Even though summer isn't quite here yet, I'm totally more that ready for it. This vegan pistachio coconut ice cream is my way of channeling the warm and sunny weather in.
These pops, which by the way can also be made as scoopable ice cream instead, are incredibly dreamy and flavorful, and are so easy to throw together, making these a perfect warm weather treat.
I initially started out making these as a type of kulfi (a traditional creamy pistachio ice cream) and played around with other spices, like saffron and cardamom. However after making several batches, this simpler recipe below was by far my favorite.
The coconut milk gives these bars a wonderfully creamy dairy-free ice cream base. The pistachios add flavor and a beautiful natural color that never fails to catch my attention. The dark maple syrup gives these a richness and depth. And the wee bit of almond extract imparts lots of added dimension (many pistachio ice creams actually use almond extract as a prominent flavor for this reason).
Basically with this lineup of ingredients and a good blender you'll have yourself delicious, restaurant style ice cream in no-time. And of course the chocolate drizzle and sprinkle of rose petals make this ice cream even more special.
Speaking of blenders, you'll definitely need a good power blender (like a Vitamix) to get the mixture super smooth here, as otherwise you'll end up with chunks. If you don't have a power blender, you can try grinding down the pistachios into a nut butter (or close to it) first in a good food processor, which should help them blend better afterwards.
To make these as pops, you'll need a silocone mold, like this one (which is what I used here), because the ice cream base is very creamy and will simply get stuck in a regular plastic popsicle mold.
I love the shape of the little magnum-like pops that I get out of this mold, but of course it's not essential. You can just pour the entire ice cream mixture into a glass container, chill it as per the recipe, and then treat it like scoopable ice cream instead. Works a treat either way.
Last but not least, if you're into pistachio goodies, here are a few of my favorite oldie recipes from the blog:
A quick blender vegan pistachio coconut ice cream recipe (make it as pops or as scoopable ice cream), made without churning. Gluten-free, refined sugar-free, oil-free.
- ½ cup raw pistachios, shelled*
- ½ cup full fat coconut milk, room temp**
- 7 tbsp dark maple syrup
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp salt
- ⅛ tsp almond extract
- a few tablespoon of melted dark chocolate to drizzle
- edible dried rose petals, crushed
1. Blend all ice cream ingredients together in a power blender until completely smooth.
2. Transfer into a silicone*** pops mold (or a glass container if not making pops) that's set on a flat metal tray. If you have a bit of mixture left over that doesn't fit into your molds, pour it into a small glass container. Freeze overnight, or for at least 6 hours to set. Then carefully pop the ice cream out of the molds. If consuming these like ice cream instead, then once the mixture chills and sets simply scoop and enjoy.
3. Optional: drizzle the pops with melted chocolate and sprinkle with rose petals if desired. For this step, I recommend keeping a flat chilled metal tray lined with parchment paper handy and keep the unmolded pops on it. Return back to the freezer. Once your chocolate mixture is melted and you're ready to drizzle, remove the tray from the freezer, drizzle the chocolate and sprinkle on the roses. Then briefly return back to the freezer for the chocolate to set.
4. Enjoy! Keep the pops frozen until ready to consume. I stored mine in a glass container, separated with a small piece of parchment paper lining in between each pop.
*Shelled = peeled. I know sometimes people confuse the term to mean in a shell :) you definitely don't want shells in your ice cream!
**The kind that comes in a can (I used Thai Kitchen -- see link in ingredients list). Shake it up/stir it well first. It's important that it's at room temperature so that it can be stirred together, as otherwise if it's too chilled the cream will firm up and separate from the water and the mixture will be hard to mix.
***Note that for this recipe to work as pops only silicone popsicle molds can be used. If you use plastic ones, etc., the mixture will most likely just get stuck in the mold and will not pull out. This is because the consistency of the pops is like creamy ice cream. These are the molds I used here. If you don't have a silicone mold, you can just put the entire mixture into a glass jar and once it chills you can treat it like scoopable ice cream.