Will try them out soon. :)

Is there a difference between regular corn starch and this instant clearjel?

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

Veganosaurus, yes, there is a great difference between cornstarch and instant Clearjel (and it HAS to be the instant ind in this recipe). You can read about the product here:

I never liked the mouthfeel of cornstarch in ice creams, which is why I always used tapioca flour/starch (same thing). But this method is so much easier.

Caitlin said...

That looks delicious and sounds so great. I definitely need to buy an ice cream machine! Only trouble is my freezer is very tiny and I don't think it would fit one!

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

Caitlin, if you can afford it, there are machines that self-refrigerate (I'm saving up for one). Ebay often has some good bargains.