The best summer desserts start with the best organic ingredients.
The grocery store may be stocked wall-to-wall with ice cream and frozen treats, but none of them can beat the flavor, texture or wholesome goodness of homemade.
We all have our own definition of the perfect scoop, and the beauty of making your own ice cream is that you get to choose exactly what goes in it — and what doesn’t.
First, let’s immediately start replacing “natural flavors” with pure, organic vanilla, then swap those candy fillers for organic fruit or dark chocolate chips. Experiment with adventurous spices like Cardamom, Pumpkin Spice or Five Spice. Or even raid your snack pantry to create a totally new, mind-blowing flavor. (Potato chips, pretzels and butterscotch morsels? Yep — that’s a winning combo!) If you’ve never made homemade ice cream before, you’ll be relieved to learn that it’s surprisingly easy once you get into the rhythm. You can use a fancy ice cream machine if you want, but all these recipes can be made without one.
Ready to get started? Before you dive into the recipes, read these quick tips for making the best homemade ice cream:
- Don’t be afraid of substitutions! If you’re vegan or lactose intolerant, you can substitute the milk and cream for plant-based products. Just be sure to include something with a little fat in it (full-fat coconut milk is a great choice), that way your finished product will come out soft and smooth — not a hunk of hard, flavored ice.
- This is a big one — don’t leave out the pure vanilla! Even if you’re making chocolate ice cream (or another equally delicious, non-vanilla flavor), a good quality, organic vanilla is a must, and will bring out the best in your other ingredients. Think of it as the salt of the sweet world — it’s an enhancer.
A note on choosing your vanilla: some of the best ice creams are made with whole Madagascar vanilla beans. But if you’re looking for an easier option, keep a jar of Simply Organic Vanilla Bean Paste on hand. You can use this as a substitute for vanilla beans, and you’ll get a similarly rich flavor with beautiful specs of those little black seeds (we sometimes even stir it into store-bought ice cream for a little something extra). Of course, a Simply Organic Pure Vanilla Extract or Non-Alcoholic Vanilla Flavoring will work too! No matter which kind of vanilla you choose for your ice cream, opt for something that’s organic to ensure you’re getting a clean, quality product that was sustainably grown and harvested.
If you don’t have an ice cream machine and you still want the silky-smooth texture that churning creates, try one of these two methods:
Method One: Stir as You Go
Place your finished mixture in a metal bowl in the freezer. At around 30 to 45 minutes, check to see if it’s begun to freeze around the edges. Once it has, give it a good stir and return it to the freezer. Repeat the process every 30 minutes until frozen to your desired consistency (usually around 3 to 4 hours).
Method 2: Use a Food Processor
Place your finished mixture (minus any mix-ins) in a sealable bag and pop it in the freezer so it lays flat. Once it’s completely solid (around 4 to 6 hours), take the frozen sheet of mixture out of the bag and break it into pieces. Add the pieces, along with any mix-ins you want, into a food processor and blend until soft and smooth. Transfer it to your storage container and place it back in the freezer until it reaches a nice, scoopable consistency.
Alright — onto the good stuff!
Snickerdoodle Cookie Ice Cream Cookie Sandwich
Love a good ice cream sandwich? Snickerdoodles are the perfect cookie for the job. They’re soft and crispy, which helps to hold the shape when you bite into the sandwich. And the hint of cinnamon (we use Simply Organic Ceylon Cinnamon) goes perfectly with vanilla ice cream.
Speaking of the ice cream…this sandwich keeps it simple. We make the filling with just a few key ingredients, the most important being Simply Organic Vanilla Bean Paste, which creates a heavenly richness and lush flavor.
Vanilla Bean Frosty
Move over piña coladas! Introducing your new favorite (and non-alcoholic) frozen dessert drink to sip on the deck, by the pool, or take with you on the go — the Vanilla Bean Frosty.
This easy-to-make summer treat features fresh bananas, rich coconut milk and Simply Organic Vanilla Bean Paste for creamy, over-the-top tropical flavor. And guess what? It takes just 5 minutes to make!
Chocolate Chunk Banana Nice Cream With Cinnamon
This vegan “nice cream” is a delectable ice cream substitute that’s every bit as rich and creamy as the stuff made with dairy, thanks to a clever mix of high-quality organic ingredients. Frozen bananas don’t just bring their flavor — they help create a creamy texture with a nice amount of thickness so your chocolate chips don’t sink to the bottom.
This recipe skips out on the whole vanilla bean, but not the flavor! Simply Organic Pure Vanilla Extract — voted the best pure extract by Cook’s Illustrated — gives this summer dessert the luxurious “oomph” you crave.
Raspberry Avocado Sorbet with Vanilla Beans
Avocados make everything better, from toast to tacos to this deliciously wholesome sorbet.
There’s a lot to love about this recipe — from its silky-smooth texture to its delightfully short list of ingredients. Simply Organic Whole Madagascar Vanilla Beans play well with the flavor from the lime and raspberries, giving it a smoky-sweet twist that cuts through the acidity.
Coconut Mango Ice Cream with Cardamom
If you’ve never paired mangoes with cardamom before, you’re in for a treat! The warm, almost peppery flavor of Simply Organic Cardamom softens the sweetness of the mangos while bringing out its zesty qualities. Pair that with the richness of coconut milk and Simply Organic Whole Madagascar Vanilla Beans, and you’ve got a flavor combination that’s ideal for cooling off on a hot day.
No-Churn Pineapple Coconut Ice Cream
Ice cream doesn’t need to be fussy to hit the spot. This vegan ice cream puts fresh, juicy pineapple front and center — adding just enough spice and a sprig of mint to keep it interesting.
You’ll appreciate just how easy it is to make, too. There’s no cooking or churning required. And once you’ve blended your ingredients together and popped it in the freezer, all you really need to do is wait. (We know — that’s the hard part!)