It’s ice cream season – no, it’s dairy-free ice cream season! And did you know that today is National Ice Cream Soda Day? Or was it June 20? Either way, I think this is the perfect time to celebrate the many ways to enjoy vegan and dairy-free ice cream beyond a simple bowl and spoon. All of the following recipe ideas were created by me, along with my awesome niece Kylie, for So Delicious, but with our own appetites in mind. I think that you will agree these are some amazing ways to enjoy summer’s perfect treat.
Dairy-Free Ice Cream Sodas (and Root Beer Floats!)
Grab two tall glasses (dairy-free root beer floats must be shared!) and drop 1 scoop of vanilla dairy-free ice cream in each, fill halfway with root beer, add another scoop of the ice cream, and then fill to the top with the rest of the root beer. For the ice cream, we used So Delicious Vanilla Bean Coconut Milk Non-Dairy Ice Cream, and coupled it with 365 Root Beer (Whole Foods generic), which is pretty darn good. For a low sugar or sugar-free float, I recommend the No Sugar Added Vanilla Bean Non-Dairy Ice Cream with Zevia Ginger Root Beer Soda (though it lacks that deep root beer hue and Zevia has a definite stevia taste).
Other varieties of dairy-free ice cream sodas can be made much like a root beer float, but with your favorite variation of ice cream and soda flavors. Use the same process of a dairy-free ice cream scoop, followed by soda, then another scoop, then a final glug of soda. For the best flavor blend, my niece Kylie recommends Passionate Mango ice cream with Lemon-Lime Soda (again 365 brand works nicely).
Dairy-Free Ice Cream Cookie Cups
I admit it – once in a while I get so excited about a concept that I see on the internet that I don’t even stop to think about what could go wrong. You know that “here’s how you make cookie cups!” concept? Yeah, this is how it really turns out. But, I did find one yummy way that DOES work:
Keep those muffin tins right side up. Use a silicone muffin pan or cupcake liners and press your favorite cookie dough in as thinly as possible (be sure to use mini chips if doing chocolate chip). Bake as you normally would. They will puff inward (do not be tempted to omit the baking soda / powder in your recipe – I did this once – epic fail), so while they are still hot, go ahead and press them down on the sides and bottom so that your scoop of dairy-free ice cream (or two), will fit. Enjoy while still warm if you like melty ice cream, or let cool. Store the cookies tightly to keep them from firming up to much. In the picture above, I used my chocolate chip cookie recipe from Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook, but with mini chips and good ‘ol Vanilla Bean ice cream. Yes, I’m a vanilla girl.
Dairy-Free Ice Cream Sandwiches
This was a VERY popular recipe idea that I created using simply graham crackers (gluten-free at that!), chocolate coconut milk ice cream, and allergy-friendly chocolate chips (either melted to coat, or dotted like above). Simply amazing! Feel free to mix it up with your favorite cookies (homemade oatmeal are a favorite, but allergen-free store-bought are good, too) and ice creams (why not cookie dough ice cream in cookies!). For more detailed instructions, see my dairy-free ice cream sandwich post.
Dairy-Free Ice Cream Sundaes
It may look like a little bit of a chaotic mess (it was so HOT – I couldn’t keep everything from melting), but the Chocolate Almond Sundae above, complete with a rich almond sauce and allergy-friendly chocolate chips, is AMAZING! I used the lower sugar Chocolate Almond Milk Ice Cream to keep with the almond theme in this one, but you can use a rich coconut milk ice cream for your sundae base. Two more dairy-free ice cream sundae combos to consider include:
Mint Chip Brownie Sundae: Bake up some delicious brownies (my chewy fudgy brownies from Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook or my flourless brownies are the recipes of choice here). While warm, top with mint chip coconut milk ice cream and chocolate sauce. This is a personal favorite.
Berry-licious Crisp Sundae: Bake up your favorite crisp recipe, or simply make some crisp topping (baked or unbaked!). Gently cook some of your favorite summer berries to release their juices. If desired, thicken with a touch of cornstarch and some sweetener to taste. Serve up a scoop or two of vanilla ice cream over the crisp or top with crisp crumbles, and drizzle on berry sauce.