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  • Writer's pictureKelly

Healthy Butter Pecan Ice Cream (Vegan, Gluten-Free, Refined Sugar Free)

My Pop-Pop recently passed, and his favorite ice cream flavor was Butter Pecan, so I made this recipe for the celebration of his life. This ice cream is very creamy, buttery, nutty, and sweet with plenty of pecan flavor and loaded with chunks of raw pecans. As always, this ice cream is vegan, gluten-free, and refined sugar free, but please note: it is maple-sweetened. This ice cream is very similar to my Healthy Butterbeer Ice Cream, but has its nuances. Here's to my Pop-Pop, I hope you can enjoy this ice cream as much as my family does.



Delicious ice cream recipe #3! And it's a healthy take on an all-time classic: butter pecan ice cream. If you haven't tried my ice creams yet, you're missing out. For other AMAZING healthy ice cream recipes, I suggest trying out my Spumoni Ice Cream (my Gramme's fav) and my Butterbeer Ice Cream.


This Butter Pecan Ice Cream is super creamy, buttery, and nutty with plenty of flavor and an incredible texture that makes for a wonderful culinary experience. If you don't buy it, try it for yourself. I guarantee you won't be disappointed.



This ice cream is completely vegan, gluten-free, and refined sugar free. Usually my ice creams are also 100% raw and paleo, but this one isn't because it has browned vegan butter (not raw, not paleo).


The base of this ice cream is homemade thick almond milk and raw almonds, and it doesn't get much more clean and delicious than this. If you try this ice cream and like it, you've gotta also try my Butterbeer Ice Cream, which you are sure to love as it's essentially a more concentrated version of this ice cream: more sweet, more buttery/caramel-esque, more creamy, and more maple-y with a gold hue and minus the pecans. Tried both and have a preference? Comment your fav between these two flavors!



What's your favorite ice cream flavor, vegan or not? Drop your fav ice cream in the comments, and you might just make the next Dimpled Date drool-worthy ice cream happen!


Also: some exciting things are happening in the Dimpled Date kitchen rn. Hang tight for some fantastic baking innovations, aesthetically gorgeous creations, and decadent treats.



Substitutions


For the raw unsalted almonds, you can sub raw unsalted pecans OR raw unsalted cashews OR raw unsalted macadamia nuts. The maple syrup can be replaced with agave, coconut nectar, honey (if not strictly vegan), or potentially date syrup (although date syrup might change the flavor, since it's more robust). I don't recommend substituting other types of sweeteners. The homemade thick almond milk can be substituted with homemade thick pecan milk OR your thick/extra creamy plant milk of choice (homemade or store-bought), just make sure it's unsweetened. Homemade coconut milk would work REALLY well here too. Alternately, you can use regular unsweetened plant milk of choice that isn't extra creamy at the expense of texture (it will still come out good, though).


The browned vegan butter is essential for the flavor of this ice cream, as this is butter pecan ice cream. But you can use regular non-browned vegan butter that's simply melted instead. Or you can replace the vegan butter with melted coconut oil PLUS a little bit of vegan butter extract (start w/ 1/4 tsp and add more to taste). If you must, you may replace the vegan butter with the melted coconut oil only, but this will 100% change the flavor to a simple pecan ice cream. The pecan butter can be store-bought or homemade, preferably raw. Instead of the pecan butter, you can use walnut butter, hazelnut butter, pistachio butter, almond butter, peanut butter, sunflower seed butter, tahini OR your nut/seed butter of choice, just make sure it's unsweetened (keep in mind this will change the flavor of the ice cream from butter pecan to butter + whichever nut/seed you choose). The chopped raw pecans can be substituted with raw walnuts, raw almonds, raw hazelnuts, raw sunflower seeds, pepitas (raw pumpkin seeds), raw sesame seeds, raw pistachios, peanuts, etc. (I recommend using the same type of nuts/seeds as the type of nut/seed butter you choose). Alternatively, you can use refined sugar free candied pecans or you can omit the nuts/seeds. The vanilla can be replaced with an equivalent amount of scraped vanilla bean, pure ground vanilla beans, OR sugar-free vanilla powder/paste/syrup. Don't omit the vanilla. The pinch of sea salt can be substituted with table salt or may be omitted.


If you want a yellowish/golden color to your butter pecan ice cream, add a pinch of turmeric (not too much though. You don't want savory ice cream).




Stay Tuned, More Recipes Springing Up!


Stick around for updates of more scrumptious deliciousness! (was that redundant?). Also keep posted for the latest Cake of the Week on The Dimpled Date Instagram @thedimpleddate


P.S. I recently visited my sister who lives in the Southwest, and I have some new recipes inspired from my trip. Check back in soon for the latest goodies! ;)


Enjoy! <3

-K.



Healthy Butter Pecan Ice Cream (Vegan, GF, Refined Sugar Free)


Soak Time: 8 hours or (pref.) overnight

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes (just to brown vegan butter)

Chill Time: 1 1/2 hours (between rounds of stirring), then overnight (to freeze solid)

Total Time: 2 overnights plus 25 minutes (I know this sounds overwhelming, but it's mainly soaking time and chill time)

Servings: 6 servings (depending on serving size)


Ingredients:


-140 grams // 1 cup raw unsalted almonds, soaked overnight in cold water w/ a pinch of salt OR technically 1 hour in hot water (can sub raw unsalted pecans OR raw unsalted cashews, soaked)

-230 ml // abt 3/4 cup 100% pure maple syrup

-300 ml // 1 1/3 cups homemade thick almond milk (OR homemade thick pecan milk // ratio for any kind of milk is 1 cup soaked & drained raw nuts to 1 cup water) OR 300 ml homemade unsweetened thick coconut milk (OR can sub store-bought extra-creamy unsweetened almond milk/plant milk of choice, but this won't yield the same texture)*

-60 grams (measured when solid) // 1/4 cup browned vegan butter**

-55 grams // 1/4 cup raw pecan butter (can be homemade or store-bought // For homemade: blend 1.5 cups raw pecans in a Vitamix/food processor until a shiny nut butter is produced, taking breaks ever few minutes to prevent over-heating) OR nut/seed butter of choice (but this will change the flavor)

-2 tsp vanilla extract

-pinch sea salt

-100 grams // 1 cup raw pecans, chopped OR raw nuts/seeds of choice

-good pinch turmeric, to color (optional // add more until desired color is reached but taste to ensure it doesn't taste like turmeric)


Directions:


1. Make sure you've soaked the raw almonds overnight and have made the homemade thick almond milk/pecan milk/coconut milk. Brown the vegan butter (the how-to is in this post) and cool slightly. Ensure you've made the pecan butter (if need be) and chopped the pecans.


2. Add all ingredients except the browned vegan butter, pecan butter, pecans, and turmeric to (pref.) a high-speed blender (like a Vitamix) or technically a food processor will work too. Blend on high until smooth and uniform.


3. While the machine is running, slowly drizzle in the melted & browned vegan butter and scoop the pecan butter through the tamper hole in the Vitamix/blender lid (or thru the feeder tube hole in a food processor) and into the other ingredients. Blend until incorporated. Then raise the speed to high and blend for 10 to 15 seconds.


4. Optionally, add the turmeric now, for a yellow/gold hue, and blend until the color evenly disperses through the ice cream. If you want a more golden shade, add an additional pinch of turmeric and blend, tasting in between, and repeating until your desired color is reached. (DON'T add too much turmeric though because too much will impart a savory flavor). Be aware that the color will be more bright once the ice cream is fully frozen. Or omit the turmeric and leave the ice cream a more natural off-white color.


5. Pour the ice cream into a large glass dish that's freezer-safe or an ice cream container and place in the freezer. Wait to add in the chopped pecans.


6. Every 30 minutes to 1 hour, remove the ice cream from the freezer and stir/mix it manually with a spoon or spatula. Then return back to the freezer immediately. Repeat this step 2 to 3 more times (so, stir it a total of 3 to 4 times, once every 30 minutes to 1 hour). After the second or third stir or until it’s thick enough to hold them, fold in the chopped pecans. The purpose of this step is to get an über creamy texture (like gelato) and to prevent ice crystals from forming.


7. Allow the ice cream to freeze a couple more hours or overnight until completely solid.


8. When ready to eat, defrost the ice cream at room temp for 15 to 20 minutes or until scoopable (not rock solid, not soupy, somewhere in between for the best texture and flavor) and serve. Serve with an extra drizzle of pecan butter, refined sugar free praline pecans, a drizzle of my Paleo Sea Salt Caramel Sauce, caramelized bananas, fresh berries, or your toppings of choice. Or enjoy straight up. This ice cream would also be good in a homemade vegan/refined sugar free waffle cone! Enjoy!

Store leftover ice cream in an airtight container in the freezer. To defrost, leave at room temp for 15 to 20 minutes before serving or until scoopable.


NOTES:


*To make homemade thick nut milks: to achieve the extra thick plant milk consistency, use a ratio of 1 part soaked & drained nuts to 1 part water and blend, then strain thru nut milk bag. If making homemade thick coconut milk, use a ratio of the meat of 1 brown coconut to 2 cups water OR 2 cups shredded coconut to 2 cups water, blend, then strain thru a nut milk bag.


**see this post on how to brown vegan butter


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