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Recipes for Fall: Vegan Pumpkin Ice Cream

diet recipes Oct 01, 2015

Some of my best recipes have been the results of experiments. For instance, I discovered one of my favorite summer recipes - vegan pineapple ice cream - while making pina coladas on a muggy July night. While that recipe provided a refreshing treat for the summer, I find myself craving more seasonal foods now that autumn has arrived. I began to think: "if my ice cream recipe worked with pineapple, why not with pumpkin?" Excited to try my idea out, I was thrilled that the result of my new experiment was a simple and delicious vegan dessert that is just perfect for fall.

Like almost all of my other recipes, this one for vegan pumpkin ice cream can be customized based on what ingredients are convenient, like the type of pumpkin you buy (but stay away from the large varieties we use for carving), the sweetener you already have, or the spices you prefer.

1 Sugar pie pumpkin
1/3 Can of coconut milk

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Remove the stem of the pumpkin, and halve it from top to bottom (as a safety tip, cut off a wedge of skin on one side, and use that flat edge to secure the pumpkin as you cut).

Sprinkle the insides of the pumpkin with salt, and place them, with the flesh side down, on a baking sheet that is lined with parchment paper. Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes. 

Poke the pumpkin in a few spots with a fork, to make sure that it easily passes through, and that the pumpkin is completely cooked.

Let the pumpkin rest until it is cool enough to be handled, and then scoop out the inside, and put it in a container.

The container goes into the freezer until the pumpkin is frozen, but still able to be broken apart into small pieces (I froze mine overnight, and then let it sit on the counter for 1/2 hour to slightly thaw).

Add the frozen pieces of pumpkin to a blender. Add sweetener (I had agave on hand), and your favorite fall spices, like freshly grated nutmeg.

Finally, add the coconut milk to the blender, and pulse until the mixture is smooth. Add a small amount of additional coconut milk if your blender is struggling to break apart the frozen pumpkin.

The final step is to adjust based on your tastes. Add more sweetener if you think that the mixture is too savory. Ice cream too soft? Put it in a container, and leave it in the freezer until it has reached your desired consistency.

And that's it! Once you're done, you've got a vegan dessert choice that is creamy, delicious, and perfect for fall. 

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