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Magical Sweet Potato Chocolate Ice Cream {No Added Sugar & Vegan}

October 1, 2015

Magical Sweet Potato Chocolate Ice Cream {No Added Sugar & Vegan}
I am alive! I have survived my first two weeks at uni and am getting into the whole meal planning spreadsheet lifestyle B) #beingorganisediscool. I mean yes, half my room is a devoted pantry and I have a window display of succulents, a butternut squash, ginger, tomatoes and onions, so of course I’m happy. I’ve also been cooking completely meat-free so far and I am looooving it!! My Food Science & Nutrition lectures have only just started but so far so good – I’m sure I’ll be writing more about what I’m learning as time goes on. But for now, onto the next no-added-sugar recipe!
Magical Sweet Potato Chocolate Ice Cream {No Added Sugar & Vegan}
One of the most interesting ways I found for sweetening things up without sugar was using sweet potato. Usually when making desserts, I’d reach for an overripe banana as a natural sweetness booster. It works brilliantly and can help with the textural problems (namely, dryness) that come about from removing sugar from baked goods too. However, bananas have a damn strong flavour and everything ends up tasting pretty much the same.
Magical Sweet Potato Chocolate Ice Cream {No Added Sugar & Vegan}
One day I was thinking about how sometimes people use pumpkin purée as they would mashed bananas in quickbreads – again the pumpkin provides moisture but, unless you’re using something like butternut squash puree, it’s not sweet at all. I remembered having a sweet potato & pecan bread at El Rey in New York (it was goooood.) so that led me to thinking about using sweet potato puree in desserts instead of pumpkin or banana.
Magical Sweet Potato Chocolate Ice Cream {No Added Sugar & Vegan}
Many recipes use overripe bananas to sweeten smoothies/’mylkshakes’ and provide a thick creamy texture, so I wondered if this would apply to the sweet potato purée due to the similarity in results from baking. They’re both high in sugar with a similar texture once blended, plus sweet potato purée is very creamy on its own. So I set out to make a sweet potato sweetened milkshake. I didn’t add very much water to the blender at first because I was using soaked cashews and I wasn’t sure how much liquid I’d need to add. I’m glad I didn’t because once I stopped blending and took a spoonful to taste, it immediately reminded me of chocolate pudding.

Now, I’m someone who isn’t much of a pudding-fan, I’m always longing to pour it into an ice cream maker and churn it into a scoop of gelato. SO I did just that, and what came out was a D.R.E.A.M. Magical Sweet Potato Chocolate Ice Cream {No Added Sugar & Vegan}

It’s thick, creamy and rich thanks to the sweet potato and some soaked cashews. The sweetness comes from the sweet potato too, but I also added some dates and liquid stevia to balance out the bitterness of the cacao powder. If you don’t have an ice cream maker, I’m afraid freezing this straight up doesn’t work 🙁 HOWEVER, scoop it into some little ramekins and chill the mixture for a few hours, and you have a deluxe chocolate pudding!!! Otherwise you can freeze it in popsicle moulds to make fudgesicles <3

Notes:
– to make sweet potato purée: Prick a large sweet potato all over with a fork. Wrap in foil and bake in a 200 C (400 F) oven for 45-60 minutes until tender all the way through. Leave to cool then scoop out the flesh, discarding the skin. Blend the flesh until completely smooth.
– In this recipe I’ve used raw cacao powder as I think it has a much more chocolatey flavour. If you can’t get any, normal cocoa powder will be fine but you may need to add more.
– If you don’t have a high speed blender (such as a Boss or Vitamix), you’ll need to soak the cashews and dates in advance: Cover them with cold water and leave overnight then drain and use as usual in the recipe.

Magical Sweet Potato Chocolate Ice Cream {No Added Sugar & Vegan}

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup (75 g) cashews
  • 6 medjool dates , pitted
  • 1 cup (250 ml) cold water
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 3 tbsp cacao powder
  • 1 cup (250 ml) sweet potato purée (see notes)
  • optional: liquid stevia , to taste (see notes)

For the decoration (optional):

  • 1 tbsp coconut oil , melted
  • 2 tbsp cacao powder
  • 2 tbsp chopped pistachios

Instructions

  1. Cover the cashews and dates with boiling water for 15 minutes. Drain, discarding the water, and transfer to a high-powered blender (see notes). Blend with around half of the cold water until completely smooth and creamy. Add in the rest of the water, the salt, vanilla, cacao and sweet potato purée and blend again until smooth.
  2. Churn the mixture in an ice cream maker until thickened and scoopable (this took about 40 minutes for my ice cream maker). Transfer to a loaf pan and smooth out then freeze for at least 4 hours until solid.
  3. If you want to decorate it: stir together the coconut oil and cacao powder. Drizzle it over the frozen ice cream and quickly scatter on the pistachios then return it to the freezer.
  4. When ready to serve, let it sit at room temperature for 5-10 minutes to soften before scooping

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  • madeleine October 1, 2015 at 11:08 pm

    the texture looks crazy good

  • jaime October 2, 2015 at 12:15 am

    what? smart! i just got an ice cream maker, so i’ve been on such a kick lately–so glad you shared this! i know what you mean about bananas, too. i can only do so many before i feel like i’m turning into one.

    i bet this ice cream would be super good minus chocolate plus warming spices, too.

  • thehappyhealthymama October 2, 2015 at 12:26 am

    Love it! I’ve used sweet potato to make a chocolate pudding and it’s amazing. But I love pudding. 🙂 Great recipe!

  • Camilla October 2, 2015 at 2:03 am

    Drool! Think I now need an ice-cream maker?!

  • Danielle October 2, 2015 at 2:43 am

    I made frozen banana ice cream once and that was enough! You can’t cover up banana flavor with chocolate. Excellent idea using sweet potato for a neutral base.

  • violetannie63 October 2, 2015 at 2:58 am

    Oh this looks too delightful for words. I can’t eat most of what is in this recipe (kidney issues – such a drama) but boy-oh-boy does this look like it needs to be added to my list-of-things-I-might-cheat-with-once-in-a-while 🙂

  • Kristina October 2, 2015 at 8:30 am

    I love this. How awesome is that, a healthy chocolate ice cream. I never needed an excuse to eat chocolate ice cream, but now not only that, I have a reason why I have to eat it. Great!

  • Isabel October 2, 2015 at 9:23 am

    This sound (and look) fantastic! I’ve got to try it out!

  • Medeja October 2, 2015 at 10:34 am

    Yummy! Looks so creamy and chocolaty!

  • Ana @ The Awesome Green October 2, 2015 at 10:43 am

    It looks so great and I think it will pair deliciously with the roasted pumpkin in my oven. Lovely photos! 🙂

  • aspoonfulofnature October 2, 2015 at 11:20 am

    sweet potato ice cream!!??! need this in my life <3

    https://aspoonfulofnature.wordpress.com/

  • aspoonfulofnature October 2, 2015 at 11:21 am

    sweet potato ice cream!!?? whooa need this in my life <3

    https://aspoonfulofnature.wordpress.com/

  • Tori October 2, 2015 at 11:21 am

    I’m so happy you’re surviving! This is such a brilliant idea for using sweet potatoes! It looks and sounds so delicious!

  • Abby @ The Frosted Vegan October 2, 2015 at 2:20 pm

    You are a freaking GENIUS! I can’t wait to try this you brilliant lady!

  • Shelly @ Vegetarian 'Ventures October 2, 2015 at 3:23 pm

    Sweet potatoes as a sweetener? Genius!! Glad you are lovin’ the vegetarian lifestyle : )

  • Eve ~ Baking the Day October 2, 2015 at 4:47 pm

    This ice cream looks amazing, I also love it because it is vegan and 100% natural, pinned.

  • wallflourgirl October 2, 2015 at 6:54 pm

    Sheer brilliance as always, girl–I bet the folks at uni are glad to have a gem like you sitting around 😀 good thing you have space for a pantry and all that jazz! Totally trying this ASAP!

  • Tessa | Salted Plains October 3, 2015 at 2:22 pm

    This is brilliant! What a smart idea and it sounds delicious!

  • Gemma October 4, 2015 at 11:04 pm

    This is such a clever idea, sweet potato to the rescue! You’ve just combined two of my most favorite things in the world in one recipe: chocolate and sweet potatoes. <3 It looks incredibly creamy and luscious, I gotta try your recipe ASAP.

    xo

  • Lisa October 5, 2015 at 4:07 pm

    I don’t see naturally sweetened ice creams all that often, and I love that this one is sweetened with dates and sweet potatoes! I use bananas a lot as a natural sweetened, but I agree, it’s flavor tends to be quite overpowering. Such a clever idea!

  • mondomulia October 5, 2015 at 5:14 pm

    Sweet Potato Ice Cream?! That’s a first! Such a clever recipe, Izy, I can’t wait to try it!

  • teffysperks October 6, 2015 at 6:28 am

    This looks almost too delicious to be true!! Love the idea of adding sweet potato to this, so so creamy! X

  • Kelly | Eat Yourself Skinny October 6, 2015 at 4:45 pm

    What a creative recipe, this sounds amazing! I love incorporating sweet potatoes into most of my meals so why not ice cream?! 🙂

  • cococakeland October 7, 2015 at 11:51 pm

    the texture of this ice cream looks spot-on delicious! izy you are so clever. sweet potato power! xo

  • Laura @ Laura's Culinary Adventures October 9, 2015 at 12:50 pm

    Adding sweet potato instead of banana or pumpkin is such a great idea! Look delicious!

  • Anna October 9, 2015 at 8:49 pm

    Man, why can’t I open my freezer right now and have a batch of the ice cream sitting there for me? D’:
    Tip: microwaving the sweet potato will also soften it up.

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  • lisamummymadeit October 11, 2015 at 1:10 pm

    I love sweet potato in desserts. I use it a lot with chocolate (so this dessert is calling my name!) and I also oddly find it great with gingerbread flavours!!

  • Macy @ Paleo Crumbs October 13, 2015 at 1:11 am

    mmmm…this looks soooo yummy!! (:

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  • David February 10, 2016 at 12:28 am

    I LOVE this recipe, thank you haha!

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  • Natalia April 7, 2016 at 9:29 pm

    Could you sub cashew for something else??
    Due to allergies
    Only nut that I can use is almonds ??
    Thx

    • Izy April 8, 2016 at 9:51 pm

      I think almonds could work here! You might need to add some melted coconut oil to the mixture pre-churn (if you can tolerate coconut, that is) just to make up for the fact that the almonds are less rich than cashews 🙂

  • Shirley April 17, 2016 at 1:01 am

    Hi Izy;
    You just made my night!!!! Having to be dairy and gluten free can be a drag, so when I somehow found your post, I had to try this. Rock ON! To enhance the chocolate flavor, I added cinnamon. Next time, I’ll also add coffee (both enhance the chocolate’s flavor). This dish would be great with chopped sour cherries and cacao nibs. Oh wait – this is a great dip or custard to go with bananas…. or strawberries.

    Thank you for adding a little joy to my life. Keep pumping out those recipes!

  • klauidella April 17, 2016 at 7:39 pm

    I think ‘magical’ is the only way to explain how the heck you came up with the idea for this recipe and how you created it (not to mention the photographs over which I am drooling at the moment). You surely are a magician, Izy. Otherwise I don’t know how to explain the existence of your creations, really.
    I feel completely not in the position to suggest you anything, yet I somehow can’t stop myself from sharing my latest discovery with you (you probably already heard about it or even used it, but still) – what I mean is erythritol. It’s almost 0 kcal, with no gastrointestinal problems involved and, most importantly, tasteless (unlike stevia). I highly recommend it for cooking, baking and anything that requires sweetening, really.
    I just realised I write like a salesman, but still, had to share 🙂
    Cheers! Love your blog 🙂

  • Pamela April 26, 2016 at 5:11 am

    This looks wonderful! I came over here from your Chocolate Hazelnut Crepes. I have been trying to find a crepe recipe that doesn’t involve eggs and I am hoping that yours hits the spot. And a Nutella-like filling? What’s not to like.

    However, the reason I came to this recipe is because I was hoping that you would show a picture of your sweet potatoes. Because, unfortunately, there’s sweet potatoes and then there’s sweet potatoes.

    So. Just to clarify, are you using the little white jobs that most grocery stores around here call sweet potatoes, or are you using the bigger orange items that most stores around here call yams, BUT are also called sweet potatoes?

    Thank you so much!!

  • Yanis July 31, 2016 at 6:08 pm

    This recipe seems a bit odd to the average joe but with all those wonderful flavours I’m sure it’s delicious . Just wonder how many two scoop serving would I get out of this recipe? I would like to make this for a family get together of about 12

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