Creamy, decadent 4-ingredient vegan vanilla sunflower seed ice cream! So easy, it is no churn (no machine!) & can be made keto with 1 swap.
Vegan Vanilla Ice Cream without Cashews
- No ice cream machine required
- Vegan (dairy-free, egg-free)
- Refined sugar free
- Fast and easy to make
- Only 4 ingredients
- Keto Option
Ingredients for Vegan Vanilla Sunflower Seed Ice Cream
The exact amounts of each ingredient are indicated in the recipe card at the end of the post.
- Sunflower seed kernels (roasted or raw; see below)
- 1 13.5-ounce can full-fat coconut milk
- Coconut sugar (I have many options, including keto)
- Vanilla extract
I strongly recommend adding a bit of salt, too. It enhances the flavors to a higher level. I even add an extra pinch when using salted, roasted sunflower seed kernels.
Use Roasted or Raw Sunflower Seed Kernels
Raw sunflower seeds produce a neutral-flavor, traditional vanilla ice cream. Roasted, salted sunflower seeds are easier to find in most general supermarkets. They produce a more deeply flavored, toasty ice cream (I love it).
I suggest making the ice cream with both to find which you prefer. And, because, having two batches of vanilla ice cream in the freezer is a good idea :).
How to Make Vegan Sunflower Seed Vanilla Ice Cream
Note that the complete directions are also in the recipe card below.
Step One: Blend All of the Ingredients
Blend the ingredients on high speed until completely smooth and velvety in texture.
Step Two: Pour into a Freezer-Safe Container
Pour the blended mixture into a freezer safe container and tightly cover.
Step Three: Freeze Until Firm
Freeze the ice cream for six to eight hours, or until very firm. The depth of the container will make a difference as to how fast the ice cream will freeze (i.e., shallower=faster, deeper=slower).
The ice cream will be VERY hard at this point.
Step Four: Thaw Slightly & Scoop
Thaw the ice cream at room temperature for thirty to sixty minutes to soften it enough to scoop. Alternatively, microwave the ice cream (so long as It is in a microwave safe container) for 10 to 15 second intervals until softened.
Scrape an ice cream scoop across the top of the ice cream to pack in a creamy, dreamy scoop.
That’s it! You have yourself some seriously delicious ice cream to savor and share (or not 😉).
What is the Taste & Texture of Vegan Vanilla Sunflower Seed Ice Cream?
This is a rich and creamy ice cream (super-luxe!). A small scoop goes a very long way.
The better the vanilla, the better the vanilla flavor of the ice cream. But even with cheap-o vanilla (hey, it can be expensive; use what you can get your hands onto) it is so darn good.
The above photos are all of ice cream made with roasted sunflower seed kernels. Ice cream made with raw seeds will be lighter in color.
How Should the Ice Cream Be Stored?
Store the ice cream in a freezer-safe container in the freezer for up to 2 weeks.
Can I Make the Ice Cream in an Ice Cream Maker?
Yes, you can!
Pour the ice cream base into an ice cream maker and churn according to manufacturer’s directions.
Eat immediately or pack into a freezer safe container and freeze for at least 2 hours until firmer and scoop-able.
What Is a Good Substitute for Coconut Sugar?
You can sub an equal amount of lightly packed brown sugar, or use the granulated sugar of your choice. You can also use 1/4 cup (60 mL) maple syrup.
Can I Make this Ice Cream Keto Friendly?
Yes, this ice cream is a keto-friendly dessert with one simple substitution: replace the coconut sugar with an equal amount of keto-friendly granular sweetener or keto-friendly liquid sweetener. That’s it!
With the keto sweetener swap, the resulting ice cream has 1 gram sugar and 2 grams of net carbs per serving.
What Can I Use in Place of Coconut Milk?
Other nondairy milks can be used in place of the coconut milk, with a caution: the results will be far less rich and creamy (due to the much lower level of fat). But if you are looking for a less rich option, you can use the nondairy milk you prefer.
Consider decreasing the total amount of milk to 1 and 1/2 cups (355 mL) and adding an additional 1/4 cup (30 grams) of sunflower seed kernels.
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