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Wellness for the Family: Ice Cream Alternatives

Vegan Ice Cream

We wrapped up National Ice Cream Month with a delicious and healthier alternative to our favorite sweet treat. Blue Cross Blue Shield dietitian, Shanthi Appelö walks through a very easy recipe and ways you can customize it to anyone’s tastes.

Oat milk. This dairy substitute is making its way into more coffee shops because of its creamy texture that’s easily steamed for a cappuccino. Made by soaking and blending oats with water then straining, it is a vegan-friendly dairy substitute that contains some fiber. Fortified oat milk contains 283 mg of calcium and has many other healthy nutrients added like vitamin D, which helps the body absorb calcium. It’s naturally creamy, so it doesn’t usually have thickeners like other plant-based milks do. While this plant-based milk is naturally high in carbohydrates, be weary of added sugar in many oat milk brands.

Oat milk isn’t just good in your cereal and coffee, it also makes for a great creamy vegan frozen dessert along with just four other ingredients: cashew butter, sugar and two flavors. Making this treat with cashew butter makes it lower in saturated fat than ice cream made with dairy. This recipe also packs in less added sugar than its traditional counterpart. 


  • 2 cups oat milk
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup cashew butter
  • ⅓ cup pistachios, chopped
  • 2 oz vegan dark chocolate, chopped


  1. In a high-speed blender, combine oat milk, cashew butter and sugar.
  2. Place contents in a gallon-sized zip bag and place in the freezer laying flat. Allow to freeze for 4 hours or overnight.
  3. Take bag out of the freezer and allow to soften at room temperature for 15 minutes. Place bag contents in blender, blend to smooth using the tamper if needed, then on low blend in pistachios and chocolate.
  4.  Place in a freezer-safe container, let soften and scoop to serve. This will keep up to a month in the freezer.

For more recipes and wellness tips from Shanthi Appelö, .