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ArticleFood & Drink

Are we all screaming for ice cream?

Playing with ‘nice cream’ to create a rich, creamy, luscious and dairy-free dessert.

May 17, 2022

Words: Mettle & Grace

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You scream. I scream. We all scream for ice cream! … until your gut issues cause it to start screaming, and your doctor recommends you to go dairy-free.

Maybe you can’t have soy either. Now, you’re waving goodbye to your friends: cheese, yoghurt, milk and ice cream.

When I was Head Chef at Monk Bodhi Dharma, a vegan and vegetarian café in Balaclava, we used to create cashew-based vegan ice cream. Vegan cashew ice cream generally consists of cashews, coconut cream, sugar, cacao butter and your choice of flavourings. It was surprising how closely it resembled rich dairy ice cream – being delectably creamy and smooth. The shortcoming for home cooks was that it requires an ice-cream machine, which isn’t always practical for your kitchen.

It’s rich, creamy and luscious!

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With that in mind, we continued experimenting by filling silicone icy pole moulds with orange juice. Simple and effective. Great for kids.

Then we moved on to more creative juice flavours:
Beetroot, apple, carrot + ginger
Grapefruit, orange, mint + lime
Celery, apple + lemon
Pineapple, lychee + pear
Passionfruit, pineapple + apple
Carrot, turmeric + orange

All are incredibly yum, but they weren’t satisfying the craving for a spoonful of soft, sweet, frozen goodness made from milk and cream.

That’s when we began to play around with ‘nice cream’: a dairy-free dessert made by blitzing frozen fruit in a food processor. It’s rich, creamy and luscious!

Here are a couple of recipes to sink your teeth into before summer completely disappears.

Caramel Banana Pops


190ml Coconut cream
¼ cup Water
90g Banana
2 x Medjool dates
1 tsp Vanilla essence
1 tbsp Maple syrup
1 tbsp Peanut butter


1/. Add all ingredients into a food processor and blend until smooth, then portion into paddlepop moulds and place in the freezer for a minimum of four hours.

2/. A delicious addition is to freeze these pops, then remove them from the moulds and coat them in melted dark chocolate and sprinkle with crushed peanuts.

Miso Ginger Lime Pops


1 tbsp Shiro miso paste
(sweet, white miso paste)
2 tsp Lime zest
1 tsp fresh Ginger, minced
200ml Coconut cream
100g Banana
2 tbsp Maple syrup
1 tsp Vanilla essence


1/. As with the caramel banana pops, add all ingredients into a food processor and blend until smooth, then portion into paddle-pop moulds and place in the freezer for a minimum of four hours.

2/. A scrumptious twist to this recipe is removing the minced ginger and adding mixed diced crystallised ginger instead. Do this before portioning the mix into the moulds.

Gippslandia - Issue No. 22

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