This creamy Vegan Oat Milk Ice Cream is made with just 5 healthy ingredients, thickened with oats and cashews, and FREE from coconut, gluten, refined sugar and oil.
A Healthier Vegan Ice Cream Recipe
Following my exciting realization that you can use a small amount of oatmeal to bring creaminess to vegan ice cream without coconut milk, oil, or loads of fat, you knew another flavor was coming soon, right?!
For the backstory see this post: Vegan Pumpkin Oat Ice Cream
If you're a fan of vanilla and you enjoy maple syrup, you are going to LOVE this new oat milk ice cream recipe! It has such a purely vanilla-maple flavor, and I can honestly say it's one of my favorite vegan ice creams I've ever tasted.
The fact that this oat ice cream is made with ingredients that are considered healthy enough to eat for breakfast is just a bonus.
But don't take my word for it. Check out the comments section below to see what other readers had to say.
Compared to the base of the Pumpkin Oat Ice Cream recipe, I decided to change a few things for this vanilla version.
Since we're losing the density and volume of the pumpkin puree, I bumped up the amount of raw cashews.
I also decided to sweeten this one with maple syrup instead of coconut sugar for a totally irresistible vanilla-maple flavor. No kidding, the maple takes this vegan ice cream over the top!
What you'll need:
- unsweetened non-dairy milk - obviously oat milk is the top choice here! If you don't mind added oil, choose a full-fat oat milk or barista blend. You can also use homemade oat milk.
Soy milk is also great in this recipe because it is naturally higher in protein in fat than other non-dairy milks.
- raw cashews
- old fashioned rolled oats
- pure maple syrup
- vanilla extract
See the recipe card below for amounts and full instructions.
Let's give another shout out to Miyoko Schinner, our vegan non-dairy queen, for inspiring this recipe, too. As I explained in the Pumpkin Ice Cream post, her low-fat gelato recipe in The Homemade Vegan Pantry was the inspiration.
As someone who loves frozen treats, but also appreciates healthier versions of recipes, tricks like using oatmeal in ice cream are just SO exciting. Once you try it for yourself and see how beautifully it melts, I think you'll totally understand my enthusiasm.
There is some planning involved when making any ice cream recipe, so let's do a quick review to make sure things go smoothly for you.
How to Make Oat Milk Ice Cream
If you're a visual learner, but sure to watch the 1-minute recipe video below!
- If using an ice cream machine with a removable canister, make sure the canister has been in the freezer for at least 24 hours.
- Prepare the oatmeal in a small sauce pan, then transfer to a bowl to cool.
- Blend the milk and cashews. Add in the remaining ingredients, including the oatmeal, and blend until completely smooth.
- Refrigerate the mixture until cold (anywhere from 2 hours to overnight).
- Churn the ice cream according to manufacturer's instructions for your machine. It will be the consistency of soft serve.
- Transfer to a freezer-safe container, and freeze for 3 to 4 hours.
- Allow the ice cream soften at room temperature for about 15 minutes, then scoop and enjoy!
So even though ice cream requires some planning, it's not like it's a difficult process. It just requires a little patience, but once you taste this creamy and healthy ice cream you'll know it was all worth it.
After churning the ice cream it will have an almost stretchy consistency, but don’t worry! That’s just the oats working their magic.
Tips for Serving
After spending about 4 hours in the freezer the ice cream is very firm. So don't just try to dig in with a spoon, and then declare me a liar about its creaminess!
Let it hang out on the countertop for about 15 minutes, and then scoop up that beautiful maple and vanilla flavor.
Watch it melt in your bowl, and feel it melt in your mouth, and then thank the oats for their natural creaminess!
If you don't own an ice cream maker you can still whip up a batch of this vanilla-maple oat ice cream. The no-churn method goes like this:
- After blending the ice cream mixture, pour it into a shallow, freezer-safe container.
- Place in the freezer until the ice cream mixture begins to freeze around the edges, about 45 minutes. Give it a vigorous stir, then place back in freezer.
- Repeat this process every 30 to 45 minutes until the ice cream is the desired consistency. It will take about 5 to 6 hours to reach soft-serve state.
I've tested this ice cream using the no-churn method. The results?
It still tastes amazing and melts beautifully; the appearance is the main difference. It will appear a bit grainy due to the formation of ice crystals, but overall that didn't really bother me.
I will say, there's something so enjoyable about watching an ice cream machine transform this healthy blended oat mixture into thick, creamy ice cream within a matter of minutes. And sneaking a taste straight from the machine is pure joy.
So I'll keep using our inexpensive ice cream maker until it quits on me! At that point I just might upgrade to a built-in freezer variety because I love the idea of making back-to-back batches and not having to wait for a canister to freeze.
If you're in the market for an affordable ice cream maker, I've been using this Cuisinart 2-Quart Ice Cream Maker for probably close to 11 or 12 years (so long ago I can't remember exactly, but I know we bought it before going vegan)!
I hope you enjoy this Vegan Oat Milk Ice Cream. Be sure to drop a comment and a star rating below if you give it a try. If you’re on instagram tag a photo of your epic vegan ice cream with @myquietkitchen. I always love to see what you’re making!
Vegan Oat Milk Ice Cream Recipe (No Coconut)
- 3 cups unsweetened non-dairy milk, such as oat or soy, divided
- ¼ cup old fashioned rolled oats
- 1 cup raw cashews - If you don't have a high speed blender, sub ⅓ to ½ cup raw cashew butter.
- ⅔ cup maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 ounce good quality gin or vodka, optional - See Notes.
- If using an ice cream maker with a removable canister, be sure to freeze the canister at least one day before you plan to make ice cream. Also note that the ice cream mixture needs time to chill before churning (at least an hour), and the churned ice cream needs about 3 to 4 hours in the freezer for a firmer, scoopable consistency.
Make the ice cream:
- In a small sauce pan, simmer oats in 1 cup of milk until soft, about 10 minutes. Immediately transfer to a bowl to cool.
- In a blender combine the remaining 2 cups of milk and the cashews. Blend on high until completely smooth. Add the cooled oatmeal, maple syrup, vanilla, salt, and gin/vodka, if using, and blend again. Refrigerate until cold.
- Churn the mixture according the instructions for your ice cream maker. At this point the ice cream will be softer than a typical soft serve consistency. Transfer it to a freezer-safe container, cover, and freeze for about 4 hours.
- Around the 4 hour mark, and definitely once the ice cream has been in the freezer longer, it will be too hard to scoop right away. It's important to let the ice cream soften at room temperature for about 15 minutes before serving.
Estimated Nutrition (per serving)
Nutrition information is an estimate and will vary depending on the exact amounts and specific products and ingredients used. We calculate this information using the online calculator cronometer.com.