• Maple Walnut Ice Cream

by Buffy Ellen 0 Comments

This is definitely my new favourite ice cream recipe. Yes it's mid June in NZ and yes the temperature is averaging around 12 degrees at the moment (54 in farenheit land), but ice cream is one food that for me is an all year round affair. I've previously shared with you one of my favourite ice cream concoctions (a classic Vanilla Bean Ice Cream here), but this one's quite different being based on frozen bananas and coconut cream. Frozen bananas you say? I thought this was meant to be maple walnut? But friends you'll find that the banana flavour blends right on in and is only very slight in the finished product.

Maple Walnut Ice Cream #healthy #vegan #recipe #icecream #dessert #dairyfree #sugarfree #glutenfree #plantbased #begoodorganics

You might have spotted a handful of one-ingredient frozen banana 'ice cream' recipes floating around the net, and certainly you can make a frozen dessert by just blending chopped up frozen bananas. Personally though I find the end result is far too sweet for my liking, and misses that must-have-creaminess that traditional dairy milk ice cream has. Segway in coconut cream, one of my deep kitchen-ingredient loves. Adding coconut cream, as well as the guar gum (derived from a bean) gives this ice cream the perfect straight-from-the-parlour creamy consistency. What's more you can totally get away with making it without an ice cream maker (because really, who has one of those).

Maple Walnut Ice Cream #healthy #vegan #recipe #icecream #dessert #dairyfree #sugarfree #glutenfree #plantbased #begoodorganics

Going loco for the coco
Onto the sweetener side of things, if you've gotten ahead of yourself and scrolled down to the ingredients list (which might I add is only seven in total, most of which you probably have in your kitchen right now), you might have seen that I've used dark coconut nectar instead of actual maple syrup. Coconut nectar is one of my favourite sweeteners, and here's a laundry list as to why: it's low GI (35), very affordable (even when buying organic), minimally refined, and has an amazing taste - try the light version for a honey replacement, and the dark for a maple syrup type flavour.

It's also sweeter than regular sugar so you can use less, and hello eco-warriors is one of the most sustainable sweeteners in the world, given that coconut trees produce 50-75% more sugar per acre than regular cane sugar but use less than 1/5th of the soil, nutrients and water. For those who are sensitive to fructose, it's also lower than agave, cane sugar, honey and maple at around 38 (depending on the batch, as is the case with all naturally derived wholefood sweeteners). Finally it's nutritional content is far richer than other sweeteners, with it containing numerous trace minerals and vitamins including iron, magnesium, zinc, potassium, and vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6 and C.

Maple Walnut Ice Cream #healthy #vegan #recipe #icecream #dessert #dairyfree #sugarfree #glutenfree #plantbased #begoodorganics

While we're on the topic of sweeteners, I thought we'd put together a handy guide for you summarising some of the major natural sweeteners around at the moment. This is by no means an all-inclusive list, but covers some of my personal favourites and compares them against others on the market right now.

I personally use and recommend a combination of coconut nectar, coconut sugar, medjoul dates and occasionally yacon syrup in our kitchen, and have detailed the pros of each of these below. For me they all achieve a good balance of being relatively unrefined, low GI, affordable, lower in fructose, and importantly have fantastic flavour. Yacon is a bit more expensive, but a great option for diabetics with a GI of almost zero. Stevia and xylitol are also good for blood sugar management, but for me don't have great taste. Meanwhile brown rice syrup has become the sweetener du jour of late, given it has zero fructose, and is another good option to try but not quite as sweet so you may need to add more to your recipes.

Technical note: I realised after finishing this table that alas it's a tad small on the eyes given all the info we tried to squeeze in. So I've posted a larger font version here if you're not quite 20/20.

Guide to Plant-Based Sweeteners
To read a larger font version of this table, click here.

Sweetener Description/Use GI (%) Fructose (%) Flavour Pros Cons Cals /100g
Agave Syrup Extracted from the agave plant; thinner than honey; light/dark versions can be substituted for honey/maple syrup 19 90 30-40% sweeter than white cane sugar; dark tastes like maple syrup, light tastes like honey Low GI, affordable

Higher in fructose
Brown Rice Malt Syrup Made from brown fermented rice; thick consistency;
can be substituted for honey/maple syrup
25 0 Nutty sweet flavour, about half as sweet as white cane sugar. Fructose free, metabolises slowly.
Contains trace minerals such as magnesium & potassium.
Not as sweet so need to use more 260
Coconut Nectar Made from the sap of coconut palm trees; light/dark versions can be substituted for honey/maple syrup 35 ~38 Great flavour - light tastes similar to honey, dark tastes like maple syrup.

Low GI, affordable, great taste, sweeter than sugar so can use less, most sustainable sweetener (coconut trees produce 50-75% more sugar per acre but use less than 1/5 of the soil, nutrients & water of cane sugar!), lower in fructose than agave or cane sugar, contains numerous trace minerals and vitamins including iron, magnesium and zinc.

Contains some fructose for those who are intolerant 370
Coconut Sugar

Made from the sap of coconut palm trees; can be substituted for white, raw and brown sugar in baking

35 ~38 Great caramel toffee flavour, similar to brown/rapadura sugar, less sweet than regular white sugar.

Low GI, affordable, great taste, sweeter than sugar so can use less, most sustainable sweetener (coconut trees produce 50-75% more sugar per acre but use less than 1/5 of the soil, nutrients & water of cane sugar!), lower in fructose than agave or cane sugar, contains numerous trace minerals and vitamins including iron, magnesium and zinc.

Less sweet than white sugar so need to use more 375
Dates Edible fruit from the date palm tree 42 25-30 Medoul dates have a delicious caramel flavour Great in baking, raw desserts; a wholefood so contain fibre and are well digested; contain trace minerals and vitamins; medjoul variety are very sweet so can use less Contains some fructose (as do all fruit) 280
Honey Thick, sticky syrup made by harvesting nectar from flowers by honeybees. 58 40 Floral flavour, dependent on the flowers from which it is harvested; sweeter than white sugar Great flavour. Not plant-based, ethical issues involving bees, cheaper brands be unsustainably produced and highly refined, higher GI 304
Maple Syrup Made from the sap of maple trees and boiling it down. 54 40 Rich maple flavour Great characteristic maple flavour, affordable, widely available. Higher GI, cheaper brands can be highly refined, characteristic flavour can overpower some recipes 260
Stevia Extract from the Stevia rebaudiana plant sold as a powder <1 0 1/4 tsp stevia = 1 cup white sugar in sweetness. Zero GI and calories, good for diabetics and weight management. Not great taste, can be bitter, unrefined versions taste grassy, refined version taste artificial, not great in baking 0
Sucrose (white sugar) Commonly known as table or white sugar - extracted from sugar cane or beet plants. 65-85 50 Widely available, inexpensive, good results in baking, the standard in most recipes. High GI, high fructose, heavily processed, refined and bleached 387
Yacon Syrup Made from the root of the yacon plant, has been used for centuries among the Andean people. 1 7 Characteristic dark and rich floral flavour Negligible GI so great for diabetes; very low in fructose; natural and minimally processed; is also a prebiotic (good for the gut and immune system) and contains soluble fibre; lower in calories More expensive. 165-200
Xylitol Naturally occurring sugar alcohol, commonly extracted from the bark of Birch trees. 7 0 Neutral flavour Low GI so good for diabetes; no fructose; lower in calories than normal white sugar. Often highly refined, no vitamins or minerals, doesn't work in all baking 240 

Maple Walnut Ice Cream #healthy #vegan #recipe #icecream #dessert #dairyfree #sugarfree #glutenfree #plantbased #begoodorganics

Back to the ice cream, just try it - you'll love it. "Maple" (ie coconut nectar) plus walnut is truly a match made in heaven.

If you make this recipe, leave me a comment below to let me know how you go (and post a pic too, yes you can do that you fancy thing!). I'd also love to see your creations on Instagram, remember I'm sharing a "Be Good Organics in Your Kitchen" album each month on Facebook and IG, with your best creations from the 'gram. Just tag me with @begoodorganics and #begoodorganics so I don't miss your beauties from my feed.

That's it from me, have a wonderful Sunday evening and here's to another gorgeous week. I'm off overseas to a very special location, so stay tuned on IG and Facebook for more on that!

Sending you lots of love and plant-filled vibes,

x Buffy-Ellen

PS If you like this recipe I'd love you to share it on Pinterest (hover over any of the images and click Pin It), Facebook or Twitter (hit the buttons up top). Thanks a bunch!

Maple Walnut Ice Cream

Maple Walnut Ice Cream #healthy #vegan #recipe #icecream #dessert #dairyfree #sugarfree #glutenfree #plantbased #begoodorganics

VeganVegetarianPaleoDairy FreeGluten FreeWheat FreeSugar FreeSoy FreeContains Organic IngredientsCruelty Free

Makes around 1 litre of icecream

Make with

Remember all of the blue linked items below can be ordered directly from our online store, simply click each link then add that item to your cart

Always use certified organic, local and fairly traded ingredients wherever possible

3 c bananas (chopped and frozen)
400ml coconut cream
5 tsp dark coconut nectar*
½ c walnuts
½ tsp vanilla powder
¼ tsp guar gum (optional)
pinch sea salt

For drizzling on top: more dark coconut nectar and walnuts

c = 250ml cup, tbsp = 15ml tablespoon, tsp = 5ml teaspoon

* You can also use brown rice malt syrup in place of the coconut nectar here.

How to
  1. Blend all ingredients except for the walnuts in a food processor on medium speed until creamy - it should take around 30 seconds. You may want to stop half way to scrape down the sides before blending again.
  2. Once everything is super creamy (but don't keep blending or it will start to heat up and melt), add in the walnuts and gently pulse to combine (it's nice to keep them quite chunky).
  3. Pour into a container and pop in the freezer.
  4. If you want to eat it straight away, let it firm up for at least an hour (if you want to scoop out actual ice cream scoops as I have). Otherwise you can leave overnight and just bring it out on the bench half an hour before serving each time to let it soften up a bit (straight from the freezer it will be harder than regular store bought ice cream). After you've served you can happily pop it back in the freezer again.
  5. Before serving, top with extra walnuts and drizzle with dark coconut nectar, as I've done in the photos. Enjoy, rain, snow or shine!

    Maple Walnut Ice Cream #healthy #vegan #recipe #icecream #dessert #dairyfree #sugarfree #glutenfree #plantbased #begoodorganics

    Herbs and Natural Supplements - An Evidence-Based Guide (Braun, L., & Cohen, M.)
    The Food Pharmacy (Carper, J.)
    Healing With Wholefoods (Pitchford, P.)
    University of Sydney Glycemic Index 
    Science Congress
    Harvard University
    Loving Earth
    Sugar and Sweetener Guide
    Live Strong
    I Quit Sugar
    I Quit Sugar - Sugar Substitutes
    Sarah Wilson
    The Paleo Diet
    Food Intolerances
    Calorie Control

    Buffy Ellen
    Buffy Ellen


    Buffy is the founder of Be Good Organics, and loves creating delicious yet simple plant-based whole foods recipes. Buffy also oversees our Be Good Organics online store, full of plant based goodies that she personally uses and loves. Sign up for our newsletter below to be the first to receive her weekly recipes.

    Also in Blog

    Best Ever Vegan + Gluten Free Mac and Cheese
    Best Ever Vegan + Gluten Free Mac and Cheese

    by Buffy Ellen 0 Comments

    Get ready for it. The absolute best ever mac n cheese you've ever tried. Vegan, gluten free, super flavoursome, packed with vegetables and light on the waistline. Made with a secret creamy ingredient!

    Continue Reading

    Chocolate Mint Buttons
    Chocolate Mint Buttons

    by Buffy Ellen 0 Comments

    What’s the perfect way to end a meal? With a choc mint button is what! If you’ve been looking for an easy after-dinner sweet treat that LITERALLY involves 2 ingredients + 5 mins, these babies will hit allll your buttons. Dairy-free, and great for your post-dinner digestion, these buttons are after dinner-mint bliss.

    Continue Reading

    Cashew Nut Cheese
    Cashew Nut Cheese

    by Buffy Ellen 0 Comments

    This deliciously creamy Cashew Cheese will become a regular pantry staple for you I'm sure! It's raw, dairy free, and so creamy you won't even miss the real stuff.

    Continue Reading